What does it say?
Job holds to faith, but almost steps over the line (24). He can’t understand why God doesn’t immediately judge the wicked, specifically those who steal property, livestock and take advantage of the weak and helpless. By implication Job asks why he’s suffering while the real villains go free. We have probably all entertained these same thoughts.
Bildad’s brief remarks (Job 25) are the last by Job’s accusers and suggest they are running out of arguments. Bildad says, in essence, that we are all sinners. But we knew that, didn’t we?
Job harshly rebukes Bildad, pointing to God’s great power and majesty (26) as if to say, “Who are you to dare to speak to me as though you were God?” The pronouns become plural (27) as Job’s rebuke expands to all three visitors. Refusing to concede that his accusers are right, Job agrees the wicked will be judged, but not all are wicked. Job argues that God’s wisdom is unsearchable and cannot be mastered by mortal men claiming to speak for the Almighty. The final verse (28:28) concludes that what we should know about wisdom and understanding is to fear God and turn from evil.
What does it mean?
Job’s accusers have nothing left to say. Job’s last extended speech will continue a bit longer, but he, too, will grow quiet. When all is said and done, no one has won, and there are still no answers. And, Job is still devastated. Been there? No one ever wins an argument about God or with God.
What does this have to do with our mission? I still marvel that Job is the first scripture committed to writing. Several lessons are in view. Job’s suffering foreshadows our suffering Savior, and following him is to share his suffering as we participate in his mission of redemption and restoration. A faithful disciple does not accomplish God’s transformational mission by having all the answers and winning all the arguments but from following Jesus.
How will I respond?
Some people fear sharing their faith because they don’t have all the answers. Congratulations! You are eminently qualified as long as your trust is in God and you follow the teaching of scripture as best you know how. Other people approach sharing their faith as though it all depends upon them having the answers and winning the arguments.
The question upon which I meditate today: Who in my life needs to know God’s love? How does my suffering prepare me to share my faith as God grants opportunity? Is there a way I can clearly express God’s love today, with or without words?