Job responds back to Bildad. He does NOT find any help in Bildad’s words. Who does he think he is speaking for anyway?!
Disgusted with Bildad’s ‘instructions’, Job becomes sarcastic. “You have been SO helpful! I can’t imagine why I didn’t see it myself; NOT!” But his disgust doesn’t end there. His next question should make Bildad sit up and take notice. “Just who do you think you are speaking for?”
Bildad is speaking from his own understanding. He is seeing Job’s predicament through the lens of his own life and what he has observed. He doesn’t truly know the mind of God. It is too vast for him.
Nowhere in all the answers from Job’s friends do we see that they prayed about their response. What we see them doing is relying on past experience and observations. But not everything fits neatly into a little box. There are some things that just blow the lid off the ordinary. We call them miracles. The miracle of a dead man being brought back to life. Better yet, life itself! THAT is a miracle of cosmic proportion.
Just how did He do that? We have read the words describing the ‘process’ but those words pale beside the actual events. How he set the stars, sun, planets and even the moons in the sky. How each maintains to positions He assigned them, including casting just the right shadows to mark the passage of time. We can observe these things but can we TRULY grasp the power behind them?
Can we ever truly grasp the mind of God? I say the answer is a resounding, “NO!” That’s what Job is saying too. God’s complete purposes and ways are unknowable. We see only a portion of His hands at work in our lives and around us. Even when God gives man direct prophecy, there are still areas of not understanding. If there weren’t there would be no argument over Revelation.
And God did NOT give man a ‘roadmap’ labeling ALL the twists and turns of each life. We have to bring our questions to Him and WAIT for His answers. “Should I go left or right?” “Will I be a good parent? Will I even have children? And how will they turn out?” “What career should I choose?” “Will I recover from this illness?” So MANY questions that we don’t have absolute answers for and many that aren’t even mentioned.
But God HAS a plan for our lives. He gives us boundaries to live within and tells us to come to Him for more detail. Job’s friends didn’t come to Him for their advice to Job. In his answers to his friends Job was also reaching out for answers from God. And he REFUSES to quit seeking those answers. He thinks he knows the answer himself, but ‘God isn’t listening’ to him. I believe Job is getting closer to being ready to listen and finally receive his answers.
I have come so MANY times searching for answers Father God. I stumbled and bumbled my way into searching FAR too often. Life would have been so much easier if You had just spelled everything out for me at birth. But then I wouldn’t have needed to learn to trust You. Each question brings me closer to You so that I can give You my undivided attention as I listen. That ‘undivided’ part is STILL a problem as I get distracted too often. Part of that is that I have to divide my attention so I can tend to the needs of my husband. But there are other things, like incoming text messages, that can wait.
I’m also afraid Father of missing what it is You have to say, or misinterpreting what I hear. Sometimes I wonder if it was You I heard or if the ‘answer’ came from another source. Help me learn to listen better and give me discernment Holy Spirit. I want to KNOW my Father’s voice!