atheist

Back to the Bible: Job 6-9

Job 6-9

Let’s get back to reading the Bible!

As you might recall, we left Job with his “friend” Eliphaz (who was smoking a burning bush), telling him that his suffering was all for his own good.

Job 6: Job responds to Eliphaz and basically tells him to f*ck off.

Thoughts:

  • Job begins by telling Eliphaz (rather sarcastically), ‘You’re right, my complaints are rash, I am only bearing the burden of the wrath of God.’ (Job 6:1-4).
  • Job emphasizes, “[T]he terrors of God are arrayed against me.” (Job 6:4).
  • He asks Eliphaz, do donkeys not cry when they are hungry? He is likening his suffering to the unconscious outcries of a dying animal. You really feel for Job.
  • He then prays that God “fulfill my hope, that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off.” (Job 6:8-9).
  • He prays that God will end his life.
  • He turns his frustrations to his friends and says, “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” (Job 6:14).
  • He tells them that at his greatest time of need, they abandoned him by fearing the wrath of God without ever knowing for sure if Job is a sinner, or if Job actually deserves his plight. He criticizes them and mentions that he has not asked for any charity or even redemption, but they ignore his pleas. (Job 6:14-24).
  • Finally, Job tells them that if they could please explain to him what he has done wrong, he will be silent, but he will not stop until he understands the “cause of [his] calamity.” (Job 6:24-30).
  • Neither his friends, nor God has given Job a reason for his suffering. How is Job supposed to follow rules that he does not know exist?

Job 7: Job is over this whole thing. He is in pain and is ready to die. He continues to struggle with God’s silence on the cause of his plight.

Thoughts:

  • Job continues his soliloquy and likens his suffering on earth to those of a “hired hand” or a “slave.” (Job 7:1-3).
  • “Like a slave who longs for the shadow and like a hired hand who looks for his wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness and nights of misery are apportioned to me.” (Job 7:2-3). Don’t worry, we aren’t going to get around to solving the slavery issue with this epiphany . . . there are plenty more references and reverences for slavery to come. Love thy neighbor!
  • He reemphasizes that he would choose death over living to end his suffering. (Job 7:7-21).

Job 8: Job’s friend Bildad weighs in and he is not helpful.

Thoughts:

  • Bildad starts by asking Job how much longer he is going to complain. He reminds Job that God can’t pervert justice or what is “right,” and God delivered Job’s children, “into the hand of their transgression.” (Job 8:1-4).
  • Too soon?
  • He tells Job that he needs to seek out God and pray to him for his mercy. Bildad continues by reminding Job that if he is actually “pure and upright” that “surely” God with “rouse himself for you . . .” (Job 8:5-6).
  • This book is better than a Telenovela! It’s like we already know that Job did not do anything. Rather, he was the most righteous man on earth! I guess for God, this is how he treats his best—his favorites if you will. But I digress.
  • He tells Job that nobody knows anything about God or his rules, so unlike a reed that doesn’t have water, he needs to search for water to save his life. Because we all know that like plants without water, “the hope of the godless shall perish.” (Job 8:11-13). I’m wilting!

So sad flower

  • Bildad starts sounding like a modern-day TV-Evangelical. God is great, he would not reject someone who is blameless, he is a lush plant in the sun, etc. God’s “trust is a spider web,” a.k.a. beyond our understanding. (Job 14-22). We’ve all heard this before.

Job 9: Job points out that there is no arbiter between man and God. Then Job drops a truth bomb and the mic.

Thoughts:

  • Job sets Bilbo Bildad in his place. He says that there is no way to win with God or be on his good side because “If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.” (Job 9:1-3).
  • He continues and points out that God can take anything he wants but nobody “who will say to him, “What are you doing?” (Job 9:12)
  • Job states that he must ask for mercy from God because he knows he has done no wrong. (Job 9:13-24). You have to admire Job’s tenacity, and as a lawyer, I agree: Job is innocent until proven guilty. #Lawyered
  • Job finishes by pointing out his own mortality. He states, “My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away; they see no good.” (Job 9:25). I guess there were runners in Biblical times and just like me they saw no good in running.
  • He pleads with God to “take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.” (Job 9:34-35). Haha! He said rod.

Will God take his rod away from Job? Tune back in to find out! Next reading is Job 10-13. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

Peace and love,

Lindsey