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Job

April 13, 2010

Background

Outline:

I. Introduction      Job 1:1-2:10

II. Job’s Lament      Job 2:11:3:26

III. First Dialogue      Job 4:1-14:22

     A. Eliphaz      Job 4:1-5:27

     B. Job      Job 6:1-7:21

     C. Bildad      Job 8:1-22

     D. Job      Job 9:1-10:22

     E. Zophar      Job 11:1-20

     F. Job      Job 12:1-14:22

IV. Second Dialogue      Job 15:1-21:34

     A. Eliphaz      Job 15:1-35

     B. Job      Job 16:1-17:16

     C. Bildad      Job 18:1-21

     D. Job      Job 19:1-29

     E. Zophar      Job 20:1-29

     F. Job      Job 21:1-34

V. Third Dialogue      Job 22:1-31:40

    A. Eliphaz      Job 22:1-30

     B. Job      Job 23:1-24:25

     C. Bildad      Job 25:1-6

     D. Job      Job 26:1-31:40

VI. Elihu Speaks      Job 32:1-37:24

VII. God Speaks      Job 38:1-41:34

VIII. Job Responds      Job 42:1-6

IX. Closure      Job 42:7-17

Commentary

Background:

About the only things we know for sure about the book of Job are the four main character’s names; Job and his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar plus Elihu. Job is a true story of a very rich man who was righteous and whom God allowed to be tested by Satan and thus, suffered more than we can imagine. He went from being “on top” to being “on the bottom”, yet he remained faithful to God and did not forsake Him.

The author of Job is unknown, the date of Job is unknown, and the area in which Job lived is unknown. Tradition believes Moses was the author. Job lived 140 years after his trials so we believe he lived after the time of the flood when lifetimes changed from 700+ years to less than 300 years. Scholars speculate that the land of Uz was north of Edom and east of the Jordan River in the area of the Arameans. I believe he lived between the time of Noah and Abraham because of his lifespan and he is not identified as an Israelite or chosen one of God. He is simply identified as a righteous man [probably a descendant of Shem].

Hebrew scholars have never questioned the canonicity of Job. It is considered “wisdom” literature because of its’ subject and its’ poetic dialogue among the four main characters. Because it is poetic and because poetry and I have difficulty harmonizing, my comments will be more general than specific. As a result, my outline will be short for a book having 42 chapters.

As one studies Job, several key theology and character traits of the Lord God Almighty became apparent. The ones I noted are:

1. God allows us to be tested to mature us and bring glory to His Name. [I Peter 1:6-9; James 1:2-4]

2. God rewards faithfulness. Faithfulness is a testimony of God’s sovereignty.

3. The trials we face in life are not necessarily related to personal sinfulness.

4. Wealth on earth does not define who is righteous and who is not.

5. Man seeks a Savior who will mediate on his behalf before God.

6. God is sovereign over His creation. Satan may rule but he does not have the final say or any say for that matter. God is Sovereign. [see John 16:11; I Peter 3:22]

7. God desires to redeem all His Creation, including Satan, his angels, and his followers. [consider Eph. 3:10-12]

This last point is non-controversial for man [II Peter 3:9] although some strict reformed theologians would also disagree. But the possibility that God desires to redeem Satan and his angels is a different concept and not clearly supported in Scripture. I entertain this thought as a possibility for the following reasons:

a) Job was faithful, Satan was not. Job was blessed. Satan was jealous. Satan associates faithfulness as a reward for blessing/wealth. God associates blessing as a reward for faithfulness. With Satan, wealth assures faithfulness. With God, faithfulness assures blessing.

b) Since Satan and his angels were also created by God, it makes sense that He would want to redeem them just as he does with us [see my comments of I Cor. 15]. His plan of redemption is probably not the same as ours which is the result of God’s Son dying for our sin, redeeming all who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The Bible doesn’t address this because it doesn’t have to; it doesn’t involve us or concern us. However, the angels are amazed at our salvation [see I Peter 1:12]

c) What better way for God to convince Satan to repent and acknowledge the power of faithfulness and the resulting blessings than in the life of Job. Job shows Satan that God is greater than Satan, that God is indeed Sovereign.

d) Why else would God be so patient with Satan’s rebellious spirit over the centuries and even in the end times as described in Revelation? Why else would God release Satan from the abyss only to continue to wreak havoc after Christ’s millennial reign? Only a loving, gracious, compassionate, and patient God would go to these lengths to redeem us and all His Creation.

