Job knows who God is

Job Sees The Light - Thirteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 12:1-3 NIV How should Job answer his friends? How should we answer when the Adversary accuses us? How can we? It is impossible to converse, to make sense, to defend ourselves. You cannot reason with the Devil to outwit or outtalk him. You can only know and trust that Christ has power to deliver his own, and he will do it in his time. Your answer can only be: Jesus is Lord.

But Job lived B.C. He reprimands his friends and tries to establish himself as deserving of respect.

Job 12:4-5 NIV Job would like for his friends to feel how they are making him feel. If they themselves were suffering, they would not look down on him in his calamity.

In fact, it is only possible for those at ease to identify with those in turmoil if they have experienced a similar or deep circumstance or trial. That is one real value of a trial. (2 Cor 1:4)

Job 12:6 NIV Can't they see that those who robbed him are enjoying luxury while he is suffering an unjust pounding? Yet Job knows the wicked are in plain view of God.

Job 12:7-10 NIV Job agrees with his friends that nothing occurs outside the will of God. God is either sovereign over his creation, or he is not God. Those marauders could not have managed their evil deeds except that God permitted it. Even the animals and fish know this. But why did God permit it? Who is to blame: the Sabeans or the Lord?

The way in which free will meshes with his sovereignty is mysterious. To say that the Sabeans carried off Job's cattle of their own free will is true, despite being urged by Satan to do so, who was permitted by God to urge them.

They did so gladly, but could they have stood against Satan's urging? Yes, if they had been people of God, desiring to do his will, they would have called on God and received courage to overcome the temptation to steal. But since they were serving themselves, Satan easily encouraged them to do his work.

We can still wonder whether God might not have given them power to restrain themselves; after all, he could have as easily strengthened them against Satan as not. Yet in his sovereignty, he chose to let them freely chose. If a sinful act is done voluntarily, that is enough to establish guilt, irrespective of whether the sinner could have avoided the act. [Calvin]

As humans, we puzzle over how freedom and determinism both are true. We know that man has real choices and that God is completely sovereign. The Westminster Confession says:

God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph 1:11 et al) yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin (Jas 1:13 et al), nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Acts 2:23 et al) (WC III, Section I)

Applying this to the crucifixion, we can see that God sent his Son to die for our sins, (1Jo 4:10) yet the crucifixion was done by the will of the people; (Mar 15:14, Jhn 19:15). It was necessary for Christ to die (Luk 24:26, Acts 17:3); the liberty (Jhn 10:18) and contingency (1Cor 15:14) of that is well understood.

We can trust that all things work together for good for those who love God. (Rom 8:28) Whatever occurs is useful to the Christian for his growth in Christ, and God can take any circumstance and bring good from it for those whom he has called.

Job 12:11-12 NIV Job is about to “speak wisdom to power.” Though there is only one of him and three of them, he has the intellect and years of experience to prove he is not inferior to them!

Job 12:13-20 NIV Was there a prophecy in that last verse?

Job continues to speak confidently of an omniscient, omnipotent, righteous God who sees all and has the power to punish and to expose the unrighteous. (Job 12:21-25)

Come to think of it, God is the only one whose ends always justify his means. Whatever he does in the lives of good or evil people is for the purpose of achieving good ends. Amazing!

The vise of love

Job Sees The Light - Twelfth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 11:1-6 NIV As noted in Post 6, Zophar means "rough and hairy" (from Young's concordance) though in some lexicons the word is associated with other meanings.

He begins to rough Job up by calling him a “windbag” and liar, one who mocks God and deserves even worse treatment by God than he has already suffered.

Job 11:7-11 NIV Next, he castigates Job as one who does not have the intelligence to consider the greatness of God, whereas God sees through Job's veneer of pride and vanity to his black heart, and rightfully judges him.

Job 11:12-19 NIV Zophar advises Job on how to emerge from his desolation — Repent and cease from wrongdoing!

Job 11:20 NIV Otherwise, death looms.

Job is the man on death row who has been wrongfully condemned. His friends are the jury who consigned him there and the cruel guards who enforce his isolation.

He cries out that he is innocent; they counter that he is guilty and taunt that if he would confess he could be spared and restored. But he cannot confess to a crime he did not commit. Therefore he must remain in his bitter hold knowing he is innocent and wrongly condemned.

Job is in the grips of a vise. A vise is a device, usually fastened to a workbench, consisting of two jaws which open and close by a screw and lever. It holds firmly in place an object being worked on.

He has not yet been delivered from insults nor enlightened through understanding nor restored from his deep losses. He is hemmed in by verbal assaults, confusion, grief, fear and demonic forces.

But seen from above, the vise Job is in are the hands of God.

Yet, you say, didn't God say that Job was blameless? (Job 1:8; 2:3) So why was he shattered so that he must now be in God's vise for repair? The potter has the right to reshape the clay. (Jer 18:4)

Some objects of affection are destined for God's workbench to become more useful than they were, and some go there to be made more beautiful.

Job feels jilted

Job Sees The Light - Eleventh in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 10:1-3 NIV Why do bad things happen to good people? is one question, but what good people really want to know is: Why do good things happen for bad people?

Why, Job pleads to know, does God smile on the schemes of the wicked — and scowl at his servant?

Comparing ourselves with others is a dangerous exercise. Job was a man of God, therefore, to compare his life with evil men's was unfruitful. We do know what their end will be.

Job 10:4-7 NIV In these questions, we hear Job accuse God of being heavy-handed. This is not cursing God to his face as Satan predicted Job would (Job 1:11, 2:5), but it reveals his anger at God. Job is stating that God has no right to hound him because it is unfair for a superior being to pursue one with limited ability. God cannot understand what it is like to live in the dimension of time and in flesh, and on top of this, he knows that Job is not guilty!

In truth, when we begin to feel justified in deciding what rights God should have, we have put ourselves in his place. That is a dangerous promotion. We will not be found innocent.

Job 10:8-9 NIV This question reveals Job's knowledge of the Creation history given in Genesis: The Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen 2:7) An interesting corroboration of that fact is that every element found in the earth is also found in traces in man's body. Job believed the Genesis account; the Lord did not need to reform his thoughts in this important doctrine.

Job 10:10-13 NIV In the previous passage, Job reflected on his destiny to return to dust, but feared it would occur at an unnatural time. Here, he reflects on the marvelous though hidden beginnings of his life. The Psalmist considers these same mysteries, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made … (Ps 139:14) David’s reflections led him to praise, but Job’s are leading him to despair. The Psalms had not yet been written, so he could not seek their comfort.

Job 10:14-17 NIV Job has been in a tempest and has washed to shore but he cannot seem to make it to dry land. He feels he is still at the mercy of the storm and raging sea; pounded by its angry winds, drowning though on a beach. God will not let up.

He has hung his head in shame, and lifted it up to show courage; but whatever he does is wrong. And from vs. 17 it appears that other friends or acquaintances have arrived on the scene, but are not showing sympathy. It is Job against the world, and Satan would inflame that feeling. Emotional isolation is debilitating.

Job 10:18-22 KJV For the last verses in Job 10, we revert to the King James in which we find the familiar phrase shadow of death, which many will recall from Ps. 23, Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me….

Job was the first in the Bible to coin this phrase, which David used frequently, and we find it in some of the Books of Prophecy and the New Testament.

This valley is the place of deepest gloom. Here, Job regrets ever being born.

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

Hochosterwitz 01052004 04