Job 8-10

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

May 21, 2003

Introduction

God had been bragging about Job, how Job was a mature man who always followed God.  When Satan challenged God and suggested that Job only followed God because God was so good to him, God allowed Satan to touch Job.  And so Job lost just about everything.  He lost all of his wealth.  He lost all of his children.  And now he’s even lost his health.

His friends showed up and for seven days they sat in silence with Job.  When Job finally spoke up, he began by wishing he had never been born.  He poured out his complaint, that he didn’t know why he was having such troubles.  And this seems to have bothered Job’s friends because they had apparently already figured out why Job was having trouble.

Job’s first friend, Eliphaz, started by hinting that Job’s problems were really a result of some secret sin that Job needed to confess.  Job answered that he was hoping for comfort from his friends, not condemnation.

Now the second friend speaks up.

Job 8 Bildad speaks

:1-7 Repent and be restored

:1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

BildadBildad – “confusing (by mingling) love”

Shuhite – Shua “wealth”; One thought is that he is from area thought to be between Chaldea and Arabia. Another possibility is that he is a descendant from Abraham, who had a son named Shuah through his wife Keturah was named Shuah.  A third possibility is that he was really, really, really small, only “shoe-height”.  J

Bildad will be a little harsher to Job than Eliphaz was.  Zophar, the next speaker, will be even harsher.  It is thought that these three are speaking in order of age, with the oldest going first.  The older you are, usually the less harsh you become.

:2 the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?

“Job, you’re full of hot air!”

:3 Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?

Bildad is saying that Job is accusing God of being unfair.

In a way, there is truth to this.  This is what Job has been struggling with.

Lesson

God is fair

Garden of Eden
(Gen 3:1-5 KJV)  Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? {2} And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: {3} But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. {4} And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: {5} For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
When you are talking with the serpent, God is going to seem pretty unfair

And that is usually going to get us into trouble.

Talking about unfair … there was a group of friars that were getting a reputation for being unfair …
Illustration

Florist Friars

The friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened a small florist shop to raise the funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, the rival florist nearby thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good brothers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. He had his mother go and plead with the friars to get out of business. They ignored her too.

So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to “persuade” them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close shop permanently. Terrified, they did so—thereby proving that Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.

Abraham bartering over Sodom
Abraham had found out that God was planning on destroying Sodom and Gomorrah because of their great wickedness.  But Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was living in Sodom.  Abraham decided to have a discussion with God about this judgment thing:

(Gen 18:24-25 KJV)  Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? {25} That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

God does indeed to what is right.  Abraham kept negotiating with God and God agreed that even if there were only ten righteous people in Sodom, He wouldn’t destroy it.

Abraham found that when you talk with God, you find He is VERY just.

:4 If thy children have sinned against him …

How incredibly unfeeling Bildad must be to make a statement like this to Job about the loss of his children.

:6 If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee

Job, you need to wake God up!  (But God never sleeps, Bildad!)

:7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

Lesson

When Payday Comes

What Bildad says contains truth.  He’s saying that if Job were righteous, then God would turn his situation around and would bless Job.
This is actually what will happen:

(Job 42:12-13 KJV)  So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. {13} He had also seven sons and three daughters.

But Bildad is expecting that God would be doing this immediately for Job if Job would do what was right.
Where Bildad is wrong is in where he puts “payday” on the calendar for Job.
Payday comes when we go to be with Jesus.
(1 Cor 3:12-15 KJV)  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; {13} Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. {14} If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. {15} If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

God will reward us for what we do.  He will make all things right.

But we can get discouraged when we think that it’s going to happen tomorrow and God decides that it’s going to happen a little later down the road.

:8-19 Lessons from Papyrus Reeds

:8 For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age …

Bildad encourages Job to look to their ancestors as the authority for his ideas.

:9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing …

These are the days of the Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

If you look at Genesis 11, you will find that Abraham was born something like 292 years after the flood of Noah.  Noah’s son, Shem, lived for 500 years after the flood.  That means that when Abraham was born, Shem would live for another 208 years, and since Abraham lived to the age of 175 (Gen. 25:7), then Shem outlived Abraham.  Could it be that Bildad is thinking about these guys who were still alive since the time of the flood?

:11 Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?

(NLT) Can papyrus reeds grow where there is no marsh? Can bulrushes flourish where there is no water?

Bildad is going to give a lesson based on papyrus reeds and bulrushes.

:12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.

(NLT) While they are still flowering, not ready to be cut, they begin to wither.

:13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish:

Bildad is accusing Job of having forgotten God.

Like the papyrus reeds that don’t last very long, Job is a godless man who isn’t going to last.

:14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.

The things Job is trusting in are as strong as a spider’s web.  Not very strong.

:18 If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.

(NAS) If he is removed from his place, Then it will deny him, saying, ‘I never saw you

:19 Behold, this is the joy of his way …

This is the best that the unrighteous man can expect, calamity.

:20-22 Bildad’s summary

:20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:

The implication is that Job is obviously not a “perfect” man.

Yet that isn’t what God thought:

(Job 1:8 KJV)  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

:22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame …

Bildad is implying that if Job will just repent from his sin, then he will soon be laughing and enjoying life.

