Job 8-10: God, what do you charge me with?

Job 8-10: God, what do you charge me with?

JOB ARTWORK USED BY PERMISSION COURTESY OF KINGSTONE COMICS (https://kingstone.co/)

“If I summoned Him and He responded,
I do not believe He would lend me His ear.
For He crushes me for a hair;
He wounds me much for no cause” (9:16-17 JPS)

“I say to God, “Do not condemn me;
Let me know what You charge me with.
Does it benefit You to defraud,
To despise the toil of Your hands,
While smiling on the counsel of the wicked?
Do You have the eyes of flesh?
Is Your vision that of mere men?
Are Your days the days of a mortal,
Are Your years the years of a man,
That You seek my iniquity
And search out my sin?
You know that I am not guilty” (Job 10:2-7 JPS)

You gotta read this stuff. That’s why we placed for you a button to click and read the text, or you can open your Bible, or you can buy the richly textured and well-translated JPS version I’ve been quoting. Whatever you do, read Job. You will not regret it. With some guidance, by reading it aloud with others, by slowly reading it and digesting it, no longer fearing it, having some understanding maybe for the first time, you will truly be changed by reading this portion of the scriptures.

It’s Bildad the Shuhite’s turn. Bildad does more of the same thing that Eliphaz does. He’s already heard enough of Job’s whining. He goes straight for the juggler. Bildad says Job’s kids were dispatched from this earth because they sinned. Bildad doesn’t say this but he could have. Maybe Bildad doesn’t know what we the audience knows, as in comic tragedies, that Job had always been afraid of this happening. He knew his kids partied hard. In fact, each of his seven sons had a set day to have the party at his house. Job’s daughters came to the parties, presumably bringing their girlfriends. Job regularly offered burnt offerings as a hedge, just in case his children blasphemed God. The implied result of blaspheming God is judgment and calamity. This is what Job had always feared.

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Maybe his children did something wrong, maybe they didn’t. He knew what he knew about himself, and he knew he was innocent, but just as with his children, maybe there’s something he was unaware of, some sin he committed that he totally overlooked. That was possible in his mind. So let’s have it, Job says to God. Let me have my day in court! Why do you convict the innocent without trial? Or even the guilty without trial? If I’m guilty, at least talk to me like a man and convict me before these witnesses, these so-called friends who betray me and are not my advocates. I’m just going to have to stand on my own before God. Bring it on! It would make so much more sense of everything if I found out I had done wrong, then all this would finally make sense. Bring it on, bring it on. I can’t take this much longer.

PRAYER

“I say to God, “Do not condemn me;
Let me know what You charge me with.
Does it benefit You to defraud,
To despise the toil of Your hands,
While smiling on the counsel of the wicked?
Do You have the eyes of flesh?
Is Your vision that of mere men?
Are Your days the days of a mortal,
Are Your years the years of a man,
That You seek my iniquity
And search out my sin?
You know that I am not guilty,
And that there is none to deliver from Your hand.
“Your hands shaped and fashioned me,
Then destroyed every part of me.
Consider that You fashioned me like clay;
Will You then turn me back into dust?
You poured me out like milk,
Congealed me like cheese;
You clothed me with skin and flesh
And wove me of bones and sinews;
You bestowed on me life and care;
Your providence watched over my spirit.
Yet these things You hid in Your heart;
I know that You had this in mind:
To watch me when I sinned
And not clear me of my iniquity;
Should I be guilty—the worse for me!
And even when[…]” (10:2-17 JPS)

GregTaylor.jpg

GREG TAYLOR

Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.

 

 

THE JOURNEY: A NEW GENERATION CHURCH OF CHRIST is part of the Churches of Christ and participates with many churches in Tulsa in events such as worship, Perspectives course, Welcome Neighbors, Alpha, retreats, camps, Prayer and Outreach events.

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