Sometimes when reading the Bible issues you might be working on in your mind come into sharper focus. What you need to be careful of when this happens is to be sure you don’t read your thoughts into the Bible. Let the Bible speak for itself.
This happened as I read the book of Job in the Old Testament. I had the importance of small groups on my mind at the time. Small groups have always played a significant part in my life and ministry. I especially enjoy and benefit from small men’s groups that meet in restaurants. I resonate with the experience of Jesus after His resurrection when He prepared breakfast on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and welcomed the disciples who had fished all night. You can read about it in John 21.
But let’s get back to the book of Job. I wouldn’t be surprised if Job and his three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite had shared a meal together from time to time. They knew each other well. They cared about each other, especially when one of them, Job, experienced some devastating tragedies, losses and reversals in his life.
When his friends heard about his bad fortune it says in Job 2:11, “they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.” It seemed this was the natural thing for them to do – he was their friend. That’s what happens when people bond in a small group and establish close, strong friendships.
There’s much more to this story. Let’s study it together in the days ahead.