Job 9 Job responds

:1-13 How can I fight God?

:2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?

Job knows that a man needs to be right with God, but how can that happen?

Lesson

We can be made right

This is one of life’s age-old questions.
And there is an answer.
Man is made right with God through the sacrifice of Jesus.
(2 Cor 5:21 KJV)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The answer doesn’t come from what we do for God, but what God has done for us.

:3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

Nobody would be able to stand before God’s wisdom.

:4 …who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?

(NLT) For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully?

This is true – don’t try and fight with God, you won’t win.  If God is trying to get your attention, wake up.

:5 Which removeth the mountains

God can move mountains

:6 Which shaketh the earth

God causes earthquakes

:9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

Job is going to mention some very common constellations and stars in the sky.  Though the translators use the Greek names of the Constellations, the Hebrew names are different.
Arcturus‘Ayish – a constellation; Great Bear, Ursa Major.  Arcturus is probably not a correct translation since Arcturus is a star in the constellation Bootes, a herder who was thought to drive the two bears (ursa major and minor) around the north star.

Orion[email protected] – constellation, Orion; This is the constellation with the three stars forming his belt, two of the most prominent stars in the sky, Betelgeuse and Rigel, are part of this constellation.

Betelgeuse, 300 light years from earth. Its diameter is 300 million miles. If placed in the center of our solar system would engulf the orbits of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

PleiadesKiymah – Pleiades, a constellation of seven stars; part of the constellation Taurus.

chambers of the south

(NLT) the constellations of the southern sky.

Lesson

God is HUGE!!!

The question is, does this terrify you, or comfort you?
(Isa 40:1 KJV)  Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
(Isa 40:11-12 KJV)  He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Do you think of God as a gentle shepherd, or a terrible wolf?

{12} Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

God is huge.

(Isa 40:25-31 KJV)  To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. {26} Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. {27} Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? {28} Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. {29} He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. {30} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: {31} But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

God wants us to come to Him and remember just how HUGE He is, but not to turn and run in fear, but to receive comfort.

:10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.

Omnipotent – God is all powerful, He can do anything He wants

:11 Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not.

Invisible – You can’t see God.

Eliphaz had talked about a vision he had about a spirit that passed by him and spoke to him in the night.  Perhaps Job is recalling these words, but he’s saying that if this is God, he can’t see Him.

:12 Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?

(NLT) If he sends death to snatch someone away, who can stop him? Who dares to ask him, ‘What are you doing?

Unaccountable – God seems unaccountable to Job.  Nobody can dare question what God is doing.

:13 If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.

The “If” should not be there. 

(NLT) And God does not restrain his anger. The mightiest forces against him are crushed beneath his feet.

:14-21 How can I reason with God?

:16 If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.

Job is having a hard time thinking that God would really be paying attention if Job asked Him anything.

Lesson

God hears our prayers

When He answers, do we realize He’s answering?
Sometimes God answers with a “no”.  And if God says “no”, then “no” is the best answer.
Sometimes God answers with a “YES”, but we forget that we prayed and asked and end up thinking it’s just a coincidence.

:17 multiplieth my wounds without cause.

without cause – Job doesn’t know why he’s going through all this trouble.

:22-24 God is unfair

:22 He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.

Job is calling God “unfair”.

:23 If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.

Job thinks God laughs at the troubles of innocent people.

:25-35 I can never be clean

:25 Now my days are swifter than a post

postruwts – to run; runners (participle as subst)

:27-28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.

If Job tries to forget his troubles and find comfort, he knows that it will all come back to haunt him.

:29 If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?

Why try to be a good person if I’m just going to be found guilty anyway?

:31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.

Almost as if God is a bully, as soon as Job washes his hands, God trips him and makes him fall in the mud.

:33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.

daysmanyakach – to prove, decide, judge, rebuke, reprove, correct, be right; (NAS) “umpire”; (NLT) “mediator”

There is no one who can take God’s hands and Job’s hands and bring the two together.

:34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:

(NLT) The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.

:35 Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.

Lesson

Jesus is our Mediator

There is one who can mediate between God and man.
(1 Tim 2:5-6 KJV)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; {6} Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Job 10 Job’s prayer

:1-7 What have I done?

:2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; show me wherefore thou contendest with me.

Job wants to know what he’s done wrong to deserve his difficult time.

Lesson

Talk to God

Job’s friends talk a lot about God.  But when Job speaks, he also talks TO God.
When it comes to helping people in difficult times, make sure you spend time talking TO God.

:3 … and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?

(Job 10:3 NLT)  What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while sending joy and prosperity to the wicked?

:4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?

Job feels like God doesn’t understand what it means to be human.

Jesus does.

(Heb 4:15-16 KJV)  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. {16} Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.

Job says that God knows that Job is not wicked.

He thinks that when God decides something, nobody can change it.

