Call to Worship Reading — Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Job 2:11-13
11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. 13 They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

1. If you are just jumping in here, go back to 1:1 and read the story from the beginning.
2. OK, now, notice how Job’s friends respond to him in this situation. The narrator tells us several important things
a. These are ‘Job’s three friends’ (v11) – his only true friends? His very best friends?
b. They hear of all the troubles (11)
c. They leave their own homes and meet together before they go to Job (11)
d. They make a decision to go AND console AND comfort Job (v11)
e. He looks so bad that from a distance they do not recognize their dear friend (v12)
f. At the sight of him, they convulse with grief and mourning, just as Job had (v12)
g. They recognize how deep his suffering is (v 13b)
h. In silence they sat with him – seven days and seven nights(v13)

3. Think of times when you have wanted to ‘be there’ for someone who was hurting – to be supportive – to “go and console and comfort”. How difficult is that for you? What kind of challenges do you face in those experiences?
4. What kinds of things might you and others be tempted to do in this situation that Job’s friends avoid? Notice what they do not do.
5. When have you been struggling and grieving and someone attempted to support you. Were they ‘successful’ in doing so? Why or why not?
6. Where is God in all of this? How might our answer help us to be present in the right way?

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