So Job’s second friend doubles down on the whole “this happened, so therefore you must have deserved it” argument. Some comfort.
Job’s response, poor guy, is so agitated. He starts by screaming “I KNOW” at the guy. “I KNOW GOD IS GOD!” He can’t stand before God! There is nothing that could ever make him worthy to stand before God, so clearly anything that happens to him he’s just got to accept. And what difference does it matter, really, because by everything that has happened they are all going to assume he’s guilty of something regardless.
He does then turn his attention to God directly and beg for anything. Justification, death, you know, either one at this point would be an end to suffering.
Then his third friend just kind of proves that one point he made earlier about them assuming the worst about him anyway. “Just confess, man. Just confess and it’ll all be better.”
These friends are really quite horrible. But think about it. How often do we assume that someone somehow deserves the bad situation they’re in?
Ok, so I doubt you’d ever blame your friends, or even acquaintances, of committing some sin worthy of judgment if they lost their car or their job or otherwise fell on hard times and needed some significant assistance to get by. But how many times do we drive past the homeless and assume they brought it on themselves somehow? How often do we assume the worst about those in subsidized housing? Or on food stamps? Or any other form of assistance?
We are honestly taught to feel that way about the disadvantaged. It’s in the rhetoric we are served day after day for our entire lives. It takes honest effort to avoid making value judgments on those in disadvantaged situations, but I’ll remind you that God specifically orders us not to ask why people need help, just to help them. Don’t be like Job’s friends. Don’t assume the worst of someone just because they’ve experienced the worst.