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.  🙂

Job – Chapter 16: Job

In Job Chapter 15 we heard from Job’s ‘friend’ Eliphaz.  I put friend in quotes because reading Eliphaz’s comments to Job, it’s clear that he’s no real friend.  Eliphaz blames Job’s pain and suffering on Job himself.  According to Eliphaz, God is only punishing Job because Job is not placing his full faith in God.  Eliphaz seems to forget the fact that Job was the “greatest man in the east” and had full faith in God and God still punished Job.  We hear again from Job in Chapter 16.

“I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!” – Job 16:2

Yep, Job’s words are perfect!  Job’s three friends are the worst friends one could have.

“I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you.  But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.” – Job 16:4-5

Although there’s a great deal of nonsense in the Bible, there’s much positive one can take from these two verses.  Job is saying that good friends encourage one in need and comfort those who are suffering.  Words to live by, although we didn’t need the Bible to tell us this.

“God assails me and tears me in this anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.” – Job 16:9

Yep.  God has punished Job to prove a point to man, but a perfect God would clearly see there are many more effective methods to prove this point.  God’s chosen method is a failure to Job and a failure to man.  Job goes on to say a few more ‘curses’ at God and ends with:

“Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return.” – Job 16:22

A few years?!?!?  God is going to let this go on for a few years?  So much for a loving God.  Unless of course the definition of a loving God is one who causes intense pain and suffering for a few kicks and giggles up in heaven.

Chapter 16 covers much of what we already knew.  God is punishing Job.  Job’s friends are idiots.  God refuses to respond to Job’s questions and accusations.  Lovely.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 17:  Job Continues

Job – Chapter 15: Eliphaz

In Job Chapter 14 Job continued to plead his case to God stating that God was too overpowering to men on Earth.  In Job’s case, that is certainly true.  Chapter 15 brings back one of Job’s three friends, Eliphaz.  Eliphaz immediately starts verbally attacking Job.

“Would he (a wise man) argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?” – Job 15:3

What a jackass of a friend!  Job is in horrible pain and this is how his friend responds?  Let’s assume for a second that Job is wrong in what he speaks.  Given the intense pain, both emotionally and physically, that Job is currently experiencing, a good friend shows compassion and seeks ways to help, but not Eliphaz.  Eliphaz tries to prove some point that God is great and it’s Job’s own fault for his pain.

“What do you know that we do not know?  What insights do you have that we do not have?” – Job 15:9

Oh, I don’t know.  How about the death of Job’s children, servants, and livestock?  How about the painful sores covering Job’s body?  Something tells me that Eliphaz has no knowledge or insight of the pain and suffering Job is experiencing.

“Why has your heart carried you away, and why do your eyes flash, so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth?” – Job 15:12-13

Was Eliphaz even listening to Job or looking at the sores on Job?  Isn’t it obvious?  Once again, Job’s family, servants, and livestock were wiped out by Satan (with God’s approval).  Job’s body was covered in painful sores.  I think we’d all rage against a God that allows this to happen.

“What is man, that he could be pure, or one born of woman, that he could be righteous?” – Job 15:14

Once again another attack on women in the Bible.  Due to Eve’s sin of eating the forbidden fruit, no man can be righteous if he comes from a woman.  If only Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit, Job would be pure and righteous in God’s eyes.  Sickening.

“If God places no trust in His holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in His eyes…” – Job 15:15

Wait just one second!  Heaven isn’t perfect in the eyes of God?  Are you kidding me?  Then why are all Christians claiming Heaven is a perfect place?  Why are Christians pushing people so hard to be Christian if Heaven isn’t perfect?  Wow!  Why worship God and sacrifice one’s joy on Earth if the afterlife isn’t perfect?  Job 15:15 is certainly an eye opener!  Heaven is NOT perfect!

“All his days the wicked man suffers torment…” – Job 15:20

This is the start of a rant by Eliphaz arguing that Job is suffering only because Job is wicked.  If only Job would quit his evil ways (whatever they may be), God would end his suffering.  Eliphaz, and most Christians, seem to forget that God started Job’s suffering when Job was still the “greatest man in the east.”  God caused Job’s suffering.

Right now I want to punch Eliphaz in the face.  If I’m ever in a situation of suffering, I hope that my friends and family will have more compassion than Eliphaz.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 16:  Job

Job – Chapter 14: Even More from Job

In Job Chapter 13 Job stated that he was going to lay his case before God.  The other theme of the chapter was Job asking, in many different ways, what he did to deserve this punishment from God.  Job continues on in Chapter 14.

