Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Railroad tracks near our place in Bannalec

Friday, June 2, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jun 3, Job 8-10

Today’s readings are Job 8-10.

His second friend, Bildad responds. Bildad accuses Job's children of deserving what they got (Job 8:3-4). In a veiled manner, he tells Job he will be restored "if" he is upright (Job 8:5-7). Eliphaz was overly spiritual in his advice. Bildad encourages Job to abide by traditional methods to resolve his dilemma (Job 8:8-10).  Bildad points back to Job's situation as an indicator that Job is not righteous (Job 8:9-22). Although his admonition appears to have more substance than Elipahz’s, Bildad is wrong about Job as well. He is making the same mistake of evaluating Job's righteousness by his circumstances.

In Job 9:1-12, we hear that God's sovereign power has become a terror to Job, who has no way of appealing his plight (Job 9:13-24). What goes unsaid here is that even though Job seems to be a man of faith, he also appears to be struggling in his trust in God. He is beginning to sound a bit like he thinks he may deserve better. Job laments that there is no arbiter between God and man, uttering a profound truth that will not be resolved until the coming of Christ. In Job 9:35, Job has become so frightened he feels he cannot speak to God.

Ironically, it seems Job himself is judging his relationship with God by how dire his circumstances are. Does he feel God is unfair? Does Job think God has missed how righteous Job has been? Does Job draw close to God when things are good and cower when things are not so good? Does any of this change the fact that Job was blameless and upright? We will see.

Job wisely acknowledges that he is God's creation, but he accuses God of being unfair (Job 10:3). First, God doesn't seem to know what it's like to be human with human frailties (Job 10:4-7). It is interesting to see how this was answered in Christ in Heb 2:14-18. Second, Job admits that he belongs to God but wonders if the only reason he was created was to be destroyed (Job 10:8-22).

We see Job's attitude changing. He doesn't hear the judgmental tone in his accusations toward God. It's very likely that Job feels he should explain his situation to God for God to come to the realization that he is being unfairly treated. Job’s elevated level of human righteousness, as commendable as it is, has a flaw. There is a seed of self-righteousness in Job. His flaw reveals that, while Job may be innocent, his human righteousness is not pure and holy. “There are none righteous, not one” (Rom 3:10), not even Job.

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