The Book of Job-Chapter Twenty-Five to Twenty-Six:
I was quite wrong to worry about the response of Job's friends to what he was teaching about unrighteousness in our last installment. I thought I had this story all figured out. Job as ultimate hero and Bildad and the others as hopeless fools. But the Word of God has proven Itself again to me to be unpredictable and exciting.
Ch. 25, Verses 1-4: "Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places. Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise? How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? "
It was wrong of me to write Bildad and the others off. I've done that with too many of my contemporaries also, I fear. People can change for the better, be moved by God's Spirit, and drawn to a higher plateau. And the big change here is humility. Bildad and even Job (I think) had a theology built on greed at the beginning. They had religion and a form of righteousness but were in their own way denying the power of it through selfishness. But now, after all that's has happened, somehow the lights are really coming on for these men:
Verses 5-6: "Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? "
It IS humility, beloved. Do you see? Humility before God. And it's going to unify Bildad and Job. When it's genuine it will unify you and me today, too. Let's move right into the next chapter and see how Job is responding:
Ch. 26, Verses 1-4: "But Job answered and said, How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength? How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is? To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee? "
It's almost like Job is saying, "Bildad? Is that you?" When God moves in someone's life this way it can be quite shocking. Apparently Job never thought old Bildad would change. But Job's horrible experiences seem now to not only be bearing fruit in his life and in his walk with the Lord, but (and I would say this is quite miraculous) real spiritual benefit has now appeared in the life of another who has been taking it all in. We have already seen that Job is a prophet, but he is also a preacher and his patience and effort before his friends, by God's Grace, is paying off.
Now listen as Job joins the chorus of praise that Bildad has started. I never thought I'd see these two hand in hand worshipping their God in humility and with awe. Satan may be losing more here than he ever envisioned when he first challenged Job's sincerity!
Verses 5-6: "Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering."
Go, Job! Can you hear it too? I think he's saying the Lord is ALL. Greater then all they had been fearing for years. Even back in the "good times" these men had worshipped fear really. Fear of losing all they had amassed on earth. We saw all that. O, but what blessings can flow from the most screwed up situations. Job's nightmares all came true and yet here he is tasting the things of the Lord and knowing Him in new ways and leading those around him UPWARD. Job hadn't been forsaken. Seeds of righteousness and truth were sown in this man's life even as it all fell apart. And in some way I don't understand (yet have begun to appreciate) we are still harvesting spiritual benefits from Job's story. Somehow under these circumstances these men saw some of the Glory of the Lord. To turn our happiness into more happiness would and does make God wonderful, but when He turns (NOT causes, but TURNS) our tragedy into a blessing WE can begin to see HIS GLORY.
Let's consider the Son of God just briefly. If the prophet Isaiah had said of Christ in chapter 53 of his Prophesy, "by His smile we are healed," I think I could live with that and love God for that. Or maybe, "by His joy we are healed" or "by His blessing we are healed." But that's not what he said. And that what REALLY happened to Christ could become an opportunity for Life and Love for so many for so long is something else I can't understand. But it should tell us all that reality, no matter how gruesome or unexpected, is not the enemy of our faith. For in the end reality too must bow before the Glory of Our Lord. And way back then Job and Bildad got a glimpse of it. Just listen:
Verses 7-13: "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent."
This is fine worship, wouldn't you say? Humility and acknowledgment of Who God is. That He is above and beyond any of us. I had said Job was a hero- and I meant it when I said it, but where we are right now there are no heroes. Only common ground and humble hearts. Let's linger here a moment with these men:
Verse 14: "Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
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