Job – Chapter 9: Job

In Job Chapter 8, Job’s second of three friends, Bildad, does his best to shame Job by uttering a bunch of nonsense that is contradicted by Genesis and the early chapters of Job.  Job replies to Bildad in Chapter 9.  Job begins by describing how powerful God is, but one early verse sticks out to me.

“His wisdom is profound, His power is vast.  Who has resisted Him and come out unscathed?” – Job 9:4

His wisdom is profound?  This is the same God who screwed up His creation of man and tried to fix it with a flood, only to then state that man will always be evil.  This is the same God who said man would only live 120 years (just before the flood) and then people born after the flood lived longer than 120 years.  This is the same God tricked by Satan into causing harm to Job.  His wisdom is profound?  Hardly.  In addition, it turns out you don’t have to resist God to come out unscathed.  Job is the perfect example.  Job never resisted God, but God still caused undue harm to him.

“He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger.” – Job 9:5

Why is God, the Creator of all, an all-knowing, all-perfect God angry?  What does He have to be angry about?  Whatever anger God has toward man is God’s own fault as it was God Himself who created man in His own image.

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” – Job 9:10

Uh…what wonders?  What miracles?  Is the flood a wonder/miracle?  Is the punishment of Job a wonder/miracle?  If so, I want nothing to do with God’s wonders and miracles.

“When He passes me, I cannot see Him; when He goes by, I cannot perceive Him.” – Job 9:11

Is it possible you can’t see or perceive Him because He’s not there?  🙂  Sorry, couldn’t resist that jab.

“Though I were innocent, I could not answer Him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy?” – Job 9:15

What kind of God is Job worshiping if all an innocent (and Job is surely innocent) one do is plead for mercy?

“Even if I summoned Him and He responded, I do not believe He would give me a hearing.  He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason.” – Job 9:15-16

Let me be clear that these are the words of Job, not God.  However, Job has the evidence (God’s initial punishment of Job) that God would do exactly as Job thinks.  This furthers the theme in the Bible that it’s not okay to think and ask questions.  Do as God says and be a mindless human being until the end.  What a wonderful life God has given His creations…NOT!

“It is all the same; that is why I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’” – Job 9:23

Yep, Job states it perfectly.  God destroys whoever He wishes and whenever He wishes.  Again, who would worship a God that does this?  Why would one worship a God and devote one’s life to that God only to possibly be destroyed by that God because He has a bad day?  It makes no sense.

“Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?” – Job 9:29

Job asks an excellent question.  God is treating Job as if Job is guilty and there’s nothing Job can do about it.

Job says a few more similar statements to end Job Chapter 9.  The theme of Chapter 9 is that of Job describing how God has wronged him but also stated there is nothing he can do to stop God.  Job’s quest for innocence is all for naught as God has made his decision and nobody should ever question God.  The Bible continues to tell us that humans are not allowed to critically think for themselves.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 10:  Job II

Advertisements

Job – Chapter 8: Bildad

After replying to Eliphaz and God in Job Chapters 6 and 7 respectively, Job is done talking.  Now it is the second of Job’s three friends, Bildad, turn to speak and he immediately erupts at Job for questioning God.

“’How long will you say such things?  Your words are a blustering wind.  Does God pervert justice?  Does the Almighty pervert what is right?’” – Job 8:2-3

Those are fighting words!  Apparently God does pervert justice and does pervert what is right.  God is, after all, punishing the greatest man in the east even though Job has done nothing wrong at all.  If there is evil in Job’s heart it is because God put it there, as we learned in Genesis.

“’When your children sinned against Him, He gave them over to the penalty of their sin.’” – Job 8:4

Oh, so now Job’s children were killed not because of Job, but because they sinned?  Seriously?  All of Job’s children sinned to such a high degree that they were worthy of death by God?  Is the same true of all of Job’s servants?  All of Job’s livestock?  Sorry Bildad, but I’m not buying that.  Where’s your evidence of these sins?  And again, even if they all did sin, God is the one who placed evil in their hearts.  God is the source of evil.  I think Bildad needs to go back and read the early chapters of Genesis.

