Job – Chapter 22: Eliphaz

In Chapter 21 we heard from Job, and in Chapter 22 the conversation switches back to Job’s friend, Eliphaz.

“Can a man be of benefit to God?  Can even a wise man benefit Him?  What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?  What would He gain if your ways were blameless?” – Job 22:2-3

So let me get this straight.  I understand an all-powerful God could not benefit from man, but these verses read as if God doesn’t care if we are righteous and blameless.  If so, why worship God?  What’s the point if God doesn’t care and doles out punishment to whoever He wishes regardless of righteousness?

“Is not your wickedness great?  Are not your sins endless?” – Job 22:5

What the hell Eliphaz!?!?!  Job is the “greatest man in the east.”  If Job is wicked and full of sin, then Eliphaz is filled with MORE wickedness and sin.  Yet Eliphaz is not punished by God, only Job.  Justice reigns!

“You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry…” – Job 22:7

Eliphaz begins to list off Job’s sins, but these sins are news to anyone reading the Bible.  This is the first mention of Job, the greatest man from the east, and his sins.  If the Bible is trying to show the power of God, why is this crucial information not included?  As it stands, it simply appears that Eliphaz is making stuff up to prove a point.

“Yet you say, ‘What does God know? Does He judge through such darkness?’” – Job 22:13

Again, why are none of Job’s sins listed in the Bible?  If they were, a case might be made against Job.  Instead, we are told Job is a great man.  That’s not to say great men can’t sin, but it still makes no sense to punish Job.  Punish others who have sinned more, such as Zophar, Bildad, and Eliphaz.

“Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” – Job 22:21

Um…Job DID submit himself to God.  We learned this in the very beginning of the book of Job.  Despite submitting to God, Job was still punished horribly.

“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored…” – Job 22:23

Again, Job never left the Almighty.

“You will pray to Him, and He will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.” – Job 22:27

Sigh.  Job was praying to God, and Job continues to talk to God, and thus far God has shown no signs of ‘hearing’ him.

That concludes Job Chapter 22.  Apparently Eliphaz has paid no attention at all to Job’s life before and after being punished by God.  I have to say that Eliphaz has few qualities of a good friend.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 23:  Job

Job – Chapter 21: Job

In Job Chapter 20 we heard from one of Job’s friends, Zophar.  Zophar had much to say, but he focused on one major theme.  Good people have good things happen to them and bad people have bad things happen to them.  Unfortunately for Zophar, one quick look around shows that good and bad things happen to both good and bad people.  Job is the perfect example of this!  Chapter 21 focuses on Job’s response to Zophar.

“Is my complaint directed to man?  Why should I not be impatient?” – Job 21:4

Job is making it clear to his friends that he is not complaining to them, he’s complaining to God and God has refused to answer.

“Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?” – Job 21:7

Good question, if one assumes good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.  Job is clearly a good person.  Remember that we learned early on in Job that Job is the “greatest man in the east.”  Yet bad things happen to Job.  This throws a bucket of cold water on Zophar’s hypothesis.

“Yet they (evil people) say to God, ‘Leave us alone!’  We have no desire to know your ways.  Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?  What would we gain by praying to him?” – Job 21:14-15

An excellent question that applies in today’s society.  What does praying do?  Does it heal the sick?  No.  Does it stop car accidents?  No.  Does it stop deadly diseases?  No.  The evidence shows prayer does nothing and Job is right to ask this question.

“It is said, ‘God stores up a man’s punishment for his sons.’” – Job 21:19

Wow, because punishing a child (or even an adult son) for his father’s crimes proves that God is a just God.  Wow!

“One man dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, his body well nourished.  Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.” – Job 21:22-23

Job provides further evidence that life happens without an intervening God, or if there is an intervening God, this God is not just and fair in how He doles out punishment.

I enjoy how Job ends Chapter 21.

“So how can you console me with your nonsense?  Nothing is left of your falsehood!” – Job 21:34

It’s great to see Job dish it out to Zophar, but the person (or deity) that Job needs to dish this out to is God!

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 22:  Eliphaz

Ezekiel 23:20

I’ll eventually get to it in my chapter by chapter analysis of the Bible, but I wanted to take a moment to write about my favorite verse in the Bible, Ezekiel 23:20.

“There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.” – Ezekiel 23:20

WTF?!?!?  I guarantee that if you told this to a Christian s/he would deny it’s in the Bible.  The title of this chapter is “Two Adulterous Sisters.”  The Bible is not filled with the love of Jesus that so many think.  There may be statements on love and caring for others, but most of the Bible is filled with death, slavery, and sex.  The Bible is an early book of erotica!

I don’t even know what else to say about this verse.  Donkey balls.  Horse emissions.  Can’t top that!

