Ever lost someone or something and mourned? Ever known someone who has lost someone or something dear to them? How did you respond? How did you learn or know how to respond? Did you consider the directions or examples from the Bible? Have you ever seen or read about examples that were good and worked as well as those that were bad and failed miserably? In Romans 12:15, we read:
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.—Romans 12:15 (NIV)
As we get older the opportunity to comfort seems to increase as our loved ones are aging too. As we get older the opportunity seems to increase as our circle of friends and contacts increases and so more of us are being impact. Today’s reading speaks of Job shortly after losing so much. Imagine being Job. Imagine being one of his friends. How would you respond? Would you be compassionate or would you be judgmental? Let’s take a look at Job 2 has to say to us today.
Satan Attacks Job’s Health
1Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6And the Lordsaid to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
7So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
9Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job’s Three Friends
11Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.–Job 2
Would your response be like his wife? Would you make the effort to be with him through this tough time like his friends? Today’s devotional points to Job 2:11-13 which is the part where his friends heard of the evil that had come upon him and came to him with sympathy and comfort. So how will you respond when your friend finds themselves in a tough situation or circumstance? Which example will you follow? Will you be Jesus with skin on to bring love and hope into their very situation comforting them during their time of mourning?
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on Acts of Charity on the subject of comforting those who mourn. It starts teaching us about shiva, the Jewish mourning tradition. We see the 7 days of mourning demonstrated in today’s reading when Job’s friends show up in Job 2:11-13:
‘Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. ‘—Job 2:11-13
We see how during this time his friends shows sympathy and compassion by sitting with him and not talking during Job’s time of intense suffering and questioning. We learn about a parallel example of this approach to comforting someone who is suffering in Genesis 50 when Joseph is mourning the death of his father.
1Then Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. 2And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel. 3Forty days were required for it, for that is how many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.—Genesis 50:1-14
4And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 5’My father made me swear, saying, “I am about to die: in my tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.” Now therefore, let me please go up and bury my father. Then I will return.'” 6And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.” 7So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. 9And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. 10When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. 12Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them, 13for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 14After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
Shiva means 7. In Jewish tradition shiva, Jews are expected to observe 7 days of mourning for their parents, siblings, child, and spouse. Today’s devotional closes sharing how today it is common practice when a close relative has died to have a sitting shiva where people can come and visit, friends bring meals and provide readings from the Torah, and sitting with them on the floor or a stool to show their support with the family’s suffering.
Let’s pray… Let’s first pray to commit our lives back to God
Next as we prepare for this day, let’s take hold of the Lord’s Prayer and align with God’s plans and purpose for today…
Now let’s get going with today and live out our lives as living sacrifices so that in and through it all God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Let’s pray to forgive others…
Heavenly Father, Thank You Lord for this new day. I ask Lord as I am home and fighting a sickness that You would touch my body as the ultimate physician in order that complete healing and restoration would come upon and over me. Help me Lord to accomplish Your purpose and plans for me today while I rest and try to get better as quickly as possible. I lift up my family and my team and as for Your blessing and protection over them today. Help us Lord to live out today in a way that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.