Remember that God pointed Job out to Satan because God was so pleased with Job. So, when you study Job, you have to start on the assumption that he probably had some pretty sound theology. Satan gets God to remove God's protection from Job, and Satan destroys everything in Job's life. That's when Job's well meaning friends come into the picture; Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They heard about all the problems that suddenly hit Job, got together and said they would "sympathize with him and comfort him." (Job 2:11b) Eliphaz starts off like a God-fearing buddy. Just a nice guy counseling a friend. (4:2) "If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking?" Goes on and tells Job to remember everything he taught everyone, basicaly, in vs 5, he tells Job that he has no right to be upset. And in vs 7 he accuses job of sin. "Consider now: Who, being innocent has ever perished? Were the upright ever destroyed?" He spends the rest of Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 telling Job that God is obviously punishing him for some terrible sin. In Chapters 6 and 7, Job objects to being falsely accused. Job, the man that God pointed out to Satan as a man that pleases God, says. 6:14 "A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty." 6:21 "Now you too have proved to be of no help." And then, in despair he cries out - 7:20 "If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you made me your target?" Well, Bildad hops in on that one! 8:2 "How long will you say such things?! Your words are a blustering wind. Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penality of their sin!" So, Bildad is saying, "Your kids deserved to die." He goes on with a lot of instruction to look at previous generations and justification for his view point. Job replies with, "How can a mortal be rightous before God?" (9:2) 9 and 10 are Job's response to Bildad. Zophar speaks in Chapter 11. V2: "Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated? Will your idle talk reduce men to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? " He tells him in vs. 13-15 "Yet, if you devote your heart to him, and stretch out your hands to him, If you put away the sin that is in your hand, and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame, you will stand firm and without fear." Job gets a little testy. 12:2 "Doubtless you are the people, and wisdom will die with you! But I have a mind as well, as you; I am not inferior to you." He speaks in 13 and 14, then in 15 Eliphaz tries again. Tells Job that he is arguing with useless words and valueless speeches. Tells him that sin prompts his mouth, and that his mouth condemns him. Tells him he is ignoring the council of God. Swears he is just doing what God would want him to do, just pointing out Job's sin. Bildad gets testy in Chapter 18. Asks why Job considers him stupid. And in 19 (starting at 2) Job says, "How long will you torment me and crush me with your words? Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly attacked me. If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me, and use my humiliation against me, then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me. Though I cry, I have been wronged! I get no response, though I call for help, there is no justice. It goes on. And in 20 Zophar says, "My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer, because I am greatly distubed. I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply. " Give him a speech that more or less is the "pride goeth before a fall" speech. and ON and ON and ON it goes.... Jobs friends attacking, Job telling them they are WRONG. Then Elihu steps in and starts in on him too. But in Chapters 38 and 39 , GOD speaks. This is part most of us know. Its where God asks who has the right to question God? Who can DO the things God does. And in 40 Job tells God that Job is unworthy to answer God. God continues questioning job in 40 and 41, and in 42 Job replies, among other words, with "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand." We usually skip this part. 42:7 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. So now take 7 bulls and 7 rams and go to my servant Job and sacricie 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." Put it back in context. (Go back and read it, its a short chapter). What did the 3 men do and say that made God angry? Wasn't their message, over and over, "you sinned and God is mad at you?" Weren't they wrong? And weren't they saying that God was punishing Job? When in fact, God simply stopped protecting Job? There is a thin line between saying, "God doesn't like that sin," in saying, "God doesn't love you." I think crossing that line is sinful. I think attaching motives to God is wrong. Who has the right to judge the servants of God? Who has the right to speak for God?