Job answers Bildad. He doesn’t disagree, yet how can a human being be considered righteous by God? God is wise and irresistibly mighty. He can move mountains, shaking the earth’s foundations. He can stop the sun from rising. He placed the constellations in the sky. No one can see God, stop him, or question him.
God will not restrain his anger, Job continues. So how can Job presume to answer him, even if he is innocent? He doesn’t believe that God would listen. God crushes Job without reason, and he won’t let Job catch his breath. Job continues to maintain that he is innocent, but he doesn’t think this would make a difference to God; God destroys the innocent and guilty alike.
Though Job continues to maintain his innocence, he despairs of ever getting through to God to state his case. From Job’s perspective, God is too distant and too mighty to listen to mortals like him, and anyway, it looks like God causes everyone to suffer—regardless of whether they deserve it.
When Job tries to tell himself to cheer up, he nevertheless fears God’s condemnation. What is the point of arguing with him? God isn’t mortal, and Job can’t take him to court. There’s no “umpire” between them. If only God would withdraw his anger from Job, then Job could speak freely and prove his innocence.
Job expresses the desire for an intermediary between himself and God. This desire also underscores the fact that Job’s friends have already proven they’re not up to that role, since they’ve chosen to berate Job instead of supporting him. Again, God feels both too close (his anger overshadowing Job) and too far away to reach.