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Bible: What Does Job 6-10 Teach Us About A Silent Heaven?
Job's Lament Continues
Job's Continual Lament
Notwithstanding his critic, who thinks he has been imprudent in speech, Job continues to lament his condition (vv. 1-3). He realizes that God is dealing with him (v. 4).
In verses 5-6 he asks four questions about food, and answers each one with a "No": the animals do not complain because they are content (v. 5); he cannot eat because the food is unsatisfying (vv. 6, 7).
Job pleads for death (vv. 8, 9). "If I had this soon hope," he says, "then I would rejoice" (v. 10).
His strength is almost gone, and his hope is waning (vv. 11-13).
Yet he finds enough of both resources to complain about the comfortless talk of his friend, comparing the latter's words to a stream that dries up and does not satisfy thirsty travelers (vv. 14-20).
The four-part question (vv. 22-23) implies that Job never before asked his friend for any help. Now when he needs it, he finds that his companion’s aid is useless (v. 21).
Job challenges Eliphaz to look him in the eye (v. 28), and teach him wherein he has sinned (vv. 24, 30).
[The language is difficult to interpret, but the idea of comfortless suffering comes through clearly].
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Job tries to rationalize his situation. Life is hard service, so his case is no different than anyone else's (v. 1).
He compares his months of affliction (v. 3) to the difficult life of a servant (v. 2).
Pain causes him insomnia (v. 4); his physical well-being, once improving, deteriorates again (v. 5), and his days are short and hopeless (vv. 6, 7).
He is reminded of the finality of death; when life is over, no one remembers you (vv. 8-10).
Fully convinced of this view, Job feels free to complain (v. 11).
He believes that God is hounding him with nightmares (vv. 12-15), and pleads that He let him alone (v. 16).
Verses 17-21 contain a series of seven questions.
The first (vv. 17-18) inquires, “What is so special about man, that God continually tests him?” (cf. Ps. 8: 4-6; Heb. 2: 6-8).
The second and third, narrowing the focus to his personal case, together ask, "Why do You not leave me in peace (v. 19)?
With three more questions, Job surfaces the possible sin of which he may have been guilty, but unaware (v. 20).
He finally wonders why God does not pardon his transgression if he has indeed sinned (v. 21).
[In the midst of suffering, human beings are often reduced to questions and a silent heaven].
Bildad, the second of Job's three friends, reproves him for complaining (vv. 1-2), arguing that God is not unjust in his dealings with man (v. 3).
He asserts that the LORD judges sinners (v. 4) and rewards the righteous (vv. 5-7).
With these words, Bildad intimates that all Job needs to do to be restored is repent and seek God.
More traditional wisdom continues (vv. 8-10).
Bildad reasons, "Just as plants without water will not live, so hypocrites without God will not prosper but perish" (vv. 11-18).
He continues to rely on such sayings that generally hold true regarding God's disposition toward the righteous and the wicked in this life (vv. 19-22).
[Instead of showing compassion and humbly seeking understanding, Bildad presumes to instruct a wiser man in the ways of God and traditional wisdom].
The Potter and the Clay
The LORD is Sovereign
Job acknowledges that God truly blesses the righteous, but then asks, "How can a man be righteous?" (vv. 1-2)
He seems to define "righteous" as winning an argument with God (v. 3).
No one has ever "hardened" himself against God in a disagreement and won, because He is "wise in heart and mighty in strength" (v. 4).
Job meditates upon some of God's works in nature that manifest the exercise of these attributes, and confesses the LORD's secret sovereignty (vv. 5-10): He does whatever He wishes, and no one can stop Him (vv. 11-13).
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Job: No Mediator?
Job feels unable to convince God to reverse his situation (vv. 14-16). Instead of experiencing relief, he staggers under more pain and pressure (vv. 17-18).
He has no one but himself to argue with God, and he knows that that's a losing proposition (vv. 19-20).
Job recognizes that, although he may think himself blameless, he himself is not the final Judge (v. 21).
He utters some hard words about how God operates in the world (vv. 22-24).
Seeing his life of misery quickly passing him by (vv. 25-26), Job finds it useless to change his attitude (v. 27), believing that God will still condemn him (vv. 28-31).
Job also feels helpless because he cannot take God to court, nor does he have a mediator/umpire to defend him and allow him to speak his piece (vv. 32-35).
[Job believed that he had no mediator.
The Church, however, has Jesus who, because of His dual nature, can lay hold of both man and God at the same time].
Any Purposes of Suffering?
Why does God allow suffering?
Job decides to ask God again why He is oppressing him, wondering if the LORD sees it as a good thing to cause him pain (vv. 1-3).
He reasons that, since God is not a man, He should not be harassing him (vv. 4-7).
As God's favored creature, Job is puzzled why the LORD seeks to destroy him (vv. 8-12).
No matter whether he is good, bad, or prosperous (an exalted head?), he feels under God's finger (vv. 13-17).
Job renews his original wish that he had died at birth (vv. 18-19), and then begs God to leave him alone so that he can have peace before he dies (vv. 20-22).
[It is difficult to criticize Job in his anguish.
Who has not questioned why God sometimes grants little relief to sufferers?]
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