After tragedy struck, Job was resigned to the fact that he had nothing for which to live.  In his heart he knew that he had been living life the way God wanted him to live it.  But his friends thought otherwise.  All they knew about God pointed to One who acted righteously.  Punishment was for evil-doers, while good things happened to those who were good.  Without divine revelation, it was impossible to discern anything differently.

Eliphaz, whose name means "my God is pure" (that is "refined, as to have no impurities"), spoke eloquently in God's defense.  It was all so obvious to him, and to everyone with no special revelation, that the catastrophe that had come about because of undisclosed sin in his friend Job's life.  

After trying to make some sense out of the tragedy, all Job could do was as "Why?"  He knew that he had done everything right, so it had to be for some other reason that the bad things had become his family and himself.  He rightly determined that what had happened was because God had allowed it to happen. 

Then his friend Bildad chimed in, incensed that anyone would doubt God's revealed nature. He calls the argument the equivalent of "hot air"! Then he asks concerning God: "Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?"[1]

God can be expected to be 'fair' -- nothing else makes logical sense. But here Job has been insisting that this treatment was not because of what he had done. What else could it be? Job's answer is the same throughout the book: it is the will of God.

For the bulk of the book, the arguments go back and forth. But the stage has been set, and in reading the whole book we will get a sense of the minds of man and that of God.

  1. Job 8:2 (Link)

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