Job 17 – 20

Job: I have absolutely no hope, not even in help or wisdom from you, my friends.

Bildad: Why do you say we are unwise? Indeed, it is true, the wicked suffer.

Job: Again you accuse me! If I’ve erred, it’s MY error. And if you’re accusing me because of my circumstances, God did this to me! My friends, have mercy on me! Isn’t it enough that God opposes me? I wish my words were recorded*. I know my Redeemer lives, and will do so until the end. And I will see God myself.

Zophar: You insult me, but know this: God opposes the wicked, because of the things they do.**

*If I’m reading this right, it’s a reference to Sumerian-style clay tablets. This book is very very old.

** He makes a specific list of accusations,things they would have known Job was guilty of, but had never mentioned before. So likely not true. Also noteworthy is that this list is mostly about oppressing the poor. If I recall, oppression of the poor being among the greatest of evils will be a scriptural theme.

Job 14-16

Job (continued): Man is born lowly, what can You really expect from one? Also, we do not restore ourselves like plants who can live as long as the root survives. Your wrath consumes us completely.

Eliphaz: Don’t speak empty foolishness! Who are you to speak of wisdom and knowledge, especially before God? The heavens are foolish compared to Him, let alone a sinful one like you. Let me teach you known wisdom: the wicked man is completely destroyed because of his wickedness.

Job: Easy for all of you to say, you’re not suffering. Whether I speak my words or not, I suffer. God has done all of these horrible things to me. But all of this is witnessed before Him, even as you scorn me for wanting to discuss with Him as I would do with any other man who had wronged me.

Job 10-13

Continuing in Job:

 

Job: I hate my life, so I’ll speak freely: don’t just condemn me, tell me why! You don’t see things the same as we do, Your standards are different. Why do you seek to destroy something You fashioned? Wouldn’t it have been better to never have made me?

Zophar: This kind of talk must be answered! You are so unwise compared to God. You should humble yourself, and things will turn around. In contrast, the wicked will be destroyed.

Job: (Sarcastically) Wow, you really are wise! (/sarcasm) But I’m wise too. Those who aren’t suffering don’t understand suffering. And the unjust thrive. Nature itself cries out that God did this to me, it is not karma. What God does is ultimate, no-one can resist.

I’ve seen God do great things, I am not less than you. I just want to discuss my circumstances with Him. As for you, it’d be better if you were silent. If you misrepresent God, He will rebuke you. As for me, I hope to come before god, even if it destroys me. The ungodly can’t even hope for that much. I only ask two things: remove Your hand from me, and tell me what I have done to deserve this.

Job 6-9

Continuing in Job:

  • Job: I can’t express how bad things are; God is against me. I wish He’d just finish me off. And friends who refuse kindness are not doing God’s will. It’s not like I’ve asked any material benefit from you. Teach me and I’ll listen, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. Life is hard and short, so I’m not going to keep silent. God, why do you make things so hard on me? I’m just a man, why should I have Your attention? And if I do sin, why do you punish so harshly, why can’t You just forgive it?
  • Bildad: Woah, stop! God is just. If your kids sinned, they got what they deserved. And you should repent, surely God will restore you. Those apart from God don’t last, but God supports the blameless.
  • Job: True, but blameless before God? We are impossibly less smart, less wise, and less powerful. I’m right, but how could I answer Him? If I tried, He’d just argue circles around me. If only there was a arbiter between God and I, then I could make my case.

Job 1-5

Hey, it’s the first time this chronological reading plan has jumped me around. Exciting! So, I’m moving to the book of Job.

As it starts, we learn that Job is a righteous man, and is fantastically wealthy. But God gives Satan permission to test him, and Job loses everything: his livestock, his servants, even his children. When he didn’t curse God, Satan then got permission to take his health too. Job’s wife tells him to curse God, Job tells her she’s foolish. Job’s friends come to comfort him, and he was in such shape that they didn’t recognize him at first, and they sit in shock for a week.

Now, the rest of this book is a philosophical discourse between Job and his friends. The poetic style is amazing, but it’s really easy to lose track of the points being made. So I’m going to try and summarize those. There’s an off chance I might come back and comment, but for now, I’m just planning to summarize.

  • Job:It would be better if I had died at birth than to suffer like I am doing.
  • Eliphaz: The innocent prosper, the guilty are punished. And all are guilty before God. You should seek Him. He might be disciplining you, but He’ll restore and protect you.