John T. Willis

Friday, September 25, 2009

God Treats Me Unjustly--Job's First Response to Bildad--Job 9-10

As we attempt to follow through the Book of Job, we now come to Job's first response to Bildad, related in Job 9-10. Like Job's first speech, here again Job presents his case in an ABAC pattern.

A. God does not give me [Job] any chance to defend my position. Job 9:1-12.
B. God makes me suffer without just cause; God is arbitrary. Job 9:13-24.
A. God does not give me any chance to defend my position. Job 9:25-35.
C. God is inconsistent in the way he mistreats me. Job 10:1-22.

Because of the cohesiveness of the thoughts in this speech of Job, we will deal with sections A and A in this blog, then discuss sections B and C.

A. God does not give me any chance to defend my position. Job 9:1-12.
1. Job begins by responding to Eliphaz's statement in Job 4:17, agreeing that no human being can be just before God. Verses 1-2.
2. The reason this is true is because no human being has a chance before God--it is all unfair. God is "wise"--human beings are "foolish" compared with God. God is "mighty"--human beings are "weak" compared with God. Verses 3-4.
3. Job cites several obvious situations on earth and in heaven which prove that God can do many things impossible for God--like moving mountains, shaking the earth, controls the sun and the stars, overrules the sea, and makes the constellations function in order through the heavens. God "does great things beyond [human] understanding, and marvelous things without number." Verses 5-10. No human being could do anything like this. This is disproportionate.
4. God acts all around human beings, and we are unaware of God's activity. If God takes a person away, who can stop him? No one can successfully question God's actions and say: "What are you [God] doing?" This would be foolish. Verses 11-12.

A. God does not give me any chance to defend my position. Job 9:25-35.
1. The life of a human being is at best very brief. Job uses several figures to convey this idea: (1) Our days are swifter than a runner in a marathon; (2) Our days go by like skiffs of reed [fast-moving canoes] on the Nile River; (3) Our days are like an eagle swooping out of the sky to catch a prey moving very quickly. Verses 25-26.
2. Job says that it is vain to work hard, because God is determined to condemn Job, even though Job is innocent. Verses 27-29.
3. If Job cleansed me thoroughly, God would plunge Job into a miry pit and make Job appear sinful, even though Job is innocent. Verses 30-31.
4. Job asserts that GOD is the problem, BECAUSE--POOR GOD--cannot understand human beings--after all, God is God, and we human beings are human, so there is no way that God could possibly understand how human beings are--human beings are NOT GODS. Verse 32.
5. Job proposes one way to resolve this conflict between God and human beings--then immediately Job abandons this proposal as impossible. Job's proposal is that an "umpire," an "intermediary," a person consisting of GOD on one side and a HUMAN BEING on the other side that might mediate both sides. This umpire would explain the human being to God, then explain God to the human being, and in time would reconcile these severe differences. But Job realizes that no such "umpire" exists or could ever exist. Verse 33.
*Now, before someone lunges forward and suggests this might be JESUS CHRIST, think again. Job is asking for someone to PROVE that God is WRONG in the way God is treating Job. Is Jesus Christ's "role" according to the Bible to CHANGE GOD, and prove that God is WRONG, and ask human beings to FORGIVE GOD for mistreating human beings? I do not think so. What do YOU think?
6. Job concludes in this part of this speech by pleading with God to take away God's wrathful rod constantly beating on Job, so that Job could "catch his breath" and have a fair chance to "speak without fear" to God. But Job is convinced that God will never do this, and give Job a fair chance to defend his position. Verses 34-35.

Remember, I am NOT taking Job's views here. I am simply TRYING to faithfully present Job's feelings and arguments. Later, in the Book of Job, we will find out whether Job is correct or incorrect on all this.

How are YOU doing on this study in Job's speech here? What are YOUR insights? How do YOU feel about Job here? If YOU were in YOUR place, what would YOU think and say? Share your thoughts with your friends, your family, your church, your community. Help me. Send me YOUR ideas.

John Willis


  • Your comments about the "mediator" are intriguing. As I read through Job, I'm fascinated at how CLOSE the various speakers get to things I think of as "sound doctrine," yet in Job it is obvious that they are NOT coming at things with the right motivation. It seems like Job is a perfect goldmine for quotes to take out of context!

    By the way... I love this entire series, but it's very hard to work through it in order. Would you consider posting a Table of Contents in some future blog, so a person could bookmark that entry and then hyperlink to each entry in order?

    By Blogger A Future Metaphysician, at 4:54 AM  

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