Job’s second friend shares his take on Job’s situation. He agrees with the first that Job is at fault. “Repent Job, and all will be well again.”
In misery Job sits and listens to his friends accuse him of doing wrong. Don’t they think he has searched his heart? He has wracked his brain to find the sin that he can repent of it and have God end his suffering. His first friend tells him that innocent people prosper. Job came back with, “But I am innocent!” This friend tells him to, “Just repent and be done with it.”
“How long are you going to protest your innocence? The proof is before your eyes! Bad things don’t happen to good people!”
Sorry Bildad, they sometimes do. At least now they do. Honestly, they always have. Job was alive before the age of grace. He was most likely alive before the Law too but men had already realized that if they did what was right they had less trouble. They didn’t, however, have NO trouble.
Able didn’t do anything wrong to cause his brother to kill him. Joseph was innocent when thrown in the pit and in prison. David was blameless when Saul was pursuing him. I would have used other examples between Able and Abraham but we don’t have stores of too many characters outside of the line God was protecting and drawing out as His own. Job was not part of that storyline, or so my bible helps leads me to believe; even though he did become an object lesson for them.
What is exciting and confusing to me is the fact that, even without being part of the people officially called by God, Job and his friends knew of the True God. So MANY little gods popped up throughout history that the world was filled with them. But Job KNEW God and God KNEW Job. Even Job’s friends knew God and were confident in His ways. This same can be said of Abram in Ur. Were Job and Abram friends at some point?
ALL the men who came to sit with Job knew God and knew what was required to be holy. Job even counseled others when they ran afoul of God. So WHY didn’t the rest of the world know Him and follow Him? Each of us has a spot in our hearts that only God can truly fill. Man has tried repeatedly to fill it with other things, only to wind up disappointed. If Job and his friends recognized God reaching out to man, why didn’t everyone else?
Another question that just popped into my mind: If Job was God’s ‘gold standard’ why didn’t He use Job as the start of His chosen people? Maybe because Abram was fallible is why God chose him. Being ‘too’ perfect leaves no room for God’s mercy and grace. It leaves no room for improvement. Just a thought anyway.
Back to our actual text. Bildad wants Job to ask for forgiveness for WHATEVER it could possibly be that he did wrong. Bildad isn’t even asking Job to name his sin, just repent. He is certain there is SOMETHING Job has done wrong but he doesn’t care what it was. He is fully convinced that Job carries some form of guilt because the proof of it is staring him in the face. Bildad sees NO other conclusion.
This brings me to the last thought that came to me about our text today. It deals with the men who preach that God will give you EVERYTHING good and NOTHING bad if you have enough ‘faith’ and quote the bible enough times. The ones that preach ‘health, wealth and prosperity’. You can’t ‘claim’ your way out of every situation. You can however trust God to bring about a victory by going through it while holding fast to His hand.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying! God CAN and DOES work miracles. He heals our diseases. He gives us financial blessings. And He watches over His children ALL THE TIME. We CAN trust Him with our lives.
We can also trust that there is something more He is bring out in us when we go through the fire. Even Job, who was God’s ‘gold standard’ will walk away with a new understanding when all is said and done. Hold fast. And repent if need be for your sins.
Father God, THANK YOU again for the lessons You have carried me through. Even the ones where I looked and couldn’t identify my sin that got me there. You know my heart WAY better than I do. And You know what it takes to bring about Your will in it. What ‘heat to turn the oven up to’ and what my breaking and learning points are. You sometimes bring me to the first to bring about the second.
THANK YOU that You have NEVER brought me to a ‘breaking point’ and left me lying on the floor afterwards. You always pick up the pieces and put them into an even better arrangement. Or use the cracks created in the process for Your purposes. I TRJST You to be in both the good and bad times of my life. I certainly enjoy one better than the other but I also KNOW there is a time and place for both.