Scripture to meditate on:
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
“Dominion and awe belong to God;
he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
Can his forces be numbered?
On whom does his light not rise?
How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot—
a human being, who is only a worm!”
Then Job replied:
“How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
“The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
The realm of the dead is naked before God;
Destruction lies uncovered.
He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
he suspends the earth over nothing.
He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
He covers the face of the full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.
He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
for a boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke.
By his power he churned up the sea;
by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” – Job 25 – 26
The arguments of the three friends are coming to a close, as Bildad makes one, final but feeble attempt to convince Job.
Job’s response is blunt. “What help have you been to the powerless? What rescue have you brought to the weak man?’ Clearly, the harping of Bildad and company exasperates Job. If they thought they were helping with all their assessments of his guilt and shortcomings, Job makes clear, they have not.
Job’s questions have stinging relevance for those of us in the church. There is no doubt that we are called by Christ to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable among us. We might well ask ourselves, what help have we been to the powerless? What rescue have we brought to the weak?
Even in times of economic hardship, we in the Western world enjoy a prosperity that is astounding, even to many of our geographic neighbors. Among other things, the story of Job might well be a call to each of us to respond to the weak, not with words or analysis but with action and love.
“How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!” – Job 26:2
Questions to ponder:
- Who are the powerless in your own life?
- What can you do to improve their situation in a meaningful way?