You no doubt, have not heard this before. I write these thoughts for your consideration and not as Biblical theology. As I stated earlier, it is not supported Biblically. Therefore, handle with extreme caution because we are not to add to God’s Word [Deut 4:2; Rev. 22:18-19]. However, what is Biblically true is the fact that God is Sovereign over all His Creation.

Interestingly, Job is placed just before Psalms in the Old Testament. If Job causes you to question God’s motives, the Psalms teaches us that God is good, compassionate, protecting, caring, forgiving, powerful, etc. and is worthy of our praise. The Psalms teaches us to Praise God for He is Sovereign.

Introduction      Job 1:1-2:10

The first five verses of Chapter 1 lays out the facts concerning Job. He lives in the land of Uz, is righteous, has great respect for God and worships Him, and avoids evil. He has been blessed with 7 sons and 3 daughters. He owns thousands of animals and has many servants, a testimony of his personal wealth. And finally, he is a “great man”, respected by others. He was both the king and the priest of his family, offering sacrifices to the Lord God for their sin on a regular basis. Job was worthy for he worked and worshiped.

Verse 6 begins with a scene in heaven where angels come before God to worship, report, and receive instructions. Satan, a fallen angel, is also allowed to come before God. Satan has been roaming [I Peter 5:8] and God asks him if he has observed the life of Job, a man [not an angel] who is righteous, fears God, and hates evil; a man who is greater in God’s eyes than Satan. Satan says that the only reason Job fears God is that God is protecting him and blessing him. In other words, Job is faithful because of what he has been given and not because of who God is. God accepts Satan’s challenge and allows him to take away Job’s possessions [but do not harm him] to disprove Satan’s belief.

Disaster strikes Job. Job’s donkeys and oxen are stolen and his servants killed but one. Job’s sheep and servants are killed by a severe storm save one servant. The Chaldean’s raid his camels and kill his servants but one. Job’s sons and daughters are killed by a severe wind storm which collapsed the home in which they were gathered. Job’s response to all this bad news is one of humble worship acknowledging God is the true owner of all he had and that he was just the caretaker [Job 1:20-21]. God is sovereign and knows best [vs. 22].

The angels and Satan show up before God again and God asked Satan if he has seen Job in that Job has remained faithful and righteous all through his disasters. Satan claims Job will curse God if his health is attacked. God allows such but Satan is not allowed to take Job’s life. Job is afflicted with painful sores and his wife advises him to curse God and die so he does not have to bear continued pain and disgrace. Job rebukes his wife, calling her a fool because God is sovereign over their situation. Job has nothing left but God and his life and that is enough. Job remains faithful and righteous.

God does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and God tests us to mature us in our faith [see I Cor. 10:13;James 1:2-4]. Job is suffering big time because in it and through it God has a purpose. The purpose, in Job’s case, is not to discipline him but to show God’s sovereignty to others that they may glorify God and be faithful and righteous in good times and in bad times. God’s Will is that we Know Him, Grow in Him, and Glorify Him who is the Sovereign Lord God Almighty Creator. God’s Will is being directed at Job, his 3 friends who are coming, his wife, the people who know him, and, yes, even Satan. We are all given a choice, to acknowledge God and be faithful or to curse God and die. God desires that we rest in Him regardless of our circumstances [see Matt. 11:28-29] and let Him walk beside us to encourage and comfort us. We are to place our trust in Him and let Him lead us in the paths of righteousness. We will learn that this doesn’t make much sense to Job’s friends and even to Job, but Job remains faithful anyway. Job may falter but he remains faithful. When disaster strikes us, may we too remain faithful to God and bring glory to His Name.

Job’s Lament      Job 2:11-3-26

When Job’s three friends hear about his plight, they agree to visit Job together to sympathize with him and comfort him. When they see him, they barely recognize him. They weep, tear their robes, and put dust on their heads as a gesture of sympathy. They sit with Job 7 days and 7 nights without saying a word. They had no words of comfort. Job’s comfort is in his friends presence. Likewise when we are down, take comfort that God is with you even when you don’t hear Him talking. And remember, when comforting others, your presence counts more than words, especially the presence of more than one person.

