With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (√V. Job’s Response to Bildad: Chs. 9-10)

01 Jan

Job takes two chapters to respond to this second “comforter” Bildad. How will Job answer this one who claims he knows why Job’s children died? And how will Job respond to this one who has included Job in the category of those who are the godless, for, Bildad says, it is not logical that God would ever reject the blameless.

V. Job’s Response to Bildad: (Ch. 9)

Surprisingly Job begins by agreeing with Bildad, that it is impossible for mere mortals to prove their innocence before God (v. 1). A person’s chance of answering God is one time out of a thousand. God’s power moves mountains and shakes the earth. He speaks and the sun stops shining. He stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea (vv. 6-9).

God’s miracles and wonders cannot be counted. God is not accountable to anyone; no one can grill him with the question, “What are you doing?” (v. 12). Job asks how he can then dispute with the Lord, even if he were innocent. But Job is afraid that God will not give him a hearing (v. 16). He fears that God would crush him with a storm, multiply his wounds “for no reason”, and “overwhelm me with misery” (vv. 17-18).

Job’s distress is so complete that he says, “I despise my own life” (v. 21). He does not hold back in his characterization of the Lord. He says that He “destroys the blameless and the wicked,” “mocks the despair of the innocent”, and even blindfolds human judges in earthly matters (vv. 22-24). And he asks simply, “If it is not he, then who is it?” (v. 24).

Job describes himself as one who is already found guilty (v. 29). Even if he could thoroughly wash himself, he says that the Lord “would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me” (v. 31). And the real problem is that God is not a man and therefore not able to be confronted in court (v. 32). Job longs for a mediator between him and God. And there is none (v. 33).

V. Job’s Response to Bildad: (Ch. 10)

Job, despising his own life, has nothing to lose as he challenges God to show him the charges of which he is supposedly guilty (v. 2). Job mockingly asks God if He is pleased to so mistreat “the work of his hands” (Job) while He smiles on the plans of the wicked (v. 3). Job remains confident that he is not guilty and that God knows it! (v. 7).

He challenges the God who shaped him and made him. “Will you now turn and destroy me?” (v. 8). “You gave me life and showed me kindness” (v. 12), will you now turn me to dust again?, Job asks.

In Job’s mind it doesn’t seem to matter to God whether Job is guilty or innocent. Job says of the Lord, “you stalk me like a lion” (v. 16). “You bring new witnesses against me” and “your forces come against me wave upon wave” (v. 17).

Job wishes that he had gone straight from the womb to the tomb. And he pleads with the Lord to “turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy” “before I go to the land of gloom and utter darkness.” (vv. 20-21).

But a third friend waits in the wings. His name is Zophar and he must respond to what Job has been saying.


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Posted by on January 1, 2023 in the book of Job


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