Job 26 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence
Bildad’s last argument was quite short and merely a repetition of his previous arguments that somehow Job is to blame for his own misery and that no one is pure in God’s sight. Now it seems that Job has had enough of his empty words and cuts him off mid-sentence to put an end to this farcical dialogue between him and his three “friends.” Zophar doesn’t even have a third argument, for in this next section (chs. 26-31), Job continues to speak not giving his antagonists any more room to condemn.
In the first four verses, Job responds sarcastically to Bildad’s counsel thanking him for helping him and saving him by his great counsel that reminded him that he is merely a maggot and deserves all his suffering. “Yes, thanks Bildad for giving me such wisdom and strengthening my spirit…NOT!” Then after ridiculing Bildad, Job questions where such counsel has come from implying that it certainly has not come from God.
In the second section (vv.5-14), Job’s main point is that contrary to Bidad’s arguments, God’s ways are mysterious and beyond finding out, that Job’s suffering is not as simple as he has made it out to be. He uses a number of examples to show the mysteries of God’s work such as his rule over Sheol (the place of the dead), his control over the clouds in covering the sun and bringing water across the land, in addition to his original work of creation. He also points out how God overrules the false gods (demons) such as Rahab and Leviathan, the serpent. Little does Job know that God is ruling over the serpent even now not allowing Satan to kill him even as he makes his complaint unto God. Certainly, Bildad is unaware of these things as well. Only God knows what he is doing as the ruler over all things.
The substance of Job’s argument in this passage is found in v.14 where he says, “Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” In other words, although we see very clearly some aspects of God’s power and wisdom displayed in the world, we don’t understand how or why God does what he does. He has only revealed to us a whisper of his thundering power. There is so little that we truly understand; therefore, the implication is that we must trust that God knows what he is doing and wait upon the Lord to give us more understanding at the proper time, which may not be any time soon.
It is as Solomon says in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Job is saying that we cannot lean on our own understanding in the midst of our trials, for we understand so little. We must trust in the Lord and only the Lord to make straight what is crooked, to bring order to the chaos, and to bring peace in our pain.