April 2, 2015.
Daily Reading: Job 25-26.
Background: Job 23-24.
Concepts and Connections.
“How can man be pure before God?”: It seems that Bildad is going for the kill here as Job hasn’t listened to anything else that they have told him. Since Job still claims that he has done no wrong before God to deserve his situation, Bildad jumps into philosophy and suggests that there is no possible way that man could be pure before God, for not even the great things, such as the moon and stars, can be pure before God. If they cannot do this, surly man cannot be pure. This is similar to some things that David says in humility, asking “What is man that You are mindful of him?” (see Psalm 8:4, 144:3) The difference between the two is the context in which they are stated. Bildad is saying that man cannot be pure before God because he believes that Job is being punished for something he has done, which isn’t the case. David says these things because the Lord has done great things for him, though he does not deserve it. Even though Bildad is convinced that his argument is flawless and the only logical explanation, he has a fundamental misunderstanding of the character of God. We should be careful that we aren’t missing something when we think our arguments are flawless.
The power of God: Job replies to Bildad’s rebuke with the glory of the Lord and what He has done for those who love Him. It seems that Job is no longer trying to argue with his friends with mere words, but rather by pointing to experience and nature. All power is in the hand of God, and nothing was made that did not come from Him. It is noteworthy to consider the bold claims that Job makes in this chapter, as they seem to be many, many years ahead of their time (this chapter is often very important in Christian apologetics). As Job is describing the creation of God, he notes that the earth hangs on nothing, water is bound in clouds, the moon’s crescent as a result of a covering (as opposed to the moon actually changing shape) and hints at the earth being spherical (noting that there is a circle on the earth at the horizon). Though the scriptures are not composed to be a science textbook, it is very interesting to note where they imply scientific concepts that are way ahead of their time (science is the study of God’s handiwork, after all). Job then goes on to describe the power of God though thundering, dominion over nature and His (likely figurative) defeat of Rahab, a sea monster of chaos that opposes God. Job notes a very interesting point at the end that we don’t too often think about: though God is omnipotent, He does not always reveal Himself through His power, as many times we hear of Him in but a small whisper, as Job puts it (see I Kings 19:11-12). Though God can reveal His power, it is not His typical choice of revelation. This is important to remember when it feels like He is gone, just like Job did. Though we may not be able to see His power in an overwhelming display of His presence, God is still here and He is still in control. Let us trust in the name of the Lord, for He is indeed all powerful.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 1-6.
All hail the power of Jesus name.