Job 34:1-15 – The Almighty Will Not Pervert Justice

Elihu continues his rebuke of Job, beginning with a call for the wise men to test his words with their ears. He says that Job has claimed that he is in the right, and that God has taken that away from him, so that now he is counted as a liar, even though he is right.  At this, Elihu becomes even more insulting to Job that any of the others had been in the previous chapters. Verses 7 and 8 pose the insulting statement/questions:

What man is like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,
who travels in company with evildoers
and walks with wicked men?

The Wrath of Elihu, from the Butts set. Pen an...

The Wrath of Elihu, from the Butts set. Pen and black ink, gray wash, and watercolour, over traces of graphite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although Job has made the point that the wicked and the righteous suffer the same fates in life on this earth, he did not make the statement that Elihu claims he made in verse 9: “For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.’” He uses this deception to spring into his defense of God, making observations that nobody – not even Job – has dispute with. He says that God does not do wickedly, and will not pervert justice. And it is here that he does sound like the three friends, as he says in verse 11: “For according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him.”

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 33 – Elihu Rebukes Job

Elihu, the newest addition to the gathering around Job, finally gets into his speech in this chapter and offers up a slightly different point of view from that of Job’s three friends. He tells Job that in spite of his protests of innocence, he is indeed guilty, and that he needs to own up to it and accept God’s punishments for the corrective measures that Elihu claims them to be.

 

The Wrath of Elihu, from the Butts set. Pen an...

The Wrath of Elihu, from the Butts set. Pen and black ink, gray wash, and watercolour, over traces of graphite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Although Job had never claimed to be completely without sin at all, Elihu makes it sound as if he had, and he rebukes Job sternly for his denial. He launches into a long and involved description of the physical punishments that God brings upon people for their sins, explaining that God is to be praised for doing so because by those actions, he is attempting to bring man “back from the pit.” Of course, Elihu gives no explanation of what the authority is by which he has come to know these things – probably because there is none?

 

All in all, Elihu says nothing in this chapter to improve the assessment that we made of him in the previous chapter. Still, he continues to make such authority claims even in the last verse: “…listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

 

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 32 – Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends

The Wrath of Elihu, from the Butts set. Pen an...

The Wrath of Elihu, from the Butts set. Pen and black ink, gray wash, and watercolour, over traces of graphite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Chapter 32, we are introduced to a new character – Elihu. We are not told exactly when he joined the company of job and his three friends, but he has apparently been listening for some time. So far, this one has not said anything because he is younger in age than all of the others present, including Job. So out of respect for them, and in anticipation of hearing some wisdom, he has remained silent.

Elihu does not say much in this chapter, but he has more to say in the coming chapters. Mostly, he is angry with Job for being “wise in his own eyes,” and angry at the three because they have nothing wise to say to refute him. One writer said of Elihu’s entire speeches that it was nothing but a lot of “rigamarole.” Apparently, the Lord did not have much higher of an opinion, as we shall see in later chapters that He says “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by 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.

Job 31 – Job’s Final Appeal

English: Job's Sons and Daughters Overwhelmed ...

English: Job’s Sons and Daughters Overwhelmed by Satan, by William Blake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This chapter is the last part of the trilogy of Job’s last speech that was started in chapter  29. He begins in verses 1-4 with testimony that he has not been guilty of lust. He follows that by further referring to his truthfulness, and the fact that he has not committed adultery (verses 4-12). He attests to his good treatment of his servants, generosity with sojourners, and compassion for the poor and needy. In verses 35-37, he again states his wish that his offenses would be numbered, so that he could make a full accounting of his actions – in order to refute the charges, of course.

All of this does indeed serve to show that Job has always behaved in a manner than reflects high moral and ethical standards. And he is very believable, if for no other reason than the fact that he calls for more curses upon himself if it can be shown that he has not done so. People of those times would never make such brash statements if they were indeed guilty. And to Job’s credit, he gives godly reason for his own godly behavior – “What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high?”

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 29 – A King Among His Troops

Grove of olive trees at Bethany

Grove of olive trees at Bethany

Chapter’s 29-31 make up Job’s last speeches. In this one, Job remembers how happy he was before all of these troubles began. He looks back longingly to those days, believing that God was with him then – and that such is no longer the case (verses 2-5). In verse 6, he remembers “when my steps were washed with butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil.” This is likely a reference to his great wealth, which included much cattle and olive groves.

Job fondly remembers that he had his own place at the city gate (always the gathering place for the important men of a city in those days). He was respected and deferred to by the young men as well as the old – and even the nobles and princes (verses 7-10). His thoughts and opinions were valued, and many sought his counsel. He then spends some time remembering how he helped the poor, the orphans, the lame, and those who were oppressed by the unrighteous.

As he speaks of all of these things, he does not do so in a manner that is boastful or vain. And he does not long for such times simply because he longs for the respect of his station in life. Job was happy in those time because of the good that he was able to do to others. We were made to serve to serve God, and to serve our fellow-man. Of the things that he has lost, being deprived of his health and his wealth, as well as being held in disdain and shunned by others has cost him something much more dear. Job has been deprived of his ability to serve, and he knows what many of us never learn. We are happiest when we serve others.

