Job 40: God asks Job to respond and he does in the beginning of this chapter. But with a very short response. Job pretty much tells God that he’s already said what he needed to say and he won’t say it again. God gives his second speech.
Job 37: The theme from the end of the last chapter continues here. Elihu continues to describe God’s power and control over natural events. Most of the events are focused on weather related disasters. His point here is that he wants to emphasize that God is a powerful being who controls everything. Elihu ends his speech telling Job that God is pretty much too busy to listen to him specifically.
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.
During the BINY class today (1/28), I remembered a conversation I had with one of my F3 brothers when my stepmother passed away. My stepmother made the tragic decision to take her own life in April 2015. It was and still is a challenging situation for my family, especially my father and me. One F3 brother, probably trying to console me, said that her death was part of “God’s plan” and that we just need to understand his plan. I remember how much that bothered me. The notion that God wanted my stepmother to take her life did not sit well with me. Thankfully I don’t agree with this person that this is how God works in our lives, but I’m amazed that people think this. I hear the phrase “it’s all part of God’s plan” all the time, but I can’t recall someone taking it to this extreme.
On to my thoughts about the readings.