Job – Chapter 20: Zophar

Job Chapter 19 brought us Job replying to Bildad’s comments in Chapter 18 along with a praising of God.  Oh Job, how little you have learned.  Chapter 20 brings us back one of Job’s other friends, Zophar.  Does Zophar have anything of value to say?  After 19 chapters of Job do I really need to ask that question?  🙂

“My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed.  I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply.” – Job 20:2-3

The nerve of Zophar!  Zophar is referring to Job’s comments at the end of chapter 19 when Job strikes back at his friends for not understanding his pain and suffering.  Zophar claims to have understanding, but he doesn’t.  He’s not suffering the pain and suffering of Job.  Unless Zophar is about to offer some compassion, which we know he’s not, he just needs to shut up.

I won’t repeat them hear, but my study Bible claims that Zophar is proud of his good fortune (verses 4-11) and takes credit for his own goodness.  Wow!  In other words, the Bible is telling us that good people will experience health and prosperity while bad people will suffer.  Think about that for a second.  The message being sent is that any pain and suffering you experience in life is due to your own fault.  A drunk driver kills your loved one while driving down the road?  Your fault.  Someone robs you of everything you own?  Your fault.  Choke to death on a piece of steak?  Your fault.  It’s sections of the Bible like this that make me wish I had the power to get everyone to read the Bible from start to finish.  The Bible is the most successful Christian to Atheist conversion tool on the market today!

Zophar goes on for several verses saying that evil people may experience moments of good health and prosperity, but eventually they’ll suffer what they deserve.  What evil did Job commit?  He was the “greatest man in the east.”  If Job is suffering as a great man, then everyone else should be suffering just as much or more.  So much for God’s fairness.

“The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him.” – Job 20:27

Again, what is Job’s guilt?  The Bible tells us that all men are sinners, so the heavens should expose all of our guilt.  However, men are sinners BECAUSE of God.  The Bible tells us that God created us as sinners.  God allowed Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.  God allowed evil to enter this world.  God allowed man to become sinners.  Maybe the heavens should go straight after the source and expose God’s guilt!!!

A couple more similar verses and that’s the end of Job Chapter 20.  The theme of the chapter is that good people have good things happen to them and bad people have bad things happen to them.  If only that were true.  Unfortunately we see good people harmed in many ways and we see bad people escape punishment.  Look no further than the bank CEOs and hedge fund managers that gambled away the world’s economy starting in 2007.  How many were punished?  How many were sent to prison for their illegal activities?  I believe there was 1 minor banker sent to prison, but that’s it!  Job makes it very clear that if there is a God, He is definitely NOT a just God.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 21:  Job

The Harm of Religion

You often hear people say, what’s the harm in religion?  If I keep my religion to myself and don’t push it on others, where’s the harm?  If it was possible to keep religion to oneself, I might just agree, but too often we see how people unintentionally push their religion on others, especially children.  Makayla Sault is the perfect example of the harm religion causes to others.

Many of you have already heard this story, but Makayla Sault was an 11 year old girl from Ontario, Canada diagnosed with a very treatable form of leukemia.  With proper chemotherapy treatment doctors gave her a 90% chance of survival.  Those are excellent odds and it was very likely this girl would have survived to lead a long, healthy life.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as she recently passed away.

Makayla Sault Passes Away

When given a 90% chance of survival, that still means there’s a 10% chance of not surviving.  Was Makayla part of the unlucky 10%?  If only that were the case.  This little girl died because her parents refused chemotherapy in favor of traditional medicine.  In other words, they chose unproven quackery over proven medicine.  This family is not Christian (as far as I can tell), but their religious beliefs led them away from modern medicine to ‘medicine’ that simply doesn’t work.  Makayla was receiving chemotherapy treatments, but her parents stopped those treatments and now say that those treatments were the reason she died.  Oh, the power of religion, to so easily sway people against science and reason.

The parents even released a YouTube video of the girl saying that she was deciding on her own to stop treatment.  Bullshit!  That girl didn’t know any better.  Her parents were most certainly scaring her away from proven medicine.  Her parents weren’t pushing their religion on me or you, but they were pushing it on their daughter.  Their daughter, with no other form of education, had no reason to disbelieve them.  Because of religion, this little girl is dead.  Religion killed this girl.

Disgusting.  Atrocious.  Unbelievable.  Sickening.  I could go on and on with more adjectives, but you get the point.  Don’t think for one second that religion (regardless of the form) causes no harm.  It does, and it often does it in ways the religious don’t mean it to.  My biggest hope for this world is that one day, children such as Makayla Sault won’t have to worry about religion killing them.

Job – Chapter 19: Job

Job Chapter 18 brought us several odd comments from Job’s friend, Bildad.  Bildad proved what NOT to look for in a friend.  Chapter 19 brings us more from Job himself.

