Was blind but now I see

Job Sees The Light - Forty-third in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

What relief there is in renouncing false doctrine and what joy in repentance! Living in darkness is hard.

Job had carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, believing his relationship with God depended on his deeds. He has come to understand that his walk with God is enabled by God’s merciful inclusion of him in the life of faith. An amazing grace! He had not understood how he had offended the Lord by his self righteousness, but now he sees.

Job 42:1-2 RSV He also sees that God not only hears our words but reads our minds.*

Job 42:3-4 NIV In verses 3 and 4 Job is careful to repeat God’s words, making very clear that he is giving specific answers in response to the Lord’s specific questions, such as Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? (Job 38:2)

Job 42:5-6 NIV Today, we would say Job was born again. God’s covenant of grace was extended to the Hebrews, to Christians (whosoever believes), and to non-Hebrews like Job who lived before Christ. In fact, the Hebrew who would study Job would gain great spiritual insight about the ways of God. This is a mystery considering that only Abraham’s descendants were included in God’s nation.

Job 42:7-8 NIV Job could not say to the Rock of Ages, Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling, as we today may. Yet he had grown to understand he could not manipulate God by his personal works and long record of devotion.

God alone shall be praised and glorified for what he alone can accomplish, even the start-to-finish saving of souls.**

Job 42:9-10 NIV Eliphaz as the ring leader must now lead the other friends in an exercise of repentance for their wrong words about God. God emphasizes their error by stating twice that they did not speak of God what was right, as Job had done.

Each had viewed poor Job to be without any hope for release from his trial until he repented of his evil ways. Yet Job’s repentance was not for any gross sin as they had assumed.

Commentators differ on why Elihu is not included in the disciplinary action. Some believe that he spoke important truths, others say he was simply dismissed or given “the silent treatment.” He had not injured Job as a friend, but was one of those whom Job may have noted as deriding him. (Job 30:1)

After Job’s change of heart, God called on him to intercede for his friends, and after he interceded for them God restored his life.

Effective intercession has to do with a right understanding of who God is and a heart for worship, and heartfelt intercession for spiritually blind people meets with God’s highest approval.

- from God Remembered Abraham, a Bible study on the Sistersite website

Job 42:11-17 NIV The happy ending of Job.

*Other translations state instead that no purpose of God can be thwarted (vs 2b). Whether God reads our thoughts or achieves all his plans is a difference that proves it is not easy to translate the original language of the Bible.

**Some will object that this belief or doctrine opens the way for easy believe-ism and that man is responsible for his own salvation: Man must choose God, commit his heart to God, and obey his laws. All this we must do, but it is all through God’s loving help. (Phil 2:12-13) Salvation is by grace through faith—which is a gift from God to man. Eph 2:8)

A final word: To think we climb into his everlasting arms by our own will and intelligence misses the point that God alone is to be glorified for our trust in him. All who grasp this truth will not find it hard to accept Christ as Savior; thus, the importance of the book of Job in the life of the Jew looking toward the coming of the Messiah.

Mission accomplished!

Job Sees The Light - Forty-second in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Christian children are taught about hell. We learn that hell is a terrifying place where wicked people end up. I don’t recall who explained this to me, but I’m sure my parents confirmed it after Sunday School. Yes, hell is a real, terrible place where bad people go after death. It is true!

No one tried to scare or manipulate me by this new knowledge, but the church’s teaching confirmed by my parents served to deter me from disrespecting God, except at those times when I was a backslider. But generally, throughout my life I have feared God, partly because I have feared hell.

So it was that God described Leviathan to Job, instilling a useful fear in his heart. Next will come the final chapter where Job’s life is restored with double the possessions and blessings he had previously enjoyed.

The Leviathan was unassailable with terrible teeth round about, scales aligned so he was impenetrable and indestructible, eyes like the morning sun, and breath with sparks of fire that would kindle coals. He was a fire-breathing dragon created by the Lord to serve as “king over all the sons of pride.” (Job 41:34)

Job 41:1-8 NIV The Leviathan was not a creature designed for man’s use as a pet, for food, for service, nor could hunters capture him for sport or barter. What was his reason for being? It seems he was a picture of Satan for men to consider. As I had understood hell as a child and determined I would not end up there, so Job might ponder Leviathan and feel impressed to take refuge in the Lord for protection— ‘hiding from God in God.’

Job 41:9-11 NIV If we would cower before this beast, how much more should we bow before the Lord who made him?

Job 41:12-32 NIV God describes Leviathan. He is rightfully proud of the design of this one whom He made. See the full description here.

This same creature is mentioned in Psalm 104 as one playfully enjoying the sea, (Ps 104:26) and again he is described in Ps 74:
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
(Ps 74:13-14)
In verse 13, God crushed the heads of the dragons, plural, in the waters. This may be a symbolic mention of the Egyptian leaders who pursued the Israelites across the Red Sea but were drowned in it. In verse 14 the leviathan (singular) has many heads which may be a prophecy about the dragon in the Revelation with seven heads (Rev 13:1). This dragon will likewise be destroyed by God to help his people suffering in the wilderness.