Job finally breaks the silence and begins speaking. He wishes he were not born, that his birthday would cease to exist. He wonders why he was allowed to live [vs. 11-12]. He would rather be dead and at peace [vs. 13]. Death provides more freedom than life [vs. 18-19]. Job is suffering, he is in pain, and life means nothing. He has no peace or joy, only turmoil and tribulation. Job’s questions are no different than the ones we ask ourselves when we are hurting. And we most likely won’t comprehend or understand until we rest in the loving arms of Jesus for eternity.

First Dialogue      Job 4:1-14:22

Eliphaz      Job 4:1-5:27

Job’s lament forces his three friends to speak. Eliphaz goes first. He encourages Job to consider the good he has done when others hurt [vs. 4] because he is righteous. Then he asks “shouldn’t your own righteousness give you the same confidence concerning your own situation?” [vs. 6] The righteous live but the evil are destroyed and man is not greater than his Creator God. Man is prone to do evil [vs. 18].

Eliphaz asks Job to appeal directly to God because His angels are not apt to hear [Job 5:1,8]. Resentment and envy will be Job’s undoing [vs. 2-3]. God is a miracle worker. God exalts the humble and lays low the proud ]vs. 11-12]. God cares for the needy and the poor. His discipline is a blessing. God is the only one powerful enough to restore man and to protect him from harm. His message to Job is simply to hope and trust in God for his complete restoration.

Job      Job 6:1-7:21

Job’s heart is as heavy as all the sand by the seas. He is unable to even think clearly [vs. 3]. He feels attacked by God. Even food does not appeal to him [vs. 7] He wants to die and sense joy again [vs. 8-10]. He doesn’t have the strength to hope as Eliphaz suggested. His friends have left him [probably refers to his friends other than these three] and he is not able to worship God [vs. 14]. But he also is not comforted by his three friends either [vs. 21]. His friends are afraid for him and Job is too proud to ask for their help. He wants and longs for the painful truth as they see him for the sake of his own integrity. Job begins to question what is truth. He doesn’t see his calamity ending very soon [Job 7:1-4] if at all [vs. 7]. Job feels it is his right to be bitter [vs. 11]. He has lost sight of his purpose for living [vs. 16] and accuses his friends for being unforgiving. They speak but their actions don’t validate their words. They speak of hope but don’t’ offer any help.

What kind of friend are we to someone in need? Do we also speak of hope while refusing to offer any help? Are we afraid of getting personally involved with a hurting life? Job’s friend Eliphaz has focused on the future while Job is still anguishing in the present. That is why Eliphaz’s words are of no comfort. Comfort one another in the present.

Bildad      Job 8:1-22

Bildad accuses Job of rambling and not making much sense. His first point is that God is just [vs. 3]. His second point is that Job’s children were sinners and they received what they deserved [vs. 4]. His third point is that Job must come before God and ask forgiveness. Then God will restore him, restore him to even greater wealth [vs. 5-7]. Right away we see Bildad as being very direct, very black and white, whereas Eliphaz was more indirect and tactful.

Bildad supports his views by remembering what happened in past generations [history] and what is natural [nature]. Then he makes his fourth point, the godless perish without hope [vs. 13]. The godless are weak, without roots. Bildad prophesies that since Job is righteous and God is just, Job will rise again to great heights and his enemies will fade away [vs. 20-22].

Again like Eliphaz, Bildad attempts to comfort Job by focusing on the future instead of the present. Isn’t this what we tend to do too? It isn’t wrong but wouldn’t a hug be more comforting?

Job      Job 9:1-10:22

Job agrees with Bildad but asks how a human can be righteous enough to command an audience with God in that God is so much greater than man [vs. 1-4;14-20]. After all God is the Creator [vs. 5-13].

Job feels he is blameless [righteous] because he has done all that is humanly possible to please God [vs. 21]. His life is meaningless, reminding Bildad that God is judge over the righteous and the wicked [vs. 22-24].

Job now slips into a state of despair stating three things; life is short, changing his attitude will not change his circumstances, and Bildad has already pronounced him guilty [vs. 25-31].

Job then states his longing for someone to mediate on his behalf before God. He desires a Savior [vs. 32-35]. Then Job could learn what charges God has against him [Job 10:1-2]. Job could use this mediator to proclaim his righteousness, to proclaim that God is his father, that God is disciplining him [vs. 7-15] and perhaps even disciplining him unjustly [vs. 16-17]. Job wants to die and receive a brief time of joy before being cast into darkness [hell]. Anything and anyplace is better than what he is experiencing now [vs. 18-22]. Job has reached the bottom.

A word of caution; when we reach bottom we are prone to mixing truth with error. Note that in Job’s speech he focuses on works [error] to please God and also the need for a mediator [truth] to learn God’s truth. We have seen and will see the same [truth mixed with error] in the friends speeches too. When involved in comforting one another, think clearly and speak slowly. Preface all comforting words by praying for God’s wisdom.

Zophar      Job11:1-20

Zophar accuses Job of talking too much. Job is subject to rebuke if he continues to mock his friends and God. Job claims to be righteous yet God hasn’t confirmed it. There are always two sides to one’s belief/story. Actually God has even forgotten about some of Job’s sins.

God is wiser and greater than anyone or anything. God is the final judge and takes note of all sin and evil.

Zophar exhorts Job to seek God and repent of his sin and evil intent, be forgiven, and start life anew. Then Job will know security and have hope. Job will receive renewed favor from man. Life will return to normal and be good.

Job      Job 12:1-14:22

Instead of less words, Job speaks even more words. One wonders if he is even listening. He begins by rejecting the wisdom of the people represented by his friends. He boasts that his mind is good and clear. He is laughed at even though he worships God. He is laughed at because of his misfortune. Unfortunately, those who laugh are still secure in their belief. God is sovereign over animals and man. The Lord is responsible for Job’s calamity.

Job explains God’s characteristics of wisdom and power. God knows man and owns nature. He is the victor over man and Satan. He judges man and controls the nations. God is Sovereign.

Job has observed this and knows it is true. But he still desires to argue his case before God and learn the truth. His friends speak lies and are of no help. It would be better if they didn’t say a word. Perhaps they need to experience God’s judgment too. Job then makes a key statement in Job 13:15; “Though he slay me yet will I hope in Him”. Job refuses to quit knocking on God’s door. He has confidence that God will rule in his favor. His request of God is but two things; that God withdraw his hand of punishment and that Job would no longer be frightened about his future. Job will listen to what God has to say.

Beginning in Chapter 14, Job focuses back on himself. Man’s time is short and predetermined. No man is capable of making the impure pure. Man’s destiny is death whereas a tree can spring back from its’ roots. He questions the validity of man’s resurrection [vs. 12] and then seems to reverse himself regarding the truth of God’s forgiveness [vs. 15-17] and his resurrection [vs. 14-15]. Job expresses his hopelessness [vs. 19], questions the salvation of his children [vs. 21], and mourns [vs. 22].

Job claims he has a clear mind but he really doesn’t. He expresses his hope and then states he has no hope. Remember this when you face a severe trial. Check your thoughts often for consistency, clarity, and conformity to God’s Word, TRUTH.

Second Dialogue      Job 15:1-21:34

    Eliphaz      Job 15:1-35

Eliphaz is losing patience with Job and his attitude. He becomes less tactful and much more direct. The first 16 verses are filled with accusations such as:

• Job is filled with “hot air”. [vs. 1-3]

• Job is ungodly, hinders devotion to God, and is filled with lies and deceit. [vs.4-6]

• Job is proud, thinking he is better than anyone else both spiritually and intellectually. [vs. 7-9]

• Listen to the elders and stop being mad at God. [vs. 10-13]

• Man is unrighteous and so are you. [vs. 14-16]

Eliphaz continues by reminding Job of the wisdom of man, the elders in verses 17-35. Eliphaz makes three main points:

• The wicked suffer, are terrified, despair, wander, are distressed, and in anguish. [vs. 20-24]

• The wicked war with God. [vs. 25-26]

• The wicked live as outcasts, are poor, cannot escape Gods’ judgment, and will die before their time. [vs. 27-35]

Eliphaz applies the wisdom of man directly to Job’s situation. Job’s friends have gone from “you must have sinned” to “you are a sinner”. Putting this in medical terms; they have gone from saying “you have a disease and it is warring with your body” to “your disease is spreading, you are dying, and it is confirmed by the physicians”. Eliphaz has gone from trying to comfort Job to removing any hope he might have had. Eliphaz is delivering an “uncomfortable” message to one who is very “uncomfortable”. He is jumping to conclusions and criminalizing Job instead of empathizing with Job and comforting him in his sorrow. This is an example for us on what we are not to do in our attempts to comfort one another.

     It appears the culture in Job’s day believed one’s wealth, health, possessions, influence, and family size was dependant on one’s status with God. But the truth [hidden from Job’s friends] is that all these are independent from one’s status with God. They are all gifts from God.

     Job      Job 16:1-17:16

Job fires back at Eliphaz and his friends saying:

• They are poor comforters, long winded, and argumentative. [vs. 1-3]

• He could do better than they. [vs. 4-5]

• My pain continues and God is the reason. [vs. 6-8]

• God’s attacks have emboldened men to attack him. [vs. 9-14]

After attacking his friends and God, Job’s tone begins to change beginning with Verse 15. Job is in mourning and he has been praying. He prays again beginning with verse 18 through Job 17:5. He asks to be heard and is relying on his advocate before God. He realizes his life will be short and he accepts that fact, perhaps taking comfort in that thought. He senses the hostility around him and asks for direction, understanding, and assurance that his soul is right with God [vs. 3]. Finally, he believes his friends are wrong.

Upon completing his prayer, Job makes a statement that the righteous are faithful and will grow stronger [vs. 9]. Job seems to make this his personal commitment to God. He will remain faithful to the end. With that done, Job continues to chide his friends and accepts his fate [vs. 10-16].

It seems that as Christians we must consider these points:

1. Suffering unjustly and remaining steadfast is a testimony to others of God’s faithfulness.

2. We are to remain righteous and faithful regardless of our circumstances.

3. We are to exercise patience after leaning on God.

4. Respect a person’s situation and allow them to proceed with dignity.

     After praying and committing to be faithful to God, Job can now begin to climb out of his pit of self-pity. The Lord is still his friend, his helper, and his comforter.

Bildad      Job 18:1-21

Bildad is next to criticize Job’s lengthy speeches. He would prefer to talk instead of debate. Job is angry and is taking it out on his friends. Bildad agrees with Eliphaz that Job is proud and thinks the world revolves around him. But the truth is that those who are wicked are snuffed out. They die a slow death but they die nevertheless. Bildad sticks a knife in Job [vs. 21] when he indirectly accuses Job of being evil and not knowing God. Job’s past has no bearing on his present. Job’s actions were a facade and God is punishing Job for being a hypocrite. Bildad’s attempt to comfort Jon has turned sour.

  Job      Job 19:1-29

Job responds with renewed abruptness asking why Bildad continues his personal attacks. If he is wrong, it is Job’s problem and not his friends. Job claims his friends are selfish and want to take advantage of his situation. Job insists on proclaiming his calamity is God’s doing, God’s will. God is against him and has even turned his friends against him. God does not answer him and his servants do not answer him. Job is alone, isolated. Everyone is avoiding him, including his wife and brothers

After rebuking Bildad and feeling sorry for himself, Job proclaims that his Redeemer lives and he will see God. That is his hope. Then he warns his friends that they may be next to experience God’s judgment.

Our suffering may never be a great as Job’s but we certainly can suffer so as to lose hope. The lesson here is that, as believers in Jesus Christ, our hope rests in Him. God has promised that we will see His face. The Lord is faithful and keeps His promises. Never ever lose hope or forget His Promises.

Zophar      Job 20:1-29

Zophar is troubled and doesn’t take kindly to Job’s rebuke. He reiterates the principle known to man that the wicked are proud, have a short life and perish [vs. 1-9]. His children are forced to make amends for their evil behavior [vs. 10-23]. God’s anger will consume them. They cannot hide from God. Their guilt will be exposed and they will be ruined [vs. 23-29].

Instead of offering comfort, Job’s friends have judged him and have condemned him. Woe to us if we ever treat our friends in the same way. God is a compassionate loving God. God condemns only those who choose to condemn Him. Job believes God is responsible but he has yet to curse or condemn God for what has happened to him. In fact, God is still his hope. Never lose faith. Never lose hope in the Lord God Almighty.

Job      Job 21:1-34

Job asks his friends for their attention before they continue mocking him. He wants them to view his terror and his ravaged body. Job takes issue with Zophar’s analysis saying the wicked seem to be living pretty well and God doesn’t appear to be rising in judgment against them, their children, their possessions, or their homes. In fact, the wicked are prosperous and openly speak against God. Job is saying “look at me” and then “look at the wicked”. Job is suffering and the wicked aren’t. Therefore Zophar, your wisdom is in error. In fact, it is nonsense [vs. 34]. Job also makes the point that God is sovereign over life [vs. 22-26].

Third Dialogue      Job 22:1-31:40

Eliphaz      Job 22:1-30

Eliphaz changes the debate by asking a question which is really a statement believing man has no value to God [vs. 1-3]. But then he continues in the same vein as the others, accusing Job of wrongdoing. Job refused water to the poor, refused to help widows, and oppressed orphans [vs. 4-10]. In other words, Job, you have no value to God and ,therefore, God has chosen to judge your wickedness [vs. 11-17]. He continues saying God is the giver of good things [vs. 18] so Job must submit to God [vs. 22-23]. Only then will God hear Job’s prayers and restore him to health, wealth, and respect among his peers [vs. 25-29].

Again we see that Job’s friends mix truth and error. Their theology is only part right. The instruction Eliphaz gives in verse 22 is excellent for Job, us, and Eliphaz. He would do well to follow his own advice. Know God’s Word and know God’s character; His love and compassion for all man, all creation.

Job      Job 23:1-24:25

Job agrees with Eliphaz that the wicked should be judged. He agrees man has refused to help the poor, the widows, the orphans, and is bent on using power to oppress others [vs. 1-11]. But God is slow to judge the wicked. Job agrees that wicked men commit adultery, rob, steal, oppress, and abuse their power. However, God will limit their days [vs. 15-25].

Throughout this speech, Job refuses to accept the accusations leveled at him, that he is one of these wicked men. He remains content and assured that he is right with God. When we are suffering, let us remember that God’s grace is the reason we believe and have faith that one day our salvation will be complete and we will see Him face to face in glory.

     Bildad      Job 25:1-6

Bildad is a friend of few words. He begins by praising God for His sovereignty and power but then questions how man can be righteous. He too questions the value of man. His theology is incomplete.

  Job      Job 26:1-31:40

The first four verses of Chapter 26 are satirical. Job mocks Bildad’s words, questioning his wisdom and it’s source. Job’s tone changes beginning with verse 5 noting that nothing is hidden from God and that man is judged in death. Verses 7-14 are a testimony of God’s great works of creation and His sovereignty over it.

Now that Job has dispensed with Bildad, he continues to speak stating that God has allowed his suffering. Job states his commitment to God again saying he refuses the advice of his friends but will maintain his faithfulness and righteousness before God as long as he lives because the unrighteous are doomed to destruction [Chapter 27].

The key verses in Chapter 28 are verses 12 and 20 with the question of where wisdom can be found. Man has searched in the deep and throughout the surface of the earth but it is not found nor can it be bought. Wisdom dwells with God [vs. 23] because God is omnipotent and omniscient. Wisdom, true, wisdom, acknowledges the sovereignty of God in worship and shuns evil.

Chapter 29 is a review of Job’s past, what was. He was once respected. He felt the presence of God and he had the blessings of God. He was honored and respected by the young, the old, and the leaders. He was respected for what good he did to help the poor, the fatherless, the dying, the widows, the lame, the blind, the needy, strangers, and victims. Job had unlimited resources and he used them for good. People sought him for counsel.

Chapter 30 is a review of Job’s present, what is. Now Job is rejected. Everybody, not just his friends, mock him. This even includes those he once helped. What little Job has is being attacked, including his dignity and his life. Job is powerless against God. He only has energy to cry out to God and to those he helped.

Chapter 31 describes who Job is as a person. He is resting in who he is and what he believes. He is committed to one woman, his wife. He treats his employees justly and as equals. He does not discriminate but desires to help those in need. His faith is in God and not in money or astrology. Job is even willing to help those who would harm him, those who are hungry, and strangers. Job is hospitable to all. Job is humble, ready and willing to accept God’s justice. Job believes God is fair and just.

In summary, Job is one unique, special, important, influential, loving, and compassionate man. Even God recognized his faithfulness in calling him righteous and blameless.

In closing these 5 chapters, let us review some basic principles. God’s Will is:

1. That we know Him. [justified]

2. That we grow in Him [sanctified]

3. That we serve Him [glorify His Name]

The reasons for personal calamity are:

1. Natural; all creation is fallen and cursed.

2. Accidental; bad decisions.

3. Discipline; testing and maturing of God’s saints.

4. Glorification of God’s Name. [Job’s situation]

Through personal calamity, God’s Will is that we become BETTER, not BITTER.

Chapters 26-28 give us a glimpse at Job’s theology, summed up as follows:

1. Man pursues wisdom but cannot find it apart from God.

2. Wisdom is to fear God and shun evil.

Therefore, sound theology [knowing God and growing in knowledge of Him] is the precursor of good works [serving Him]. Good works is a significant part of a “righteous and blameless” life. We are saved by faith, faith alone. But faith is never alone. Our faith is manifested by our good works. In other words, Faith Works!

     Elihu Speaks      Job 32:1-37:24

Zophar doesn’t respond to Job so all is quiet. Job believes he is righteous. Elihu, younger than Job’s three friends, has been quietly listening to these exchanges, is angry, and thinks both Job and his friends are in error; Job for justifying himself and his friends for condemning Job believing sin has caused all of Job’s problems.

Elihu begins by refuting Job’s three friends saying age evidently doesn’t guarantee wisdom but the spirit in a man does. In other words, I think I am wiser than you [Job 32:6-9]. Elihu chastises the three friends for their lack of wisdom and their inability to win the debate with Job. Elihu has much to say. He is emotional and he is about to speak his mind with directness and impartiality.

In Chapter 33, Elihu directs his attention away from the three friends and toward Job. He is speaking sincerely from a righteous heart [proud?]. He claims his wisdom is from God, the Holy Spirit. He claims to be just, like Job. He quotes Job’s belief in verses 8-11 but then claims Job’s belief is wrong, just as the three friends did. But Elihu is correct in saying God is greater than man, isn’t required to answer man, and can speak to man in many ways including visions and dreams. God may even speak with His voice directly in order to turn man away from sin and back toward Him [vs. 16-18]. And God may even speak through pain and personal calamity [vs. 19-22].

Next Elihu reiterates Job’s belief and need for a mediator, an angel, who can go before God and ask for mercy and grace on behalf of a suffering man [see Romans 8:26]. The result is seeing God’s face, restoration, and repentance because of God’s grace and redemption/forgiveness [vs. 26-28]. In fact, God does this time and time again. This is wisdom.

Chapter 34 begins with Elihu addressing Job’s three friends asking them to consider/discern with him what is right and what is good. In other words, let’s have an open mind concerning Job [Job 34:1-4].

In verses 5-9, Elihu quotes Job’s position that he is right and God has denied him justice. Then he seem to twist Job’s word by associating him with evil doers and claiming it doesn’t do any good to try and please God.

Elihu continues, making these points:

1. God does not do wrong or evil [vs. 10].

2. God is just [vs. 11-12].

3. God is sovereign over creation and man [vs. 13-15;29-30]

4. God is mighty and omnipotent [vs. 17].

5. God judges all men with impartiality [vs. 16-18].

6. God is omniscient [vs. 21-25]

7. God punishes the wicked [vs. 26-28].

8. God desires a repentant heart [vs. 31-33].

Elihu concludes by saying Job must answer to God for his own lack of knowledge, and insight, and his rebellious attitude toward God.

Chapter 35 begins by addressing Job directly and quoting him saying God will vindicate him even though Job questions what good has come to him because he is faithful and righteous. Again, Elihu seems to state a truth and an error, misunderstanding Job’s heart. Elihu draws attention to God’s creative power and indicates God is not affected one way or the other by the wicked or the righteous [vs. 4-8] Man cries out but God doesn’t hear [vs. 9-13] so don’t bother [vs. 14-16].

Elihu continues on in Chapter 36 claiming he is the wise one among them. Again, he makes several points concerning God such as:

1. God is mighty and disciplined [vs. 5].

2. God is just [vs. 6].

3. God exalts the righteous [vs. 7].

4. God disciplines sinners [vs. 8-10].

5. Life belongs to the repentant and death to the disobedient [vs. 11-12].

6. God is ignored by the godless [vs. 13-14].

7. God delivers those who suffer by wooing them after applying his judgment [vs. 15-17].

Elihu cautions Job about being too optimistic or turning to evil [vs. 18-21]. He goes on to proclaim God’s greatness and to praise God for He is eternal. God controls nature and the nations [vs. 27-33]

God’s control over nature continues in Chapter 37 through verse 13. Then Elihu faces Job and asks him to consider God’s wonders which he has just described. He reminds Job that no one knows the power and majesty of God. God is beyond man, beyond the comprehension of man. God is beyond man’s reach and power. God does not oppress man with His justice and righteousness. Therefore, the wise man will revere God, the Almighty One.

Elihu is not without fault but he does seem to be wiser and more knowledgeable about God and His ways than any of Job’s three friends. We have the advantage of having God’s Word, the Bible, in our hands. Reading it, studying it, understanding it, and living it is absolutely necessary if we are to know God, grow in His knowledge, and glorify God’s Name by serving Him and bringing real comfort to others. God is powerful and just, wanting all to repent and partake of His blessings. His blessings are mercy, grace, love, joy, and peace regardless of life’s circumstances.

God Speaks      Job 38:1-41:34

The Lord comes to Job through a storm and speaks to him. Job seems to have been prepared by Elihu to receive the Lord’s message in that His overall theme is I AM LORD, the Creator of All. I AM the Mighty One.

God begins by chastising Job for speaking without fully comprehending just who God is. God explains who He is by asking Job questions, questions for which Job has no answers. Through these questions God instructs Job as follows:

1. I, God was present at the beginning, not Job or man [vs. 4]

2. I, God designed, built, and ordered the universe according to His Will and His Way, including heaven and hell [vs. 5-20].

3. I, God have control over the weather and climate [vs. 22-30; 34-35].

4. My[God’s] Laws control the planets and stars [vs. 31-33].

5. I, God, gave wisdom and understanding to the human mind [vs. 36-38].

6. I, God, provide food for the animals, designed their reproductive system, defined their personalities and their habitat, and gave them specific strength to aid in their survival [Job 38:39-39:40].

Beginning with Chapter 40, God stops speaking to ask Job what he thinks. Job responds with humility realizing there is a vast difference between the power and majesty of God and man.

God continues to question Job and make the following points:

1. God is just [not man] and is clothed in honor and majesty. God is King. [Job 40:8-10]

2. Only God has the capability to humble man [vs. 11-14].

3. Only God has control over the “monsters” of the earth, the animals untamable by man [Job 40:15-41:34].

4. God owns all things under heaven [vs. 11].

Look for God speaking to you in the “storms” of life too and realize that God is Sovereign over all things.

Job Responds      Job 42:1-6

Job acknowledges God is Sovereign and has control over everything that happens in man’s universe. He admits to speaking without knowledge, speaking of opinions instead of facts. He did not stop to think how great and how complex the design of the universe is. Job sees God in the storm and in all God has created. Job sees God as Sovereign over all things. Job’s heart has changed from one of self-pity to remorse and repentance. He asks God to forgive him for his “bad attitude”. Let us do likewise when we are struggling and let us never forget God is Sovereign.

Closure      Job 42:7-17

God’s closing words to Job reveal that God was not pleased with the “words of comfort” spoken by Job’s three friends. Note that Elihu is not mentioned. Eliphaz was the ring leader and God asks him to take 7 bulls and 7 rams to Job who will sacrifice them and pray for them. Job has become the mediator [like Moses] between his three friends and God.

God restores Job to twice his former glory and restores his family and their inheritance.

God’s ways never change. We have Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as our mediator before God. We who place our faith in Him [as the friends placed their faith in Job’s prayer] are forgiven, redeemed, and restored [as was Job] to receive our inheritance, the riches of His Glory in Heaven for eternity. We must trust God for:

GOD is JUST and God is SOVEREIGN.

 

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