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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default The book of Job and fair weather friends

    I have been reflecting on the Book of Job lately, God believes Job is good and Satan, not a renegade but an angel in this tale, suggests that this is only because God is good to him, so God permits Job to be afflicted with suffering by Satan, Job is still faithful, then Satan says well you didnt allow me to hurt him directly, then Satan is permitted to hurt him directly and while Job questions he remains faithful. God is finally angry at what Satan has led him to permit to happen to his follower.

    Now, its a bit surprising to see a story in which God is "duped" by Satan and I know that there's more than one source which suggests it is an allegorical story.

    However what I think is the best aspect of the story altogether is the idea that Job is not a "Fair Weather Friend", I dont know if there are that many people who I know what will stick with others when the going gets as tough as described in that particular story, with anyone, let alone their relationship with God. Its not false modesty to include myself in that camp either.

    What does anyone else think?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Job's ultimate commitment was to God.
    Which is more than anyone else in the story (including his friends or his wife) was committed to him or to God.

    So he chose to believe even when it made no sense to believe.

    I tend to frame the story in terms of faith.

    EDIT: Do you have an actual reference in regards to your assertion that "God was angry with Satan" [playing the role of "prosecuting attorney" in this story] or that God was somehow "duped"? I didn't remember ever reading that, the last chapter says nothing about it, and I'm curious if I just missed a reference elsewhere. Thanks.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    The story of Job makes God and Satan look like total assholes

    Some of my friends are assholes, but I put up with it anyway

    So, I guess, God could still potentially be an ally, if you have shitty friends

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    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    the moral I got from the story is that god was ok with hurting someone innocent to win a bet.

    I also think it'd be dumb to stick with a friend who intentionally hurts you to boost his ego, so in that sense I suppose it does apply to the fair weather friends idea, very roughly. I tend to imagine "fair weather friends" to be leaving for trivial reasons, though.
    -end of thread-

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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    the moral I got from the story is that god was ok with hurting someone innocent to win a bet.
    It's said that it might predate all other books in the bible as well.

    Which is to say, it's primitive.

    I mean, this was like.. before the invention of air conditioning. And toilet paper! Everyone was miserable. Including God. That's the main lesson I get out of the book of Job.

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    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I like to think I am someone who will stick with a true friend through thick and thin. But I'm not sure the comparison with the story of Job really applies to friendship. God was testing Job's faith and devotion by allowing bad things to happen to him when He could have stopped them. If my friend had to power to stop/prevent bad things happening to me, but declined to do so, I'm not sure whether I could call them a true friend. Same if the friend was treating me like crap. I would certainly talk to them about it first, but if they continued to treat me like crap, again, I'd have to reevaluate my assessment of them as a "true friend." It's a two-way street when it comes to friendship between two mortals... devotion to one's God is a different thing.
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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I think a true friend of God would stop listening to primitive people, not be afraid to reevaluate what his nature could be, and not reduce a deity to some of humanity's most base representations. It was something all primitive cultures did. No different than Zeus shagging married women and hurling lightning bolts at their angry husbands.

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    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I like to think I am someone who will stick with a true friend through thick and thin. But I'm not sure the comparison with the story of Job really applies to friendship. God was testing Job's faith and devotion by allowing bad things to happen to him when He could have stopped them. If my friend had to power to stop/prevent bad things happening to me, but declined to do so, I'm not sure whether I could call them a true friend. Same if the friend was treating me like crap. I would certainly talk to them about it first, but if they continued to treat me like crap, again, I'd have to reevaluate my assessment of them as a "true friend." It's a two-way street when it comes to friendship between two mortals... devotion to one's God is a different thing.
    This, especially the bolded.

    I'll answer the OP's question regarding fair weather friends with a short story of my own pertaining to this exact situation.

    *ahem*

    For the past several years a good friend of mine has found himself in situations in which he has no money, no job, and needs to rely on his friends for support.

    Well, A few years or so ago said friend of mine that I hadn't seen in years at this point contacted me as he was going through a really touch patch: His wife threw him out, he lost his job, basically had no where to go. I convinced my parents (whom I was living with at the time) to open up the spare bedroom for him. His wife has been abusive toward him for many years at this point so when I first took him in, he was pretty much a shell of himself.

    So, for months, I basically helped him rediscover himself and reestablish some firm footing. He finds a job at a restaurant, reconnects with some of his hobbies that his ex-wife denied him, and he basically comes back out of his shell. He eventually met another woman and they both went off to Virginia together.

    Fast forward to sometime earlier this year. I get in touch with said friend again, the relationship with his other lady friend has dissolved and once again he has no job and no money. I'm living alone now and have no place to shack him up at my place so he moves in with some friends of ours. Finds another job at a restaurant, resettles a bit.

    Well, THOSE friends move out on him and he is *once again* in the same situation. Now I'm living with two other people and am paying a lot more in rent and living expenses than I was before and he's constantly asking me for money to help support him but I simply can't. He's also borrowed money from other friends of mine but he hasn't paid of them back and they're basically fed up with supporting someone who seems to be consistently finding himself in a bad situation.

    Now, does this make me a fair weather friend that I've cut off support for him? Perhaps it has, but I do think it's important to wonder at what point is a friend of ours really a friend? If a person continues to make bad decisions, at what point in time can we justifiably say, "Ok, I need to get away form this person because now they're just exploiting me?"

    This is a very pertinent question to me as I'm the type of person that gets taken advantage of easily.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    This is a very pertinent question to me as I'm the type of person that gets taken advantage of easily.
    Just like I say with people who need to question old concepts of God, you should question what friend even means. The original post almost seems to assume friendship with God is a one way street, and questioning it's boundaries is merely being a "fair weather friend". It's slavish. Friendships go two ways.

    You sound like a good person, but you've limited yourself with your own definition of friendship. To you, friendship (I'm assuming) is being generous, providing help/service, etc.. That's very cool, but maybe you should include questioning and challenging, as other expressions of friendship. Otherwise, you risk being an enabler of bullshit. You can still keep your friend and beat him across the head. Win, win.

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    You sound like a good person, but you've limited yourself with your own definition of friendship. To you, friendship (I'm assuming) is being generous, providing help/service, etc.. That's very cool, but maybe you should include questioning and challenging, as other expressions of friendship. Otherwise, you risk being an enabler of bullshit. You can still keep your friend and beat him across the head. Win, win.
    That's a good point.

    Obviously it has to be done in a way where there's still respect and trust (since we don't typically let ourselves get clobbered by people whose motives we are suspect of), but I would say that my closest friends on occasion have told me things I didn't want to hear, in their role of friend, whether or not I ended up agreeing with them, and that is one role that friends play.

    How's that fit in here?

    (But just to step back into the broad scope for a second, I think trying to define human roles for what has been set up as a divine/human relationship here is always going to be faulty. I mean, really; if we're accepting that a mortal individual of limited perpsective is relating to an omniscient, omnipotent deity, the roles described might be suggestive but not literal. I mean, how could we be "friends"? Or "lovers"? Or anything similar? We can't exactly map out such a relationship based simply on our experience with human relationship. It's almost like taking a hamster or a woolly caterpillar to a social party and saying, "hey, here's Mr. Fluffers, we're close friends.")
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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