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Job 25

This is the last comment from the three friends. Eliphaz and Zophar make no more speeches. Either they:

  1. Felt Job put them in their place, which I doubt.
  2. Couldn't think of what else to say, which I also doubt.
  3. Gave up on Job, feeling he was a "lost cause" in the sense he would not admit God was punishing him for his great wickedness and he needed to repent and turn back to God. This one I believe as there appeared to be too much pride for the possibility of the first two.

Bildad gives one last argument to try and put Job in his place. Bildad wanted to "demolish Job's claim that if he could appear before God in judgment, he would be vindicated," Wayne Jackson in The Book of Job.  He reminds Job of God's power and dominion and since this is true, how can man claim to be righteous enough to stand before such a great God. No creation of God, even the moon and stars, can surpass His glory. And man...well, man is just a worm, the lowest of creation and a maggot - one associated with decay.

While Bildad has it right about God's power and glory, his reference to a man (in this case Job) as being too low to come before God's throne and claim to be righteous is going too far. Man can not claim greatness and absolute purity before God, but that isn't what Job was trying to do. All Job wanted was a chance to state his case before God that while he wasn't perfect (he never claimed that), he was a righteous man and did not deserve such a punishment as what had befallen him.

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Job 26

With sarcasm, Job reprimands Bildad's (friends) lack of help, wisdom, and sound advice.

"How have you helped him who is without power! How have you saved the arm that has no strength? How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many?  (26:2-3)

"To whom have you uttered words?" (vs 4) In other words, who do you think you are talking to? What you are saying doesn't apply to me. "And whose spirit came from you?"(vs 4) Job is asking them where their "wisdom" comes from, because it certainly isn't from God.

The rest of the chapter, Job describes God's power and wisdom in His creation. Not only is Job showing he can make as good a speech as the other men and they are no wiser about God's power than he,  but as we go into chapter 27 we'll see the connection between Job's speech on God's majesty to his own personal suffering and integrity.

Vss 5-13: Job describes God's power in His creation:

  • No one, not even he dead, can hide from God. All are open to Him. 
  • Nothing supports the earth except by the power of God...amazing! I agree with Homer Hailey that Job was not speaking from inspiration, but from observation, as well as what was believed by many, although some ancient men may have had he wrong ideas about what supported the earth.
  • Clouds that are so light and just a vapor can hold a great deal of water before bursting.  One inch of rain over one square mile equals 17.4 million gallons of water weighing 143 million pounds (about 72,000 tons), or the weight of a train with 40 boxcars.
  • God hides his dwelling place.
  • Between light and darkness God drew a circular boundary on the horizon.
  • The "pillars of heaven" tremble and are astonished at His reproof. Possibly talking about the mountains.
  • God's power is mightier than the sea and can silence storms.
  • He has control over the heavens.

Job concludes this part of his speech with "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?" All the power Job just assigned to God is only a whisper of His total power. What man can understand all the power of Almighty God?!

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Job 27

 Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said:

 2As God lives, who has taken away my justice,
      And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,

 3 As long as my breath is in me,
      And the breath of God in my nostrils,

 4 My lips will not speak wickedness,
      Nor my tongue utter deceit.

 5 Far be it from me
      That I should say you are right;
      Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.

 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go;
      My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.

Although Job believes God had taken justice away from him and made his soul bitter, he swears an oath ("as God liveth") he will not speak unrighteousness nor deceit in regards to admitting the friends were right in their misjudgment of him. He would not be coerced into confessing he was a wicked man and had done the wicked deeds his friends ascribed to him. If he did so, he would put away his integrity and he would indeed be unrighteous in that it would be a lie if he said the friends were right. Instead, he would hold fast to the truth that he was not so wicked as to deserve such terrible trials. If he admitted otherwise, his conscience would bother him as long as he lived because it would be a lie.

 7 “May my enemy be like the wicked,
      And he who rises up against me like the unrighteous.

 8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite,
      Though he may gain much,
      If God takes away his life?

 9 Will God hear his cry
      When trouble comes upon him?

10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty?
      Will he always call on God?

Job not only speaks a curse against the wicked, the hypocrite, and the unrighteous, but adds those who "rise up against" him. This would include the men who have slandered him and are after him to admit his wickedness. Job states God will not hear the wicked's cry when troubles come upon them, nor will the wicked delight in the Almighty and call upon God when they need Him. Job, however, has called on God, even when he had not received an answer, and although he is greatly confused about why God would give (?) allow (?) such suffering, he never turns away from his God.

11 “I will teach you about the hand of God;
      What is with the Almighty I will not conceal.

