What we say can reveal a lot about God. Or it can muddy the waters. In order to make sure we aren’t doing the latter, we need to know not only what God’s Word says, but the dividing line He created and how He understands it. Job and Bildad are two examples we can look at for this. While Bildad’s chaotic speech took place in chapter 25, I bring it into today’s discussion of Chapters 26 and 27 of the Book of Job.
Who is Talking?
To whom have you uttered [these] words? And whose spirit [inspired what] came forth from you?Job 26:4 AMP
What are we speaking and whose words are they?
Do we speak out of the wisdom that comes from knowing God? Or are we speaking out of the carnality of our mind?
How often do we forget that words are not simply something we learn but are tools of power?
Do we speak out of a need to hear ourselves talk? Or do we speak out of a need to release the word of God that has built up inside of us?
While Job spoke these words in response to Bildad’s short speech, they could apply to the three friends who are constantly answering him. They like to hear themselves talk and the words they are saying to Job don’t seem to come from a deep place as they speak them. Yes, the Holy Spirit has brought wisdom to us through those words, but in the moment they were uttered they were more foolish than wise, a self-justification rather than friendly wisdom.
There’s a reason God includes so much instruction and guidance over what and how we speak.
Whatever we are speaking, and whomever we are speaking to, we need to remember that our words have been given power. They are not the be-all, end-all that God’s Word is, but there is still power in what we speak because we have been made in the likeness of God.
By God’s Understanding
He laid out the horizon on the surface of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.Job 26:10 CSB
This verse surely speaks of creation, but there is a spiritual aspect to it as well.
At creation, even that first day, God set a boundary, a law, perhaps, for creation between what was good and what was not. God in calling His creation, “Good,” set a boundary between what was acceptable and of Him; and what was not. Yes, this would’ve been something that just was long before creation began, but it became a law, a fact, that creation would sit on and be molded to and within––a foundation so to speak.
Everything God created was acceptable to Him. It was good. It was only when Adam sinned and handed over the keys of dominion that God had given him, that opposite of God and what is acceptable to Him––what God did not declare as tov––entered God’s creation.
There those keys remained until Jesus came and wrested them from the enemy, making a way for creation to once again be called Tov by God.
He stirred up the sea by His power, and by His understanding He smashed [proud] Rahab.Job 26:12 AMP
By God’s understanding, He brought order to the chaos.
God has an intimate and intricate understanding of what order should look like and how to bring it about. Perhaps it is because He sees the end at the beginning.
When we trust Him and actively follow Him, everything will come to order, falling into its proper place, no matter how chaotic or crazy it may seem.
Bildad’s speech in the previous chapter comes across as a bit chaotic. The way he spoke of God wasn’t exactly wrong, but it was not a complete picture of God’s nature. Like I said, Bildad’s words seem to contradict themselves. “Dominion belongs to God, but even He cannot make man pure again.”
“The stars are not pure in His sight.” (Job 25:5) Yet God created the stars and called them, “Good.”
If God called the stars, “Tov” and Bildad is saying the opposite, then Bildad’s words and reasoning do not line up with God’s. They fall on the other side of what God has said. Bildad isn’t speaking out of a place of God’s understanding, he’s speaking out of his own. Does Bildad even understand what he’s saying?
In contrast, Job’s response speaks of the Might and Power of God, but also of the softer side of Him, the merciful side.
Yes, God is powerful. Yes, nothing is hidden from Him even Sheol and Abaddon are before Him. (Job 26:6) Yes He brings under submission even the mighty creatures that terrorize the earth and at the sound of His voice the heavens shake. (Job 26:11-12)
God is also the one that makes the clouds that bring the rains. He is the One whose breathe clears the skies that their beauty may be seen. He is the One who overcomes the enemy, swiftly and efficiently. (Job 26:8;13) Still, there is more to God than we can ever know. (Job 26:14)
If what we see and know of Him is merely a whisper, the fringes of Him, how then could we claim to understand His own understanding? How could we easily rely on our own understanding as a definition of His?
Job, who claimed to barely understand God, brought glory to God in his speech. Bildad, who spoke as if he could define God’s way, claimed the opposite of what God said.
As God lives, who has taken away my right and denied me justice, and the Almighty, who has caused bitterness and grief for my soul, as long as my life is within me, and the breath of God is [still] in my nostrils, my lips will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue utter deceit.Job 27:2-3 AMP
Job just claimed he didn’t know the fullness of God’s power, the fullness of God Himself. His words here not only uphold that belief, it shows his determination to trust and hope in God. Even though Job knew God had allowed these hardships to happen, he still clung to God.
