My good friend Job…yes, he’s my friend!  And when you read that last chapter in his wonderful book, you’ll see that he’s your friend as well.  Sure, if he can still be called a friend to those 3 botchagaloops (!) of his, then he can be a friend to both you and me.  Those 3 had so played with Job’s head and soul confronting him with so many ‘spiritual’  things that turned out to be not right at all.  They were not helpful friends.  I think in the beginning that they really wanted to be friends of Job, to help him if they could.  But their good intentions quickly deteriorated into a big old argument where they had to be right and Job just plain wrong.  How many times have I fit their category of well-meaning but I was just paving more roadway for a friend on the way to a you-know-what  experience?  Thought I was right but guess again.  Yes, I’ll say it again–Job’s my friend and so are you!  We’ve let friends  down, and we’ve been let down also.  I can think of maybe a couple people in my life, who were friends at the time, just one handful who after they let me down, and some in a rather severe way with terrible consequences, who ever said they were sorry or even looked my way ever again.  Like I was dead to them.   But these 3 friends of Job, after the Lord tells them what to do…to humble themselves, offer sacrifices to the Lord in the very presence of Job asking him nicely to pray for them that God would forgive their folly… they do what they now know is right to do.  How humbling indeed!  Admit they’re  wrong, go to Job, be with him,look him in the eye, be serious about asking for forgiveness from God through the prayers of good-old Job.  As if God is saying to them– ‘don’t pray to me, I’m not too happy with you 3 at the moment for what you said about ‘my servant Job’. Offer sacrifices and he’ll pray for you.  He will and I’ll accept his prayers on your behalf forgiving all that folly and foolish badgering  that you put him through’.  And Job is so forgiving–he could have just written them off once and for all.  No, he ends his story and life well.  He does what the Lord says to do, he stays with those 3 men as they repent and confess in deep and honest sorrow.  Look at verse 10–‘After Job had prayed for his friends…’  Did you see it?  The 3 were still his friends!  He allowed them back into his life.  He was big-hearted,doing what the Lord Himself wanted to do…to forgive and restore his friends.  Yes, they are his friends. And so are you!   I was thinking though–anyone you need to go to  saying that  you’re sorry?  Or someone who needs restoring if they’re sincere in repentance?   Being a friend.  Staying a friend.  Praying for our friends.  Having faithful, loyal friends.  Being a faithful, loyal friend.  That always ends well…”The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first”(verse 12).  Amen?  Amen!

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