12 Surely all of you have seen it;
      Why then do you behave with complete nonsense?

Now that the three friends remained silent, Job will become the teacher and speak about the power of God, especially His power over the wicked. He tells the friends that surely they understand the power of God, but if so, why do they speak such emptiness and without sense.

 13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
      And the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty:

 14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword;
      And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.

 15 Those who survive him shall be buried in death,
      And their widows shall not weep,

 16 Though he heaps up silver like dust,
      And piles up clothing like clay—

 17 He may pile it up, but the just will wear it,
      And the innocent will divide the silver.

 18 He builds his house like a moth,
      Like a booth which a watchman makes.

 19 The rich man will lie down,
      But not be gathered up;
      He opens his eyes,
      And he is no more.

 20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
      A tempest steals him away in the night.

 21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone;
      It sweeps him out of his place.

 22 It hurls against him and does not spare;
      He flees desperately from its power.

 23 Men shall clap their hands at him,
      And shall hiss him out of his place.

There is no good that lies in the destiny of the wicked man; although he may heap up riches, in the end is destruction.

Job is telling the friends he understands the outcome of the wicked, but he will never have them convince him he is grouped with these wicked men. Job is a man of integrity and he will hold to that, even if it isn't popular with those who surround him. Integrity never lies, nor does it justify the liar.

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WISDOM

Job 28

1 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
      And a place where gold is refined.

 2 Iron is taken from the earth,
      And copper is smelted from ore.

 3 Man puts an end to darkness,
      And searches every recess
      For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death.

 4 He breaks open a shaft away from people;
      In places forgotten by feet
      They hang far away from men;
      They swing to and fro.

 5 As for the earth, from it comes bread,
      But underneath it is turned up as by fire;

 6 Its stones are the source of sapphires,
      And it contains gold dust.

 7 That path no bird knows,
      Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it.

 8 The proud lions have not trodden it,
      Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.

 9 He puts his hand on the flint;
      He overturns the mountains at the roots.

 10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
      And his eye sees every precious thing.

 11 He dams up the streams from trickling;
      What is hidden he brings forth to light.

 12 “But where can wisdom be found?
      And where is the place of understanding?

 13 Man does not know its value,
      Nor is it found in the land of the living.

 14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
      And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

 15 It cannot be purchased for gold,
      Nor can silver be weighed for its price.

 16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
      In precious onyx or sapphire.

 17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,
      Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.

 18 No mention shall be made of coral or quartz,
      For the price of wisdom is above rubies.

 19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
      Nor can it be valued in pure gold.

 20 “From where then does wisdom come?
      And where is the place of understanding?

 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
      And concealed from the birds of the air.

 22 Destruction and Death say,

      ‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’

 23 God understands its way,
      And He knows its place.

 24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
      And sees under the whole heavens,

 25 To establish a weight for the wind,
      And apportion the waters by measure.

 26 When He made a law for the rain,
      And a path for the thunderbolt,

 27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
      He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.

 28 And to man He said,

      ‘ Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
      And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

The power and beauty of creation displays the wisdom of God, but as much as man searches for wisdom he can not find it. Although he can go into the "recesses of the earth" and come out with its treasures, man can not attain the true treasure of wisdom.

Where is wisdom found?

28 And to man He said,

      ‘ Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
      And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

With all the glorious, awe-inspiring power and wisdom in God's creation and with the ability God gave to man to explore the depths of the earth and bring out its treasure, man can not find wisdom in the creation, nor within himself. However, God has provided man with the source of wisdom and it is within everyone's grasp; the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding.

Amazing! We don't have to search in the depths of the earth, nor in the heights of the heavens, but God has freely given mankind the ultimate treasure of wisdom in fearing and obeying our Lord. Will we accept it? Do we desire it?

Job had obtained it. See Job 1:1,8. Although Job did not have the answers to his sufferings, he had the fear of the Lord and the understanding to depart from evil. He was truly a rich man.

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Job's Past Life Compared With the Present

Job 29 in black print (past life remembered)

Job 30 in red print (present life compared with past)

  1 Job further continued his discourse, and said:

 2 “Oh, that I were as in months past,
      As in the days when God watched over me;

 3 When His lamp shone upon my head,
      And when by His light I walked through darkness;

 4 Just as I was in the days of my prime,
      When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent;

 5 When the Almighty was yet with me,
      When my children were around me;

 6 When my steps were bathed with cream,
      And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!

Job30:20 “I cry out to You, but You do not answer me;
      I stand up, and You regard me.

 21 But You have become cruel to me;
      With the strength of Your hand You oppose me.

 22 You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it;
      You spoil my success.

 23 For I know that You will bring me to death,
      And to the house appointed for all living.

 24 “Surely He would not stretch out His hand against a heap of ruins,
      If they cry out when He destroys it.

