Job 10-11

Job 10

Job's Response to Bildad (9:1-10:22)

First Round of Speeches

Eliphaz's First Speech (4:1-5:27) 
Job's Response to Eliphaz (6:1-7:21)
Bildad’s First Speech (8:1-22)
Job's Response to Bildad (9:1-10:22)

Here, Job began to let his confused soul run wildly through a list of accusations against God, all of which are easily refuted by God's own nature. 

Job Accused God of Being Unfair (1-9)

Job announced that his life had become completely unbearable to him, so he was a man who felt he had nothing to lose. Job was going to open up and let out some of his vile feelings (1).

He began by asking God to condemn him by reading out loud his charges against him. Job demanded to know why he had suffered so (2).

Job speculated:

a) Maybe God finds some kind of delight in bringing hardship to His creation—harming the good and favoring the wicked (3).

b) Maybe God has bad eyesight and does not see men as they are, cannot see as other mortals see each other (4).

c) Maybe God is not eternal but mortal, and in not wanting Job to outlive Him, He searched for some iniquity, some reason to make up a guilty verdict to end helpless Job's life before His own (5-7).

d) Maybe God just made and fashioned Job for the purpose of being destroyed. He made Job out of clay just so he could return Job to the clay (8-9).

Job Accuses God of Creating to Destroy (10-17)

Job took up on his fourth presumption concerning why he might be suffering: God creates for the purpose of destroying.

Job used some elaborate metaphors here. The milk of his father's semen was poured out in the womb, and Job was formed into what he called "curdled like cheese" (10); flesh and skin began to form around his skeleton and sinews held the mass together (11). Then Job was born, and God's steadfast, covenant love had cared for and preserved his life, right up to the present moment (12).

Job asserted that then things changed. From conception to birth, Job had witnessed God's covenant love and favor. Then there was a secret God failed to disclose to Job. God was scrutinizing Job's life. 

Job developed a theory of what was going on. God looks for missteps, and when He finds one in a person, He does not, as Job had previously assumed, forgive the guilt of that sin. In essence, Job accused God of obsessing over the meaningless sins he had assumed God had forgiven (13-14).

Job painted God as One who marks every sin. If you happen to commit one God finds especially heinous, then too bad—you're guilty. Even if you are mostly innocent, even if you sacrificially atone for those sins, God will still fill you with shame and misery because you crossed a line. You committed some seemingly petty offense, which was no trifling matter in the judgment of God, no matter what atonement had been made (15).

If Job were to try to walk out his life in innocence, not knowing what his petty crime was, Job asserted that God would still hunt him down like a lion and rip him apart (16).

Job viewed his suffering as God's again-and-again pouring out His anger on him, bringing out fresh troops regularly to keep on assaulting him for his past sins (17).

Job's mind swirled in all of this because God had called him blameless in regard to all his past sins.

Job Asks for a Break from Suffering (18-22)

Job once again returned to the theme of requesting the death he had laid out in greater detail in chapter 3. Job first wished he had never been born, that he had never existed, but as he had already said, Job wished he had been delivered from the womb directly into his tomb (18-19).

Job then asked for God to depart, to leave him alone and let him have a few moments of comfort before he moved forward into death. Instead of the daily reminder of God's displeasure chasing him, Job asked for the quiet of a few days absent of the afflicting presence of God. Job wanted just a moment to catch his breath before he launched out into the netherland of doom and gloom, which he presumed was already grasping for him (20-21).

Job then described the ancient concept of the grave or Sheol. It was a place of utter darkness—no light to be seen—a place without any kind of order, a place without hope (22).

Job 11

Zophar’s First Speech (11:1-20)

First Round of Speeches

Job's Opening Remarks (3:1-26)
Eliphaz's First Speech (4:1-5:27) 
Job's Response to Eliphaz (6:1-7:21)
Bildad’s First Speech (8:1-22)
Job's Response to Bildad (9:1-10:22)
Zophar’s First Speech (11:1-20)

It was now Zophar’s turn to jump into the discussion. He sat and listened the longest, especially to Job. He listened to Job’s defending his innocence with greater and greater force. Zophar the rationalist weighed in on Job's remarks with a harsh tone.  

Zophar Asserts Job Not Punished Enough (1-6)

Job's going on and on about his punishment as not equal to the crime was maddening for Zophar. He had enough and confronted Job with the absurdity of trying to justify his life by the length of his argument (2).

Zophar accused Job of prattling on and on with his lips while not putting any thought or heart into presentation. To Zophar, Job had become a bluster of blasphemous noise of which he should be ashamed (3).

To Zophar, Job's entire life philosophy was a sin. He claimed pure beliefs or doctrines, and even further, Job had the audacity to tell God he was clean in His sight (4).

Zophar wished God would speak and put Job in his place by giving Job a piece of His holy thinking (5). If God were to speak, Zophar assured Job, God would take the mystery out of Job's arguments and expose the simplicity of the matter. Job deserved what he got and, in truth, had gotten far less than he deserved. 

Zophar Asserts God to Be Wiser Than Job (7-12) 

Zophar then gives Job a philosophy lesson in wisdom. 

a) God's wisdom is infinite and inexhaustible, beyond Job's figuring out (7).

b) God's wisdom is beyond the reach of mortal comprehension. God's wisdom knows all, even everything there is to know about life, even life beyond the heavens and below the grave. God's wisdom knows about all life beyond the earth and then out beyond the sea (8-9).

c) God's wisdom sees all, including all hidden sins. If God arrests a person and holds him over for trial, who can stop Him? God knows men of worthless character. God sees iniquity, and nothing can be hidden from His wisdom (10-11).

d) God's wisdom can never be envisioned and grasped by mortal man. The day men grasp God's wisdom is the day a wild donkey gives birth to a man (12).

All through Zophar's speech, he was being harsh, sarcastic, rude, and unfeeling. He was a rationalist: "I'm smarter than you, Job. You are suffering, affirming you're a sinner, and you refuse to take your medicine, wrapping yourself up in false and fanciful justifications.”

Zophar Announces Job's Remedy (13-19)

Zophar gave Job a path to restoration:

a) Bring a right heart of worship to God, stretching out your hands and heart for help (13).

b) Job was then to get rid of the iniquity in his hand. Zophar was no doubt referring to the sin they had already registered; specifically the injustice he had shown to other people in order to get rich (14).

If Job would bow himself to God in these two ways, then God would restore him, and he would be able to lift his face toward God, not like he had been lifting his face in pride, but without any spot of guilt nor any feeling of fear (15).

His present suffering would pass like debris a river carries downstream to be forgotten (16).

His life would begin to shine again brighter than the noonday; all would become visible and understandable to Job again (17).

Once Job had turned away from his sin, he would never again need to feel insecure or hopeless; he would come to a state of complete rest. He would become so prosperous that he would be surrounded by those who would wish the favor he was experiencing upon their own lives  (18-19).

Zophar's Final Warning (20) 

Zophar then warned Job that if he failed to turn away from his unjust treatment of those he took advantage of, then his eyes or life would fail. If he did not turn quickly, there would be nowhere for him to escape. The door was getting ready to close quickly on him. If he did not turn soon, all that would be left for Job would be the fleeting hope of a quick death.

Job 11 table.jpg