Job 41:33-34 NIV Pages could be written to elaborate on the mentions of Leviathan in Scripture and how the passages may be related. In the context of our study of Job, whether the Leviathan had many heads or was more like a terrifying crocodile or whale as some think, or a dinosaur or similar extinct reptile, he was unlike any other creature.

Though God never explained to Job Satan’s role in his trial, he revealed his type through the description of Leviathan. That sealed the fear of the Lord in Job.

Without fear of God, man’s conscience is impaired. Job was certainly a man who carefully considered all of his ways and behavior, yet in that he felt he could recommend himself to God, he was not clear in his mind and heart on who God is.

A change of heart

Job Sees The Light - Forty-first in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

In Job 40 the omnipotence and holiness of God are front and center. How terrible it would be if God were all-powerful but not holy— how useless if he were holy but not able to enforce his ways.

If he were not also a loving God, we would fear to come before him. But he is approachable, and we soon forget who we are in comparison. He knows exactly when we have overstepped his bounds and for our own good, corrects us, at times calling us up sharply, demanding the worship he deserves.

Give God the glory! (1 Chr 16:29; Ps 29:1-2)

Job 40:1-2 NIV Chapter 40 begins with God's challenge to Job to consider his words.

Let us look back at some of Job’s words, to understand why God has been offended. And yes, God has the right to be offended when we question his ways, even when he knows we have been severely tested. He is God.

  • Job 7:16-21 — Job questioned God’s purposes.
  • Job 9:30-31 — God, you don’t care! You hate me!
  • Job 10:1-7 — God, you don’t understand how I fee! And you know you’re in the wrong and no one can save me from you!
  • Job 10:20 — Go away, God.
  • Job 13:15-16 — I am godly, therefore, I can present my case to him.
  • Job 13:20-23 — We should examine how we enter the courts of the Lord.
  • Job 14:19 — God, you have destroyed my hope! Shame on you!
  • Job 21:7 — God, why don’t you give the wicked their just deserts?
  • Job 23:1-7 — Job tells God how wonderful and innocent he is.
  • Job 27:1-2 — God is unjust!

In summary, the faultfinder believes man is due a reward for his good behavior and good attitudes. God owes man! He ought to deliver the innocent if he has any sense of justice or fairness.

Job 40:3-5 NIV Job recalls his words, and repents.

As we were reading the book of Job, perhaps his complaints seemed very small in respect to his agonies. We would have cried out much more loudly and angrily. It would not have seemed wrong. We would have expected that God would overlook our complaints, and for a while he probably would.

Yet, in his divine purposes for those who belong to him, he requires more. And we have every reason to trust without seeing. God is not in the business of defeat. (Rom 8:28) What purpose is there in a trial that has no positive outcome?

Was it wrong for Job to protest his innocence and maintain his integrity before his friends? Some will say we should follow Christ’s example and be silent in the face of false accusations and insults as he was at the end. However, Christ did defend himself against detractors. (e.g. Mat 12:25-26; John 10:32)

It was not wrong for Job to refuse to wear the mantle of shame as his friends demanded. However, we now see that the effect of his strenuous defense of his own character was to vaunt himself and in his distress to doubt or blame God. The Lord warns against outbursts of anger and encourages calm and balance in our outlook. Stress increases our tendency to overreact, leading us to sin. (Phil 4:6 et al)

Satan did not win, and he misjudged Job. Job did have a soft underbelly, but it was not greed or even presumption, that is, he did not take for granted his wealth and did not miss it as a man who measured himself by it would have.

However, his strength of character did require the toughest blows to reform his mind. His devotion to God had blinded him to God’s economies, that when weighed in the balance, we can never deserve God’s acceptance through our personal righteousness and good works. Satan’s attacks through his friends and even a mere bystander caused him to more and more stand on his merits and refuse to be thought of as evil. Thus were his impurities drawn to the surface so that God could remove them, and see his own image in Job.

Job had known it would be so: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)

Job 40:6-8 NIV The Lord will now reinforce his disciplinary words because a strong reprimand is needed to effect permanent change.

Job 40:9-14 NIV A vexing question: Are we so vile that we would blacken God so that we might appear superior? Yes, we would. (Jer 17:9)

Job 40:15-18 NIV Man has no voice like the Lord’s. How incapable we are of ruling over men in a way that maintains humility as a standard for behavior. Would that even occur to us? Is the glory of the Lord important to us? Do we truly worship God?

Job 40:19 NIV Some commentators believe the Behemoth (a plural word) to be the dinosaur; some think that he was the now-extinct seahorse, or a rhino or hippo.

Job 40:20-24 NIV The Lord is jousting with Job. Yes, man was made in God’s own image, but he was not first in the line of creation. Other creatures more powerful, much larger and not subject to him, preceded him by God’s design.

In our trials we at times question God’s intelligence and purposes. We believe he is not observing our needs and that we could better manage our estate. If you do, remember Job, and put your hand over your mouth.

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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