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 28 – To Turn Away From Evil

Solomon's Pillars, hill with mine

Solomon’s Pillars, hill with mine

The poetic beauty that is so prevalent in the Wisdom Literature is seldom more lovely than in much of this chapter of Job. Verses 1-11 begin the chapter by extolling the accomplishments of man in extracting precious metals from the depths of the earth.  Verse three appears to be referring to an example of man’s mastery of darkness with the use of torches in deep and dark mines – said much more beautifully by the verse itself (“Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit the ore in gloom and deep darkness”). Or consider verse 9’s description of the act of mining itself (“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots”).

Man, the verses tell us, is the only creature on earth who is able to go into these depths and accomplish the extraction of these precious metals, and so it is only man who knows the secrets of these labyrinths or has even seen  them. Only man is able to so carve out and alter the face of the earth to find and acquire these resources.

Then verses 12-22 point out that even God’s greatest creation (man) cannot find wisdom by the physical acts at which he has become so masterful. And he cannot even use the great wealth that he accumulates from these great feats of manipulating the earth in order to purchase that wisdom, for it cannot be bought. Wisdom is hidden from all living things by the Creator, and man cannot penetrate to any deep or hidden place in order to find understanding.

Storm clouds gather over mountains of Maui, Hawaii

Storm clouds gather over mountains of Maui, Hawaii

Verses 23 and following point out the obvious conclusion that God alone knows the way to it and understands where it lays. He gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure.” And just as he created the laws of nature for such things as the rains and lightning and thunder, he established wisdom.

Then, just as Solomon said in Proverbs 1:7, verse 28 tells us that “he said to man,‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'” It is again important to understand that it does not say that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom about only religious matters. Just as was Solomon’s point, it is the beginning of all knowledge. Only by God’s power, His will, and the fact that He holds consistent and constant the created order of the universe in which we live, can man even have the ability to have understanding.

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 27 – As Long As My Breath Is In Me

Job_007Job is adamant that he will not surrender his position in this chapter, but he still believes God has caused his troubles. Verse 2 begins “As God lives, who has taken away my right,and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter…”But he says that as long as his breath is in him, he will not speak falsehoods or utter deceit. In other words, he will not say that he has done wrong, simply to appease them. He will hold on to his integrity, and hold fast his righteousness. His heart does not tell him that he has guilt.

As for any enemies (other than God himself, of course), Job says they are the wicked, and any that rise up against him are the unrighteous. God, he is still convinced, will be his witness and his avenger. He puts forward that God will not hear their cry, and they do not call upon the Lord at all times – implying that he does. Then he begins to show his own confidence and says that he will teach his friends about God. He tells them that they have seen themselves, but they have become vain in their thinking.

Job then goes into a long explanation of what will happen to the wicked and oppressors – but it is the “heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty.” Job knows that their punishment will come indeed. It just is not set to do so swiftly in this life. This is the truth that his three friends have missed.

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 26 – God’s Majesty

earth_004Occasionally, it seems difficult to know when to take some of the conversations between Job and the three guests at face value. In this case, the first few verses appear to be full of sarcastic irony – particularly verse 4 (“With whose help have you uttered words,and whose breath has come out from you?”). It really feels like Job is asking if they came up with these “brilliant conclusions” about man and his relationship to God all by themselves.

Job then demonstrates his own insight into the awesome power of the Lord. “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.” He makes the clouds, filling them with downpours of rain, and they hold together until he wills it to be released (He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them”). He continues his poetic illustrations of God’s mighty power with references to the moon, the heavens, and the seas. He knows that God is ruler over all creation, but he still believes that the Lord has been unfair about justice where Job himself is concerned. Still, he refuses to speak of Him in an openly disrespectful manner.

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 25 – Born of Woman

An outer view of the Druze shrine of Prophet Job

An outer view of the Druze shrine of Prophet Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This brief chapter sums up the crux of the discussion so far. Job’s friends’ arguments with him have so far included only two possibilities – either God is wrong about Job, or else Job is himself in the wrong. Since the former is an impossibility, the situation is puzzlingly unacceptable in the realm of possible reconciliations. How can it be that he who is “born of woman” be right in such a case, if that means that God is in the wrong? There must be some mistake! No other possibility than these two exists in their eyes, and that leaves much to consider for the three companions – and for Job himself.

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 22 – Can a man be profitable to God?

Job_007Chapter 22 begins what is known as the third cycle of speeches in the Book of Job, and this chapter contains Eliphaz’s last attempt at breaking Job’s resolve to claim his innocence.  By now, Zophar has apparently dropped out of the argument, and Bildad will begin another short variance in position during this cycle.  But it is Eliphaz who, here in this chapter, launches the most vicious attack yet.  Interestingly enough, all three men by their attacks on Job, have sincerely believed that they were defending God by doing so.

But Eliphaz, unable to think of any way to “put Job in his place” by any other means, resorts to wildly false accusation using nothing more than an imagination fueled by jealousy and vindictiveness.  It is truly shameful and tasteless, but clearly this locomotive is mercifully expelling its last bit of steam, and all four will sit back and wonder at their own positions throughout the previous debates.  Job’s “friends” will have the most to consider in that respect.

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.