Questions & Observations
O. (Job 8:1-7): In 1:8, God held Job in high regard. Yet, after you read what Bildad is saying in 8:4, you think, maybe Job is being punished for these sins. But, this sounds like the devil working his way in to get Job to turn and believe his friend. Yes, Job’s sons apparently partied. We don’t know if they actually sinned. Job was looking out for them by offering sacrifices for them. We know that God was pleased with Job. Yet, this friend is acting like he knows God’s reasoning and trying to get Job to question his own righteousness.
O. (8:20-22): Bildad is putting words in God’s mouth. Bildad says that God sends nothing but good things to believers. Through this devastation, Job has learned otherwise.
Q. (9:14-20): Wow. Rob, the guy who is answering these questions, told me that we would get into deep stuff in Job, he was right. This passage says EXACTLY what I’m feeling as I’m doing this blog. I want to know God’s reasoning, but I get so scared to ask about it. It’s hard to fathom just how powerful God is. I think about that we are spinning on a sphere in the middle of nowhere and yet we don’t think twice about our existence. That, not to mention the seas, mountains and everything else that Job mentions displays his power, so how dare we question him. I do feel though to try to understand the world that I have to ask these questions. I’m beginning to think that understanding the world is like an “in” box, there is no end to it. So, just seek guidance and stop asking so many questions. I will try. I am really enjoying studying it so far. For me, Job offers more things to glean from than any of the Genesis stories. Rob, can you talk about questioning God?
A. I certainly can. While we must never forget our reverence for God and who He is, I for one have always believed that God can handle our tough questions, especially about His will. In the person of Jesus Christ, we have the way that God shifted the relationship between Himself and human beings, and we should remember that this story long predates that relational shift. Since we are in Christ, God sees each of us as sons and daughters (rather than servants), and one of the advantages of sonship and daughtership is that we can approach our Father in prayer with what is on our mind. The Bible strongly encourages us to do so, in fact. So when we have tough questions, we can know that the power of Christ has made it possible for us to (reverently and humbly) approach the throne of our Heavenly Father and present our tough questions. We do not have to fear God when we do not understand or even question His will, what a privilege of being a child of God!
What we must keep in mind, however, is that God does not answer to us (one of the major themes of this book), and ultimately one of our jobs as followers of Christ is to trust that His way is best.
O. (9:22): Job is struggling here. He’s flip-flopping between being faithful to the Lord and irate.
Q. (9:33): Job is foretelling Jesus? Anything else?
A. I honestly don’t think even Job knows what he is asking for here, but in his statement we see the great truth of the Incarnation. Job is asking for a being that can bring together God and man and force mediation (if you will). This is one of the ways that the Church throughout the ages has come to see Jesus: as the only being who was both fully God and fully human (Hebrews 1:3 and 2:17), Jesus is the way that brings us together with God. Job, I think, would not have understood the Incarnation, but the longing that he expresses: to be able to approach God, is a deep human longing that we all share.
O & Q. (10:2): I think getting answers from God — patience — is one of the hardest things to handle as a Christian. As the leader of a past Bible story pointed out: We have a book, the Bible, to read and learn from. The people in Bible times were living out the stories. Their direction was from what God told the leaders. Luckily, we can learn from their experiences. What does the Bible say about having patience toward God?
A. I’m not sure I would use the word “patience” toward God, but would rather use words like “trust” and “faith”. Isaiah 40 reminds us that those who trust in God will endure, and one of the central ideas from our discussion today is that we have to have faith in God’s ways (something Job is having a hard time doing), even when things are not going well for us.
O. Again, another of Job’s friends, Zophar is saying Job must have sinned to be receiving so much devastation.