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The Job debate;- Bildad and Job

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posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 05:01 PM
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On the face of it, the book of Job is about the troubles of one man.
Of course we understand him as a representative. We regard the story as a debate about the origins of human troubles.
Strictly speaking, why bad things happen to good people instead of being limited to bad people.
I believe the original question may have been why God’s people Israel were allowed to suffer at the hands of the Babylonians.

The troubles of Job were described in the first two chapters.
Job feels a sense of grievance, arising out of these troubles, which will develop into what amounts to a lawsuit against God.
Like any other lawsuit, this case begins with a plaintiff’s complaint (ch3).
Since God is not offering an immediate response, the “comforters” who are sitting with Job begin putting forward their own counter-arguments.
Eliphaz was the first speaker, and is now to be followed by Bildad.

Bildad, first speech

Bildad’s basic principle is that God does not pervert justice (ch8 v3).
On that basis, he can detach the fate of Job’s children from the question of Job’s righteousness. They will have been suffering from the effects of their own sin. As Bildad puts it, God “delivered them into the power of their transgression” (v4).

If we are understanding Job as a symbol of Israel under affliction, the effect of this distinction is to make separate issues out of the status of the nation, in itself, and the faults of the individual members.
If the sins of individuals were being punished in the destruction of the city, that still leaves room for the redemption of the nation as a whole.

As for Job himself, then, Bildad recommends that he make supplication to God.
For if Job is pure and upright, God will rouse himself to take action on Job’s behalf.
Job (or the nation) will rise from small beginnings to greatness, “with a rightful habitation” (vv5-7).

This is the wisdom which has been handed down from “bygone ages”.
It is not safe to trust in the reconsiderations of the present age, “for we are but of yesterday, and know nothing” (vv8-10).

The main teaching of this bygone wisdom is that “the hope of the godless man shall perish”.
It withers like weeds away from water, or like plants spreading their desperate roots among the rocks.
“He leans against his house, but it does not stand”.
He will vanish so completely that his location will deny having known him (vv11-19).

Conversely, God will not reject a blameless man.
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter…
Those who hate you will be clothed with shame” (vv20-22).

Job’s response

Job’s answer to Bildad begins in a very unexpected way; “Truly I know that it is so” (ch9 v1).
Agreement? Have we heard that right? But there is a catch.

He knows the rule to be good and true, that “God will not reject a blameless man”.
But what happens if God fails to live up to his own rules?
If Job himself is blameless, but God has rejected him anyway?
In effect, Job wants a judicial review of God’s treatment of him, and so he has to wrestle with the logical difficulties which that would involve.
As he said in an earlier chapter, “My vindication is at stake”.

“How CAN a man be just before God?” (v2)
That is, how can he establish himself as just in God’s eyes, whether he is innocent or not?

The problem is the overwhelming power of God, which sets him beyond contradiction.
“If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times” (v3).
This is the one whose strength can shake the earth and move mountains.
Who made and controls the movements of the sun and the other heavenly bodies.
“Who does great things beyond understanding, and marvellous things without number” (v10).
Nobody has the strength to control him and overrule what he does;
“Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him?
Who will say to him ‘What doest thou?’” (v12)

How can an injured man stand up and plead his cause against power like that?
“Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him…
If I summoned him [as in a court case] and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
For he crushes me with a tempest” (vv15-17).
The problem is that nobody has the authority to sustain a judicial appeal against the supreme judge;
“If it is a contest of strength, behold him!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?” (v19)
In fact God’s overwhelming wisdom would even be able to talk Job out of his self-belief in his own righteousness;
“Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
Though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse” (v20).
The human individual really cannot win.

However, Job does have one card up his sleeve;
“I loathe my life”.
He no longer cares whether he lives or not.
That means he can speak his mind freely without fearing the consequences.
He can claim to be innocent and blameless, and he can find fault with what God is doing.
“It is all one; therefore I say he destroys BOTH the blameless and the wicked.
When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent” (vv21-23).
God acts unjustly and allows the judges of the world to ignore the general injustice;
“If it is not he, who then is it?” (v24)

Job could ignore all this, “put off my sad countenance”, and try to make the best of life as it comes.
But then there is the issue of God’s impossible demands for righteousness.
He knows that God will condemn him, “will not hold me innocent”, whatever he does, so what is the point in trying?
Even if he cleansed himself from sin, as if “washed in snow”, God would contrive a way to plunge him back into the dirt and make him guilty again (vv25-31)


The real problem with the case which Job wants to pursue is that it is not possible to meet God in court on equal terms.
“For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.
There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both”.
A fair hearing would only be possible if God would lay aside the “rod” of his anger (vv32-35).