“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.  He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” – Job 14:1-2

I completely agree with Job’s statement to start Chapter 14.  Life is short.  Compared to the age of the Universe, the time we spend alive is very, very short.  If life is short, why waste it trying to please a God that, if He exists, clearly allows evil to exist in the world.  Enjoy life.  Live life to its fullest.  Don’t waste time trying to please a God that clearly doesn’t listen.  The first few chapters of Genesis and Job have proved that the god of the Bible is NOT a just God.  If God has a bone to pick with you, He’s going to pick that bone regardless of how ‘pure’ of a person you are.

“Man’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” – Job 14:5

Except this isn’t true.  God did decree that man would not exceed 120 years, but has allowed many men, all born after His decree, to live beyond 120 years.  In fact, we’re going to find out later in Job that Job is one of these men whose years exceed 120!  God may set decrees, but He doesn’t abide by them.  What does it say about this God if He breaks is own rules?  That’s not an all-perfect God.  Not even close.

“At least there is hope for a tree:  If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” – Job 14:7

Job needs a science lesson.  When you cut down a tree, that tree is dead.  Seedlings from the tree may take root and produce new trees, but the original tree is dead for good.  Job tries to argue that trees are better off than humans since humans, when they die, are dead for good.  Sorry Job, so are trees.  The rest of Chapter 14 is more of Job arguing that God is too overbearing on man.

“You overpower him once and for all, and he is gone; you change his countenance and send him away.” – Job 14:20

Too many people pray to God or complain to God complaining of minor illnesses or minor problems in life (e.g. finding a parking space, wishing it wouldn’t snow, etc.).  If there’s a God, these things are not overpowering.  That’s an individual being a whiner.  Job, however, is in a much different situation.  Remember, Job’s family, servants, and livestock were all killed.  Job’s body was covered in painful sores by Satan (approved by God).  God has overpowered Job.  In my mind, the fact Job can even speak is miraculous!  God owes everyone an explanation.

To conclude, Job is still in pain and continues to plead his case with God.  Eventually God has to respond, right?  Right?!?!?

Coming Soon: Job – Chapter 15 – Eliphaz

Job – Chapter 13: More from Job

In Job Chapter 12, Job responded to his friend, Zophar, by asking why God was punishing the “greatest man in the east” and not an actual criminal.  In addition, Job described a bunch of things an all-powerful, although not necessarily just, God can do.  Job continues pleading his case in Chapter 13.

“What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you (referring to the three friends).  But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.” – Job 13:2-3

A truly just God would offer something to Job.  Maybe Job isn’t blameless and did something wrong, but no one knows what that is and God isn’t telling.  At the very least, a just God would tell Job what he did wrong so Job could make amends.  It’s the same argument for parents and children.  A good parent doesn’t punish a child without first telling that child what he/she did wrong.  Otherwise the child will never learn from his/her mistakes.  Why is God acting like such a poor parent?  Then again, we already know from Genesis God’s feelings on humans gaining knowledge.  Knowledge is bad because it informs people of the world around them.  Sigh.

Then Job throws the smack down on his friends and for that I applaud him!

“If you (Job’s three friends) would be altogether silent!  For you, that would be wisdom.” – Job 13:5

Now those are fighting words!  Way to go Job!  Job goes on for several verses, basically telling his friends to shut up.

“Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated.” – Job 13:18

Are you sure about that Job?  Have you paid any attention to your God?  Maybe you’ll be vindicated, but given the evidence thus far, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Next Job moves from speaking to his friends to speaking to God.  Job asks God for two things.

“Withdraw your hand from me….then summon me and I will answer…” – Job 13:21-22

Then Job asks the question we all want the answer to.

“How many wrongs and sins have I committed?” – Job 13:23

An excellent question, although given Christianity today, simply asking that question is a sin.  Simply questioning the ‘word’ of God is a sin to be punished by eternal life/death in Hell.

Chapter 13 ends with Job asking a few more questions, all with the theme of “what did I do wrong?”  God doesn’t answer in Chapter 13, continuing to prove the lack of justice in this supposedly perfect God.  Later in Job we will hear again from God.  At this point I’m not sure there’s any satisfying answer God could possibly provide.

Coming Soon:  Job – Chapter 14:  Even More from Job