Expect you’re wondering: will these guys never give up? Are they going to debate back and forth forever? Take deep breath, relax, this is last round from Job’s friends. Matter of fact, instead of Zophar putting his two cents in, remains silent. Job brings his own argument to its conclusion in next few chapters, then in Ch. 32 Elihu, new character appears. Back to Bildad.
Hard to know: was Bildad compelled to say something so Job doesn’t have last word? even when he doesn’t really have anything new to contribute? Or…has he finally recognized – Job has some insight into ultimate questions Bildad lacks? Bildad has been such a hopeless comforter (along with his two friends) it’s easy to write off last speech as just more of the same. Shouldn’t do that too quickly, though. Makes a couple good points, asks the most important question in whole world.
Bildad’s basic principle: Compared to God, man is worthless. That’s a true statement….or is it? Job’s friends were off in their theology, their understanding of God and beliefs about him. Were also off in their anthropology, their understanding of man and beliefs about him. All three (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) missing essential parts in both areas, didn’t have the whole story. Our task here: with God’s help, get all the story straight.
A. God is awesome v.2-3
expect to hear Job say “whatever, of course, that’s never been in question; say something new, would you”
God rules, God is majestic, etc; Baptist pastor Roger Ellsworth, definition of God’s sovereignty – “God can do what he wants to do when he wants to do it without having to give an explanation for doing it.”
better definition: 1 Chron. 29:11 “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine ; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”
Dan. 4:35 God “does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?””
God not only can do what he wants….God does what he has purposed to do – Isa. 46:10 “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'”
God’s purpose encompasses all his creation from beginning to end, from largest galaxy to smallest sub-atomic particle
God has all resources necessary to accomplish his purpose, he is committed to accomplishing it
God’s ways are pure and right because he is pure: Isa. 6:3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Isaiah’s response (v.5): So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.”
one attribute applied to God in triplicate: holy = (superlative) Most Holy, word used 3 times in succession for emphasis
that particular attribute shouldn’t be a surprise: when God came down to meet with his people, where would they find his presence? – in the Holy of Holies, Most Holy Place
but what about his other attributes – strong focus on power and purity, what about the rest
God told Moses he would meet with his people in the tabernacle, God’s presence would be obvious in the Most Holy Place, the place of his throne
God’s throne – he is the one “who dwells between the cherubim” 7x in OT; promised Moses
“there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony” (Ex. 25:22)
yes, God is sovereign, but he doesn’t do what he does just because he can; his sovereign will has many other aspects
when God declared his goodness, his God-ness to Moses, started with his Lordship and then kept going
Ex. 34:5-7 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
God’s love and mercy and grace and forgiveness just as important as his power and purity; those were missing from view of God Job’s friends had
don’t be too hard on them, same thing happens today; Christians from all over the spectrum tend to over-emphasize some things about God and under-emphasize others
B. Man is (by comparison) contemptible v.5-6
stars, uncorrupted by man’s influence pale in significance and glory to God
our sun is a star, one of the smaller ones; 93 million miles distant; depend on it for heat and light – 1 second output = one of Don’s truckloads every minute for 1.6 billion years
only one star among billions and God’s glory exceeds them all, in total, added together, plus everything else in the universe
what is man compared to even our star? wideness of difference more than our minds can grasp; if that’s the greatest, what’s the lowest thing imaginable? a maggot
man is just a maggot, a worm
repeating what he heard Eliphaz say in Job 15:14-16“What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight,How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water!”
without question, is true that man has a problem: is morally filthy, predisposed to sin because born a sinner
here’s the leap Job’s friends make: because man is sinful, corrupt, impure, man is worthless
but what about 1st chapter of Genesis? got the 4th one down, after the fall, but….what about before the fall?
don’t take into account all that God has done for man beginning with Genesis 1 – how man was originally created
Gen. 1:26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
men, women, boys, girls, all human beings have worth and dignity from conception on because man was made in God’s image
principle behind capital punishment for murder: Gen. 9:6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.
then something happened: disobedience in the Garden, God’s awful sentence issued to Adam and Eve
but what about the “image of God”? – horribly distorted but still present; broken and re-glued mirror, can still see the image but no longer in its original condition
yes, man as he comes into the world is totally depraved – means he is defiled or impure in every part of his being
not as corrupt as he possibly could be; even worst human being could be worse, but corrupt in every part
take glass of water, put in large drop of food coloring – entire glass changes color; now add 10 more drops; here’s the problem: can’t add enough water to make food coloring go away
are born sinful, add own sinful actions to our natural corruption; is impossible by adding good works to make sinfulness and sinful actions go away
now, in your present condition, what kind of worm are you?
are you a maggot? a plain worm? a different kind of worm? answer to that found in your answer to Bildad’s question v.4
C. How??….I’m glad you asked v.4
will get different answers depending on who you ask – which answer is right depends on authority: Bible or something else; many then and now don’t care or think it unimportant
if there is a God, if there is life after death, then that kind of question doesn’t really matter ’cause God loves everybody
it’s all about karma, making sure good karma outweighs bad karma this time around, and next, and next
life stinks and then you die and that’s it; no worries, live life to the max, make sure you finish your bucket list because you won’t have another chance at it
Bildad probably figured it was impossible; Job had different idea – if you believe the Bible, answer to this question bears on character of your life both now and later
God’s word the Bible says in Heb. 9:27And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
death is in the future for everyone, nobody gets out of this life alive (except at the end) and something comes after
but don’t stop with v.27, keep going: so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Bildad not as far from truth as you might think – last word he spoke: thuloe, refers to the scarlet worm
word used 30+ times in Pentateuch describing color of yarn and cloth used for tabernacle furnishings, priests’ garments
also Isa. 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
“When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted.” “Biblical Basis for Modern Science”, Morris
George Bennard penned these words: “In the old rugged cross / stained with blood so divine / A wondrous beauty I see / For twas on that old cross / Jesus suffered and died / to pardon and sanctify me.” Is that your statement of belief today? Apostle John declared this about that one on the cross: John 1:4 “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Later Jesus himself said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Let’s go back to sermon title: what kind of worm are you? Are you a filthy maggot, crawling around on garbage and dead things? Or would you agree with Winston Churchill, “We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow worm.” If you have the light of life because you are following the Lord Jesus, then you do have sunshine in your soul; you are a glow worm in the best sense. If that does not describe you, turn to the Lord Jesus, seek his forgiveness for your sin, ask him to help you love and follow him. Then you, too, can have that light of life, that sunshine in your soul and be a real glow worm.