Job 20–27

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by: Guest Writer Rev. Lowell Harrup

08/04/2022

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By chapter 20 of Job, the initial genuine compassion of his friends (see Job 1:11-13) has evolved into an effort by them to explain his predicament in the context of their limited view of God. They have no idea (nor does Job) of the cosmic context of his experience (1:8-12). Zophar (ch.20) sees suffering as something that “catches up” to the wicked, therefore, Job must be wicked. Eliphaz sees Job’s problem as a result of his not “yielding” to God (22:21). And Bildad (ch.25) sees no hope of righteousness.

In each case Job can only affirm his confidence in God even though he does not have an answer for his own experience. Whether we are in the role of the “comforters” or the sufferer, it is the ignorance of our “cosmic context” that should keep us humble.

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By chapter 20 of Job, the initial genuine compassion of his friends (see Job 1:11-13) has evolved into an effort by them to explain his predicament in the context of their limited view of God. They have no idea (nor does Job) of the cosmic context of his experience (1:8-12). Zophar (ch.20) sees suffering as something that “catches up” to the wicked, therefore, Job must be wicked. Eliphaz sees Job’s problem as a result of his not “yielding” to God (22:21). And Bildad (ch.25) sees no hope of righteousness.

In each case Job can only affirm his confidence in God even though he does not have an answer for his own experience. Whether we are in the role of the “comforters” or the sufferer, it is the ignorance of our “cosmic context” that should keep us humble.

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