Focal Passages: Job 38:1-4; 42:1-12a
When Bud was about 10, he was invited to spend a day with a neighboring family as they visited relatives. Bud’s job was to help watch over their son, Andrew, who was about 5. All was going well until Andrew wandered toward the pig pen in the woods, where there was a sow with her piglets. Bud knew this might be dangerous, but little Andrew wanted to play with the little pigs, and Bud did not stop him from climbing over the fence into the pen.
What happened next is something Bud will never forget. Mother hog jumped all over little Andrew, biting and tearing at his face. Bud screamed and ran for help; fortunately, it was not too late. Little Andrew was rushed to the hospital and survived, but bears the scar on his face to this day.
Bud was not chastened or punished by Andrew’s family. There was no retribution, only compassion. It was an unfortunate accident that none of them would ever want to replay. Of all the tragic events that Bud has faced over his life, he will never forget that he could have prevented Andrew’s scar, and the family’s pain.
While he knows that God has forgiven him, Bud will carry regret for that day as long as he lives. We have all heard it said that “experience is the best teacher,” but experience does not benefit us unless we learn something that changes our life.
God asks the question, “Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words?” He then proceeds to describe His creative activity, doing things that only He knows of, and why.
Job and his friends are necessarily humbled. For his part, Job wished to take back his words and repent in dust and ashes (42:6). Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were more severely rebuked. God indicted them for untruthfulness and required them to offer sacrifices for their sins.
Moreover, Job was to pray for them; God would honor Job’s prayer on their behalf, for Job alone was a righteous man.