Job 39

Vs. 1, “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?” In our previous chapter, the LORD finally spoke! Job had assumed he had God figured out, so the LORD proceeds to question Job. All of our eyes were opened a bit more to the intricacies of the creation of the universe and the world we live in. Our chapter today continues God’s probing questions as he uses the animals he created as object lessons. Six animals: lions, goat, deer, wild donkey, ox, and horse are mentioned. While five birds: raven, ostrich, stork, hawk and eagle are mentioned. If Job and his friends have God figured out, do they know how the creatures of the earth He created work? We pride ourselves in inventions we have made over the years. But, just one of God’s creatures He has created is marvelous in detail! The LORD is able to have control and power over far more than we could possibly imagine.

Regarding application…Questions. Vs. 19, “Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” We have many questions in this life we live. Think about all the questions children ask. Though our questions may grow deeper and more profound, we never really stop asking them. However, there is a point in which we should just sit back and marvel at God’s handiwork. It must have been pretty intimidating for Job to have God turn the tables and question him. I suppose in the end, we must come to the realization that some questions just won’t be answered. It’s interesting that God never really answers the elephant question in the room; why did Job suffer? Likewise, God doesn’t always answer our questions. That’s where faith comes in!

Job 38

Vs. 1, “Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said…” Question: Will Job be vindicated? For the majority of our time in Job, we have seen Job plead to the LORD to have his case heard. The LORD almighty, creator of the heavens and earth, finally comes to Job as the answer to all of Job’s inquiries. Though I found it personally amusing how the LORD told Job to brace himself like a man (vs. 3), I’m sure it would have been quite terrifying! Job had spoken truth about God (Job 42:7), but his truth was a bit lacking in full knowledge. Rather than directly answer the why questions, the LORD gives us glimpses of His majesty and power (vs. 4-41). For centuries, humans have tried to grasp the intricacies of the world (cosmos). We have tried to explain it with science and evidences that we subjectively perceive. But the LORD shows us the amazing work of His hand. He laid the foundation of the world (vs. 4-7), the seas (vs. 8-11) and the very sun that brings life (vs. 12-15). The latter half of our chapter is the LORD going into detail just what it took to create such a world. While we may have a better idea with science today, we must be careful not to think we have figured it all out.

Regarding application…Source of Knowledge. Vs. 36, “Who gives the ibis wisdom or gives the rooster understanding?” Education is the cornerstone of a successful society. We pride ourselves in our school systems, colleges, and graduate schools. We are esteemed by other because of the universities that we have attended. We marvel at the accolades of others and their sheer wisdom and knowledge. Yet, the LORD humbles us greatly for He alone is the giver of such knowledge. With haughty attitudes, we think we have it all figured out. This was the Achilles heel of Job and his friends. This is the same foolishness that pervades in our world today. I can imagine the LORD shaking his head (smh) at our prideful assumptions of the world and science. I appreciate the ability that modern science has achieved to help us understand the vastness of God’s creation, but we are only scratching the surface. I don’t believe this side of heaven, we will ever figure it out. And I am completely fine with that! I share all these sentiments because in the end, we would be wise to gain knowledge through the Living Word! Let this be the tool we use to navigate life along with the Holy Spirit as our guide. Stay plugged in your local church and fight the good fight!

Job 37

Vs. 2, “Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.” It’s likely that while Elihu was speaking, a storm was brewing (vs. 1-5). This was an opportune moment for Elihu to use nature to illustrate God’s power. Like the Game of Thrones series, Elihu reminds Job that “winter is coming.” (vs. 6-10). Winter reminds us that we must be prepared, for not much can be done during the bitter cold. However, there is hope as spring and summer are just around the corner (vs. 11-18). The very nature the four seasons is hard to fathom. If we cannot grasp the four seasons, how can we understand God? Elihu felt that Job was a fool for trying to take his case to the Almighty God (vs. 19-24).

