We’re finally to the final round of arguments – aren’t you glad? I know I am…part of the reason I find it hard to stay connected when reading Job is because of all the back and forth. I’ve never liked arguing, being in arguments or hearing arguments – just ask my children!
Elipaz takes his turn again, and for the sake of his friend begs, “Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.” He tries to reason with Job to just have the suffering over. But Job cannot compromise his integrity to confess sin he’s not aware of.
Job comes by back with an emotional appeal still claiming innocence, “what he desires, he does.” We don’t understand why God desires or allows suffering in our lives, but he does.
Bildad takes his turn to make a short speech, as if he’s out of words, reminding Job, “how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!” I don’t think the name-calling helped the conversation…
Which is reflected in Job’s response beginning with several exclamations of how unhelpful his friends are! He continues to defend his integrity saying, “till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.”
Job continues to look for wisdom and understanding. In his final appeal in chapter 31, he goes into a series (16) of “if” statements, affirming that he knows there is cause and effect of which he is not aware. If he knew what he had done wrong, he is more than willing to confess.
Then, “the words of Job are ended.”
All the fight is gone; all the words said; Job has nothing left. It’s as if he is willing to go to the grave not knowing.
Know the feeling? At times, I have given up knowing why only to figure it out later. And there are some things I’m sure I will only understand on the other side. There is time to give up, to give in to God and be at peace that he is God. All his character is true, the power, the mercy, the love, etc. but at this point in time, he is not answering for a reason only known to him.
It’s hard to not understand why. Just like Adam and Eve, we want to be like God, to have him share his wisdom with us. But there is a point where he leaves us just trusting in him without understanding…
It’s called, “faith.”