Job's Ninth Speech (Part 1)
As Job 26 begins, Job's sarcasm is exceedingly strong here. I'm not convinced he's really asking questions in the first three verses (as the NKJV indicates). The English Standard Version has him exclaiming - "How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge!" (26:1-3). Job then mockingly asks Bildad if his words were "inspired" like Eliphaz's (cf. Job 4:15).

Job goes on to argue for the remainder of the chapter that God's power is undeniable and man cannot hide from Him (cf. Psa. 139). There is no place that God is not aware of! There is nothing that is too great for God to accomplish! After going through an impressive list, Job sums up the paragraph very well in Job 26:14 - "Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?" Even with all that we can observe and partially understand, we're just touching the edges of the garment of God's greatness, awareness, and power.

And what does this line of reasoning have to do with Job and the arguments of his friends? Simply this: Job knows that God does many things beyond mortal understanding and perception. Therefore, he is implying that such must be the case with himself and his situation of suffering. Job knows there is more to this scenario than meets the eyes--and he is right!

Zophar, the third friend, fails to come forward with a speech so Job continues in Chapter 27 and makes this oath:

"As God lives, who has taken away my justice, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, as long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. Far be it from me that I should say you are right; till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live" (27:1-6).

Here is an example of Job speaking too much in regards to God. God had not taken away his justice, though the great patriarch certainly felt that way. Job reassures his friends that he will maintain his innocence as long as he lives. Job will not "fake" repentance in order to appease them.

Job speaks about his "enemy" in 27:7-12, which may be a not-so-veiled reference to his "friends." Job is exasperated with their foolishness.

"Surely all of you have seen it" (27:12; i.e., what happens to the wicked). He elaborates in the second half of the chapter - "This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty: If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. Those who survive him shall be buried in death, and their widows shall not weep, though he heaps up silver like dust, and piles up clothing like clay--he may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. He builds his house like a moth, like a booth which a watchman makes. The rich man will lie down, but not be gathered up; he opens his eyes, and he is no more. Terrors overtake him like a flood; a tempest steals him away in the night. The east wind carries him away, and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place. It hurls against him and does not spare; he flees desperately from its power. Men shall clap their hands at him [in derision], and shall hiss him out of his place" (Job 27:13-23).

Job again demonstrates his balanced perspective concerning the wicked. He and his friends agree that such individuals will be punished but they disagree on when such will happen. Job believes that the wicked will be punished on God's timetable.