What does it say?
Pay attention as Job expresses his anguish without accusing God or denying his faith. Job responds to Eliphaz’s contention that he must have some secret sin. While not denying the generalized truth Eliphaz quotes, Job maintains that no specific sin in his life accounts for his calamity.
Bildad sings the second verse, same as the first – Job is being judged for sin. Job agrees Bildad speaks some truth, but argues it has no application to his specific circumstance. Bildad has great answers, but no clue what the questions are. Job’s speech in chapter 9 is eloquent and filled with angst.
What does it mean?
Even before written scripture, God in some way communicated truth to the human race (Heb 1:1-2). Before Law, there was grace. Now that Law is fulfilled, grace still remains. Job cries out for a mediator, and I remember God tells a single, focused story, preparing the stage for a Mediator of grace to appear in the fullness of time. The same flash of hope first appearing in Gen 3:15 is in the shadows of Job 9 centuries before Moses gets the tablets of stone.
A vital lesson: absolute truth wrongly applied absolutely hurts deeply, and does more harm than good. How much hurt have I seen by Bible-quoting people spitting out verses like freewheeling gunslingers? How much hurt have I caused wrongfully applying truth?
How will I respond?
Job’s desperate cry for a mediator is poignant. Today, the Mediator has come, making a path to forgiveness of sin and fellowship with God. This Mediator has commissioned me to speak truth rightly applied into the lives of hurting people. My ministry is not condemnation or judgment, but reconciliation (2Cor 5:17-21). To the hopeless I give hope; to the hurting, loving comfort in the name of the loving God. When I live and operate in God’s kingdom of love and grace, I don’t always have to have all the answers. Sometimes, the best way to speak truth into a difficult situation is by keeping my mouth shut.
How can I be hope, love and grace for one other human being today? This may or may not involve words that come from my mouth. Who is that person and what will I do today to love that person well? If I can’t think of someone now, I will alert for God to bring someone across my path today.