Job 42 – The Lord Rebukes Job’s Friends

This closing chapter of the Book of Job begins with Job confessing to the Lord that he knows God’s power, His knowledge, and the inevitability of His will, and he repents. Then the Lord turns to Eliphaz and rebukes him (along with Bildad and Zophar) for wrongly speaking about Him. He then requires a sacrifice from them, and states that Job will pray for them because of their folly – it is Job’s prayer only that He will accept on their behalf. This is as much an endorsement of Job as a rebuke for them. The book concludes with Job’s fortunes turning completely around, as God blessed him with great wealth, much in the way of possessions, and 10 more children. Then it says that God blessed him with a very long life.

crucifixion01As we conclude the reading of this great book, it should be noted that it is characterized somewhat incorrectly by most people, in our opinion. Many say that the book of Job is all about the question of why there is pain and suffering in the world. But we do not believe this is the case. Note that at no time did God explain to Job anything about His conversation with the devil. Nor did He state any type of regret to Job or indeed, offer any explanation of suffering whatsoever.

We believe that this book is mostly about teaching us how wrong it is to assume bad things about others without having good reason. Man tends to be harshly judgmental of others, often at the worst times or in the most inappropriate circumstances. It also serves to teach us how to cope with the pain and trials of a life that can often be unfair – and to know that those who fear the Lord will come through it all to a much better end. That is the promise of Job, and it is the promise of God, through the sacrifice of His son, our Lord Jesus the Christ. He is our “mediator” (Job 9:33, Hebrews 4:14-16).

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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Job 41 – Who Can Stand Before Me?

Like in Chapter 40, this chapter spends much time (almost all of it) on the description of a majestic, but fearsome, creature. As God begins speaking of this magnificent creature and his fearsome power, He points out that even the most fearsome of men cannot do battle with this “Leviathin,” so “who then is he who can stand before me?” A fair question, since God created this creature.

Australian Bombardier Beetle (Pheropsophus ver...

Australian Bombardier Beetle (Pheropsophus verticalis) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously from the description a sea creature, this Leviathin is the subject of much skepticism. Certainly, any such beast is long since extinct, but many say that no beast or dinosaur ever breathed fire. Among other counters to this position, is the reminder of the Bombardier Beetle that has the unusual defense mechanism of emitting a hot, noxious, and painful chemical as a gas at temperatures reaching that of the boiling point of water. Rather than spend much time on the subject, we would prefer to refer you two excellent articles on the subject of Leviathin here and here from Apologetics Press. There is much we do not know about extinct dinosaurs – the “dragons” of old.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 40 – Behold, Behemoth

This chapter of Job is one of the most interesting, and with God doing most of the talking, that is quite understandable. God challenges Job again, but Job has already realized that he has been wrong in his assumptions about God’s part in his suffering, as well as in questioning God in the first place. The Lord’s questions continue, and one of the points that he makes in all of this is that one of Job’s mistakes was in his suggestion that God had any share in any wrong-doing (verse 8). The Lord continues throughout the chapter, pointing out more of His majestic works. Why, Job must have thought, would he have ever thought that God would have devoted so much time to chastising one of such “small account” (verse 8).

Hippopotamus Copyright (C) David Redhouse 2002

Hippopotamus Copyright (C) David Redhouse 2002

We cannot, of course, leave this chapter without covering the subject of the creature “behemoth” that God describes from verse 15 through the end of the chapter. We find the suggestions of the past that the animal was a hippopotamus or an elephant completely without merit. Depending on the version, verse 17  states that “he moves his tail like a cedar.” This alone speaks volumes, and certainly does not fit with any beast alive today.

The details that lead many to the conclusion that the creature described is some sort of dinosaur is very compelling, all things considered. But the subject is covered much better than we could do in this article at Apologetics Press. Very interesting reading. We agree that the elephant and hippo theories are likely the result of intellectual timidity on the part of believers amid the traditional evolutionist viewpoint. The very context of the chapter demands the conclusion that God was speaking to Job of a beast that was quite majestic – not a “river horse” or circus animal.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 39:16-30 – Do You Give the Horse His Might?

This blog concludes the 39th chapter of the Book of Job with God at first speaking more about the ostrich. The bird’s carelessness and even indifference with its young do seem truly unique. The wild ostrich has been known to destroy its nests of eggs that it scatters about in the event that they are discovered by other creatures. He then speaks to her swiftness, which makes us marvel at this flightless bird that, when chased by a horse and rider, can make leaps of nearly 5 meters at a time, reaching speeds of more than 40 miles per hour.

