Reading through the Bible together
In this chapter Job answers Bildad and Eliphaz both of which mixed truth with error. Job can agree with the pocket of truth that their so-called words of comfort contains. “Indeed, I know that it is so” as he concurs with those good parts of their messages. Then Job asks: “What makes a man righteous with God? Even if a good man wanted to argue with God about what He does, God would not answer him “one out of a thousand” (verse 3).
In Revelation 20 God will give the saints 1000 years to talk to Him about love one’s who could not make it. It is also a time of confirmation judgment, acknowledging that God’s judgments were just and merciful beyond dispute. Then Job defends God (verses 4-13) and says that He is wise, mighty, moves mountains, commands the sun to darken, seals off the stars, stretches out the heavens, walks on the high seas, made the constellations, and is invisible—so that when He passes by, Job cannot see God for no man can see God’s face and live. God will not hold back His judgments until all is accomplished.
Job returns to his main point (verse 14) about the need of an investigative judgment. There follows a series of nine “if” statements. He asks: “What if I am righteous, could I reply to God and would I be given the power of judgment? Job does not believe that God would even listen to such talk. It would be overwhelming to him that the All-powerful God who has the power to crush him and would pay attention to him. Job realizes that God is not giving him a break in his suffering right now. Even if he were righteous, there is an executive judgment during which his own mouth is not capable of saving him; it will condemn him (verse 20).
The problem for Job is that he knows he is blameless, but he does not know his own soul, and despises his life (verses 21-24). Job concludes that there is “One who is able to destroy both the innocent and wicked.” But if Satan kills, it is done to mock the innocent. If it is not Satan destroying the innocent, then who is the originator of evil?
Next, Job reflects on the remainder of his years and says in (verses 25-28) that his days are like a runner, very swift. It is like ships or eagles scooping up food. Silence and pondering over his sickness it will not help. If on the other hand, Job is wicked, it is useless to be good (verse 29). If he goes like a heathen to wash himself with snow-water and cleanse his hands with purity, it will not help him since for God can “throw him into a ditch” (verse 31).
According to Job, an investigative judgment is necessary and he asks for a human mediator between divine and human (verses 32-33). He wishes that God would give him a small break (verse 34). But he has no fear of God because he knows that the answers are not in himself (verse 35).
Job is struggling to understand why his destiny includes suffering so shortly before the end of his life. Lord, give us Job’s perspective of Satan’s involvement and to stay with You as our Protector. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea