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 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 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 21 – Why Should I Not Be Impatient?

evil01Job’s disagreement with his three friends intensifies with indignation an it is born of sound reasoning.  He first tells them to keep their tongues and listen to his rebuttal, then urges them to continue to mock him if they must afterward.  He flatly disagrees with their assessment of the fortunes of those who are wicked, as well as its affect on their children:

Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their offspring are established in their presence,
and their descendants before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.

He asks them for more personal knowledge of how often the wicked are repaid in this life for their deeds, or when they have known God to dole out pain in His anger.  He disputes their claim that God stores up their iniquity for their children,  Job believes in a just God and he makes that clear when he asks who among them will teach God knowledge of justice against the wicked.  One, he says dies with his life full, while another dies without tasting prosperity – but they are dust in the end just the same.

He asks them to ferret out testimony from any front – the wicked are indeed spared from calamity often and escape wrath with frequency in this life, and their stance on this matter does not bear up under scrutiny.  At last he closes this speech with the condemnation they deserve:

“How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

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 19 – “My Redeemer Lives”

English: An early engraving by Blake for the B...

English: An early engraving by Blake for the Book of Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve said before that reading the Book of Job can be challenging.  By the time you reach this chapter, even with all of the poetry, it can be difficult to stay focused on getting meaning from all of the speeches by Job and his friends.  If you aren’t careful, you can totally miss “the point” in some chapters.  This is one such chapter.

In verses 1-22, he begs his friends to stop tormenting him with their words of judgment, not even being able to name what his sin might be.  He eloquently, but sadly, speaks of his pitiful state, and all of the abuse, abandonment, and even mockery by friends, family, strangers – even children.  He speaks at some length at how God has allowed all of this to befall him.

Then in verse 23 it takes a different turn, and in 25-26 (the NASB has the most accurate translation here), he says:

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God”

There are several things to note here.  First, the Book of Job is part of the inspired word of God,; and as such, it’s author (possibly Job himself) was guided by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, with some notable exceptions, the Old Testament is less vocal on the subject of life after death, but it seems clear here that Job believes in a physical resurrection.  Abraham believed in physical resurrection as well (Hebrews 11:19).  Third, the certainty Job has that his “redeemer lives” has been a gradual progression through these chapters.  In Job 9:33 he begins to wish for an arbiter or “umpire” between himself and God.  In Job 16:19, he says:

“Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is on high.”

In Job 17:3, he asks God to be his surety, his guarantor. In Job 16:20-21, he says “my eye pours out tears to God, that he would argue the case of a man with God.”  As Peter told us in 1 Peter 1:10-12, the prophets of the Old Testament did not always know the full ultimate development of all of their prophecies, but Job’s insight grows slowly each chapter.  He would have no way of knowing about Jesus, but he now sees God Himself as his Redeemer – the one who would stand for Him in the end before God 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 9 – Jesus is our Arbiter

Job concedes the point that God does not punish the righteous and even that he has had sin in his life.  But he is compelled to point out that all men have sinned, and he still contends that he can think of none that warrant such harshness toward him, nor can he think of any for which he has not repented.  Anyway, he says, nobody could argue with Him about it.

Georges de La Tour,Job Mocked by his Wife

Georges de La Tour,
Job Mocked by his Wife

He acknowledges God’s awesome power at great length, ascribing His ability to command nature even in the form of great earthquakes, His creation of the heavens and the earth – even mentioning constellations in verse 9.  But he wonders in verse 22 if God is fair.  He believes it would be pointless for him to even try to bear his burden without complaint, for more misery is surely to come.  He sees no reason for it to ever stop because he sees no reason for it to have even begun in the first place (verses 27-31). His wife had not even stood with him.  But Job is hanging on to his integrity, as he feels it is all he has left.

As he points out in verse 33 that there is nobody to serve as an arbiter, one cannot help but see that the scripture is pointing us to Jesus.  Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”   This is the crux of Jesus as the Messiah and our High Priest as prophesied in Psalm 110, and as the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews 4:14-16:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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.