Day 10 – Job 25-28
The dialog between Job and his counsel of friends ends with Bildad in chapter 25. With his brief reply to Job, the pattern of the book up to this point is broken; something different is coming. To wrap up the counsel of these three self-proclaimed wise men, Bildad offers nothing new, but rather a brief restatement concerning the greatness of God. In short, he reviews God’s strength and God’s righteousness. All this to caution Job that no man has the standing or the right to speak against God, or to question his ways. And in truth, I disagree with nothing in Bildad’s words concerning God or man’s position compared to him. Bildad offers a biblical representation of mankind’s sinfulness.
Then Job responds, with his lengthiest speech so far – spanning 6 chapters. We split this over two day’s readings.
Job begins by, once again, calling out Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar for their lack of compassion and unhelpful words. They were concerned with being right and forgot to show concern for Job. “Then, to show the poverty of Bildad’s argument, he spoke of the greatness of God to prove that he knew it, and even more perfectly than his friends.” (Morgan) This is what I love about Job, he may not understand why he has suffered. He finds unfair and wonders where God is in all of this. But he never turns against God; he questions him, but never denies him. He still proclaims God’s right and God’s greatness.
In his description of God’s greatness, Job refers for the second time to Rahab and God’s defeat of Rahab. This is not the Rahab of Jericho, or even a person. Two possible explanations for Rahab arise; and I think the two are really related. The first is more of a linguistic view. The word “rahab” in Hebrew means “proud one”. Those who ignore or deny God are arrogant, proud ones, who he will destroy. But even more, Rahab references a serpent whom God defeated. This is the sea serpent, known as Tiamat in the ancient Babylonian creation account or Leviathan from the myths of Canaan. This serpent is usually considered evil and defeated by the Creator God. I always love to see kernels of biblical truth carried into pagan myths and religion.
The next two chapters of Job’s reply display his upright character and love of truth, his understanding of God’s justice of the wicked, and the true nature of wisdom and man’s futile attempts to find it in wealth and material gain.
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Donovan Campbell, pastor of Greenville Presbyterian Church in Donalds, SC.