Job addresses God directly, returning to the final theme of his previous speech.
Since he loathes his life and does not fear the retribution of death, he speaks freely, “in the bitterness of my soul”.
Why, God, do you have to pursue my sin quite so diligently?
“Let me know why thou dost contend against me” (ch10 vv1-2).
You make a point of seeking out my iniquity (though you know I am not really guilty).
You are the one who fashioned me in the first place.
“Thou hast granted me life and steadfast love, and thy care has preserved my spirit” (v12)
Yet now you try to destroy your own works.
“If I sin, thou dost mark me, and dost not acquit me of my iniquity” (v14).
Whatever efforts I make to defend myself, “thou dost renew thy witnesses against me” (v17)

Finally, Job returns to the main question of his original complaint;
“Why didst thou bring me forth from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me” (v18).
My life is going to be short anyway.
So “let me alone, that I may find a little comfort, before I go whence I shall not return”.

Since he does not share Bildad’s confidence in the infallible justice of God, he appeals to God’s leniency and sense of pity.

edit on 13-10-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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“Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me”.

In the book “Till we have faces”, by C.S. Lewis, the character Orual undergoes a long journey (in her vision) to present a “complaint against the gods”. Yet when her grievance is delivered, in the presence of the gods, it somehow turns into a tirade exposing her own faults.
Perhaps that episode was inspired by Job’s complaint here.



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 05:03 PM
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Which side of the debate appears to be making the better case?

Previously;

Job’s complaint

Ch3) I curse the day I was born.
Because it did not cut my life short and so protect me from the troubles of life.
Why did I not die at birth? (vv10-11)
Why is life given (or why does life continue to be given) to the man in misery who longs for death? (vv20-21)

Eliphaz (1)

Ch4) His understanding of Job’s complaint;
While Job was able to encourage others when they were in trouble, he fails to apply his own advice when the troubles fall upon himself. He has become impatient.
Job believes that his fear of God and his integrity should be enough to protect him from trouble. (vv5-6)

Based on observation;
Those who work with iniquity and cause trouble perish at the hands of God.
Those who are innocent and upright are safe. (vv7-8)
Based on direct vision from God;
NO man can be righteous before God, who finds nothing free from fault. (v17)

Ch5) Observation confirms this.
We see that people reject God and therefore suffer. (v3)
So trouble is natural to our lives (vv6-7).
The answer is to trust in God entirely (v8).
The result of this trust will be protection and security (v26).

Job

Ch6) Restates the heaviness of his vexations.
The terrors of God are arrayed against him (vv1-4).
Restates that in the circumstances he would prefer death (vv8-10).

Eliphaz and the others have been unsympathetic.
He challenges them to specify what was wrong with his remarks.
He will tell them the truth, because his vindication is at stake (v29).
Ch7) His case is the case of men in general (v1).

The reason why he has no fear about addressing God directly;
His life is short, and once he reaches Sheol he will never return (vv7-10).
Therefore he has nothing to lose from speaking his mind.

The root of the problem is that God is paying him too much attention.
As a result, his transgressions are always being noticed, and consequently getting punished (v17).
Why should God not break this chain simply by pardoning his transgressions? (vv20-21)



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




We regard the story as a debate about the origins of human troubles. Strictly speaking, why bad things happen to good people instead of being limited to bad people.


Christ summed it up best when he said, "It rains on the just and the unjust."



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 05:20 PM
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a reply to: 3daysgone
"The rain it raineth every day,
Both on the just and unjust fella;
But mostly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella".

Thank you for reminding me. I thought of quoting that one, and nearly forgot.



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 08:08 PM
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originally posted by: 3daysgone
a reply to: DISRAELI




We regard the story as a debate about the origins of human troubles. Strictly speaking, why bad things happen to good people instead of being limited to bad people.


Christ summed it up best when he said, "It rains on the just and the unjust."


When Jesus said that God allows it to rain on both the just and unjust he was not talking about bad things. Look at what he really said:

However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44, 45).

He was talking about letting the sun rise and letting it rain on both the just and unjust to teach us to love our enemies. It is an expression of love on God's part that he allows the wicked to live and enjoy the sun and rain, and what those give us, food and sustenance, and a measure of contentment and happiness in life.

Even the most evil people in life, as long as they live, are in debt to God for allowing the sun to rise upon them.

Thus we should love our enemies, as God loves his. There are people who really despise and hate God and still God affords them love. There are many people who deny he even exists, and still God allows them to exist and allows the sun to shine on them.

