Vs. 2, “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you!” Rather than bring comfort, Job’s three friends only added salt to the wounds (vs. 1-5). Perhaps having experienced great suffering, Job now realized how he would respond to his own friends. Sometimes in order to be great comforters, we must know how it is to need it. In Job’s confusion, he laments deeply to God and wonders why such calamity has come to him (vs. 6-14). Yet, Job is still seeking some resemblance of hope and justice (vs. 15-17). He wanted to give up, but he also wanted to be vindicated from all these false accusations. Again, Job looks for a witness or an advocate that could speak up for him (vs. 18-22) if not on earth than at least in heaven.
Regarding application…Looking for Hope. Vs. 20, “My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God.” Though Job did not have Jesus specifically in his mind, we can certainly see the hope that all of us groan for. I’m quite astounded that in the midst of such suffering and grief, Job would still be seeking truth. Question: Would you be able to look for hope in the midst of such tragedy? When push comes to shove, I pray that I would be able to retain such hope. It is hope that gets me through each day knowing that I’m one day closer to the Lord. I’ve found that as I get older in life, the things of this world just don’t mean that much anymore. We get so wrapped up in financial security, but it’s eternal security that gives us the reason to endure. Question: Where is your hope?
Vs. 1, “Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied.” After the first round of responses, Eliphaz takes his turn again. Though Eliphaz was the kinder of the three previously, he shares some pretty harsh words now. In tone of ridicule (vs. 1-6), Eliphaz rebukes Job for his words of anguish and even accuses him of having a crafty tongue. Because Job was considerably younger than the three, Eliphaz used their age as a logical reason for their wisdom (vs. 7-10). In a tone of sarcasm, Eliphaz lashes out at Job for his seeming lack of respect to God and to them (vs. 11-13). After repeating himself (vs. 14-16) from his first remarks, Eliphaz now proclaims his knowledge of those who are wicked (vs. 17-35) and their consequences.
Regarding application…Verbal Attacks. Vs. 34, “For the company of the godless will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.” Eliphaz took it too far as he basically is describing Job as a godless man who is deserving of these tragedies. That’s not cool! While it is true that the wicked will suffer separation from God and eternal judgment, the tragedies in this life are not always an indicator of sin. This reminds me of the passage where Jesus’ disciples asked him if the man born blind was a result of his sin or his parents (John 9:1-12). The tragedy of blindness was so that the glory of God would be displayed in this man’s life. Brothers and sisters, let us not be so short-sighted to assume the worst. Let us watch and control what comes out of our mouth but most importantly what begins in our heart.
Vs. 7, “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” Job couldn’t help but have a sense of foreboding hopelessness (vs. 1-6). He of all people would have a sense of frailty of life. Outliving all your children and seeing them perish must be one of the most traumatizing events in life. Zophar had previously declared that if only Job would repent there would be hope. But as Job looked around him, he felt there was more hope in a tree (vs. 7-12). Though it seemed hopeless, Job was not completely shutting out the possibility of a silver lining (vs. 13-22). It is certainly a bit morose having a courtside seat to the anguish of Job. But, there is much insight and wisdom that can be gained if we journey with Job.
Regarding application…Eternal Life. Vs. 14, “If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal a to come.” We must count our many blessings for we are privy of something Job was not. During his time, Job did not have the luxury of knowing if there was hope beyond the grave. There is a childhood game I used to play where we would state, “You’re getting warmer.” If someone was trying to find something or guess the answer, we would make this statement. As we observe Job cry out in wonder, we can’t help but want to declare, “Job, you’re getting warmer!” The hint of your hope is currently in process and God would give us hope of a rebirth and eternal life. This is the hope we have as we venture forth into a new week!
Vs. 3, “But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.” Job continues his diatribe against his three friends as he builds his case to the LORD. Job lets it all out as he express his utter disappointment with how they are treating him (vs. 1-12). They had misdiagnosed Job’s pain for sin (vs. 4). I like how Job challenges them to consider looking at themselves as well (vs. 9). It’s a sobering reminder to check ourselves before we begin to carelessly give advice to others. Job was so certain of his innocence that he boldly declared his defense before his friends (vs. 13-28). Like any person of innocence, he wanted to be vindicated before his false accusers.
Regarding application…Be Silent. Vs. 5, “If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.” Job’s friends couldn’t help themselves as they poured out harsh words. In the Disney movie Bambi, Thumper the rabbit pokes fun of young Bambi as he wobbles around. However, Thumper’s mom reminds him of what his father taught him, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” I think Job’s friends might have benefited from such sage advice. Last Sunday, I preached a message entitled “Tongue Whisperer” and was quite convicted this week of the words that come out of my mouth. I’ve seen the evidence of my careless words thrown around and hurt others. Oh Lord, forgive us when we hurt others. Let’s be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). And I might add be silent at the right times!
Vs. 2, “Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!” You go Job! Preach it brother! Just because Job’s friends were older than him didn’t mean he was ignorant of the LORD. Job had enough of their accusations. This would bring some life back into Job. If God were punishing Job, why is he not punishing the wicked (vs. 5-6)? Job pointed out the creatures of God’s creation could teach all them a thing or two about wisdom (vs. 7-11). Who are they to be so pious and upright? The latter half of our chapter (vs. 12-25) Job gives his own insight into the wisdom that comes from God. Though Job had earlier complained, his friends false accusations gave him the opportunity to declare his faith in the attributes of the LORD.