Terracota warriors and horses, Xian, China. These warriors guarded the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, a despotic ruler of China about 2,200 years ago. There are 7,000 figures, each originally covered with colorful paint. The ruler forced 70,000 people to work 36 years to build these warriors and the tomb. Archaeological excavations began in 1974 when the site was discovered by a farmer digging a well.

Terracota warriors and horses, Xian, China. These warriors guarded the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, a despotic ruler of China about 2,200 years ago. There are 7,000 figures, each originally covered with colorful paint. The ruler forced 70,000 people to work 36 years to build these warriors and the tomb. Archaeological excavations began in 1974 when the site was discovered by a farmer digging a well.

In verses 19-25, God turns to the horse with his fearless nature and awesome power. This marvelous creature was used in war for centuries, fearlessly carrying its warrior to battle straight into the path of the enemy’s weapons. He then turns to the hawk and the eagle. These majestic birds make their homes high upon the rocks of the mountains, spying out their prey, and “where the slain are, there is he.”

These last two chapters show us just a small inkling of His dominion over creation and all living things, each and every one created by God, who is always aware of all that they are and do. The world is a huge, populous, and complicated mechanism filled with individual wonders of all kinds, but none of it is too great for Him too maintain.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 39:1-15 – Is the Wild Ox Willing To Serve You?

Today’s study of the 39th chapter of the book of Job will be the first 15 verses. Whereas in the previous chapter, God put forth the questions to Job concerning His rule, supremacy, and governance over the world and creation itself, this chapter does the same with God’s care for each living creature.  And it does so in a way that seems strange at the outset. Verses 1-4 deal with His knowledge of even the smallest details of the breeding, mothering, and maturation of families of wild mountain goats.

ostrich_001In verses 5-8, the Lord focuses on the habits, freedom, and domain that He has given to the wild donkey. In verses 9-12, He turns to the wild ox, pointing out his strength, and usefulness – yet making clear his independence and power. This was so much the case that hunting this beast was the sport of royalty, much like we would years ago have considered the safaris that we saw depicted in movies and television. In verses 13-15, the Lord  has Job consider the majesty of the winged ostrich, and the careless way that she places and sometimes even scatters her eggs.

Each of these wild creatures represent scores of others that God has created, and in His wisdom understands as nobody else can. No single person can at the same time appreciate, understand, and maintain the balance in the lives of all of these creatures – and though man can put some of them to use for his purposes, he can never fully tame them (verses 9, 11, and 12).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 38:22-41 – The Lord Answering Job

snow_002In this second half of Job 38, God is continuing His answer to Job. Let us begin by addressing the criticism by skeptics of scientific inaccuracies. One should keep in mind that though such is not the purpose of this book, it has demonstrated several examples of scientific knowledge beyond the times when it was written. Take, for example, the understanding of the hydrological cycle demonstrated in Job 26:8 and 36:27-28.

But when reading the Book of Job – even this chapter- it is good to remember two things. First, like all Scripture, this is the inspired word of God poured out by the Spirit. Secondly, just like the other chapters of the book, it is very poetic, and it should be taken as it was written. For example, one would therefore not take a literal meaning from such things as the “storehouses of the snow”and the “storehouses of the hail” in verse 22, or the places “where light is distributed” and “the east wind is scattered” in verse 23. God is simply communicating to Job, in terms he can understand, that there is more going on with creation and how “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17) than what is seen in the world by man.

That is the point of this chapter, and it is driven home in the last three verses, where God points out His care for every living creature that is, after all, His creation:

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?

Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 38:1-21 – The Lord Answers Job

A whirlwind in the ancient territory of Galatia, or modern Ankara, Turkey

A whirlwind in the ancient territory of Galatia, or modern Ankara, Turkey

Because of the length of chapter 38, we will examine it in two parts – the first of which in this blog will be verses 1-21. All throughout the book, Job has been requesting an audience with God, in order to plead his case. And God comes abruptly to him in this chapter. The first verse starts out -with Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:…” But it is the second verse that is the source of some debate.

The second verse reads “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” At first reading, it appears that in that sentence, He is referring to Job, and that seems to be the majority opinion. But some good arguments have been made that God is actually referring to the words of Elihu. As one commentator wrote, assigning these words to Job is a direct contradiction of Job 42:7-8, which clearly states that Job has spoken correctly of God. The debate goes on, and there are merits to both arguments (although some have even questioned the authenticity of the Elihu speeches, alleging that they were not part of the original text. We flatly reject that suggestion).

