“How then can a man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4)
There is an old saying that says: “Better for one to sit quietly and people to think he is a fool, then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.” This seems to be the ongoing scenario with the friends of Job. With friends like these who needs enemies! But in chapter 25 we see that Bildad is finally shining some wisdom in his words (but notice wisdom came in his shortest rebuttal). Job, is correctly, pointing out the injustice of the wicked prevailing in this life. Job is going through the same turmoil that we Habakkuk writing about some years later; and the question that probably plagues us all. When these questions come to my mind, often with a bit of angst, I remember this simple phrase that my father often has said as I was growing up when he found himself in similar circumstances: “It’s OK, I will be ahead in the end.” So simple yet so profound; don’t you agree? This “vapor” of a life, as James puts it, is such a small speck of time in view of eternity. When viewed in this light it should cause us to feel sorrow for those who get ahead by dishonest gain because there is an eternity of suffering to follow if one does not repent. But this subject is really not the centerpiece of what is happening in these chapters.
Job, is finding his own righteousness by comparing it to those around him. If I were to go to the gym at 5:00 AM and see the people there who are dedicated to their work out routine, I see people in tip top shape and when I gaze in a mirror I become horrified at what I see! But if I were to go a weight watcher’s meeting and peer in the window, I may feel pretty good about myself. Job, along with most of us, can look at the world around us and feel pretty good about ourselves; but we need to set ourselves to the standard that God has set up. This standard is perfection and was reflected in His Son Jesus Christ. When we look to Him, especially in His Word, we see how far we fall short. Bildad was, I believe, bringing this fact into life as he spoke with Job. When we as believers are not “attached to the vine..” as Jesus commanded us to be, we get a tainted and very dangerous, view of our righteousness. Although Job, in our standards, was a very righteous man; he is so far removed from the righteousness of God that there is really no comparison.
This verse is also another plea for the Savior. “How can a man be righteous before God?..” Without Christ my friends, it is impossible. I love that in every book of the Bible we see the words that continually point us to the Savior!