Job’s 1st Response to Bildad

Job 9:1-10:22 | Job’s Suffering: Job 3:1-26, 6:1-7:21, 9:1-10:11

At the testimony of Eliphaz (Job 4:1-5:27), and Bildad as a second witness (Job 8:1-22), Job feels forced to grapple with the doctrinal subject matter in the argument of his friends. This makes Job 9-10 unique at this stage in the discourse. Job speaks less of his physical suffering (in one sense) and more about his personal confusion about the situation. Nevertheless, let the reader understand, Job’s physical suffering is truly unfathomable without comprehending his confusion. The fact that Job feels condemned before God is the crux of the matter! Job’s personal torment would be radically eased, if only he could find spiritual peace with God in righteousness. His physical suffering would be relatively easy to endure, if only he could know the sweet assurance of justification before God in the Spirit as in months past (Job 29:1-25). Speaking of this, Job said,

“If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: I am afraid of all many sorrows, I know that Thou wilt not hold me innocent.” Job 9:27-28

Marvelously, as a token of divine grace, the fear of the LORD is restraining Job from utter godlessness – forcing him to be preoccupied by the fact that he is currently condemned before the Almighty. Confessedly, Job is stooping for “heaviness” under the weight of God’s hand of divine wrath (Job 9:13, 27). Feeling weary of life and bitter in the soul (Job 10:1), Job’s attention is focused on his “confusion” as his primary “affliction” (Job 10:15). In other words, Job’s real problem is a spiritual sense of increasing divine indignation coming upon him (Job 10:17) – he says that it’s like a man being chased and pounded by an unrelenting Tempest (Job 9:17-18), or like a man being hunted by an inescapable Lion (Job 10:16)! The pressure and heat of divine anger appears so strong and vehement, Job feels unable to pass a single moment of peace and serenity. Spiritually speaking, he feels like a man suffocating to death in “bitterness” while gasping in vain for a single “breath” of fresh air (Job 9:18).

Job 9:1-10:22 | Job’s Confusion: Job 9:1-10:22

Of course, Job cannot deny anything that Bildad was saying doctrinally from a Biblical perspective! Job admits that Bildad speaks the “truth” (Job 9:2). However, Job is obviously confused about his situation. His conscience will not allow him to simply believe, as Eliphaz and Bildad do wrongly assume, that he was wicked and therefore deserving of these divine judgments. Consequentially, Job’s deliberation is palpable throughout the discourse. Seeing that Job did indeed meet the criterion of righteousness revealed in the Word of God (Job 5:27, 6:10, 25, 22:22, 23:12), and was nevertheless divinely judged as the wicked (so it seems!), Job finds himself halting between opinions about his situation: firstly, He wonders whether a man can truly be “just with God” (Job 9:2) and, secondarily, he wonders whether God is truly being just with him.

Remember, Job crossed the threshold of outrightly accusing God in Job 7:11-21, so now Job is pondering about how it would be possible to be “just with God” in his present situation: namely, while Job is murmuring and contending against the Almighty (Job 9:2-4, 12, 14-16). While Job feels that he cannot deny that he was “righteous” (Job 9:15-16), he also cannot imagine any good success in taking up a bitter contention with God (Job 9:32-33). Even if it were possible, and somehow Job had an opportunity to “plead” with God (Job 9:19), if Job claims that he is being judged “without cause” by God because he is indeed “righteous” (Job 9:17, 15), then Job is condemning God in the process of justifying himself. This would come in the form of charging God with folly. Why? Because Job’s argument ultimately promotes the unjust and corrupt idea that “[God] destroyeth the perfect and the wicked” (Job 9:22). In other words, Job is strongly tempted with (and intermittently overcome by) the thought that God “will laugh at the trial of the innocent” when they are suddenly slaughtered by a mighty scourge (Job 9:23).

“This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent.” - Job 9:22-23

Speaking of the same sentiments, Job asks God later on: “Is it good unto Thee that Thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?” (Job 10:3). Let’s be clear! Job knows that this is a perverted and intolerable heresy (Job 9:20-21, 28). He even admits that his “own mouth shall condemn” him and “prove [him] perverse” in making such an argument (Job 9:20-21). Nevertheless, this is all that he can intellectually deduce from his own situation in the flesh. Remember, Job is oblivious to the heavenly situation unveiled in Job 1-2. Therefore, confessedly, he is “full of confusion” about everything (Job 10:15).

However, instead of boldly accusing God with bitter impudence, like before (Job 7:11-21), Job’s tone is more humble when speaking to God in Job 10:1-22. Instead of outrightly charging God with wickedness, Job inquires of God about it in Job 10:3, while in the process of entreating the LORD not to condemn him (Job 10:2). Job’s only hope is that God will shed light on the situation. For, he is basically wondering if God has iniquity (Job 9:22-23, 10:3), because Job is certain that God knows that he is “not wicked” as Eliphaz and Bildad are assuming (Job 10:7), and yet God is nevertheless searching and enquiring after Job’s “iniquity” and “sin” through these marvelous judgments (Job 10:6, 16-17). So, while Job knows and openly confesses to God, “Thou knowest that I am not wicked” (Job 10:7), he wonders what “sin” God is marking and why the Almighty is not rather acquitting him from his “iniquity” (Job 10:14). In other words, Job wonders why there is no forgiveness for his sins.

