Job’s Answer to Bildad

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God’s Awesome Power (vv. 1-13). Job arrived at a place in his life that was not pretty. Job is frightening as you watch his heart and mind wobble on the brink of disaster. Job is really a mess, at many points. Job is a tortured soul. He is in trouble but he is a hopeful mess. He is a mess that might get fixed, because, here in Chapter 9, he opens up, and we see him as he really is. One of the reasons that Job is a mess is that his friends have tried to teach him history. They are full of facts and figures. They know their stuff. They’ve got it down pat. Do you have any friends like that? They know their Bibles cover to cover and the covers too. They don’t spare the horses. Job’s friends insist on telling him he’s got to get it right. Bildad and Eliphaz and Zophar tell Job, who has lost everything except life itself, that they know the answers: God gives you what you deserve, so admit it, shape up, get with the program, Job. If you will just acknowledge your history, if you will just know how God works, it will make things better. Job cowered under God’s invisible nature, irreversible power (v. 12), and irresistible anger (v. 13).

God’s Arbitrary Power (vv. 14-20). Most of this section is a declaration focusing on the attributes of God, especially His wisdom and power. Job responds to some of the statements of Eliphaz as well as those of Bildad. He acknowledges the truth of what his two friends have said concerning the lack of righteousness in man opposed to God (v. 2). However, it is evident that Job would like to challenge God and be found innocent, but he knows that he can not defend himself before God (v. 3). Job wants an answer to his questions, and he wants God to answer him, but God seems to be far removed from him (vv. 4-8). Job knows that he wouldn’t stand a chance if he came into the presence of God. If God should speak to him, he wouldn’t know what to say (vv. 13-19).  God would crush and overwhelm him in strength. Job does not say he is perfect, but he does contend that he is good, yet he recognizes that before God he would not be able to defend himself (v. 20).


God can do whatever He pleases in my life and through my life, and I should not question Him as to why things happen the way they do. Instead I should ask Him what He wants to teach me.

Job 9:1-20 (English Standard Version)

Then Job answered and said: "Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. He is wise in heart and mighty in strength --who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?-- he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger, who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea; who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number. Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, 'What are you doing?' "God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab. How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. If I summoned him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice. For he crushes me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause; he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness. If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse."

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