Job’s Reply to Bildad

Key Verses: “God hung the stars in the sky—the Dipper, Orion, the Pleiades, and the stars of the south. We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end. God passes by, but I cannot see him.”
—Job 9:9-11, Good News Bible

Selected Scripture:
Job 9:1-35

THE KEY VERSE IS A small extract of Job’s reply to Bildad, one of his three supposed comforters. In the preceding chapter, Bildad argued that Jehovah is beyond our comprehension, implying that it is not even worth trying to do so. He makes the further egregious claim that, even if one is in the right, God can still declare them to be wrong. He told Job that it is useless to proclaim his innocence to God. It would not make any difference. Bildad was quite mistaken.

Job was a righteous man and, as such, trusted in the reasonableness of God. He answered the three comforters sharply: “Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom! Now hear my reasoning, and heed the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for Him? Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God? Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man? He will surely rebuke you if you secretly show partiality. Will not His excellence make you afraid, and the dread of Him fall upon you? … Hold your peace with me, and let me speak, Then let come on me what may! Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hands? Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.”—Job 13:5-15, New King James Version

For Job to say, “If God slays me, I will still trust him,” is most courageous. Yet Job did not just passively lay down, but added that he would “defend” his ways before God. We may also take our case before the Father’s throne. He desires us to interact with him and probe with him the principles of righteousness. He encourages us to come to him in honesty, confessing our hopes and admitting our faults. These thoughts are strong underpinnings of mature faith.

The power of God is infinite. Our Key Verse acknowledges his omnipotence. He created the stars and arranged them in constellations for us to ponder. He performs wonders that mankind, as yet, cannot comprehend. For all our modern technological prowess we still do not fully understand the origins of the physical universe. God has performed miracles beyond count—making everything in the physical universe out of atoms. Who beside him could precisely adjust the various characteristics and forces of these minute particles into cohesion and with the ability to interact with one another to form molecules? Then, from molecules, who else could make the sun, moon, stars and man?

“God passes by, but I cannot see him,” says Job. God is indeed not far from any of us, although invisible to human sight. As the Apostle Paul observed, “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, … so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:26-28, NKJV) Let us, then, not fall prey to the opinions of doubting ones such as Bildad, but live, like Job, a life of faith in God.