Regarding application…Props to God. Vs. 13, “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” Sometimes we have to go through the full gambit of our emotions to realize the right perspective. Job had been wallowing in his sorrows, but the jabber of his friends woke him up! Their skewed version of God’s wisdom would give some life and truth back into Job. Rather than accuse God, Job was now defending God even in the midst of his own suffering. For some reason, I kept picturing kids in a playground setting. One of the kids is moping around all morning and complaining about their dad. All of the sudden one of his friends are talking up their own dad and talking smack about his father. This wakes up the young man and he begins to vehemently defend his father and in the midst of it realizes the old man isn’t so bad after all. Perhaps we don’t give enough props to our Father in heaven.
Vs. 5, “Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you.” Zophar, Job’s third friend, now takes his opportunity to speak. Unfortunately, Zophar unleashes his judgment upon Job in our chapter today. Job’s three friends were rebuking Job (vs. 5-12), but the tables would be turned as God would later rebuke the three. Zophar seemed to smugly state he knew the depths of God’s wisdom. The latter half of our chapter (vs. 13-20) involve Zophar admonishing Job he must stop being so stubborn and just repent. From Zophar’s perspective, if Job repented all would be restored. But this was folly; that was the reason Satan accused Job in the first place. Satan’s assumption was that Job trusted God only because good things were given to him.
Regarding application…Bedside Manner. Vs. 3, “Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock?” If Job was a patient and his friends were doctors, their bedside manner is atrocious. Their prognosis was that Job was a sinner and their prescription was to repent. There is an old Chinese proverb says, “Though conversing face to face, their hearts have a thousand miles between them.” I have much respect for Christian chaplains in the hospital. They must be able to comfort those who are suffering many ailments, even life threatening. I wonder how many times I attempted to give good advice to my friends only to bring discouragement? Let’s be people of true wisdom and not folly when it comes to bringing comfort to those who are hurting.
Vs. 18, “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.” It’s pretty tough having to see Job’s confusion and despair. We are privy of what is going on in the background. Job’s question certainly seems legit; why was I even born? But, we must remember that this was a test to prove Satan wrong. Job would not suffer in vain. Ultimately, God would be glorified all the more and Job would prove to the enemy that there is hope in humanity.
Regarding application…Kill Me Now. Vs. 21, “before I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and utter darkness.” God created us as emotional beings. Question: How many times have we used our own hyperbole when being exasperated with our current situations? I take much solace in Job’s response to God. There are times when we just are not going to grasp the sufferings we endure. But, it’s okay to cry out to God and express ourselves. That’s why spending devotional time with the Lord in reading and praying is so very important. It gives us the opportunity to articulate our feelings in the presence of our God.
Vs. 2, “Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God?” Job cries out to ask how he can prove that it was not something he had specifically done to bring such tragedy (vs. 1-13). Job understood the greatness of God when compared to us. In honest frustration, Job is flustered as he realizes there is not much he can do (vs. 14-31). Question: Is God fair? From Job’s perspective, God seemed to allow such sorrow to come. In his despair, Job cries out for a mediator (vs. 32-35) to come between him and God.
Regarding application…Can I find a Mediator? Vs. 33, “There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both.” Job sought someone to be an arbiter between him and God. Question: Is there someone that can represent me before God? Of course, here is where we know the answer: Jesus! Jesus is the perfect mediator for He is both God and man. Because of sin, we needed someone to step in for us. Even in our current lives, sometimes two people need someone to step in for them to help mediate their hurts or differences. We are not worthy for such a loving mediator, yet, Jesus still died for us.
Vs. 2, “How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.” Job’s next friend Bildad responds in the same manner the Eliphaz had done earlier. They share truths about God, but do not understand how God was working in Job’s circumstance. Bildad balked at Job’s honest questions regarding God and attempted to stand up for God’s justice (vs. 1-7). Bildad pointed to the past (vs. 8-10) as an example of those who had lived before them. In that latter half of our chapter (vs. 11-22) Bildad uses examples in nature (papyrus, spider web, plant) regarding cause and effect. For every effect, there must be a logical cause. Surely, Job was receiving his due punishment for the things that he and his children had done.
Regarding application…Due Justice? Vs. 3, “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?” It seemed the only conclusion Bildad could come to was that Job was wrong. If this were a courtroom setting, the evidence is undeniable against Job. However, there was evidence that was not known. We look at life with what we see from our own perspective. Of course, there was a heavenly perspective that none of them were privy of. As we live out our life, let us be slow to making conclusions about others and even our own lives. I think of the prophet Jeremiah who just didn’t seem to catch any breaks. Yet, he was a man of God. I find myself attributing the favor of God based on the success that I’ve achieved. Yet, this is folly. While it is God’s prerogative to bless us, we must also remember that trials and testing can also be a blessing.
Vs. 4, “When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.” The rebuke of Eliphaz really got Job riled up as he continues his thoughts in our chapter today. It’s important for us to remember the sheer tragedy that Job is enduring. Job asks fair questions as he wonders why he is still alive. I can’t imagine what Job is going through, for he is not privy of the heavenly deal made between God and Satan. I’m impressed that Job would even give his friends the opportunity to comfort him.
Regarding application…Why God? Vs. 20, “If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who sees everything we do?” Some of the most powerful testimonies are those who have endured extreme hardships. Throughout the Bible we are given story after story of people who have endured for the sake of the Lord. This past Friday, I shared a message from Hebrews 11 concerning faith. In the moments of trials, we are encouraged to have confidence and assurance from the Lord (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes, God will give us the answers and other times we must just weather through the storm. But have faith that He is in control of this world we live in. Fix your eyes on Him and keep that Godly perspective!