Bildad Speaks and Job Answers Him
Job is humble before God, for God himself declared Job to be perfect in Job 1. The book of Job is about the age old question of why God allows the righteous to suffer in this life. Job is accompanied by Ecclesiastes in the inquiry into this questions of “Is this physical life all there is?” and “Why does God allow the innocent to suffer?”.
Job 8:1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, [to Job] 8:2 How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? [nothing but air]
He assumes that trials fall only on the wicked.
8:3 Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? 8:4 If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression; 8:5 If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; 8:6 If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
8:7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
Consider history and learn from the wisdom of our forefathers.
8:8 For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers: 8:9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) 8:10 Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart? 8:11 Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag [rushes] grow without water? 8:12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.
Learn from our trials to faithfully, patiently, live by every Word of God regardless of trials, for our trials are intended to teach and perfect us.
8:13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish: 8:14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web.
The commandment breaker will flourish for a short time only to be brought down.
8:15 He shall lean upon [build up] his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.
The wicked is as a green shoot that has no root and withers in the sun.
8:16 He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden. 8:17 His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.
It is the will of God that the wicked who tolerate sin be rooted up.
8:18 If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee. 8:19 Behold, this is the joy of his [God’s] way, and out of the earth shall others [more faithful] grow.
The error of Bildad lies in not acknowledging that God does as he pleases to mold men and purge them so that they become what God wants for them. Bildad is denying the sovereignty of God to do his own will.
Jesus Christ came to reveal that God purges the righteous so that they will bring forth more good fruit (John 15).
8:20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers: 8:21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
8:22 They that hate thee [those that hate God’s law and his commandment keepers] shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.
Job replies that he knows that God will lift up the righteous and destroy the wicked, but asks how can any man be justified before God?
Jesus taught that the reward for those who live by every Word of God will be at the resurrection, not necessarily in this life. The wicked will persecute the righteous, and God will allow that to happen to mold the righteous through experience; as he himself learned through his own suffering (Heb 5:8).
Jesus Christ came to reveal the way to salvation and to lay down his life for the sincerely repentant.
Job 9:1 Then Job answered and said, 9:2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with [before] God? 9:3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
Job then speaks of the greatness of God, in true humility before God.
No proud self-righteous person could speak of God in the following words and declare that man cannot justify themselves before God!
Job, is genuinely humble before God, and most religious folks have committed the same sin as Job’s three friends in accusing Job of sin.
Indeed Job had just asked God to forgive any sin that he had done in Job 7: 20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? 7:21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
Job’s humility before the greatness of God
Job 9:4 He [God] is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath [can] hardened himself against him [God], and hath prospered? 9:5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
9:7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. 9:8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. 9:9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. 9:10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
9:11 Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not. 9:12 Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou? 9:13 If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.
Job is so humble and fearful of God that he does not dare dispute with God, Job would only make supplication to God and not dispute with God.
9:14 How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? 9:15 Whom, though [even if] I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge.
Job knows that God has allowed him to be battered, yet he would not dispute with God or sin with his lips (Job 2:10) against God. He would only make supplication in repentance for anything he might have done wrong.
Job knows the power of God because he has suffered and he cannot understand why, yet he remains faithful to God.
9:16 If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice. 9:17 For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause. 9:18 He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.
Job speaks the truth saying that men cannot justify themselves before God.
9:19 If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead? 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
9:21 Though [if] I were perfect, yet would I [I would still not see every hidden sin] not know my soul: I would [still be nothing before God] despise my life.
Job admits that God has power over all things, both the wicked and the innocent.
9:22 This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. 9:23 If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.
God allows wickedness on the earth to teach us to abhor all sin.
9:24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; if not, where, and who is he?
The lifespan of man is as the wind; this is vanity; for physical life has no purpose if it ends with the grave.
9:25 Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. 9:26 They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
If we try to find comfort and do not seek out the meaning of our sorrows we would learn nothing and would not be guiltless before God. In this Job begins to acknowledge that God is trying to teach him something with this trial.
9:27 If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: 9:28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.
9:29 If I be wicked, why then labour [to be righteous] I in vain? 9:30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; 9:31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
Job will not equate himself with God, as many leaders in today’s Ekklesia do. Job is humble before God, but the corporate groups in today’s Ekklesia equate loyalty to their groups, leaders and false traditions with loyalty to God.
9:32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. 9:33 Neither is there any daysman [intercessor Strong’s 3198] betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
Job asks for mercy, he asks why this thing has come upon him
9:34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: 9:35 Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.
Job 10:1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 10:2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
Job asks if God can have compassion on a man, not having experienced what it is to be flesh. It was for this reason among many others that the Creator was made flesh,
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Job 10:3 Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked? 10:4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth? 10:5 Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man’s days, 10:6 That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin? 10:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. 10:9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? 10:10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? 10:11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
10:12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. 10:13 And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee. 10:14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
Job is confused that both the wicked and the righteous are afflicted and the end of both is death.
10:15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction; 10:16 For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.
One lesson of Job is that there is none righteous in comparison to God. Even the most righteous man has at some time sinned and needs to be reconciled to God. If there is nothing beyond the grave, what value is there in this physical life?
10:17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
10:18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! 10:19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
10:20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, 10:21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; 10:22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
Zophar Speaks and Job Answers
The suffering of Job is an example of Job’s steadfast loyalty in the face of extreme suffering; an example for us to follow in being diligently faithful in living by every Word of God throughout all our trials and in the good times as well.
Zophar asks if a man is justified by multitudes of words. He rebukes Job for saying that he is clean from sin.
Job 11:1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, 11:2 Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be
justified? 11:3 Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? 11:4 For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.
Job is condemned by his friend
11:5 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; 11:6 And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
The greatness of God
11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? 11:9 The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. 11:10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him? 11:11 For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider it? 11:12 For vain men would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt.
Job is urged to repent and Zophar speaks the truth about repentance
11:13 If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; 11:14 If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. 11:15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: 11:16 Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away: 11:17 And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.
11:18 And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety. 11:19 Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.
Zophar speaks the truth about the wicked; still failing to understand that God uses trials to build character and to test those he is calling.
11:20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.