Lesson

Be careful about fishing for sins

Job knows that he hasn’t done anything wrong.  He even has this feeling that God knows that he hasn’t done anything wrong.
I think there are times when we need to be careful that we don’t keep trying to dredge up something in the hopes that we’ll find the one thing we did wrong. 
The Bible says that God has cast our sins into the deepest ocean.  Yet we try and go “fishing” for sins.
Illustration
A man set out to do some ice-fishing on a frozen lake. Carefully having carrying his gear to a favorite spot, he proceeded to carve out a hole on the ice to drop his line, and settled into his mission. As he was waiting for the fish to bite, he noticed a young boy waddling onto the ice with a fishing pole, with a determined look on his face. The man smiled at the kid’s tenacity, but after a while, his expression turned to surprise as the boy kept pulling fish after fish out of the lake. After about an hour, the man slipped and slided across the ice to the boy and said to him, “Young man, I’ve been here for a while and haven’t caught anything, yet I see that you keep catching fish one after another. Do you mind if I ask what your secret is?” The young boy mumbled, “Mm mm mm mm mm mm mmmm!” “What did you say?” asked the puzzled man. “Mm mm mm mm mm mm mmmm!” “I’m sorry, son, I can’t  understand you,” the man replied. The boy spit into his hand and said, “Mister, you gotta keep your worms warm!”
Kind of gross, huh?  Best to just leave those sins down at the bottom of the sea rather than try and get a big catch.
Illustration
Corrie ten Boom, in her book Tramp for the Lord had these words to say regarding forgiveness:

It was 1947--. I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. It was the truth they needed most to hear in that bitter, bombed-out land, and I gave them my favorite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far from a Hollander’s mind, I like to think that that’s where forgiven sins are thrown. “When we confess our sins,” I said, “God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever--. Then God places a sign out there that says No Fishing Allowed!”

I think we need to be open to admitting our faults, but I don’t think we ought to go scuba diving when God has thrown our sins into the depths of the ocean.
Remember:  Not all trouble comes as a result of your failure.

:8-13 You have made me

:9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay

God does remember what we’re made out of:

(Psa 103:10-14 KJV)  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. {11} For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. {12} As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. {13} Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. {14} For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

God knows our limitations.

:10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?

Job is describing how God formed him in his mother’s womb.

:12 …thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

visitation – or, “care”

:14-22 Let me die

:14 If I sin, then thou markest me …

(Job 10:13-14 NLT)  "'Yet your real motive--I know this was your intent-- {14} was to watch me, and if I sinned, you would not forgive my iniquity.

:18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb?

Job wishes he hadn’t been born.

:20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone

Job just wants God to leave him alone.

:22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself

This is how Job views death.  Keep in mind that he is incorrect in his knowledge about death.  God will tell him that (Job 38:2,17)

Lesson

Trials don’t always come because you’ve sinned

As we’ve seen earlier, Job’s trial has come because God has been bragging on Job, that Job is a perfect man.  In response to that, Satan challenged God by saying that Job only loves God because God has blessed him.  If God would allow difficulty to come to Job, Job would curse God to His face.  And so the trial was allowed to commence.
Job’s friends are having trouble with Job because they are convinced that Job has done something to deserve his trouble.
But Job too thinks that he must have done something.  He too doesn’t see past this idea that bad things are a result of sinful behavior.
In your own life:
If you are not totally sure of what sin you’ve committed that has led to your difficulty, don’t go looking for something.  The Holy Spirit is more than able to convict you of sin.
Even if you are aware of sin in your life, it’s possible that there’s more going in your life than you are aware of.  Certainly you need to turn from your sin.  But it may be that God is doing more than just punishing you for sin.
In the lives of others:
Don’t be quick to decide that a person’s problems are a result of their sin.

The truth is that we all are sinful, and none of us deserve any kindness from God at all.

What if God is doing something different for this person.
Are you going to stand on the sidelines and throw stones at them?  Or are you going to be a part of comforting and encouraging them?

Lesson

Living by faith

God doesn’t answer Job’s questions, at least not yet.
Why?  God wants us to learn to live by faith.
It’s what pleases Him.
Faith is learning to trust something you don’t see.
(Heb 11:6 KJV)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
For Job, he needs to trust two things about God:
1. God is just

Everything God does is correct.  There is no injustice in Him.

(1 John 1:5 KJV)  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Even if things don’t seem to be “just” in this life, when we cross over to the other side, we will see everything made right.

Does something seem to be “not fair” in your life?

God desires that we trust Him.  Even if we don’t understand.

2. God is love

Everything that God does for us is out of His marvelous love.

Even when we go through difficulties, God allows it through His love.

Sometimes the trials DO come because we need correcting.

(Heb 12:5-6 KJV)  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: {6} For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

(Heb 12:11 KJV)  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

The correction only comes because God loves us.

Sometimes the trials don’t have anything to do with correction (like Job)

(Rom 8:31-39 KJV)  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? {32} He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

We should not question anything that God allows to come our way because He has already proven His love for us in giving up His Son for us.

{33} Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. {34} Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

When we go through trials, we may find people like Job’s friends who will want to condemn us, but God

{35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

These things may come, but God hasn’t stopped loving us.

{36} As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

There will be times when we will be killed because people are mad at God.  Yet that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love us.

{37} Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. {38} For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God doesn’t stop loving us.  Even when we’re in tough times, God sees, God knows, and He still loves us.