The rain provides nourishment for the soil from which we all get our food.


As for the OP a good one. There are many things one can find fault with though.

Perhaps we should begin with the fact that we are allowed to peer into the heavenly court to see how Job's trials started. It wasn't by God. In Job 1 and 2 we see Satan enter in before God's presence during an assembly of the angels and Jehovah asks him where he was, and Satan answers that he was roving about in the earth. Then God turns Satan's attention to Job and tells him that there is no one else on earth like him. And Satan challenges Job's integrity and loyalty to God. And asks God to allow him to plague Job to see whether or not he would curse God.

Job and his three supposed "friends" did not get to see that event take place in heaven. In fact nowhere is it stated that Job ever knew the cause of his suffering. It was Satan the Devil. Of course he wrongly thought it was God, and his three supposed "friends" did as well.

Job being a God fearing man, and an upright man could not understand why God would punish him. He could not reason why in his mind, so he figred he was more just than God.

The three "friends" on the other hand, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar assumed that Job's suffering was because Job had sinned. And they accused him, falsely, of things he did not do.

For example, Eliphaz in Job 22 falsely accuses Job of extortion, withholding drink and water from the needy, and hurting widows and orphans. Blatant slander on his part.

In Job 18 Bildad also falsely accuses Job's afflictions as a result of Job's own wickedness.

And notice how, while these men say truthful things about God, like Satan, they twist them to falsely accuse Job. For example in Job 8 Bildad states that all those who forget God will dry up like a papyrus reed and die without water. True, but something Job certainly had not done. If that was the case God could not have boasted about Job to Satan.

In chapters 11 and 20 of Job Zophar, the third to speak, follows the false line of reasoning, and the wicked slander against Job stating that his suffering is due to his own wickedness and Zophar tells Job to repent of his sins and put them behind him.

We know that these three men all slandered Job, for God himself said Job was an upright man, and Job defended himself against the false accusations of these vexing men.

Imagine, after having lost all of your materiel possessions, your farm, your animals, your flocks, your herds, your servants, you then lose your family, all of his children being killed by a supernatural event by Satan, and then losing your health, and being inflicted by a terrible disease, and then your own wife turning upon you and telling you to curse God and die. After all of that, imagine how you would feel and be. He sat there wallowing in his deep and great suffering. And when he needed comfort most of all, the three men did not come to comfort him but to add to his torment and continuously falsely accuse him day and night of things he had not committed.

And they in the same time did something many religious people do today. They blamed God for the suffering of Job. When it was really Satan.

Scripture itself tells us God does not try anyone with evil:

(James 1:13) When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.

Job did not have the benefit of these inspired scriptures like we do today.

While Job did sin and claim he was more just than God, he did not do what Satan claimed he would do. Satan falsely accused Job of serving God selfishly and if God would allow Satan to afflict Job to almost the point of dying that Job would leave off from serving Him.

Job proved Satan a liar, while he himself did not see the full issue, and did sin in claiming to be more just than God.

In the end God himself corrected Job. Not by revealing to him the challenge Satan raised against him, but by revealing his own mighty wisdom and power before Job. And Job excepted the correction and was humbled by it.

Also, God's wrath was against the three men who sat there slandering both Job and Jehovah himself. God told them:

"“My anger burns against you and your two companions, for you have not spoken the truth about me as my servant Job has. 8 Now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job, and offer up a burnt sacrifice for yourselves. And my servant Job will pray for you. I will surely accept his request not to deal with you according to your foolishness, for you have not spoken the truth about me as my servant Job has.” (Job 42: 7, 8).


This teaches us a very valuable lesson. One, just because someone is suffering, we should not assume it is because they did something wrong. And two, if someone has wronged us, as Job was wronged by these three men, we should offer up supplication in their behalf, and forgive them their sins against us, and ask God to pass over their transgressions.



edit on 13-10-2017 by TracyC because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




"The rain it raineth every day, Both on the just and unjust fella; But mostly on the just, because The unjust steals the just's umbrella".


If someone takes your cloak, give him your coat also. Put up your reward in heaven.



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 08:25 PM
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Continued from my comment above....