“If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone.” – Job 19:4

Job is telling his friends that his relationship with God is his alone to worry about.  He’s basically telling his friends to mind their own business regarding this torturous Job/God conflict.  This is a verse evangelical Christians need to pay more attention to.  If you believe in God, that’s fine, but don’t push your beliefs on others.  Don’t tell others they are going to Hell.  Spend more time on your relationship with God and less time on what others do or do not do with God.

“Though I cry, ‘I’ve been wronged!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice.” – Job 19:7

Job has stated this several times in different words.  God is proving to be an unjust God.  Why would we worship an unjust God?  If God is going to punish us for no reason, why worship Him?  Job worshipped God and look what he received?  God is sending the message that worshipping Him devoutly is not good enough.  Nothing is good enough for this unjust God.  Job goes on for several verses on the wrongs God has done to him.

“I summon my servant, but he does not answer…” – Job 19:16

This is easily explained.  God killed (okay, Satan killed, by with the permission of God) all of Job’s servants.  That might explain why they don’t answer.  🙂

“All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me.” – Job 19:19

If killing Job’s children, servants, and livestock wasn’t enough, God has also turned Job’s friends against him.  Job is simply trying to understand why God is doing this to him and God’s response is to further punish Job by taking love and compassion away from Job’s friends.

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.” – Job 19:25-27

What evidence does Job have to support this claim?  None that I can see.  Thus far God has refused to answer any of Job’s questions.  God has refused to show his face to Job.  Given this, the evidence Job has is that of no Redeemer.  Even if this Redeemer is real, who wants an afterlife with Him?  If God is willing to cause this pain and suffering while Job lives, what’s to stop God from causing the same, if not more intense, pain and suffering for all of time?  Job can say what he wishes, but without evidence his words are empty and meaningless.  Job ignores what is directly looking him in the face.  Job ignores the evil, unjust God punishing him.

We’re far from done with the book of Job, but I cannot understand how Christians find beauty in the words of Job.  Applying a minimal bit of critical thinking shows that the book of Job is the exact opposite of beauty.  It’s a disgusting story of how evil God can be to prove a petty point.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 20:  Zophar

Matthew 5:17

I’ve only covered a few chapters in the Old Testament on my blog at this point, but we’ve already seen that the God of the Old Testament is not a nice God and can easily be argued to be an evil God.  There’s murder, rape, slavery, etc, all supported by God.  Many Christian apologists will argue that although this horrible stuff is in the Bible, it’s in the Old Testament.  God changed His ways in the New Testament by sending his one and only son (actually himself) to Earth in the form of flesh.  In other words, the apologist argues that the New Testament trumps the Old Testament.

Not exactly.  As you’ll eventually read on this blog, the New Testament isn’t all love and sweetness.  There are some horrible things taking place in the New Testament as well.  Setting all of that aside, however, Jesus, in His own words, makes it very clear that the laws of the Old Testament continue to stand as the truth of God.  If you’re arguing with a Christian apologist on this, point them to Matthew 5:17.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Mathew 5:17

In the Bible these are the direct words of Jesus (if He existed at all).  All of the laws of the Old Testament (yes, all of that stuff against eating shellfish, having tattoos, etc.) is still the law of the land.  Jesus is NOT changing or abolishing those laws.  He’s come to fulfill them.  It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Job – Chapter 18: Bildad

In Job Chapter 17 we listened to Job rant to his friends and to God.  Chapter 18 brings us Bildad.  Will Bildad speak sense?  Don’t hold your breath on it!

“When will you end these speeches?  Be sensible, and then we can talk.  Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight?” – Job 18:2-3

ROFL!  Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s because everything you’ve said so far is stupid?!?!?!  I have to say that this might just be the funniest quote to a start a Bible chapter.  We have many, many chapters to go, but so far this one tops the charts!

“You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?  Or must the rocks be moved from their place?” – Job 18:4

Wow, Bildad really is this stupid.  Job is not crying out in anger.  He’s crying out due to intense pain and suffering.  Anyone who wouldn’t do the same as Job is ignorant of what pain can do to an individual.  And yes, you should be moving rocks to help Job.  Doctors and scientists are figuratively moving rocks every day in an attempt to cure horrible and deadly diseases all throughout the world.  Apparently Bildad thinks we should just let those in pain continue to suffer and die.

“The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out…” – Job 18:5

Bildad goes on to say a few other things on lights and wickedness and darkness.  He’s stating that Job’s life is coming to an end because of Job’s wickedness and sins against God.  According to Bildad, God has done no wrong.  The fault is all Job’s.  Bildad has gone off his rocker!

“He (the wicked one – Job in this example) has no offspring or descendants among his people, no survivor where once he lived.” – Job 18:19

And whose fault is this?  Job once had offspring.  He had descendants to carry on his name.  Who took all of that away?  God.  God destroyed Job’s family.

“Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who knows not God.” – Job 18:21

This verse makes it clear that those suffering in pain must be evil.  No way God would inflict pain and suffering on the innocent.  Oh wait, Job was the “greatest man in the east.”  He was the most innocent of men, yet God DID inflict him with pain and suffering.  Furthermore, this verse is carried through into today’s society.  Those under intense pain and suffering simply aren’t praying enough to God.  If only they’d pray more and have more faith in God, He would lift all pain and suffering.  What a joke.  Disgusting.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 19:  Job

Job – Chapter 17: Job Continues

We heard from Job in Job Chapter 16.  Job lashed back at his friends, criticizing them for being poor friends and stating how he would provide actual comfort to them if they were in his situation.  Job also lashed out at God for punishing Job lacking any wrongdoing on Job’s part.  Job continues speaking in Chapter 17.

“My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me.” – Job 17:1

If it wasn’t clear already, Job believes he is near the end of his life.  God has broken Job’s spirit.  Job doesn’t know why, but Job has accepted this outcome.

“Give me, O God, the pledge you demand.  Who else will put up security for me?” – Job 17:3

Job assumes he must have done something wrong.  Any critical thinker reading the Bible knows Job didn’t do anything wrong, but given God’s punishment, Job has no choice but to accept that he did something wrong.  Job is simply asking for God to explain so Job can become a better man in God’s eyes.  God’s responses?  *crickets*

“But come one, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you.” – Job 17:10

Job is referring to the advice his three friends gave him.  Job is mocking their advice and calling them unwise.  Not an untrue statement.

Chapter 17, a short chapter, ends with Job again mentioning his death is near.  At this point we are seventeen chapters into Job.  God will return at some point, but I have to admit that this is getting a bit old.  God strikes Job down with pain and suffering.  Job’s friends offer bad advice.  Job curses them and asks God questions.  God doesn’t respond.  Repeat.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 18:  Bildad

Remember the Sabbath

Today is Sunday and it seems like every Sunday someone on my Facebook feed posts something about Hobby Lobby honoring the Sabbath on Sunday by staying closed.  The person posting this usually says something along the lines of “Praise the Lord” and “I support Hobby Lobby because they also praise the Lord.”  Ug.

What’s the deal with the Sabbath?  As we read in the early chapters of Genesis, God created the Universe and everything in it in six days.  At that point this all-powerful God was tired and decided to rest on the seventh day.  Why an all-powerful God who can supposedly do anything needs to rest is beyond me, but I’ll go ahead and accept it for the remainder of this post.

Although I haven’t covered it on my blog yet, one of the ten commandments God gives to Moses is “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”  This is commandment #4, one of the ten ‘official’ commandments that evangelical Christians want posted in every public place possible.  Later we’ll see that there are many more commandments than the ten everyone talks about.  One has to actually read the Bible to realize there are more than ten commandments.  I know, why would Christians read the Bible when they can let their pastors cherry pick the good parts for them?

If there is a God, and if he gave Moses these ten commandments, it’s very clear that God wants humans to remember the Sabbath, the day that God rested, for all of time.  We are NOT to forget it.  So which day is the Sabbath?  In today’s society, Sunday is treated as the Sabbath by most Christians.  There are several Christian sources arguing that Saturday was the original Sabbath but the day was later switched to the Sunday celebrated today.

What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? Do Christians have to observe the Sabbath day?

Which Day Is the Sabbath?

If we are to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy, why do Christians celebrate the Sabbath on a different day than when it was celebrated in biblical times?

Let’s forget this for a second.  After all, I could easily be convinced that it doesn’t matter which day the Sabbath is celebrated on as long as it’s celebrated once during a 7 day week.  Here’s where the whole ‘Hobby Lobby is great because they celebrate the Sabbath by closing their stores’ nonsense really bugs me.  Okay, Hobby Lobby is closed and Christians love it.  What are Christians doing on Sunday after Church?  Do they run off to eat breakfast/lunch at a restaurant, forcing others to work on the Sabbath?  Do they call plumbers and electricians during emergencies on Sundays, forcing those individuals to work on a Sunday?  Do Christians go shopping at Walmart on Sundays because Hobby Lobby is closed?  Joann Fabrics?  Michaels?

Here’s the deal Christians.  It’s fine if you applaud Hobby Lobby for closing on Sundays.  However, you are hypocritical to applaud this if you then do your own work on the Sabbath or force others outside of Hobby Lobby to work.  If you want to be a consistent Christian on Sundays, then you yourself need to stay home.  No working outside in the garden.  No shopping at stores.  No watching live TV of reporters and NFL football players working.  If you applaud Hobby Lobby for closing on Sundays, then you need to do the same thing in your life.  You need to keep yourself free from work so as to honor the God you worship.  He demands it.  Don’t let him down.  If you do, you’re a hypocrite, but more importantly, you’re going to….well, you know where the Bible says you’ll go if you don’t obey God.  🙂