Arguments on both sides of this question are compelling, and although we lean toward the position that the Lord was indeed addressing Elihu, we must confess uncertainty. In the end, despite some truth, Elihu just got too much wrong (see previous posts on Chapters 35 and 37). Either way, the lessons of chapter 38 are the same, so the point is largely academic. That Elihu’s speeches add value to the book, is a concept we support for reasons listed in previous posts on those chapters.

earth003The Lord begins His dialog with Job, asking in several different ways where Job was when he gave birth to the universe, and what Job understands about the undertaking. Some take the statements about the earth’s foundation, where its “bases” were sunk, and the cornerstone being laid (verse 6) to mean that the Bible is assuming the world is flat. But like much of the “Wisdom Literature” the Book of Job is full of imagery; and like any poetry, one should consider that when studying these verses. Written long before mankind in general knew the word was round, many passages in the Bible demonstrate that God’s word was far ahead scientifically. For examples of passages about a round earth, see Job 26:10 and Isaiah 40:22.

Verse 7 speaks of the “sons of God” shouting for joy when God created the world. For this term, we can refer back to Job 1:6, which makes the same reference. See this previous post about chapter one for our comments about that. Keep in mind also that there is much we would like to know about many things not of this world, such as angels and demons, cherubim and seraphim, and urum and thummin that the Bible does not fully explain. God has His own reasons for what is included in the Scriptures and what is not. Such explanation is not necessary for salvation and instruction in same.

At first look at the remaining verse leading to verse 21, we may think that we know much more about some of those things than they did in Job’s time. But verse 17 reminds us that we know nothing about the experience of such things as death, and the state of our awareness in the immediate time afterward:

“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.”

When we take up this chapter again, we will begin at verse 22.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 37 – By the Breath of God

waterfall_003Chapter 37 brings the conclusion of Elihu’s speech, and (thankfully, one might say) the end of the speeches of all of Job’s companions. Like in the last chapter, Elihu has much to say about God and about His power that are appropriate in their awe for God, but not so in the context of the situation.

Again, Elihu uses his knowledge of the world (so fond is he of using examples of the weather, one would think he might be some sort of teacher) to attempt to validate his assessment of Job’s guilt. Although, God will in the next chapter pick up some of Elihu’s ideas in His questioning of Job, one should not take that to signify God’s approval of Elihu’s speech. It is, however, beautiful poetry; and it provides great imagery and material for prayer, as well as praise to God, as shown in this snip from verses 10-13:

By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.

They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 36 – On God’s Behalf

rain_003While there is some truth to some of what Elihu says in this chapter, he is using it in the context of condemning Job and ascribing Job’s suffering to God’s punishment – just like the first three of Job’s friends. Presumptuously, he begins by stating that he is speaking on God’s behalf (verse 2), as if God needed someone to defend Him. But his words are meant to wound Job and disparage his integrity; and God would have no part of such. Worse still, Elihu claims to be “perfect in knowledge” (verse 4) concerning God, His will, and how he deals with the righteous and the wicked. This arrogance is certainly not unnoticed by God, as we will see.

Elihu speaks correctly about God’s might, and even shows some knowledge of the scientific processes for rain, evaporation, and storms. But Satan moves him to use this knowledge to give the false impression that his knowledge in the matter of Job’s guilt, and God’s actions toward him are equally correct – which they certainly are not. This tactic of using the truth to lay down false authority for a lie is timeless, and certainly still used by Satan today.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Job 35 – Words Without Knowledge

Elihu continues his diatribe, as he condemns Job further for presuming to be right before God. But Elihu is himself way off track in this chapter. Consider verses 6-8:

If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
Or what does he receive from your hand?

crucifixion01According to Elihu, man is so insignificant to God that it is of no consequence to Him either way whether we do good or evil. It is only to our own detriment if we do the latter. This goes against everything that God’s word teaches, and indeed, sin hurts God so very much that He gave His only son to save man from his own iniquity.

Elihu further shows his ignorance of the Lord in verses 12-13 by saying that God does not answer the prayers of men because of their pride, and suggests that He does not even regard the prayers of some as more than empty pleas. He forgets that sometimes “no” is an answer, as well as “I have something else planned.” James 4:3 gives one reason for not receiving the answer one wants to a prayer at times – selfish motives.

As Elihu accuses Job in verse 16, his own are the “words without knowledge.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.