Job 34: This is the start of Elihu’s second speech. He initially addresses the three friends and then turns to Job again. In his statements to the friends he pretty much argues that God doesn’t do evil things, God doesn’t sin. Instead, God “repays people based on what they do, paying back everyone according to their ways” (34:11). He argues that God doesn’t do wicked things or distorts justice. In essence, he seems to be agreeing with the friends.
Job 31: This chapter marks the end of Job’s tenth speech. In this chapter he asks God to directly face him. Job actually declares an oath, declaring his innocence against seven possible charges: “deceit (vv. 5–8), adultery (vv. 9–12), disregard of servants (vv. 13–15), disregard of the poor (vv. 16–23), trust in wealth (vv. 24–28), rejoicing at the misfortune of others (vv. 29–34), and assault on the land (vv. 38–40b)” (NRSV Study Bible notes, p. 757). In essence, Job is presenting his case again. He is so confident he is right that he says he is willing to accept punishment if he is lying.
I had a great chat last week with Father Kevin. It’s been a while since we talked, but it felt good to share how this is all going. I mentioned the idea of writing a book someday and how I’ve noticed that at the foundation of all of this is asking questions. It’s important for us to ask questions while reading the Bible as well as questions associated with religion. And guess what…it’s also important for us to ask questions in science too. This is not to argue that science and religion are the same, but perhaps if people started to view religion with this mindset then maybe not everyone would leave. Just throwing ideas out there now.
I’ve been so swamped at work these past few weeks that I got behind, again. So I adjusted the schedule, again. But, it’s my schedule, so it’s all good.
Job 25: We see Bildad’s very short third response here. He seems to be arguing that God is simply too important and great to be questioned by Job. Bildad does directly ask Job “How can a person be innocent before God” (25:4), seeming to challenge Job’s earlier arguments that he has done nothing wrong. Still sticking to their arguments.
Job 22: Third cycle begins. This time, only Eliphaz and Bildad speak followed by Job’s responses. Here we see Eliphaz speak for a third time.
Job 19: Job responds to Bildad. He asks them why do they continue to treat him this way and talk to him in such a negative way. He wants to know if it will end soon. Job then shifts his tone to state again that God is purposefully targeting him and doing bad things to him. First Job’s examples focus more on violence. He then talks about how God’s actions toward him have ostracized him from the community. He then directly challenges his friends again, wanting to know why they are so nasty to him like God is. He desires to finally come face to face with God hoping that God will acknowledge that he has done nothing wrong.
Job 16: Job responds to Eliphaz in a pretty mean way. He admonishes his three friends for how they are treating him during this tough time. He actually calls them “sorry comforters” (16:2). Yikes! He tells them that if the roles were reversed, he would focus on trying to comfort them and give them strength instead of tearing them down.