Then Job answered and said: “How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge! With whose help have you uttered words, and whose breath has come out from you? The dead tremble under the waters and their inhabitants. Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering. He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them. He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his cloud. He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke. By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:1-14 ESV)
Job is mocking the pants off Bildad, and probably the other two friends as well. “Oh, you have helped me soooo much, you have saved me and counseled me with such wisdom. You have declared soooo much sound and good knowledge!” These are mocking words which infer that Job considers all the words of his friends to be without sound wisdom, counsel, or knowledge. He then gives the death blow in verse 4 by suggesting his friends counsel came from a source other than God.
“With whose help have you uttered words, and whose breath has come out from you?”
In Matthew 16, Jesus does this same sort of thing to Peter when he rebukes the Lord for mentioning he must go to Jerusalem and suffer. Jesus looks beyond and behind Peter to Satan and says:
“Get behind me Satan! You are a hinderance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23)
Jesus obviously did not mock Peter like Job mocks his friends. But he does show us the same source behind Peter was the source we read about in the first chapters of Job who incited God against Job.
One other thought from Jesus’ words in Matthew; Satan sets his mind on the things of man, and not the things of God. Humanism is the philosophy of man setting his mind on himself and not on God. This, according to Jesus is the same philosophy of Satan.
Questions for reflection:
- Does God ever rebuke Job for mocking his friends and their counsel?
- Do you think we have warrant for doing such things in a similar situation?
- Do you think it would have been better for Job to just pray for his friends to gain true wisdom from God? Why or why not? Did Jesus just pray for Peter in Matthew or did he rebuke him?