To him that is afflicted pity should be shown from his friend; even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
All Commentaries on Job 6:14 Go To Job 6
Gregory The Dialogist
28. Who else is here denoted by the name of a friend, saving every neighbour, who is united to us in a faithful attachment in proportion as, having received from us good service in this present time, he effectually aids us toward attaining hereafter the eternal country? For because there are two precepts of charity viz. the love of God and the love of our neighbour, by the love of God the love of our neighbour is brought into being, and by the love of our neighbour the love of God is fostered. For he that cares not to love God, verily knows nothing how to love his neighbour, and we then advance more perfectly in the love of God, if in the bosom of this love we first be suckled with the milk of charity towards our neighbour. For because the love of God begets the love of our neighbour, the Lord, when going on to say in the voice of the Law the words, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, prefaced it by saying, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God; [Matt. 22, 37. 39. Deut. 6, 5; 10, 12] for this reason, that in the soil of our breast He might first fix the root of His love, so that afterwards in the branches the love of our brethren should shoot forth. Again, that the love of God grows to strength by the love of our neighbour, is testified by John, where he says, For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, Whom he hath not seen?[1 John 4, 20] Which love of God, though it has its birth in fear, yet it is changed by growing into affection.
29. But oftentimes Almighty God, to make known how far anyone is from the love of Him and of his neighbour, or what proficiency he has made therein, regulating all things in a marvellous order, puts down some by strokes, and sets up others by successes; and as often as He forsakes certain persons in their temporal estate and condition, He shews the evil that lurks in the hearts of certain others. For very often the persons that courted us in the season of prosperity without an equal, are the very ones to persecute us in distress. For when a man in a prosperous condition is beloved, it is very doubtful whether his good fortune or the individual be the object of love. But the loss of prosperity puts to the test the force of the affection. Whence a certain wise man saith rightly, A friend cannot be known in prosperity; and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity. [Ecclus. 12, 8] For neither does prosperity shew a friend, nor adversity hide an enemy, in that both the first is often hidden by awe for our high fortune, and the latter is disclosed to view from presuming on our adverse condition. Let the holy man then, set in the midst of scourges, exclaim, He that taketh away pity from his friend, forsaketh the fear of the Lord; in that doubtless he that contemns his neighbour in consequence of his adversity, is clearly convicted never to have loved him in his prosperity. And since Almighty God smites some for this reason, that He may both discipline the individuals stricken, and afford to those that are not stricken opportunity for doing good; whosoever disregards one that is smitten, puts away from him an occasion of virtue, and lifts himself up the more wickedly against his Maker, in proportion as he views Him as neither merciful in the saving of himself, nor just in the wounding of another. But we must observe that blessed Job in such sort describes his own case, that the life of all the Elect People is at the same time set forth by him. For seeing that he is a member of that People, when he describes what he himself undergoes, he is also relating what that People is subject to.