How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble! Job 26:2
Job is cynical and critical of his friends. The remarks in this verse are addressed to Bildad. Despite Bildad’s supposed great theology, he hadn’t helped Job. He hadn’t encouraged, inspired or been supportive. It’s easy to be well-intentioned but unhelpful.
Our theology ought to make us caring people. Both Paul and James teach that if our theology doesn’t motivate us to care than our religion is worthless (1 Timothy 5:4, James 1:26-27). Our caring is to be sympathetic to the person’s needs.
Probably Bildad thought he was being helpful by pointing out where his thinking was wrong but Job found his reasoning illogical as well as uncaring. Hurting people aren’t comforted by explanations but by people who will sit with them and feel their pain. Initially, this is what Job’s friends did: “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:13).
Rick Warren writes on suffering, “When life doesn’t make sense, an explanation doesn’t ease your pain; the presence of God does.” We need to be the presence of God to hurting people.
Bildad thought they had grieved long enough and it was time to challenge Job’s theology but it was actually Bildad’s that needed correcting. The Lord said to Eliphaz, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:7).
Ministering to hurting people isn’t easy. It’s emotionally draining, time-consuming and there aren’t any magic formulas. And sometimes it’s our own theology that’s challenged.