I have now gone through the first 9 chapters of Job and even though Job has complained and rightly so in my mind, poor guy…and a couple friends gave advice in truth no less, but it still didn’t apply to Job’s situation, I have found it so interesting that at the time of Job’s life, most likely the people of that time didn’t have any sort of Scriptural writings.
I’m not sure any of God’s writings had been penned yet and even if they had, between the modes of transportation, shortage of Xerox® copiers and material available to write on… I’m totally envisioning honkin’ slabs of clay here [cue: Charlton Heston]… the likelihood of Job and his friends reading any piece of it would have been immensely slim.
So what Job and his friends had to go on in life were their experiences and the stories their families shared about God. It is amazing to me that the truths they knew of God and especially the devotion Job had for God, all without a book of reference; something tangible to refer to, a source of comfort, inspiration and guidance like we have.
In chapter 8 another of Job’s friends Bildad joins the already-finger-pointing Eliphaz, putting in his two-cents about why this suffering has fallen upon Job. And although he says pretty much the same thing as Eliphaz, there is a bluntness about the way he says it that is offensive.
Bildad is all business. There’s no beating around the bush. His view is right, there’s no other way around it, there is no wiggle room, it is what it is, that’s that.
People get what they deserve.
God answers prayer when we’re good.
Bad things happen when we don’t fully trust God.
The Job chapter hadn’t been written yet. The things we know about God and Satan for that matter through the sufferings of Job haven’t been revealed to them yet. The story is not finished, God has not spoken.
Bildad was right and what he says about God and righteous living was true, but it’s incomplete and it’s not his fault; he doesn’t have the whole story, he can’t see the whole picture. He assumes that all he and his friends have experienced and all they know is all there is.
Therein lies the problem. We so often do the same thing. When we’re in the middle of a test or a trial, we are unable to see the truth or seek comfort in God’s promises because we are too close. Our focus is on ourselves, our experiences, our own understanding.
We need someone who can see the big picture. Someone who can guide us, share a similar story or encourage us with words of comfort and give us the strength to go on.
Are you struggling?
Does life seem unbearable and unfair?
Are you getting through each day but not truly living?
God has a plan for your life and wants more for you! Open His Word. Talk to a Pastor. Find someone who can show you in His Word the life God has for you.
“… I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10