 7 “When I went out to the gate by the city,
      When I took my seat in the open square,

 8 The young men saw me and hid,
      And the aged arose and stood;

 9 The princes refrained from talking,
      And put their hand on their mouth;

 10 The voice of nobles was hushed,
      And their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.

Job 30:1 “But now they mock at me, men younger than I,
      Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.

 2 Indeed, what profit is the strength of their hands to me?
      Their vigor has perished.

 3 They are gaunt from want and famine,
      Fleeing late to the wilderness, desolate and waste,

 4 Who pluck mallow by the bushes,
      And broom tree roots for their food.

 5 They were driven out from among men,
      They shouted at them as at a thief.

 6 They had to live in the clefts of the valleys,
      In caves of the earth and the rocks.

 7 Among the bushes they brayed,
      Under the nettles they nestled.

 8 They were sons of fools,
      Yes, sons of vile men;
      They were scourged from the land.

 9 “And now I am their taunting song;
      Yes, I am their byword.

 10 They abhor me, they keep far from me;
      They do not hesitate to spit in my face.

 11 Because He has loosed my bowstring and afflicted me,
      They have cast off restraint before me.

 12 At my right hand the rabble arises;
      They push away my feet,
      And they raise against me their ways of destruction.

 13 They break up my path,
      They promote my calamity;
      They have no helper.

 14 They come as broad breakers;
      Under the ruinous storm they roll along.

 15 Terrors are turned upon me;
      They pursue my honor as the wind,
      And my prosperity has passed like a cloud.

 11 When the ear heard, then it blessed me,
      And when the eye saw, then it approved me;

 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried out,
      The fatherless and the one who had no helper.

 13 The blessing of a perishing man came upon me,
      And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
      My justice was like a robe and a turban.

 15 I was eyes to the blind,
      And I was feet to the lame.

 16 I was a father to the poor,
      And I searched out the case that I did not know.

 17 I broke the fangs of the wicked,
      And plucked the victim from his teeth.

 Job30:25 Have I not wept for him who was in trouble?
      Has not my soul grieved for the poor?

 26 But when I looked for good, evil came to me;
      And when I waited for light, then came darkness.

 27 My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest;
      Days of affliction confront me.

 28 I go about mourning, but not in the sun;
      I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.

 18 “Then I said, ‘I shall die in my nest,
      And multiply my days as the sand.

 19 My root is spread out to the waters,
      And the dew lies all night on my branch.

 20 My glory is fresh within me,
      And my bow is renewed in my hand.’

 Job 30:16 “And now my soul is poured out because of my plight;
      The days of affliction take hold of me.

 17 My bones are pierced in me at night,
      And my gnawing pains take no rest.

 18 By great force my garment is disfigured;
      It binds me about as the collar of my coat.

 19 He has cast me into the mire,
      And I have become like dust and ashes.

 21Men listened to me and waited,
      And kept silence for my counsel.

 22 After my words they did not speak again,
      And my speech settled on them as dew.

 23 They waited for me as for the rain,
      And they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain.

 24 If I mocked at them, they did not believe it,
      And the light of my countenance they did not cast down.

 25 I chose the way for them, and sat as chief;
      So I dwelt as a king in the army,
      As one who comforts mourners.

 Job 30:29 I am a brother of jackals,
      And a companion of ostriches.

 30 My skin grows black and falls from me;
      My bones burn with fever.

 31 My harp is turned to mourning,
      And my flute to the voice of those who weep.

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Job's Last Declaration of Righteousness

another title...

Job, An Example of Righteousness

Job never allowed Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar to convinced him he deserved such terrible trials because he was a great sinner. While Job knew he, nor any man, could not stand before God in complete innocence, he knew he was not a man of wicked thoughts and deeds as the three friends had made him out to be. In one last effort, Job proclaims his righteousness before God and man by bringing into remembrance his life prior to his trials.

This chapter is a perfect lesson for all of us to emulate this righteous man. This self-description of Job's life was not self-deceit because God Himself describes Job as a "blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil," Job 1:8.

Job 31

 1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
      Why then should I look upon a young woman?

Job had made an agreement with himself not to lust after women and in his honesty and self-control, he kept this covenant. How many times do we make agreements with ourselves and if we do, do we keep them? 

 2 For what is the allotment of God from above,
      And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

 3 Is it not destruction for the wicked,
      And disaster for the workers of iniquity?

 4 Does He not see my ways,
      And count all my steps?

Job lived his life knowing God sees all his steps and understands his heart and actions. He understood the inheritance from God for His people, as well as destruction and disaster for those who work iniquity. Job didn't need a speech from the three men of how the wicked are destroyed, because Job had always lived his life with this knowledge and he had decided from his youth that he would be led by God's direction.

