And Yet . . .

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Job 10

“Why did you bring me forth from the womb?” (v. 18)

Bildad now enters the debate. Job is not suffering for his sins, Bildad maintains, but for the sins of his children. Eliphaz is right. The law of retribution is true. But while Job may be innocent, his children are guilty, and hence he suffers justly for them. If Job will only admit his sin and be upright, God will restore him to his rightful place. Such is Bildad’s case.

But Job is an upright man, as our narrator has reminded us and as Job reiterates to Bildad. After responding to Bildad’s contentions, Job once again strikes up a conversation with God. “I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me.” And more: “You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. Yet . . . Why did you bring me forth from the womb?” And yet . . . why? A confession of God’s tender care and an honest question. Job’s struggle of faith continues.

PRAYER

O Lord, Giver of life, you have shown us your steadfast love, and yet there is much we do not understand. Free us to ask and help us to trust.