“’But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now He will rouse Himself on your behalf.’” – Job 8:5-6

Another argument that God will heal if only the ill are pure in their thoughts and completely faithful to God.  When that healing doesn’t come, well, I guess that person wasn’t pure enough or faithful enough.  There’s a never ending pile of excuses when someone isn’t healed.  Bildad goes on, basically saying Job has no right to question God.

“’Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.’” – Job 8:13

This makes it clear that Atheists have no hope, but what is the definition of godless?  Job is certainly not godless.  He’s very faithful.  His only ‘sin’ is to question God.  Does that make Job godless.  This seems to be the definition of godless Bildad applies.  Next up is a statement proving Bildad needs to take a science class.

“’What he trusts is fragile; what he relies on is a spider’s web.’” – Job 8:14

Spider’s silk is extremely strong.  Fragile is the exact opposite word you’d use to describe spider silk.  Spider silk is five time as strong as steel!

Strong Like Spider Silk

“’Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers.’” – Job 8:20

Actually, the Bible says exactly the opposite.  God made sure in Genesis that there is no such thing as a blameless man.  All humans are filled with evil and are full of blame in some form.  Job is not blameless, but being the greatest man in the east, he is as blameless as they come.  Yet God is rejecting Job.  God also strengthened the hands of evildoers by giving Satan permission to cause pain and suffering in Job’s life.  God does reject the blameless and He does strengthen the hands of evildoers.  The Bible is very clear on this.

That’s the end of Job Chapter 8.  Bildad does his best to shame Job by uttering a bunch of nonsense that is contradicted by Genesis and the early chapters of Job.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 9:  Job

Jesus Agrees with Torture?

Does Jesus agree with torture?  Surely the answer is no.  I remember my days attending Sunday School and learning all about the love of Jesus.  I remember the ‘turn the other cheek’ lessons.  I remember from Bible Study learning that we can’t know true love unless we know Jesus.  There’s no way Jesus would be for torture, right?  Right?!?!?

Not according to Bryan Fischer.  In light of the recently released torture report in the United States, Bryan Fischer is seriously arguing scripture teaches us Jesus is pro-torture.  Watch Bryan Fischer yourself here:

Bryan Fischer Thinks Jesus Would Support The Use Of Torture

Face…Meet…Palm.

I thought we could all use a little bit of humor on this wonderful Sunday.  Enjoy!

Job – Chapter 7: Job Replies II

In Job Chapter 6, Job responds to his friend Eliphaz, wishing he hadn’t cursed God earlier.  Job seems to believe that if he only had more faith in God, he might have a little bit of joy in his life despite his intense suffering.  In Chapter 7 Job responds to God.

“’…so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.  When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’  The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.  My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.’” – Job 7:3-5

Every day people today ask this same question as they suffer in pain of some kind.  Sometimes that pain can be relieved and the individual can be helped.  In some case, the pain is terminal and the person is simply waiting to die.  Again having more faith in God changes none of this.  There is no evidence that prayer and faith helps someone overcome a medical issue.  See links below for real studies showing lack of healing due to prayer.

Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer

Prayer and healing: A medical and scientific perspective on randomized controlled trials

The second link is an article that does find a study showing some benefits from praying.  However, the same article finds other studies that provide no benefits and/or studies showing a negative outcome from praying.  In other words, there is no conclusive evidence that praying helps.

Let’s see what else Job has to say.  He argues for a bit that he has no hope of recovery before his death and says:

“’Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.’” – Job 7:11

Is Job finally growing a backbone?  Is he fighting back against God?  It appears so, but let’s not hold our breath on this continuing.

“’I despise my life; I would not live forever.’” – Job 7:16

The good news for Job is God limited the life of man to 120 years (Genesis 6).  God, however, changed his mind in later Genesis chapters, allowing humans after the flood to live longer than 120 years.  So maybe this isn’t good news for Job after all as God has been known to change His mind.  🙂

“’If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men?  Why have you made me your target?  Have I become a burden to you?’” – Job 7:20

Job asks excellent questions.  Will he ever receive an answer?  Maybe later chapters of Job will tell us.

