Contending with God

Job Sees The Light - Fifteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 14:1-2 NIV Job, in Chapter 14, strives with God. He will not address his friends at all.

Job reminds God, the Creator, what sort of creature man is. He is mortal, born of a woman, not sprung from the head of God. He is flesh, of few days, days full of difficulties. He starts life in the grandeur of youth only to fade and wither in old age. He dies.

Job 14:3-6 NIV Would God really interact with such a creature? Wouldn't he consider it a waste of his time? Why apply high expectations to a lowly, laughable bag of bones?

Why unleash trial and judgment on a creature who is at God's mercy? Man, by definition, is imperfect. He is wanting. He is a mixture– impure. And no matter how harshly you deal with him, you can never distill from this polluted creation a purified man. It's impossible. Not even you can do it, God!

Job feels that God has been overzealous with his faithful servant and needs to recognize the error of his ways. Stop bearing down on this broken man!

Job 14:7-12 NIV It is possible for a dead tree to revive, but a dead man, no. Not until a different time, a new day when the heavens have disappeared: Then man will be roused from sleep of death. A day of resurrection will come! Commentators agree that the resurrection is in view here; Job envisions it in his extreme misery.

Job 14:13 NIV Yes, this is actually what God will do. As surely as spring follows winter, so will the Lord remember his children, and at a set time.

The resurrection is a good hope, but better still is the wonder of interaction with God and the experience of his lovingkindness in this life. This is greatly to be desired.

Job 14:14-17 NIV Job is looking toward a day of restoration when things will be back to normal, and he will not be under God's magnifying glass.

Job 14:18-22 NIV Job was a mountain of a man, but God’s torrents wore him down. God does not even care whether a man and his sons remain in contact, Job reflects. He reduces a man to inner pain and aloneness. God, you have destroyed my hope! Shame on you! says Job, in effect.

Before we backslide to doubt and fury against God, we must run to him for strength. “We hide from God in God.” Trust in the Lord no matter what appearances are. The one who feels far from God must chose to advance deeper in to Him.

With what shall I come before the LORD?

Job Sees The Light - Fourteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 13:1-2 NIV An important test of faith is whether what one believes conforms his heart to love. This is well expressed by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13:1-3). Job and his friends are shown to be clanging cymbals in their dialog. And though they lived before the time of the law and the time of the Lord, man has always known what pleases God, being made in his image and likeness.

In Chapter 12 (our previous post), Job explained that he certainly understood the sovereignty of God. Here, he reaffirms this belief.

Job 13:3-9 NIV Job’s friends tried to convince him of his need for repentance; now, Job turns the tables. They, not him, are in greater need of self searching. If they could only hear themselves and their ignorant preaching then maybe they would come to their senses and shut up.

They think themselves the defenders of God's holiness when in fact they are casting shadows on Truth through their wicked accusations against his true servant. They view themselves as God's advocates but if He were to examine them, they would be found wanting and exposed as shallow and unfit to judge others because they are blind to their own faults.

Satan revels in brawling. If he can incite and encourage accusations, angry words and misunderstandings, he is achieving his ends. As much as God loves us, as tenderly, carefully and faithfully with perfect discipline, so in the opposite extreme does Satan despise us. If we could only realize the great hatred of Satan, perhaps we would refuse to bend to his suggestions. Why should we do his will? Why serve a cruel master? (Rom 6:23)

Job 13:10-11 NIV Job challenges his friends — have they no fear of the true Judge of judges? They ought to be in dread of God rather than putting themselves in his place.

Job 13:12-14 NIV Job's friends believe he is profane because he will not acknowledge sin in his life, and he sees them in the same light. They should just be quiet and give Job the floor, for he has determined that God must reveal his wrongs even though it may not be pleasant to know.

Job 13:15 NIV A famous verse is here.

Job 13:16 NIV We admire Job's trust despite the severity of his ruination. To the best of his knowledge he has been an upright man, but of course, his trust in the Lord is discolored by self-justification. We cannot come before the Lord in our own glory and strength.

Job 13:17-26 NIV For now, though, Job does not consider himself unrighteous in defending himself before God. By speaking up for himself he hopes to achieve some sort of reinstatement or release from his miseries.

Job earnestly, pitifully sets his case before the Lord. He knows he must have some relief. He must hear from the Lord! He cannot go on in his state of confusion and torment. He is open to discovery: Please God, tell me what I have done or am doing wrong! Otherwise, I will die.

Job is in darkness. Why has he lost nearly everything dear and all that he worked for? Confounded! There must be some explanation!

If we seek to know our wrongs, will God not reveal these? Is it not right to judge ourselves by the Lord's standards with his communing assistance? (1 Cor 11:31) Yes.

One thing is lacking here: patience to await God's timing in revealing his mind in this matter. Alas.

Job 13:27-28 NIV How impossible not to feel mistreated and cast out, under the circumstances!

An Intercessor is needed

Job Sees The Light - Tenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 9:1-3 NIV Here, Job is not acknowledging that the righteousness of man is as filthy rags to a Holy God. Rather, he is saying that no matter how good a person is or strives to be, he has no standing before God.

God seems oblivious to man’s efforts to please and serve him. It is impossible to communicate or to connect with him. This is what Satan wants us to believe.

Job 9:4-12 NIV God is marvelous and inscrutable. So wonderful, so distant and unapproachable.

Job 9:13-15 NIV Job is thinking of creatures so much more powerful than himself who could not stand before God. Rahab, a legendary sea monster whose name means “storm” or “arrogance,” was destroyed by God, and her cronies then bowed in terrified submission. He seems to feel that if God easily contends with monsters, how then can a mere human dispute with him? One could only plead for mercy, not because he is guilty but because he is at such a disadvantage.

This is illogical. Simply because those whose aim is to defeat God are crushed by him, it does not follow that the righteous servant who would ask God for answers will be banished. For these, the Lord has promised, Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. (Isa 65:24)

Job 9:16-18 NIV Job is angry with God, and no wonder! Look at his property; dead children– dead servants – dead and stolen animals— bitter wife. Look at Him! Diseased skin; surrounded by superior-acting friends.

He believes God hates him and is sick with apprehension because his rightful expectations – yes, rightful – have been disappointed and even mocked. The righteous person has the expectation of God's blessings. True, as God's servant, he has no rights; nevertheless, as a servant, he ought to be able to count on the Master's provision of care. This is not demanding one’s own way; it is a logical expectation, and it is not presumptuous.

When the Lord withholds the support or protection we expected, does it mean he has turned against us? We are led to question.

Job 9:19-22 NIV Analyzing Job's feelings of despair and depression, we see he has concluded that God is not just. Everything black and white has turned to gray. How can one serve a God who makes no distinctions between right and wrong? Why do right? No reason. Why live? No reason. If there is no reward for righteousness, why try?

Job 9:23-31 NIV Job continues on in his perplexity and discouragement. He reflects on the sickening weightlessness of his life. Time is passing. But without his servants to oversee and without his family, there is nothing to focus on. There is only a feeling of seasickness and emptiness. In this predicament, he turns again to address God directly, expressing his deepest inner feelings (Job 9:28). Then he has a divine insight!

Job 9:23-31 NIV In his agony, he longs for an arbitrator. An intercessor. Someone to shield him from God’s wrath. Job is seeking Jesus, but millennia would pass before Jesus Christ would come in the flesh.

Despite the huge difference between then and now, God nevertheless wanted more from Job than obedience to known laws. He wanted his true, heartfelt worship, as we will see.

If God had the right to seek true worshippers before Calvary, how much more so now, since giving his only begotten son?

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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