The dialogue between Job and his friends continues in a similar fashion as it has previously. While his friends continue to push at him with the ways that god punishes wicked men, Job continues to respond slightly differently each time. Maintaining his integrity though, Job never curses God or blames God for his troubles. Perhaps this struggle with his friends is another way that God was testing Job.As a result of the physical and emotional problems that God and Satan have pushed on Job, he is also faced to deal with his now obnoxious friends. It doesn't matter how many times he tells them just to leave, they continue to stay and bug him.
Does this ever happen in your life? Do you ever have people who try to "help" you but end up making you feel worse? The lesson here perhaps is to stick to your guns and stick to your beliefs regardless of what your "friends" say. Don't cave to the doubters. Don't give in to the evil around you. Stay true to yourself no matter what.
An interesting response that Job has in this conversation occurs in Chapter 21. While Job has previously reproached his friends by pointing out that only God will judge us in the end (and they shouldn't be judging him), he has a new response. While his friends are continuing to point out how the wicked will be punished, Job chooses to point out that sometimes the wicked actually prosper (of course God will judge them in the end). By pointing out this "unfairness" in life he is trying to point out that if God will let the wicked occasionally prosper, then perhaps it is possible that God will let the upright citizens suffer. How could this be? This paradox though is all too common in life. Often have I heard people make comments like, "I go to church, I try to do the right thing....when will I catch a break?" Usually this is in referring to things like financial success in life. "Nice guys finish last" is another expression that comes to mind through all of this. Remember though that "Good things come to those that wait." Just as Job points out that God will judge in the end, we must remember that our ultimate rewards aren't necessarily on this earth.
Let me put it another way. Would you rather have some suffering on Earth but eternal happiness? Or would you rather have fame and fortune on Earth but suffer the eternal consequences of a life distracted by financial "happiness"?