The Accusations of Men Job 3-37, cont’d.
Job 15-21 Accusations Round 2 (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar), cont’d.
Job 16-17 Job’s Response: You’re a sorry comforter. I am correct in my evaluation…God is my witness. Job longs for help from God.
Job 16:1-5-Job tells Eliphaz that it is easy for him to sit there in his comfort and pass judgment on him. Job says that if they were in his place, he could shake his head at them. His eyes are red from crying (16:16). His friends scoff at him (16:20). He has become a byword among the community and they spit in his face (17:6).
Job 16:6-22-Job says that he has tried to be quiet and that didn’t help the situation. He’s tried to speak up and that didn’t help the situation, either (16:6-9). If his suffering isn’t enough…he now has to contend with these so-called comforters (16:10-16). So, Job again defends his innocence...and yet, says that God has allowed all of this to happen to him..."my prayer is pure" (:17). He says that he has a witness in heaven (:19). He then says, "O that a man might plead with God as a man with his neighbor!" (:21). In other words, he is confident that if he actually had the opportunity to speak directly to God like he speaks to another human…he would be able to defend his innocence.
Job 17:1-5-Job suggests that God should speak up for him. That God should come to his defense and proclaim his innocence.
Job 17:6-16-But instead, God has been silent and as a result people interpret that to mean that Job is guilty. That just makes things even worse. Now he has become a “byword”, people “spit” on him, and he has completely lost all hope.
Summary: Eliphaz continues to attack Job's credibility...but Job steadfastly defends himself...even saying that if he had a chance to talk with God, he would be found innocent. And in fact, God should be the one doing the defending, not him.
Job 18 Bildad’s 2nd Accusation: Listen to us or you’ll wind up in Hell!
Job 18:1-4-Bildad tries to turn the table on Job my making it appear that Job is trying to judge them. “Here we are trying to help you and all you can do is accuse us. That very attitude should be enough proof that you are a sinner.”
Job 18:5-Bildad tries to scare Job with a description of the fate of the wicked. He tells Job to recognize what is going to happen to him if he does not repent. He tries to frighten Job into repentance by depicting the awful outcome of the wicked. Perhaps he had heard Eliphaz’s Hell-Fire sermon and thought that it was working and decided to take up where he left off. Bildad says that the wicked: will live a dark life (meaning without knowledge and understanding, 18:5-6); his own wickedness will catch up with him (18:7-10); he will live in constant fear of what might happen next (18:11); his wickedness will affect his health (18:12-13); there will be nothing that he can grab hold of for security (18:14); everything he possesses will be destroyed (18:15); like a tree without roots or limbs has no means to gather water, he is cut off and has no means to gather what he needs for survival (18:16); when he dies his name will be lost from the pages of history without anyone to carry it on, as if he had never even lived…so what good is he (18:17-20). This is the result of the life of a person who does not know God…and Bildad says such is Job.
Prayer: Lord, already we see that Job has become so caught up in defending his innocence…that he has become guilty of pride. We know that his suffering was not caused by his sin. However, that does not mean that he is totally innocent. And in his attempt to prove that he has not sinned in such as way as to deserve the extent of suffering that he is experiencing…he has fallen into a trap and overstated his case. None of us is completely innocent. Please, Lord, help me to be a godly man. But don’t ever let me become proud of my godliness. Because at that moment…I have sinned. Help me to always be mindful that anything that I am that is good, or righteous, or holy…is due completely to Your work in me. On my own, I am nothing more than a sinner. But in You, I am nothing less than a saint!