Job

Day 16: Bildad’s Third Speech and Job’s Reply

Job 25:1-6, Job 26:1-14, Job 27:1-23, Psalm 119:9–16, 1 John 1:8–10

 

When I was in 7th grade, I had a math teacher who would send kids who caused trouble into the hall for the remainder of class. It looked awesome, and I wanted to go out there. So one day, when the teacher stepped out of the room, a bunch of kids got out of their seats to goof off. I did not. But when the teacher came back into the room, he said, “Anyone who was up while I was away, go out into the hall.” Though I had not gotten up, he didn’t know that. So I took advantage of the opportunity and went, by myself, into the hallway.

A few minutes later, he came out into the hall and took me down to the principal’s office to get paddled (this was a different era). And I had to take it without objection because though I knew I had not sinned in the way he thought, I also knew what I’d done was far from right.

In today’s text, Bildad argues that no man is righteous. Okay, Job says, “fair enough. But God’s mercy is unsearchable. Whatever Bildad thinks Job has done, he hasn’t. Job knows God measures righteousness perfectly, and Job’s hope lies not in being sinless, but in God’s mercy.

How do we, as sinful people, live rightly before God? Yes, we try to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the grace we’ve been shown. But Job shows us something more here—something profound in its simplicity. He studies God. How can we live rightly before God? Study Him. Learn His ways. How does He listen to His people? How does He feed us and clothe us? How does He defend us against the wicked? How does He restore us to Himself? We read His Word, learn His ways, and then cling to them when everything else falls apart around us.

Rather than pulling away from God in times of affliction, Job draws near. He meditates on the character and acts of God. Even though Job cannot understand why God has allowed such calamity to come upon him, he resolves to maintain his integrity before the Lord by honoring His holy name.

We’re getting deep into this book, and maybe you’re feeling a bit of fatigue from some of the repetition. As you read these chapters, look at how Job studies not his own affliction, but the God he loves. He clings to the One who made him, even if He’s also the One who permitted Job’s affliction. As Job says, “What is the hope of the godless” (Job 27:8)? Look for the through-line of Job’s hope. It’s there, and it’s in God’s character.

Written by Russ Ramsey