Highlights In Today's Reading:
Man needs a Daysman (Mediator) (9:33). Jesus is ours (I Tim. 2:5). Learn the truth — both the wicked and the righteous suffer (chap. 10). Zophar says misfortune is sent by God to punish sin (chap. 11). When innocent, Job's defense is our defense (12:4,9-10,13).
Responding to Job's glorious revelations, Bildad furiously demanded: How long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? . . . If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous (8:2,6). Bildad revealed his lack of compassion as well as of spiritual insight. Like Eliphaz (6:26), Bildad put the most evil interpretation on Job's words, contemptuously calling them meaningless wind. No compassion or mercy was given to his suffering friend.
Bildad concluded that those who enjoy good things in life are only reaping the reward of good conduct. Some people that believe all suffering is because of sin and that good things are always a reward for good people are deceived. Jesus illustrated this in the parable of the rich man who prospered and built bigger barns to hold his "great blessings," but He was deceived. Jesus also pointed out that the man born blind was not the result of sin, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him (John 9:2-3; Luke 12:16-21).
Job was suffering untold agony as these friends continued to "comfort" him, but his suffering only served to give him deeper spiritual insight. He recognzied God as the Creater of all things (Job 10:8) and as far superior to himself even as the heavens are above the earth. Therefore, he knew there was no possible way he and God could meet on the same level. For He (God) is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him . . . Neither is there any daysman (mediator) betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both (9:32-33)! Job recognized the need for a mediator, someone who decides and often corrects, someone who is able to impartially represent both a Holy God and sinful man.
Zophar proceeded to reprove and denounce Job as a lying, self-righteous pretender, saying: Should thy lies make men hold their peace? . . . shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said . . . I am clean in Thine eyes (Job 11:3-4).
We are cautioned not to impose added suffering upon those who need our comfort. Judgmental critics often misunderstand the methods and purposes of God in dealing with His chosen followers. It is not easy to pray for one's "comforters" as Job did. But nothing shows more accurately what we are than the way we react to the critics who misjudge us.
Jesus said: Bless them that curse you . . . pray for them (Matt. 5:44).
Thought for Today:
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father is also merciful (Luke 6:36).
Through the daysman (mediator) that Job longs for (Job 9:33). Christ is the only Mediator between God and (sinful) men (I Tim. 2:5).
9:9 chambers = constellations; 9:34 rod = chastisement; 10:11 fenced = knit me together; 11:6 exacteth = demands; 11:14 tabernacles = dwellings; 11:19 make suit unto thee = seek your favor; 12:19 spoiled = stripped and plundered.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. A.C. Tarjan • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH) and Rep. John Murtha (PA) • Country: Russia (146.5 million) northeastern Europe and northern Asia • Major language: Russian • Religious freedom • 55% Russian Orthodox; 9% Muslim; 1% Protestant (Baptist, Pentecostal); .8% Shamanist/Animist; .6% Buddhist; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% New Religions (e.g., Hare Krishna); .4% Jewish; .1% Old Believers; 32.1% Agnostics/Atheists/Others • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede fervently in prayer for others (James 5:16).
Optional Reading: Galatians 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:13