Job 4 Ė 14 part 4
In Job chapters 4-14 we have the first cycle of speeches made by Jobís friends and after each one takes his turn telling Job how he has to be a sinner, Job defends himself. I hope you read these chapters beforehand because we will not be looking at every verse, instead I will be summarizing these speeches. If you did not read these chapters, then I want you to read them in the next few days.
All of 3 of Jobs friends are in agreement that Job is a sinner and that he needs to acknowledge it. Each friend approaches Job in their own way. The first friend to address Job, who is believed to be the oldest, is Eliphaz the Teminite and his speech is found in chapters 4 and 5.
Job 4:2 "If
one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold
himself from speaking?
Eliphaz is reluctant to
tell Job anything because of current condition, but he canít stand it anymore,
he has to say something. In verses 2-6 Eliphaz points out how Job has taught
others and encouraged them to be strong in their faith, but now that
troublesome times have happened to him, his faith has become weak. He
encourages Job to remember how his past reverence to God should give him hope
for the future.
Job 4:7 "Remember
now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever
The traditional position
of the day was that the innocent did not suffer nor were they cut off, of
course we know this is not always true because sometimes bad things happen to
Job 4:8 †Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity
And sow trouble reap the same.
In other words, you reap
what you sow. In verse 9-11 he illustrates this by comparing the wicked to
strong lions and how they will not be able to stand because they will be blasted
by the breath of God.
In verses 12 -21 Eliphaz
supposedly had a vision that scared him and made the hair on his body stand up.
He saw formless spirit and it began to talk to him as we read in:
Job 4:17 'Can a
mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?† 18 If He puts no trust in His
servants, If He charges His angels with error,† 19 How much more those who dwell
in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed
before a moth?† 20 They are
broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one
regarding.† 21 Does not their
own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom.'
Eliphaz is accusing Job
of willfully sinning and wants him to understand that he is not as pure as he
thinks because even the angels have sinned.
In chapter 5 Eliphaz says
there is no one who can defend Job including the angels. In verses 2 Ė 8,
Eliphaz depicts Job as a foolish and silly man whose family and fortune has
suffered ruin because of his sin.
Job 5:6 For
affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble spring from the
ground;† 7 Yet man is born to
trouble, As the sparks fly upward.
Eliphaz has no doubt that
Job brought his suffering on himself and encourages him to seek God and commit
himself to Him. He tries motivating Job to do this by reminding him of the
great works God does in verse 9-16.
Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the
chastening of the Almighty.
While is true that we
should not despise chastening from Lord (Heb. 12:6), this accusation against
Job is simply not true because God is not the one doing the chastening.
In verses 18-26, Eliphaz
concludes that if Job would confess his sin to God, God would bless him and his
family. He so emphatic about his view that he closes with this statement:
Job 5:27 Behold,
this we have searched out; It is true. Hear it, and know for
Of course Job disagrees
with his Eliphaz assessment and begins to tell his friends why he has the right
"Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the
scales!† 3 For then it would
be heavier than the sand of the sea -- Therefore my words have been rash.† 4 For the arrows of the Almighty are
within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed
Job blames God for his suffering,
and since his suffering is so great, he feels that he has the right to complain
and speak rash words. It is easy for his friends to chide him because they are
not suffering like he is.
In verse 8-13 Job wishes
that God would crush him and cut him off so he can die. One reason he ok with
dying is because he had not denied the words of the Holy one.
To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even
though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. †
Job is rebuking his
friends for not showing kindness to him especial while he is suffering so. In
verse 15-23 Job compares them to brook that should offering you a refreshing
drink, but when you need it the most it dries up. He points out how they are
confused and scared and how he did not ask them for any help financially or for
help against his enemies.
Job 6:24 †" Teach me, and I will hold my tongue;
Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
Job wants them to tell
him how he has sinned, and in the remaining verses of this chapter he pleads
with his friends to stop making false accusations with no proof. He wants them
to understand that he would not lie to their face, and he wants them to change
their opinion of him.
In chapter 7 Job resumes
his complaining, but now he more focused on complaining about God. Job says his
life is hard like a hired servant and the only way he will find relief is when
Job 7:3 So I
have been allotted months of futility, And wearisome nights have been appointed
to me.† 4 When I lie down, I
say, 'When shall I arise, And the night be ended?' For I have had my fill of
tossing till dawn.† 5 My flesh
is caked with worms and dust, My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.† 6 "My days are swifter than a
weaver's shuttle, And are spent without hope.†
7 Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will
never again see good.
