Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Job 9: Job Responds to Bildad (1)

Bildad spoke and it was clear that Job's appeal would be ignored.

This post is part of an ongoing series on the book of Job. Click here to start at the beginning. At the end of each post you will find a link to the next.

Job Responds

The opening words of Job's response to Bildad were interesting:

Then Job answered: “Truly, I know that this is so. But how can a human be just before God? If someone wishes to contend with him, he cannot answer him one time in a thousand. (Job 9:1-3)

Given that yesterday, I showed that Bildad's words could not apply to Job, how was it that Job would agree with Bildad and to what extent does he agree?

Bildad quoted ancient proverbs. The equivalent today would be for one of us to quote Scripture. Imagine that I had a friend in trouble and I went to him and quoted proverbs...

If only you will respond to my rebuke, then I will pour out my thoughts to you and I will make my words known to you. However, because I called but you refused to listen, because I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention, because you neglected all my advice, and did not comply with my rebuke, so I myself will laugh when disaster strikes you, I will mock when what you dread comes, when what you dread comes like a whirlwind, and disaster strikes you like a devastating storm, when distressing trouble comes on you. (Proverbs 1:23-27)

... and then went on to tell him that it was clear that who was a fool and never sought wisdom from God and that he better do it quickly or worse would come his way. Have I been fair? Have I accurately used the Scriptures? Here we can see the faulty logic in high relief. Here is the syllogism chart that I presented awhile back.

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Socrates is mortal. 
All men are mortal.
Aristotle died.
Aristotle was a man. 
The wicked will suffer.
Haman is wicked.
Haman will suffer. 
The wicked will suffer.
Job suffered horribly.
Job was an evil-doer

The left hand column contains properly formed syllogisms. If the 2 premises are true, then the conclusion is true. The right hand side contains faulty logic. Aristotle died, but Aristotle could have been a pet hamster as easily as a man. Job may have suffered, but we must seek other causes besides his being an evil-doer.

And so Job could agree that Bildad spoke truth in the same way my poor friend could agree that I did. It's just that the truth does not apply to the situation.

Job's words above, acknowledged that Bildad spoke truth and then connected with Eliphaz's statement:

“Is a mortal man righteous before God? Or a man pure before his Creator? If God puts no trust in his servants and attributes folly to his angels, how much more to those who live in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed like a moth? (Job 4:17-19)

Was Job about to capitulate?

I am out of run way for today. I will pick this up from here tomorrow.

Wednesday: Job explores the nature of suffering

<>< Test everything. Cling to what is good. ><>


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