“If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.” Oh, what horrible counsel from Bildad. He just said to Job, “Obviously, your children died because of some sin they committed. God’s given them into the hand of their transgression.”
There’s so much here to reflect on, but the reason I want to read this verse and pray according to this verse is because of what it takes me back to in my mind in Job 1, when Job prayed for his kids, that God would keep them from sin. I love the picture of this dad interceding for his kids, praying for their protection from sin. From all we know, God answered that prayer. They didn’t sin, and they didn’t die because of sin they had committed against God.
Job 8:4 Reminds Us that Suffering is Not Always a Direct Result of Sin
Bildad’s counsel is wrong just because something bad happens to a child doesn’t mean that child has sinned by any means. Yes, generally all people have sinned, and yes, all suffering in the world is ultimately a result of sin in the world, but not in a way that is necessarily, in every circumstance, attributable to some specific sin in any one of our lives, including a child’s life.
I do want to lead us, in light of Job 1, to intercede for children, that God would keep children around us from sin. This is part of what it means to pass the Gospel on to the next generation, is to pray intentionally for children to be kept from sin, to walk in righteousness.
Job 8:4 Leads Us to Pray for Children
God, we pray, we take our place right now, interceding for children. God, I know there are some children who listen to this podcast. We pray for them. Even as they’re praying, not just for themselves, but pray for other kids like them, God, we pray for our children.
I’m going to include children, students, teenagers here. God, please protect them in our homes and in our churches. Just all the different children that are coming to our mind that we know, students and teenagers that are coming to our minds, God, we pray, keep them from sin. Help them to walk in righteousness with you.
Job 8:4 Calls Us to Ask God for Help
God, we pray that you would make these children holy, that they would experience life to the full, following you according to your commands. We pray for that, you protect them from all the attempts of the adversary to pull them away from you. God, please keep them close to you. Draw them close to you.
God, help us to do whatever you call us to do in their lives, all that you call us to do to protect them, to teach them your Word, to guard them, to shepherd their hearts, to help them follow you. God, we pray that you would ultimately do that work in their hearts that they might want to follow you, they might obey you, and you’d keep them. Please, O God, keep children around us, all these children that we have in our minds right now that we’re praying for, please keep them from sin. Protect them. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.