Job 8:1 through 10:22

Daybreak for Students

Job 8:1 through 10:22

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Job 8
Job 9
Job 10
Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not. — Job 9:11

Recently while I was spending some time talking to the Lord, the sun was streaming in the window, lighting up the sofa where I was kneeling. Suddenly, the room became quite dark, and I realized that a cloud had moved between the sun and me. I could no longer see the sun with its radiant beams of light as it had appeared moments before . . . yet I knew that nothing about the sun had changed! The slight silver rim around the clouds was evidence that the sun was still there and was shining as brightly as before; I just could not see it as well. 

Job’s lament in the focus verse shows that he felt this way about God — that his view of God had become clouded. It is interesting to note that although he wrestled with many questions, Job did not question the existence of God. The intensity of the situation and the sense of spiritual separation from God did not cause him to cast away his confidence in the reality of God; rather, his questions had to do with whether God was acting justly in his particular case.

As readers of the Book of Job, we have the benefit of knowing about an important dialog that took place between God and Satan. This helps us to understand the suffering of Job and provides perspective on what he went through. However, when we face our own dark night of the soul, we very possibly will have no more understanding regarding what is happening than Job did. For that reason, faith is imperative. 

When the enemy attacks with the thought that God is remote or unconcerned about the issues facing us, we need to remember that just as the sun is sometimes clouded, there will be times when we cannot perceive God’s nearness even though He is close by. In those dark moments, we can recall how God has worked for us in the past and know that He is mindful of our every need.

When the clouds roll in and our view of God is obscured, we will find that if we hold on to God in faith, He will carry us through. 

BACKGROUND

Bildad was the second of Job’s friends to voice his thoughts in this initial round of speeches. All three men had come for the purpose of comforting their friend, but in this portion of text, Bildad argued with Job and condemned him. Job replied to Bildad and then made his complaint to God. It is thought that Bildad may have been a descendant of Shuah, Abraham’s sixth son by Keturah. 

Bildad began by condemning Job’s words and comparing them to “a strong wind,” turbulent and stormy. He denounced Job’s questioning of God’s justice, and maintained that if Job were pure and upright, God would not have permitted him to suffer. He further declared that the death of Job’s children was indisputable evidence of their sin and insinuated that if Job would forsake his sin, all would be well. 

Job replied to Bildad by posing a simple question, “How should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2). In essence he was saying, “How can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight?” He went on to state that a person cannot contend with God. Job depicted the unapproachable majesty of God through the physical phenomena of the sea, the stars (Arcturus is the name of a star; Orion and Pleiades are constellations), and all of creation. However, he could not deny his longing to be justified and expressed his desire for a mediator or go-between “who may lay his hand on us both,” to reconcile the matter (Job 9:33). “But it is not so with me,” he confessed, the tone of his words bearing witness to his inner discouragement.

In Job 10:12-22, Job reminisced of times past when he had felt God’s nearness. The recollection was painful and the unanswered questions weighed him down with a great burden. Speaking hypothetically, he said, “If I sin . . . If I be wicked . . . and if I be righteous,” it would not change God’s treatment of him, and he was confused because of this. He realized that life is short and longed for God to relieve his afflictions so he could have a little respite before he died. 

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The solution of Job’s three friends
     B.   The first cycle of speeches
           3.   Bildad’s advice (8:1-22)
                 a.   The thesis: God punishes sinners (8:1-7)
                 b.   The support of the thesis (8:8-10)
                 c.   The dealings of God with the wicked and righteous (8:11-22)
           4.   Job’s answer (9:1 — 10:22)
                 a.   His answer to Bildad (9:1-35)
                       (1)   God is almighty (9:1-12)
                       (2)   God destroys the righteous and the wicked (9:13-24)
                       (3)   Job’s weakness (9:25-35)
                 b.   His complaint to God (10:1-22)
                       (1)   Job considers God’s fairness (10:1-17)
                       (2)   Job considers death good (10:18-22)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. What did Bildad say would happen to the hypocrite’s hope?

  2. Why do you think Job felt that contending with God would do no good?

  3. How should we react when what we know about God is challenged?

CONCLUSION

Awareness of God’s presence and help in the past gives us courage to look ahead and trust Him for the future, even if He seems hidden at the moment.