And three, the most important lesson of all. Like Job, Satan has challenged the integrity of all people alive, both men and women. Of course Jesus came to earth and proved Satan wrong, by living a perfect life and dying as a perfect ransom for our sins. Yet God has allowed wickedness and suffering brought into the world by Satan, and our forefather Adam, to allow the universal court to see whether or not there will be faithful men and women to him. The Bible is full of examples, some of them are mentioned in Hebrews 11 there Paul tells us, after referring to the faith of Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, he says:

32 And what more will I say? For time will fail me if I go on to relate about Gidʹe·on, Baʹrak, Samson, Jephʹthah, David, as well as Samuel and the other prophets. 33 Through faith they defeated kingdoms, brought about righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the force of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from a weak state were made powerful, became mighty in war, routed invading armies. 35 Women received their dead by resurrection, but other men were tortured because they would not accept release by some ransom, in order that they might attain a better resurrection. 36 Yes, others received their trial by mockings and scourgings, indeed, more than that, by chains and prisons. 37 They were stoned, they were tried, they were sawn in two, they were slaughtered by the sword, they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, while they were in need, in tribulation, mistreated; 38 and the world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and mountains and caves and dens of the earth.
39 And yet all of these, although they received a favorable witness because of their faith, did not obtain the fulfillment of the promise, 40 because God had foreseen something better for us, so that they might not be made perfect apart from us.

Hebrews 11:32-40.


False religious leaders today when their flocks ask them, why? Why did God allows this to happen, or that to happen? When they ask why there is suffering, these religious leaders say it is a mystery and they do not know. But it is clear in the Bible why it happens. And faithful men of God know, and they know there will soon be an end to all injustice that he, in his wisdom has allowed for a short while.

And the conclusion of all of this is to be like Job, so that God may make a reply to Satan who taunts him about us:

Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, So that I can make a reply to him who taunts me. (Proverbs 27:11).



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 08:28 PM
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a reply to: TracyC




However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44, 45).


He also said that God is no respecter of person, which lets us know that he will do good for who he will. Just as when it rains, it is everyone's own choice to dance in it or not.

I think Jesus was covering all the bases with his rain comment.



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 08:35 PM
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originally posted by: 3daysgone
a reply to: TracyC




However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44, 45).


He also said that God is no respecter of person, which lets us know that he will do good for who he will. Just as when it rains, it is everyone's own choice to dance in it or not.

I think Jesus was covering all the bases with his rain comment.



He said to continue to love our enemies so we may prove ourselves sons of our Father in the heaven who makes the sun rise and the rain fall upon both good and bad people.

He was not referring to bad things. For this is an act of love. Something we should imitate God in doing. Scripture also tells us that God does not try anyone with bad things, so we know Jesus was not encompassing that, even if you believe he was (which he most certainly was not he even stated we must love our enemies as God loves them and allows it to rain upon them):

When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone. (James 1:13.)
edit on 13-10-2017 by TracyC because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2017 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: TracyC




He said to continue to love our enemies so we may prove ourselves sons of our Father in the heaven who makes the sun rise and the rain fall upon both good and bad people.


The only enemy is the Accuser. People are not enemies when speaking of the spiritual. People can only be used.



posted on Oct, 14 2017 @ 02:10 AM
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originally posted by: TracyC
As for the OP a good one. There are many things one can find fault with though.

For the sake of covering the main points of the argument as it progresses, I am probably over-simplifying.
You need to be aware, though, that this is one of a series. I will be looking at the later chapters in later threads.

Perhaps we should begin with the fact that we are allowed to peer into the heavenly court to see how Job's trials started.

I looked at the opening chapters in the first thread of the series.
The troubles of Job
I offered the suggestion that Satan represents God's awareness of our sin. In which case the main lesson of the opening chapter is that the comforters are wrong to argue that Job is being punished for his own specific sins. We are told that in advance.

Scripture itself tells us God does not try anyone with evil:

God does not tempt, but he is known to "test", as we see from Genesis ch22 v1- the story of Abraham and Isaac. Possibly the story of Job comes into that category. The obvious effect of Job's troubles is that his faith is tested severely.

These are all good points, though. Thank you for contributing to the debate.



posted on Oct, 14 2017 @ 02:16 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

God does not tempt with evil.

You didn't finish his own inspired word. Anything evil or bad, God will not try, or test, or tempt us by.

God did not test Job. It was Satan the Devil exactly as scripture said it was.



posted on Oct, 19 2017 @ 03:14 PM
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a reply to: TracyC

It was God who pointed out to Satan to look at Job's life. Satan stated that if he took everything away from Job that he would curse God. Then God authorized the test and Job past but with the recognition that righteousness comes from God and by no other means.

God calls a few men righteous in the Bible but no all are allowed to be tested as Job. For in today's world we have the fleshly lusts that does most of the testing of a believer. Please note I said "most" for the Devil still tests many believers today especially those who live according to the Spirit.



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