At this point I figured it was best to glean any wisdom I could from the Bible. I remembered Job’s friends and the lessons one could learn from them.
Job 2:11-13, “11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 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 had pretty much lost everything. Job’s friend were right to come and see him. They kept him company when he was down in the dumps. When Job started asking for answers, his friends tried to help him understand. None of them could have known what was going on up above them. Job called his friends fools and miserable comfortors. Sometimes it is better to have no words.
Job 32:1-5, “1 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. 3 He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him. 4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.”
There hasn’t been quite a conversation like this before, but if Job’s three friends were mistaken, then Elihu was in the wrong. They assumed that Job had gone wrong and had gotten the punishment for sinning. They couldn’t find a way to answer Job’s complaint. In Job’s culture age means wisdom and so now it was the young man’s turn to speak. Would he prove himself foolish? They went from being at Job’s side for a full week to condemning him as the most evil sinner on the face of the planet. Somebody had to stop this nonsense before anybody got hurt. so a storm came from the horizon. And with it, answers from God himself.
Job 42:7-9, “7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.”
This is sort of a trade. Good old Job got everything back and his friends got what was comming to them. Notice that young Elihu isn’t mentioned. Perhaps he was caught up in the affairs of the old wise guys. Perhaps he was proven to be the young fool he was and nothing more was needed after that. There’s no record of what happened to this friendship from here on out. Did they become even better friends than before? Was Job blessed with even better friends afterwards? Did they keep in touch? It’s hard to say. What I do know though that it is Job who got the happy ending.