What did we learn from Chapter 7?  Not much, unfortunately.  Job does become more forceful towards God and asks some very damning questions.  There really is no reason God is doing this to Job other than God falling for Satan’s trap in the early chapters of Job.  But how does the Creator of all, including Satan, fall for a trap set by one of His creations?  Definitely not an all-powerful God by any means begging the question of why we are asked to place so much faith in Him.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 8:  Bildad

Job – Chapter 6: Job Replies

In Job Chapters 4 and 5, Eliphaz, one of Job’s three friends, does his best to comfort Job.  In Chapter 6, Job replies to Eliphaz.  Job begins this chapter by trying to quantify his suffering.

“’If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!  It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—no wonder my words have been impetuous.’” – Job 6:2-3

In the above verses Job is describing to us how great his pain is, but is also saying he was impulsive in his previous words against God.  Right now Job needs a fourth friend, me, to knock some sense into him and stop blaming himself for this pain.  Job did NOT cause his own pain.  God did.  Job later says:

“’Then I would still have this consolation—my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.’” – Job 6:10

Job is stating that if he hadn’t cursed against God he might still have some joy in life.  If only he had trusted in God.  Come on Job.  You’re better than this!  It’s verses such as these that lead Christians and other religious groups to argue that faith in God is all one needs to cure all ills.  If only he had more faith in God he wouldn’t have died of cancer.  If only she went to church more, she wouldn’t have died in that car crash.  Pain and suffering is tough on all of us.  It’s hard, if not impossible, to understand.  But let’s not kid ourselves.  Having more faith in God is NOT going to stop cancer or stop a car crash.  Medical care is what stops cancer.  More attentive driving and a bit of luck is what stops a car crash.  Not God.

A bit later I finally agree with Job:

“’But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams as the streams that overflow when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow…’” – Job 6:15-16

Yes Job, your friends are undependable.  Stop listening to their ‘advice’!

“’Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.’” – Job 6:24

Will God answer Job?  Doubtful.  Later we’ll learn that God does answer Job, but not in the way you might think.  Job then finishes replying to Eliphaz by asking the friends to cast out Job’s curses against God.

The message in Job Chapter 6 is that we need more faith in God.  Those who die in horrible ways or die young were simply not faithful to God.  All it takes is a tiny bit of critical thinking to know this is simply not true.  Very religious, very faithful people die all the time of horrible causes.  What did their faith earn them?  A painful, agonizing death?  Wow.  Thanks God.  Little children die of incurable diseases every day.  Are they God’s punishment to the rest of us?  How could an all-loving, all-perfect God do such a horrible thing to children to prove a point to everyone else?  Certainly not a God I wish to know.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 7:  Job’s Reply II

To Say Merry Christmas or Not?

Christmas Day arrives in two days and we’ve all likely been told ‘Merry Christmas’ several times.  In addition, we’ve probably been told ‘Seasons Greetings’ and/or ‘Happy Holidays’ among other common sayings.  Should you, as an Atheist, be upset if someone says ‘Merry Christmas’ to you?  Let’s consider two scenarios.

Scenario One:  Let’s assume the person has no clue you are an Atheist.  In this case, no, it’s ridiculous of any Atheist to get mad at this.  The person doesn’t know and probably isn’t even aware that ‘Merry Christmas’ can hold strong religion meaning to some.  They’re probably just saying it because they are surrounded by others who say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it simply seems to be the right thing to say around Christmas.  Many people don’t even realize there are other holidays in December and assume that Christmas is the only holiday everyone else is celebrating.  You don’t have to say ‘Merry Christmas’ back.  Say something along the lines of ‘Thank you and happy holidays to you too.’  That’s it.  Say it back nicely.  🙂

Scenario Two:  The person saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is well aware you are an Atheist.  Maybe they are saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to rub it in.  Maybe not.  After all, most Atheists celebrate the pagan aspects of Christmas (which include most aspects of Christmas).  Even if they are trying to be mean and/or snarky, reply back very politely ‘Thank you and happy holidays to you too.’  Again, that’s it.

No one should be upset at a holiday greeting from another person as long as that greeting is genuine and said in a polite manner.  Who cares if someone says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Seasons Greetings’???  They are all polite greetings from one person to another.

So this holiday season, I encourage all Atheists and Christians (and everyone else!) to be polite to each other regarding holiday greetings.  There’s no reason to pick a fight over a simple greeting.