This tells us that Job
has been suffering for months with his disease and it makes it to where he
canít sleep well and he has worms and dust in his flesh. He feels like has no
hope left but to die. He reflects on how short our lives really are. Our lives
are swifter than weaverís shuttle, or as short as our breath, and he also
compares our life to a cloud.
In verse 11-21 Job begins
a bitter tirade against God, which he would later regret and repent of. He
states he will not stop complaining and he doesnít understand why God will not
stop guarding him and continually harassing him. He even accuses God of causing
him to have bad dreams, so that he cannot find comfort when he is asleep or
Job 7:16 †I loathe my life; I would not live
forever. Let me alone, For my days are but a breath.
He wants God to stop
making him suffer.
"What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set
Your heart on him,† 18 That
You should visit him every morning, And test him every moment?
This statement is very
similar to what is found in Psalm 8, but there is big difference in the meaning.
The Psalmist wants to know what there is about man that would cause God to want
to bless him or have anything to do with him, but Job wants to know what makes
God want to harass us. He even claims that God wonít leave him alone long
enough for him to swallow his own spit.
In the last few verses,
Job still wants to know how he has sinned and if has sinned, he wants to know
why God has not forgiven him yet. Job doesnít feel he has much life left in him
and claims that when he dies, God will not be able to torture him any longer
because he will be dead.
Now Bildad the Shuhite
takes his turn to speak in chapter 8. The first thing he wants to know is how
long will Job continue with his windy complaints against God.
Job 8:3 Does
God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice?† 4 If your sons have sinned against
Him, He has cast them away for their transgression.
Bildad wants Job to know
that God doesnít punish people for the fun of it, he punishes those that sin,
which is why Jobís sons were killed. He goes on to say that if Job would seek
God and repent, that God would forgive him and bless him.
In verses 11-19 Bildad
reflects upon the wisdom of their forefather who have searched out these
matters and he gives Job several arguments that he believes proves that Job has
First, he says as plant
cannot prosper without water, neither can man who forgets God. He says the hope
of an ungodly man is as flimsy as spiders web and he has nothing to lean on
that will endure.
Second, if a green plant
temporarily prospers and sends it roots among the stones, if it is uprooted, it
will die and other plants will take it place. Bildad is saying that Job was
prosperous, but because of his sin, he was uprooted by God and his wealth was
given to others.
In the remaining verses
of this chapter Bildad says:
Job 8:20 Behold,
God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers.† 21 He will yet fill your mouth
with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing.†
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the
dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing."††
Bildad has no doubt in
his mind that Jobís sin has brought about his suffering even though that is not
the case. If Job will repent, he believes that God will bless him and even fill
his mouth with laughter.
Once again Job responds
in chapters 9 and 10. Job agrees that God is just, but Job wonders how any man
can obtain justice from Him. Since Job feels that he is an upright man, yet God
continues to torment him, he doesnít see how anyone can get a fair judgment
In verses 4-12, Job says that
no one can contend with God because He is to wise and strong. He can remove
mountains, shake the earth, He controls the light of the sun and the stars, he
stretches out the heavens and treads on the sea, and he puts the constellations
in their place. So, no one can question or analyze what God is doing.
Job continues talking
about how futile it is to argue with God in verses 13-21. He says God will not
remove His anger and that no one can answer God. Even if he were allowed a
trial in court, he doesnít feel like he would stand a chance and would have to
beg the judge for mercy because God will not listen. He feels this way about
God because of the suffering he is enduring.
Job 9:17 For He
crushes me with a tempest, And multiplies my wounds without cause.† 18 He will not allow me to catch
my breath, But fills me with bitterness.
Even though Job thinks he
is innocent, he doesnít think he stands a chance against God, and he has lost
his will to live. Notice how Job speaks out against God in:
Job 9:22 It is
all one thing; Therefore I say, 'He destroys the blameless and the
wicked.'† 23 If the scourge
slays suddenly, He laughs at the plight of the innocent.† 24 The earth is given into the
hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, who
else could it be?
We might have hard time
understanding why Job would view God like this, but we need to keep in mind
that he only had a limited knowledge about God. We are better off today than
Job because we have the whole counsel of God and we can know that God is not
this way because He is a loving God that we be there for us.
In verse 25-32 Job talks
about the shortness of life saying that it faster than a runner, swifter than a
reed ship, and faster than eagle diving for his prey. No matter how hard Job
tried try to make himself pure, he felt like he was being treated like filth.
He feels helpless to contend against God because God is not a man.
In the remaining verses
Job wishes that he had a mediator between him and God so He could speak to Him
without fear. While Job does not have a mediator, you and I do through Jesus.
