Text: Job 30:1-14 (KJV)

Key Verse: “But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock” (Job 30:1).

A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following: “One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable.” “One who understands our silence.” “A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.” “A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down.” The winning definition reads: “A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”

From the text, Job focused our attention on his plight when all his acquaintances left him. He was a highly respected person in his day, being one of the richest persons in the region. Now that he was afflicted by this strange illness and having lost all his riches within a few hours in one day, he was abandoned by those who once benefited from his largeness.

Such is life. The people that once respected, honoured and reverenced him, now disrespected and even spat on his face. The poorest of the poor in society who should have been begging for food in front of his house, now had him in derision. The only friends who visited, came to condemn him.

This teaches us several lessons about life. First, things can change with regards to our status in society, either for good or evil. And when the unpredictable happens, we must find the grace to overcome the evil times. Secondly, public respect is very elastic. When the going is good, there are many friends who hang around and you become the song in the mouths of many overzealous praise singers. But when misfortune comes, the praise singers of today will turn mockers and jesters of tomorrow. Thirdly, we must understand that bad times do not last.

We must therefore, learn to trust God and keep hope alive when things turn the other way. Those who laugh at us today will rejoice with us tomorrow. Cheer up!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Don’t trust the winds, they can change direction.

THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: NEHEMIAH 11-13