Saturday, July 21, 2012

Job 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In this chapter Job’s other friend, Bildad, speaks up.
  • Bildad immediately accuses Job and his family of sinning against God. He says Job’s children must have sinned and God killed them as punishment for their offenses. Bildad clearly agrees with Eliphaz.
  • Bildad appealed to tradition in saying to listen to their ancestors. He is proposing that if Job were to do so he would find that sinners receive their just punishment while good men are always blessed with health and prosperity. The reality is that’s just not true. Even Jesus said his true followers would face struggles in this life as a result of following him. Jesus’ words go against the core of what Bildad was suggesting to Job.
  • Bildad’s response to Job was very calloused when we remember that Job ended his response to Eliphaz by pleading for a little compassion from his friends. Bildad heard Job’s words with his ears but not his heart. 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Bildad’s response was an extreme disservice to Job in the guise of being a voice of God. Bildad was just being self-righteous and there are many people like that still today.
  • Job’s friends are basing their responses to the belief that some people suffer for their sins which may be true but not always as a result of God but rather a result of natural consequence. The problem with Job’s friends was that they assumed Job was one of these people when he wasn’t at all. Job was innocent.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • This is a good lesson for us to be good listeners when our friends confide in us. It’s easy to immediately start formulating your response without processing the emotions your friends are sharing with you. Your response may even be the truth but it should be seasoned with the appropriate emotional response to what is being shared with you. A good counselor will tell you to remember to consider the other person’s feelings when you respond. Bildad could have used such advice when responding to Job. Let’s ask God to help us be good listeners and share his love and grace with those we have in our lives.