Job stands in stark contrast against those who are steeped in tradition. Job is not perfect, but he is faithful. Job has a true heart for God and an understanding of God that transcends the shallow understanding his church buddies. Parts of the book of Job are written in a very literal form while others are written in a very poetic and symbolic form. At the outset Job is well off, but when Satan asks God to test Job, God allows it. Job’s family, possessions and health are stripped from him. Though Job rues his birth, he does not condemn God. The bulk of the book, from Ch 4 through Ch 37, is a running dialog where Job in the midst of his agony debates three friends. Although his friends are equipped with what appears to be sound doctrine, they lack compassion and true understanding. Upon close examination flaws are found in their arguments with Job in spite of the many great theological points they make. The biggest flaw in their arguments stems from their presumptive judgmentalism toward Job. The old adage that says the only army to shoot its own wounded is the Christian army would be aptly applied here. Another scriptural perspective of this can be found in 1 Co 13:1 I may speak in the tongues of men or angels, but if I am without love I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal (NEB).
About Job 8
This chapter is recorded as a speech to Job by his friend Bildad. One of the three debating with Job, Bildad relies on human logic and rational thought without the benefit of openness to Spiritual inspiration and loving compassion for the fallen friend. Dogma and doctrine have value, but without love and Spirit they are like the Law of Moses. The just execution of Law, however perfect, serves to condemn what is found guilty by the judge. Earthly reasoned rationale applied by human judges is all the more condemning.
Bildad speaks at length about the justice of God. In the process, rather than speaking of the mercy of God and the hope for redemption of the fallen, Bildad implies Job’s sins were the reason for his losses and likewise, his children’s sins cost them their own lives. Bildad speaks truth when he claims God is just. Unlike God, Bildad lacks the knowledge to judge rightly Job’s situation. When Bildad talks about the surety with which God bares up the righteous and pays the unrighteous their due he speaks truth. Bildad’s flaw is in assuming Job is somehow at fault for his situation and is in fact the sinner. In spite of the words used, his wrong implication turned the words into a lie about God. God reveals this in Job 42:7. In an act of unmerited mercy Bildad and his friends do not receive judgment deserved, but grace through Job’s prayers of forgiveness.
The Good News of Job 8
Job 8:20-22 “Behold, God will not reject a blameless man, nor take the hand of evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.” God did accept the blameless man, Jesus Christ. The Lord promises hope for a life of joy, free from evil. Better still, we ourselves who are not perfect are blessed with grace and mercy given by the one who is perfect, who took our just punishment on our behalf, and who claims victory over the ultimate death. He offers this good life, life eternal, to those who would simply believe in him, submitting to his authority and entering into the covenant of eternal hope with him.