Until I die, I will not remove my integrity from me. I hold fast my uprightness and my right standing with God and I will not let them go; My heart does not reproach me for any of my days.Job 27:5-6 AMP
Even though he was hurt, confused, and maybe even angry, Job still chose to worship and praise God instead of choosing to blame Him. Job did not abandon God’s righteousness in pursuit of a temporary relief. Maybe blaming God would have felt okay for a moment, would have earned him actual sympathy and approval from the people around him, but he chose to pursue God’s way instead.
When things don’t go right in our lives, whether it be something small or something big, for a small amount of time or a lengthy amount, do we choose to praise and worship God? Or is He someone we cast our blame on?
Do we choose to pursue His way through the chaos, living in His Word, and trusting in His understanding over our own?
Teaching God’s Full Nature
For what is the hope of the godless, even though he has gained [in this world], when God takes his life? Will God hear his cry when trouble and distress come upon him? Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call on God at all times?Job 27:8-10 AMP
When trouble comes, who do the godless have to lean on?
Sometimes I think we take god’s presence for granted. When everything else is lost to us, when chaos surrounds us, when the storm threatens to overcome us, still we have God to rely on. We know we will be okay come what may because we have Immanuel.
When there is no happiness left, we can take joy in our God.
But who do the godless have? No one. They will see a justice that we who are saved by grace will never know. They will spend eternity longing and crying out for the very thing we have even now––a life unseparated from God.
How can we, knowing their future as we do, continue to remain silent before them?
Job spends the rest of this speech talking about the future that awaits the godless, the ones who deny the Almighty’s way. (Job 27:12-23) While he uses earthly imagery, the things he speaks of are a symbolic picture of eternity.
Before his description, though, is Job’s personal call to action, one that rings through the generations, even to Jesus’ last words on earth.
I will teach you regarding the hand (power) of God; I will not conceal what is with the Almighty [God’s actual treatment of the wicked].Job 27:11 AMP
I will not conceal…
We cannot afford to leave out part of God’s nature. The jealous and wrathful side of God. Yes, God is loving-kindness and mercy and grace and peace and a dozen other things we tout.
But God is also a jealous God. (Ex. 20:5)
Those who reject Jesus will face the wrath of God. (John 3:36) Why? Because they are consumed with sin and sin cannot live in the presence of God. (Ps. 5:4-6) They have the chance to become clean, to accept the only sacrifice that will allow them to live eternally with the God we know, to live in His loving-kindness, and mercy, and peace, and grace for eternity.
But how will they know what they’re facing, the Why of accepting Jesus, if we conceal what is before them?
If we conceal the full nature of God from the people who need to know Him then we are doing those people an injustice, and we serve a God of justice. Just because we live in the “nicer” parts of God’s nature at the moment, doesn’t mean that’s the future everyone is facing.
Yeah, we’ll continue to live in that nature, but they won’t.
It sucks to even think about the dark part of eternity. We can celebrate Satan and his angels’ demise all we want, but we cannot ignore the many who will fall with the enemy. We cannot continue to hide away and pretend the full aspect of God’s power doesn’t exist just because it makes us, or anyone else, uncomfortable.
Yeah, maybe Job was fed up with his friends, but he spoke the truth point-blank to them. We need to be like Job, revealing all that we know of who God is instead of only one side of Him.
If we’re only revealing one side of God, the side we like and are comfortable with, then we’re no better than Bildad. We’re painting a picture of God that fits our own purposes, not a picture of who God truly is.
No, we do not fully understand God, I still stand by that. But the Holy Spirit does reveal and give us way to know God.
If we don’t want to be like Job then we need to be like Jesus (I mean, we need to be like Jesus anyway…) and Jesus told off the fake, religious biggots and reprimanded the people. Jesus also showed what God is not, and as we know from reading the bible, Jesus was not a push-over. He did not allow sin to continue in His presence. Neither will the Father. And people need to know that.
What are you speaking?
Do our words reveal the full nature of God or only the comfortable parts?
Do we speak within what God has declared Good or outside of it?
Do we speak with God’s understanding or our own?
Are we revealing or concealing the hopelessness the godless truly face?
And when hard times show up, do we continue to praise God and hold onto our hope in Him? Or do we gain temporary satisfaction by blaming Him?
I encourage you to examine your thoughts and words. What we think is what we speak. What we speak gains power in our life and in the lives of others. We cannot speak blessings and curses into life from the same heart. We cannot speak order and chaos from the same mouth.
Thankfully, God’s Word transforms us and renews every single part of us.
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