Feeling like a victim (Job 10:8-12, 16-17), Job sank deeper into confusion through a strong disbelief that God will even answer him on these matters of supplication (Job 9:3, 11-14, 28, 32-33), which in turn makes Job strongly cry to God for death to usher him away into “the land of darkness” (Job 10:18-22). This is Job opposing himself (2 Tim. 2:15). Attempting to humble himself, Job basically asks God to come and help him, and then in the next breath he strongly urges God to just leave him alone and let him die (Job 10:18-22)! Nevertheless, God had compassion on the sorry estate of this fallen man. He didn’t answer those rash prayers for death! Nor did he allow Job to abide in the chains of bitter unbelief (Isa. 29:18)! The very thing that Job couldn’t believe, or wouldn’t believe, God did despite his unbelief (Ezek. 20:44)! God sent a Prophet and then came down to meet with Job (Job 32-42). Even so, we, as readers, “have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11).

Job 9:4-14 | Noah’s Flood: Job 5:9-11, 8:11-22, 9:4-14, 11:7-11, 12:7-15, 14:10-12, 18-22 [End of the World]

Like Eliphaz (Job 5:9-11) & Bildad (Job 8:11-22), Job is keenly aware of the unmatched wisdom and might of God to destroy the wicked, because in the recent past the Almighty destroyed the world in a watery deluge for the formation of the Noahic Covenant in the New World (Job 9:4-14). These men were directly discipled by Noah and Shem, both of whom were personably baptized in the flood. The wonder working divine power put on display in the flood would make any man’s heart soft (Job 9:10).

Job 9:4 | Hardness of Heart: Ex. 8:15, 1 Sam. 6:6, Prov. 28:14, 29:1, Rom. 2:5, Heb. 3:13, Job 6:10; El-Gibbor The Mighty God: Deut. 4:34, 6:22, 7:19, 21, 26:8, Isa. 9:6, Dan. 4:3, Job 5:9; “Wisdom & Might” - Jer. 9:23-24, Rev. 7:12

Job 9:5 | Removing / Overturning Mountains: Ps. 46:2, Job 12:15, Hab. 3:6, Ezek. 21:27

Job 9:6 | The Shaking of Heaven & Earth: Job 9:6, 15:33, 26:11 (1 Sam. 2:8, Ps. 18:7, 60:2, 114:7, Isa. 5:25, Jer. 10:10, Hag. 2:21, Heb. 12:26-27)

Job 9:7 | Heaven to Darkness – Amos 4:13, Isa. 13:10, etc.

Job 9:8 | Walking on Water: Job 38:11, Ps. 93:3-4, Matt. 14:25-30, Jn. 6:19

Job 9:9 | Knowledge of the Stars: Ps. 147:4, Amos 5:8

Job 9:10 | El-GadolThe Great God: Deut. 10:17, 7:21, Neh. 1:5, 4:14, 9:32, Job 37:22-23, Ps. 99:3, Jer. 20:11; El-PeleyThe God of Wonders: Ex. 8:22-23, 15:11, Ps. 136:4, 77:14, Dan. 4:2-3; “Great & Marvellous - Rev. 15:1, 3

Job 9:11 | Spiritual Darkness [Jehovah-Ori]

Job 9:12 | “What doest Thou?” – Eccl. 8:4, Dan. 4:35; Job’s Desire to Contend with God: Job 9:3, 14, 19, 32-33, 35

Job 9:13 | Humiliation of All Flesh: Job 26:12, 40:11-12; Unquenchable Anger

Job 9:17 | Spiritual Tempest: Job 21:18, 22:11 (Ps. 42:7, 83:15, Jer. 23:19, Ezek. 13:13, Isa. 28:2, 17, 29:6, 30:30)

Job 9:22 | Holocaustal Stumbling-block: Ezek. 20-21

Job 9:24 | The Declension of the Church: Job 12:6; Covering the Face: Isa. 25:7

Job 9:32 | God is not a Man: Num. 23:19, 1 Sam. 15:29

Job 9:34 | The Rod: Job 21:9 (Ps. 2:9, 23:4, 39:10, 89:32, 90:11, Isa. 10:5, Lam. 3:1, Mic. 6:9, Rev. 2:27)

Job 10:1 | Bitterness: Isa. 38:15, 17; Ps. 32:3-5, Heb. 12:15

Job 10:3 | Work of Thine Hands: Job 14:15, Isa. 5:12, 17:8, 19:25, 29:23, 45:11, 60:21, 65:22; Job 34:19; Ps. 92:4, 138:8, 143:5; Counsel of the Wicked: Job 18:7, 21:16, 22:18 (Ps. 64:2, Prov. 12:5, Eccl. 11:2); No Shining upon the Wicked: Hab. 1:12-13, Ps. 73:3, Jer. 12:1-2, Isa. 66:1-2, Ps. 5:4-5, 11:4-7, 34:15-16

Job 10:4 | “the LORD seeth not as man seeth - 1 Sam. 16:7

Job 10:6 | Divine Search: Ps. 10:15, Ps. 44:21, Jer. 2:34, Zeph. 1:12, 1 Cor. 4:5

Job 10:7 | None Can Deliver Out of God’s Hand: Deut. 32:39, Isa. 43:13, Hos. 2:10, Ps. 50:22

Job 10:8 | Jehovah-Osa - Ps. 119:73, 139:19-24

Job 10:9 | “Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?” - Ps. 89:47, 78:38-39, 103:14-16, Jer. 18:6, Isa. 45:9, 64:8 (an appeal to Jehovah-Yotzer)

Job 10:10-12 | Forming in the Womb: Ps. 139:13-17; Visitation in Life: Ps. 106:4

Job 10:14 | Marking Iniquity: Ps. 130:3; Not Clearing the Guilty: Ex. 20:5-6, 32:34, 34:7, Deut. 5:9, 7:9-10, Jer. 32:18

Job 10:16 | Divine Wrath as a Lion: Amos 3:8, 12, Hos. 5:14, 11:10, 13:7-8, Jer. 4:7, 25:38, 49:19, 50:44, Isa. 21:8-9, 31:4-5