Bildad interprets Job's suffering through tradition: "For inquire, please, of the former age, and consider the things discovered by their fathers; for we were born yesterday, and know nothing" (Job 8:8-9). Therefore, he challenges Job, saying that God does not "pervert justice" (8:3) and that Job's suffering is retributive for some wrong on his part.
Zophar interprets Job's suffering through human reasoning: "If you would prepare your heart, and stretch out your hands to Him . . .then surely you could lift up your face without spot" (11:13-15). He concludes that some deficiency on Job's part has induced his suffering. Should Job deal with his sin, his suffering would disappear.
Truth does reside in reason and tradition, because man's knowledge is limited by his education, life experience, and family heritage. The obtaining of a graduate degree may indicate vast knowledge about a particular field, while full knowledge, like the unseen stars, exists, yet remains undiscovered.
Much good is found in tradition, but traditions are fallible instruments for detecting all truth. Man needs the input of someone outside of the circle of time and the influence of sin. God has disclosed Himself through His sinless Son Jesus Christ, full of grace and Truth, and Jesus promised that the Spirit of Truth would come following His ascension to reveal all truth.
The capacity for rebellion was part of the DNA download that we received from Adam and Eve. It shows up in nearly every story of the Bible and in the hearts of all men. Men who rely solely on tradition (loyalty to the past), experience (positive and negative emotions), or reason and logic (systematized information) do so to avoid submission to the Living God.
There is only one ultimate source of authority: revelation. God reveals Himself through the metanarrative of the Bible. He reveals what's wrong with man, with relationships, and the world. All other sources of authority allow man to be in charge-to take the place of God in his own life.
Real transformation occurs when man submits to God's revelation about Himself, about sin in the heart, and about the way of redemption found in Christ Jesus.
The Creation Era stories reveal enough about God, human nature, sin, and redemption to seal Job's faith in God in spite of serious suffering. What God has revealed trumps any knowledge gained from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The eating of that fruit tainted man's knowledge, experience, and tradition. It tainted everything except God's being and nature.
He is good and He does good. Bankable truth.
Job obviously has a difficult time understanding why God has allowed him to suffer. How does he express his frustration with God in chapter 10?
What is Zophar's attitude toward Job, his suffering, and his view of God in chapter 11?
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