For this week we have been given four short readings from the forty-two lengthy chapters that go to make up the Book of Job. We all know the basic story for the Book of Job.
The book opens with two chapters that itemize the disasters that afflicted the just man, Job. He lost his crops, his lands, his children; and he was covered with sours from head to foot.
The prevailing wisdom back then was that all hardships are God’s punishments for our sins. The drama of the Book of Job arises on the one side from Job’s friends insisting that he must have sinned, while Job confronts them insisting that he hasn’t sinned.
Chapter Two of the book presents us with Job, despoiled of everything, sitting naked on a dunghill, using a fragment of broken pottery to scrape the pus from the sours that covered his body. Even before his friends arrived with their insistence that he must have sinned, his wife got in her licks. She said, “Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die.”
Today’s reading gives us Job’s response to the accusations of sinfulness from Bidad the Shuhite. His response is a beautiful act of faith. In Job’s time every just person had a personal vindicator who would champion his cause. This special godfather was called a Goel. Job’s confidence rested on his Goel who was God himself. He protested,