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Bildad had made his case, and accused Job of hypocrisy (Job 8). Job, however, rather than address Bildad’s harsh judgments, directed his lament to God (Job 9). Notice in Job’s answer, though he was a man of ancient days, he had profound insight into the character and attributes of His Creator. Looking to the God of heaven, Job asked the LORD, “How should a man be just [i.e., justified, righteous, perfect, sinless] with God?” (9:2). For Job, the implication was no man can be “just” or righteous in the sight of God Who is holy, “wise in heart, and mighty in strength” (9:4a).
Though he did not possess the Scriptures as we have them, Job had the knowledge of God’s revelation of Himself as Creator, Sovereign, and Sustainer of creation (9:5-9). Think about it…the LORD can move mountains (9:5), shake the foundations of the earth (9:6), and command the sun, moon, and stars in their orbit (9:7). His wonders cannot be numbered (9:10), and His ways are invisible (9:11). He is Sovereign of all, and “taketh away,” and no man dare say to Him, “What doest thou?” (9:12)
What were the things Job had seen, but the LORD had taken away? He lost his family, possessions, and health. When his “friends” came under the pretense of comforting him, they betrayed him with harsh judgments.
Job Pleads His Cause (9:14-35)
To interpret the balance of Job 9, I invite you to picture a heavenly courtroom, where God sits in judgment (9:15). We find poor Job standing before the presence of the Almighty, and he is both the defendant and his own advocate. Job realized God was a righteous Judge, and he dare not debate Him. After all, the LORD is altogether Just and Omniscient, and under no obligation to answer mortal man (9:16).
Job did not understand the cause for his troubles, and believed he was suffering “without cause” (9:17). In other words, he could think of no transgression to justify what he suffered. His troubles had come so swiftly, he could not catch his breath, before another assailed him (7:18). He searched his heart, and could think of no sin that deserved so many troubles. Nevertheless, with humility, Job acknowledged he had no grounds to protest or declare his innocence. He confessed, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: If I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse” (9:20). Job realized the LORD knew him, better than he knew himself (9:21).
Warning: Never Judge a Man’s Character by His Circumstances (9:22-24)
Eliphaz and Bildad contested, Job’s troubles were upon him because He was proud and unwilling to confess His sin (Job 4-5; 8). They declared his trials were God’s judgment for an egregious sin he had not confessed. Job, though, disputed their harsh judgment, and maintained, “This is one thing, therefore I said it, He [God]destroyeth the perfect and the wicked” (9:22). Job contended, the righteous and the wicked are both afflicted in this world (9:23).
Closing thoughts (9:25-35)
Our study of Job 10 will wait for another time and another year. I conclude today’s study with an invitation to marvel at the insight, discernment and wisdom of ancient Job. He was a man of flesh like you and me, but oh the depth of his wisdom and knowledge of the Creator! His trouble had come upon him “swifter than a post” (literally, a mail courier), and his days were passing like “swift ships…[and] as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (9:25-26). Job set his heart to stop complaining, and turn to the LORD (9:27). His afflictions had given cause for his “friends” to accuse him of wrong (9:28-29). Yet, though he contended his innocence, he realized no man is pure and innocent before God who is perfect, holy, and immortal (9:30-32).
I pray those caught in trials and afflictions of any kind, might not despair. Remember, Job will come to realize God’s hand was never against him. God tried him, to the end his love and faith might be proved and “come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). If you are in the midst of sorrows, meditate on this principle, and claim it:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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