As Job continues in
chapter 10, we find out that he loathes his life and he wants God to either
tell him what his sin is or stop treating him with condemnation.
In verses 3-17, Job wants
to know if God finds pleasure in tormenting His creation while favoring the
wicked. He accuses God of acting like a human. Job says that he is not a wicked
man, yet God continues to persecute him. He believes that God created him, but
now God wants to destroy him. At this point, he canít see an advantage of being
good instead of bad because God hunts him like a lion, and he accuses God of
increasing His indignation against him. Then Job says:
Job 10:18 'Why
then have You brought me out of the womb? Oh, that I had perished and no eye
had seen me!† 19 I would have
been as though I had not been. I would have been carried from the womb to the
grave.† 20 Are not my days
few? Cease! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort,† 21 Before I go to the place
from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of
death,† 22 A land as dark as
darkness itself, As the shadow of death, without any order, Where even
the light is like darkness.' "
Once again, Job wishes
that he had died in the womb and he asked God to leave him alone. I am sure Job
was glad in the end that God did not honor his request and leave him alone to
die, but at the moment, his misery is so great that he was ready to go to the
grave, which the people during his time thought was land of darkness where
there is no light. Jobís feelings about death were depressing, but he did not
know what we know about the afterlife because John says we will be in place
full of light (Rev. 21:23). Even though Job is struggling with his faith, we
need to keep in mind that he has not turned away from God.
In chapter 11 the third
friend Zophar the Naamathite responds to Jobís outcry pretty harshly.
"Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of
talk be vindicated?† 3 Should
your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one
Zophar wasnít about to
hold his tongue after Jobís speech, and he denies that Job is pure and wishes
that God would speak to him and expose his supposed wisdom. Zophar felt like
God was being merciful to Job because he believes that Job deserves more
suffering than he has now.
Then Zophar gives a great
description of God infinite wisdom in,
"Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of
the Almighty?† 8 They are higher
than heaven -- what can you do? Deeper than Sheol -- what can you know?† 9 Their measure is longer
than the earth And broader than the sea.
Since God has this great
wisdom Zophar says God has no problem seeing who is deceitful and wicked. Of
course he is talking about Job and he also hurls another insult at Job by
saying that only way an empty headed man will be wise is when a donkey can be
born of man.
Like Jobís other friends,
Zophar encourages Job to repent but he tells him what true repentance is:
First, he must have a
change of mind Job 11:13 †If you would prepare your heart.
Second, he must ask for forgiveness
Job 11:13 †And stretch out your hands toward Him;
Third, he must change his
conduct for the rest of his life Job 11:14 If iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away,
And would not let wickedness dwell in your tents;
In verse 15-19 he tells
Job how he we be blessed and be able to move on from his suffering if he
repents, but he give one final warning of what will happen if he does not.
Job 11:20 But the
eyes of the wicked will fail, And they shall not escape, And their hope -- loss
Jobís final response to this
first cycle of speeches spans 3 chapters. First, he rebukes his friends and then
he turns his speech toward God challenging Him to meet him in court.
"No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you!† 3 But I have understanding as well
as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such
things as these?† 4 "I am
one mocked by his friends, Who called on God, and He answered him, The just and
blameless who is ridiculed.
Job is being sarcastic
about them being the only wise people alive because Job had just as much wisdom
as they did, yet he is being mocked by his friends and being ridiculed even
though he believes he is just and blameless. He goes on to claim that God
allows robbers to prosper, but He is not allowing the righteous to prosper.
In verse 7-10 Job lets
Zophar know that he is not the only one that can attest to Godís wisdom because
all of Godís creation can show His handy work and God is the one who gave us
our life and breath.
In verses 11-25 seems to
be comparing the wisdom of the aged man to that of the wisdom of God. Of course
there no comparison between what we know and what God knows, not even Solomon
who was blessed with wisdom from God could even come close to Godís wisdom,
which is why he wrote,
Proverbs 3:5 Trust
in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;† 6 In all your ways acknowledge
Him, And He shall direct your paths.† 7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
After Job compares the
wisdom of man to God he says in chapter 13:
Job 13:1 "Behold,
my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it.† 2 What you know, I also know; I am
not inferior to you.† 3
But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God.† 4 But you forgers of lies, You are
all worthless physicians.† 5
Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom!
Again, Job says his
wisdom is just as good as their wisdom, but he accuses them of making up lies
and not helping at all. In fact, he says the best wisdom they can share with
him is by being silent.
