Have you ever wanted to fix someone's flawed arguments? Fix, as in give them a piece of your mind? In this week's installment of our series on Job (week 6), I'll be honest and tell you that while reading Job Chapter 8, I sure wanted to share my thoughts with Bildad, another of Job's "friends" (a term I'm using very, very loosely). When Job finished his lament in chapter 7, Bildad gave his reply to Job. And I had a few issues with his response.
In 8:4 Bildad says Job's children had sinned against God. But he really had no proof of that. He was just speculating. In 8:6 he says of Job "if you are pure and upright, then He will move even now on your behalf.." Here Bildad is absolutely wrong because Job was pure and upright. It's the reason God said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity..." (Job 1:8). In verses 13 -16, Bildad says that Job had forgotten God and had been trusting in himself. But Job had always clung to God. Why else would God say that Job "..fears God and turns away from evil"? (Job 1:8) In verse 20 he says that "God does not reject a person of integrity", meaning that since Job was suffering he had no integrity. However, we already saw God said Job had perfect integrity. His suffering was not because of any wrong or lack of integrity. I consider Bildad a cautionary character for us. From the outside looking in, he thought he knew all about Job's life and God's place and purpose in it. But God had a higher purpose and plan that no human could comprehend (Isaiah 55:8). I think this is why God tells us not to judge. We might get it really wrong. Ahem, Bildad (and us).
Chapter nine starts Job's response to Bildad. Right from the beginning, Job's words are answered by Scripture.
"...but how can a person be justified before God?" Job 9:2 CSB
How indeed Job can sinful man show himself as righteous before a perfect and Holy God? Because no matter how "good" we are, "there is no one righteous, not even one." (Romans 3:10) So how can we ever be righteous before God?
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." ~ Romans 3:23–24 CSB
Jesus is our righteousness. When we acknowledge and accept Him as our savior, then His righteousness becomes our righteousness. Think of it this way. When Jesus died on the cross all those years ago, He left individual invitations addressed to each of us. They are invitations to heaven. All we have to do is admit we are a sinner who needs help (hint: we all are and we all do). Then we ask Jesus to forgive us our sins (He will) and to be our savior and ruler (Lord) over our lives. He is the only One who can help us break free from sin and direct our lives so that it honors God. When we do this, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside our hearts and we then have the righteousness of Jesus.
That is love. That is redemption. That is justification.
If you have never done this and would like to, pray this prayer:
Lord, I am a sinner and I ask your forgiveness for my sins. I realize I can’t earn my way into heaven. I can only get there by believing that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again and is with You now. I do believe and I ask You to come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. Amen
If you prayed that prayer, welcome to the family! For those who already know Him as savior, why not thank and praise Him for righteousness none of us deserves? He paid a high cost and freely offers it to us. Without it, we are lost. Let's not ever lose sight of that. Amen?