An early pioneer was Justinian Welz who realized the Reformers overlooked the reason d’être of the church itself: missions and evangelism. He would be followed by William Carey who went to India, Hudson Taylor who went to China, and George Whitfield who earlier went to America. This was a missions-oriented church focused on its Christ-given mission of fulfilling the Great Commission as opposed to the Reformation which already saw the Western world as sufficiently evangelized…
Wesley began having a dynamic impact to the point that the Church of England was shaken to its foundations. The church was a somber, dead, Calvinistic corpse being kept artificially alive because people were somehow expected to go to church and for some reason they kept going. Sometimes an employer made them go, or expected them to go—things like that—and for whatever reason, people went. Wesley’s revivals were an Arminian reaction against Calvinism and the social reaction it bred. It should not be forgotten that Arminius said God is NOT the author of sin, whereas Calvinism led to the belief that God predestined—foreordained—who was to be saved, which resulted in its adherents becoming fatalists. Evangelism was blunted because one’s fate was purportedly already decided by God. – Jacob Prasch, The Dilemma of Laodicea
And the dialogue continues with Bildad’s response to Job’s emotional prayer…
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 “How long before you stop talking? Speak sense if you want us to answer! 3 Do you think we are mere animals? Do you think we are stupid? 4 You may tear out your hair in anger, but will that destroy the earth? Will it make the rocks tremble? 5 “Surely the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. The sparks of their fire will not glow. 6 The light in their tent will grow dark. The lamp hanging above them will be quenched (Job 18:1-6 NLT).
Though Job had never said that he thought these “friends” were animals or stupid. Bildad is mis-representing what he said, but that is nothing new. He accuses Job of tearing himself in his bad temper, of being his own worst enemy. He claims that Job is wicked and that his pretended light will be extinguished. Job is a hopeless case.
The confident stride of the wicked will be shortened. Their own schemes will be their downfall. 8 The wicked walk into a net. They fall into a pit. 9 A trap grabs them by the heel. A snare holds them tight. 10 A noose lies hidden on the ground. A rope is stretched across their path. 11 “Terrors surround the wicked and trouble them at every step. 12 Hunger depletes their strength, and calamity waits for them to stumble. 13 Disease eats their skin; death devours their limbs (Job 18:7-13 NLT).
Can you imagine how Job must have felt listening to this… How difficult it must have been for Job, especially considering his weakened condition, to hear his “friend” say to him that he did not know God… Try to put yourself in his shoes as best you can and recognize the pain…
They are torn from the security of their homes and are brought down to the king of terrors. 15 The homes of the wicked will burn down; burning sulfur rains on their houses. 16 Their roots will dry up, and their branches will wither. 17 All memory of their existence will fade from the earth; no one will remember their names. 18 They will be thrust from light into darkness, driven from the world (Job 18:14-18 NLT).
Job had not been forgotten as Bildad claims. Few men on the face of the Earth have been remembered as Job is remembered—because he placed his trust and Faith in Jehovah God and not in man.
They will have neither children nor grandchildren, nor any survivor in the place where they lived. 20 People in the west are appalled at their fate; people in the east are horrified. 21 They will say, ‘This was the home of a wicked person, the place of one who rejected God’” (Job 18:19-21 NLT).
Bildad was a false prophet. Jehovah God would give Job seven more sons and three more daughters. And Job’s name would be remembered throughout the centuries.
Then Job spoke again: 2 “How long will you torture me? How long will you try to crush me with your words? 3 You have already insulted me ten times. You should be ashamed of treating me so badly. 4 Even if I have sinned, that is my concern, not yours. 5 You think you’re better than I am, using my humiliation as evidence of my sin (Job 19:1-5 NLT).
Job does not claim that he has not errored, but he defends his Faith in Jehovah God, which his “friends” deny.
But it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net. 7 “I cry out, ‘Help!’ but no one answers me. I protest, but there is no justice. 8 God has blocked my way so I cannot move. He has plunged my path into darkness. 9 He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. 10 He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished. He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree. 11 His fury burns against me; he counts me as an enemy. 12 His troops advance. They build up roads to attack me. They camp all around my tent. 13 “My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. 14 My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me (Job 19:6-14 NLT).
Up to now, all Job’s appeals to Jehovah God have elicited no reply from Him. So far, all they had gotten in responses from his “friends.” So, Job has begun to believe that he is truly under the Wrath of God.
Job had actual brothers, who forsook him and dealt deceitfully with him during the time of his adversity. No one wanted to have anything to do with him, neither his relatives, nor even his friends. In their thinking, he was surely under the Wrath of God, having done terrible things in secret.
My servants and maids consider me a stranger. I am like a foreigner to them. 16 When I call my servant, he doesn’t come; I have to plead with him! 17 My breath is repulsive to my wife. I am rejected by my own family. 18 Even young children despise me. When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me. 19 My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me. 20 I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth (Job 19:15-20 NLT).
Young children, no doubt, had heard their parents speak against Job, so they followed suit.
“Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy, for the hand of God has struck me. 22 Must you also persecute me, like God does? Haven’t you chewed me up enough? 23 “Oh, that my words could be recorded. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument, 24 carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock. 25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last (Job 19:21-25 NLT).
One would think that this pathetic appeal might elicit sympathy from someone, but it did not. And yet, suddenly, in his anguish, Job goes all prophetic and begins to speak in Faith of the Messiah!
And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! 27 I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! 28 “How dare you go on persecuting me, saying, ‘It’s his own fault’? 29 You should fear punishment yourselves, for your attitude deserves punishment. Then you will know that there is indeed a judgment” (Job 19:26-29 NLT).
Job portrays here the fact of the Resurrection and the glorified body. Jehovah God gave Old Testament men wonderful revelation of New Testament Messianic Truth in some of their deepest times of need.
Solomon would have been distinctly aware of the Book of Job, the life of Job, and I really do believe a connection between the two…
This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me. There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it; now there was found in a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city, yet n man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength; nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him who rules among fools (Eccl 9:13-17 KJV).