In verses 6-12 Job points
out that their attempt to know what God is doing and to speak for Him is
ridiculous, and he wants to know how they would fare if God shines his
spotlight on them. Basically, he tell them that there arguments to defend Godís
actions are worthless. We know that Jobís friends were not speaking for God because
God will point out their foolishness later. Jobís desire is to reason with God.
In verse 13-19 Job asked
his friends to be quite so he can speak, and he is willing to risk his life to
speak to God.
Job 13:15 Though
He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before
Him.† 16 He also shall be
my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
Again, Job has not turned
away from God, but he will defend himself because he feels that he is righteous
and does not deserve this suffering, and he believes that he has strong case to
bring about his salvation 17-19.
Next, Job turns his
speech toward God. Staring in verse 20, he wants to defend himself before God,
but he wants God to do two things. First, he wants Him withdraw his hand from
him, which means to remove the punishment he experiencing right now. It would
be hard for him to defend himself if he is suffering. Second, he says ďlet not
the dread of You make me afraid.Ē If Job is scared, he will not be able to
properly defend himself.
Job pleads with God to
reveal his sins and to stop treating him as enemy. He wants God to stop writing
bitter things about him and holding him accountable to the sins of his youth.
Then he accuses God of treating him harshly in the last 2 verses:
Job 13:27 You put
my feet in the stocks, And watch closely all my paths. You set a limit for the
soles of my feet.† 28 "
Man decays like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten.
As we look at our last
chapter for tonight, I want us to look at all the verses, and I will just a
make few comments along the way. First, Job talks about the brevity of life:
who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.† 2 He comes forth like a flower and
fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.† 3 And do You open Your eyes on
such a one, And bring me to judgment with Yourself?† 4 Who can bring a clean thing out
of an unclean? No one!† 5
Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with
You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.† 6 Look away from him that he may
rest, Till like a hired man he finishes his day.† 7 "For there is hope for a
tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots
will not cease.† 8 Though its
root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground,† 9 Yet at the scent of water
it will bud And bring forth branches like a plant.† 10 But man dies and is laid away;
Indeed he breathes his last And where is he? 11 As water disappears from the sea, And a
river becomes parched and dries up,† 12
So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, They
will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep.
Job points out that God
has put a limit on our life and since or days are short and we are weak, why
does God want to punish us. He wants God to look away and give man rest while
he labors on the earth because he only has one life to live then he is dead
unlike a tree that can be cut down and then grown back.
Job 14:13 "
Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, That You would conceal me until Your
wrath is past, That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!† 14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.† 15 You shall call, and I will
answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.† 16 For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.† 17
My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And You cover my iniquity.† 18 "But as a mountain
falls and crumbles away, And as a rock is moved from its
place;† 19 As water
wears away stones, And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So
You destroy the hope of man.† 20
You prevail forever against him, and he passes on; You change his countenance
and send him away.† 21 His
sons come to honor, and he does not know it; They are brought low, and
he does not perceive it.† 22
But his flesh will be in pain over it, And his soul will mourn over it."
Job wishes that God would
keep Job in the grave until His wrath has passed, so he would not have
experience the pain of his suffering. Job asked if man dies shall he live
again. Of course we will not live again physically on this earth, but our soul
never dies. When the Day of Judgment happens we will be given an eternal body
that will last forever and we with either spend eternity in heaven or hell.
He believes that God is watching
every one of his sins and he accuses God of destroying the hope of man as
mountain falls and crumbles away, as a rock is moved from its place, as water
and torrents wear away a stone and the soil of the earth.
Job accuses God of constantly
prevailing against man and causing him to change his countenance. He points out
that when you die, you do not know if your sons are honoring you or if they are
brought low, which means to become insignificant because you no longer have a
connection or see what is going on in this earth. Overall, Job doesnít have a
great outlook on death or life after death.
This concludes the first
cycle of speeches and all can say is if Job had known what we know today
through Jesus, I believe that he would have had a different outlook on life and
death because Jesus said,
11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though
he may die, he shall live.
Also the comforting words of Paul would have
helped as well:
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I
do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen
asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.† 14 For if we believe that Jesus
died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in
Jesus.† 15 For this we say to
you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the
coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.† 16 For the Lord Himself will
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.† 17 Then we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the
air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.†
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
A great lesson that we
can learn from this is that we should be thankful that we have the whole
council of God and we can know that God does not destroy the hope of man.
Instead, he offers him eternal life in heaven through His Son Jesus. I have
another homework assignment for you. I want you to read 15 Ė 21 as we will
examine the second cycle of speeches two Sundays from now.