 5 “If I have walked with falsehood,
      Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,

 6 Let me be weighed on honest scales,
      That God may know my integrity.

 7 If my step has turned from the way,
      Or my heart walked after my eyes,
      Or if any spot adheres to my hands,

 8 Then let me sow, and another eat;
      Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.

Job now begins with listing various sins and curses and makes the statement if he has committed these sins then he knows he deserves to be cursed. However, he affirms his righteousness. He desires an honest trial, which he had not received from man, but he has confidence in God's justice.

Job proclaims he has lived his life in honesty and purity, free from covetousness.

 9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
      Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,

 10 Then let my wife grind for another,
      And let others bow down over her.

 11 For that would be wickedness;
      Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.

 12 For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction,
      And would root out all my increase.

Job proclaimed his faithfulness to his wife and he recognized the great wickedness of adultery and how, like a fire, it can consume man.

 13 “If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant
      When they complained against me,

 14 What then shall I do when God rises up?
      When He punishes, how shall I answer Him?

 15 Did not He who made me in the womb make them?
      Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

Job was a true believer in the equality of man because all men were created by God, thus he treated all men and women who were lower in status with respect and listened to any complaints they might have against him.

 16 “If I have kept the poor from their desire,
      Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

 17 Or eaten my morsel by myself,
      So that the fatherless could not eat of it

 18 (But from my youth I reared him as a father,
      And from my mother’s womb I guided the widow);

 19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
      Or any poor man without covering;

 20 If his heart has not blessed me,
      And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

 21 If I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
      When I saw I had help in the gate;

 22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder,
      Let my arm be torn from the socket.

 23 For destruction from God is a terror to me,
      And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.

Job was generous and cared for the needs of the widow, the orphan and the poor, and it was not for the fear of man or even to impress man, but he feared God and was in awe of His magnificence.

 24 “If I have made gold my hope,
      Or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’;

 25 If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
      And because my hand had gained much;

Here Job answers Satan's statement, "Does Job serve God for nothing?" Yes! Job's confidence and hope was not in gold and wealth, but in God and in living as God would have him to.

 26 If I have observed the sun when it shines,
      Or the moon moving in brightness,

 27 So that my heart has been secretly enticed,
      And my mouth has kissed my hand;

 28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment,
      For I would have denied God who is above.

Job did not worship anything but Jehovah. The worship of the sun, moon, and stars was common, but Job had never been involved in such iniquity. In Homer Hailey's commentary he mentions the kissing of the hand was suggested by Pope that "since the sun and moon were inaccessible, that kissing the hand toward, or throwing the kiss, was practiced." (Commentary on Job, pg 270)

 29 “If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me,
      Or lifted myself up when evil found him

 30 (Indeed I have not allowed my mouth to sin
      By asking for a curse on his soul);

Job was not a vengeful man nor did he rejoice or feel satisfied when his enemy fell.

 31 If the men of my tent have not said,

      ‘Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?’

 32 (But no sojourner had to lodge in the street,
      For I have opened my doors to the traveler);

Job was hospitable to strangers and took care of the needs of the traveler.

 33 If I have covered my transgressions as Adam,
      By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,

 34 Because I feared the great multitude,
      And dreaded the contempt of families,
      So that I kept silence
      And did not go out of the door—

Job never played the hypocrite, nor did he hide sin due to fear of man. He made an affirmation that he had not been hiding sin in the past, nor in the present because he desired the praise of men and was afraid of their abandonment.

 35 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
      Here is my mark.
      Oh, that the Almighty would answer me,
      That my Prosecutor had written a book!

 36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder,
      And bind it on me like a crown;

 37 I would declare to Him the number of my steps;
      Like a prince I would approach Him.

Job longed for a fair trial, which the friends did not give him, but he had confidence in God's justice; Job would carry God's verdict of righteousness around for everyone to see and he would wear it like a crown. This was not said in vengeance but in his assurance of a declaration of innocence in a just trial by God.

 38 “If my land cries out against me,
      And its furrows weep together;

 39 If I have eaten its fruit without money,
      Or caused its owners to lose their lives;

 40 Then let thistles grow instead of wheat,
      And weeds instead of barley.”

In one last declaration of innocence, Job proclaimed he never abused the land, nor the owners of the land.

   The words of Job are ended.

Job finished his declaration of innocence. He no more argued with his friends, but set his heart on God's justice. The friends are now silenced. Elihu has been waiting patiently and he now will begin his speech.




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September/October 2017