Job feels jilted

Job Sees The Light - Eleventh in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 10:1-3 NIV Why do bad things happen to good people? is one question, but what good people really want to know is: Why do good things happen for bad people?

Why, Job pleads to know, does God smile on the schemes of the wicked — and scowl at his servant?

Comparing ourselves with others is a dangerous exercise. Job was a man of God, therefore, to compare his life with evil men's was unfruitful. We do know what their end will be.

Job 10:4-7 NIV In these questions, we hear Job accuse God of being heavy-handed. This is not cursing God to his face as Satan predicted Job would (Job 1:11, 2:5), but it reveals his anger at God. Job is stating that God has no right to hound him because it is unfair for a superior being to pursue one with limited ability. God cannot understand what it is like to live in the dimension of time and in flesh, and on top of this, he knows that Job is not guilty!

In truth, when we begin to feel justified in deciding what rights God should have, we have put ourselves in his place. That is a dangerous promotion. We will not be found innocent.

Job 10:8-9 NIV This question reveals Job's knowledge of the Creation history given in Genesis: The Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen 2:7) An interesting corroboration of that fact is that every element found in the earth is also found in traces in man's body. Job believed the Genesis account; the Lord did not need to reform his thoughts in this important doctrine.

Job 10:10-13 NIV In the previous passage, Job reflected on his destiny to return to dust, but feared it would occur at an unnatural time. Here, he reflects on the marvelous though hidden beginnings of his life. The Psalmist considers these same mysteries, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made … (Ps 139:14) David’s reflections led him to praise, but Job’s are leading him to despair. The Psalms had not yet been written, so he could not seek their comfort.

Job 10:14-17 NIV Job has been in a tempest and has washed to shore but he cannot seem to make it to dry land. He feels he is still at the mercy of the storm and raging sea; pounded by its angry winds, drowning though on a beach. God will not let up.

He has hung his head in shame, and lifted it up to show courage; but whatever he does is wrong. And from vs. 17 it appears that other friends or acquaintances have arrived on the scene, but are not showing sympathy. It is Job against the world, and Satan would inflame that feeling. Emotional isolation is debilitating.

Job 10:18-22 KJV For the last verses in Job 10, we revert to the King James in which we find the familiar phrase shadow of death, which many will recall from Ps. 23, Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me….

Job was the first in the Bible to coin this phrase, which David used frequently, and we find it in some of the Books of Prophecy and the New Testament.

This valley is the place of deepest gloom. Here, Job regrets ever being born.

An Intercessor is needed

Job Sees The Light - Tenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 9:1-3 NIV Here, Job is not acknowledging that the righteousness of man is as filthy rags to a Holy God. Rather, he is saying that no matter how good a person is or strives to be, he has no standing before God.

God seems oblivious to man’s efforts to please and serve him. It is impossible to communicate or to connect with him. This is what Satan wants us to believe.

Job 9:4-12 NIV God is marvelous and inscrutable. So wonderful, so distant and unapproachable.

Job 9:13-15 NIV Job is thinking of creatures so much more powerful than himself who could not stand before God. Rahab, a legendary sea monster whose name means “storm” or “arrogance,” was destroyed by God, and her cronies then bowed in terrified submission. He seems to feel that if God easily contends with monsters, how then can a mere human dispute with him? One could only plead for mercy, not because he is guilty but because he is at such a disadvantage.

This is illogical. Simply because those whose aim is to defeat God are crushed by him, it does not follow that the righteous servant who would ask God for answers will be banished. For these, the Lord has promised, Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. (Isa 65:24)

Job 9:16-18 NIV Job is angry with God, and no wonder! Look at his property; dead children– dead servants – dead and stolen animals— bitter wife. Look at Him! Diseased skin; surrounded by superior-acting friends.

He believes God hates him and is sick with apprehension because his rightful expectations – yes, rightful – have been disappointed and even mocked. The righteous person has the expectation of God's blessings. True, as God's servant, he has no rights; nevertheless, as a servant, he ought to be able to count on the Master's provision of care. This is not demanding one’s own way; it is a logical expectation, and it is not presumptuous.

When the Lord withholds the support or protection we expected, does it mean he has turned against us? We are led to question.

Job 9:19-22 NIV Analyzing Job's feelings of despair and depression, we see he has concluded that God is not just. Everything black and white has turned to gray. How can one serve a God who makes no distinctions between right and wrong? Why do right? No reason. Why live? No reason. If there is no reward for righteousness, why try?

Job 9:23-31 NIV Job continues on in his perplexity and discouragement. He reflects on the sickening weightlessness of his life. Time is passing. But without his servants to oversee and without his family, there is nothing to focus on. There is only a feeling of seasickness and emptiness. In this predicament, he turns again to address God directly, expressing his deepest inner feelings (Job 9:28). Then he has a divine insight!

Job 9:23-31 NIV In his agony, he longs for an arbitrator. An intercessor. Someone to shield him from God’s wrath. Job is seeking Jesus, but millennia would pass before Jesus Christ would come in the flesh.

Despite the huge difference between then and now, God nevertheless wanted more from Job than obedience to known laws. He wanted his true, heartfelt worship, as we will see.

If God had the right to seek true worshippers before Calvary, how much more so now, since giving his only begotten son?

If we would worship the Giver

Job Sees The Light - Ninth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Bildad the Shuhite lives up to the meaning of his name, Son of Contention, in Chapter 8. He is offended by Job’s cries to God (previous chapter). It is certainly obvious that Job has offended God colossally! He will correct him and provide needed guidance for “next steps”:

Job 8:1-4 NIV Stop! What could be more contentious and certain to wound and provoke controversy than to suggest that God intentionally killed Job's children for their sin?

Job 8:5-7 NIV Bildad’s perception of Job's situation and his remedy are like Eliphaz’s — confession and good behavior are the keys to his restoration. Yet, we cannot earn our standing before the Lord by our deeds. In Old Testament and New, faith is what makes man acceptable in his sight. (Rom 4:1-25; 5:1-2) Works then complement our faith.

What about the idea that God will rouse himself on behalf of the pure and upright in an instant? God will certainly come to the defense of his righteous ones, but not necessarily on a timetable that humans can comprehend. It is presumptuous to believe that God will rescue us from trials in an amount of time that seems logical and just to us.

Job 8:8-10 NIV Asking former generations is a wonderful idea. Job is not averse to learning from the past; he is simply blind to such help at the present. His situation is indeed unique.

Job 8:11-15 NIV Every believer accepts that the ungodly will eventually come to ruin, but not all are able to see that a ruined man may be very godly, not one who has been rejected by God.

Job 8:16-19 NIV The contentious Bildad, or Satan through him, here accuses Job of deceiving himself that he had hold of God when in fact he was drawing strength from cold and lifeless sources. For shame, Job! The godless prepare their own demise by grasping and holding on to what cannot save. Consequently, they will be plucked up, disowned by their former home, and replaced by better people.

Satan wants believers to question their faith and relationship with God. He takes advantage of us during times of hardship by causing us to question whether we ever had faith. “You never had roots! God never knew you!.”

The believer must firmly resist such attacks.

Job 8:20-22 NIV To Bildad, everything is black or white. He has judged Job to be an evildoer and the evidence of that is the destruction of his possessions, land and family. Obviously, God would not do this to a good person. But in the end, we discover that all those tragedies were merely instrumental in divesting Job of self-approval. If we would worship the Giver, at times the gifts must be removed.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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