Regarding application…Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Vs. 23, “The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.” Since Job’s tragedy, he has been knocking on the doors of heaven since chapter three. All his friends exhorted him to just repent. They felt that he was so foolish to keep expecting for God to answer him. Question: Have you ever felt like Job? Why isn’t God answering me? Why is this happening to me? As we close out Job, we will finally get to hear God speak! Job will be humbled. If I got to stand before the President of the United States and seek an audience, it would be quite humbling. Likewise, when we knock at the door and spend time in the presence of our Lord, we too should be humbled.

Job 36

Vs. 2, “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.” Question: Why would Elihu ask the audience to bear a bit longer? Probably because he saw others eyes rolling as he boasted of having such great knowledge (vs. 1-4). Though God is mighty, that does not mean that He does not care for the downtrodden (vs. 5-14). How often we feel like Job and think God has forgotten us. These were truths, but not seen from the right perspective. Elihu challenges Job to respond with repentance (vs. 16-25). Everyone assumed Job is being stubborn and just not wanting to admit the obvious; he sinned to bring such trials. In the latter section of our chapter (vs. 26-33), Elihu looks to the greatness of God through nature. The clouds, lightening, and thunder are testaments of God’s power of the earth.

Regarding application…Having Resentment. Vs. 13, “The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.” Question: Do you harbor resentment in your life? The definition of resentment is when we have anger for being treated unfairly. The very premise seems unfair for the onus is upon the victim to respond righteously. The victim becomes the perpetrator. As a believer who has been extended forgiveness, holding onto resentment is not an option. It’s far more difficult than I suspect we realize. I imagine resentment being a virus or cancer that spreads within our soul. It is a silent but deadly killer. Fortunately, there is a cure! Let the love of Christ cover over a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8).

Job 35

Vs. 13, “Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.” Elihu had thrown Job into the bucket of all the other wicked sinners who cried out to God and never receive an answer. Elihu asserts that Job’s cries to God are not with the right intention. While Elihu attempts to grasp the grandeur of God, he is unable to get it right. God’s nature isn’t going to change because of us, but our actions or lack thereof can move the hand of God. Elihu appealed to prayer for Job, but may not have been privy that Job already cried out to God.

Regarding application…Waiting on God. Question: Why doesn’t God answer prayer? This is an aged old question that has been asked over all generations. I would surmise that God indeed answers them far more often than we realize. We’ve all heard this response to prayer; God says yes, God says wait, God says no. Question: How do we know which one? That is the million dollar spiritual question. I don’t have a right answer. Prayer is still a mystery to me. But I do know this: stay in His presence. We may never get a satisfactory answer this side of heaven, but we can faithfully walk with Him. No matter what questions, trials or circumstances infiltrate our lives. Like Job, let us be able to declare, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job 34

Vs. 36, “Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost for answering like a wicked man!” Indeed, Job has been tested to the utmost! Elihu started out with calm intentions, but his emotions are beginning to get the best of him. Like Job’s three friends before him, Elihu appeals to the justice of God. Question: How could Job cry out for justice? Surely Job was getting what he deserved. Elihu shares really nothing new on the matter. Yes, their defense of God’s justice is right, but they still lacked a full perspective. No one was privy of God’s testing of Job from the very beginning. No one was privy that though God is just, He is also a very loving and compassionate God. They couldn’t conceive Job was innocent of wrongdoing when all the supposed evidence showed otherwise.

Regarding application…Godly Perspective. Vs. 35, “Job speaks without knowledge; his words lack insight.” I shared this in my message today to Roots Ministry from the book of James. We are limited in our knowledge and insight. Elihu was too quick to slander and judge Job’s character. Though Job’s friends claimed wisdom, their pride was their downfall. The enemy uses pride as his weapon of choice. Job was a man who endured tragedy that we cannot imagine. And his friend’s lack of perspective was throwing salt at his wounds. I wonder how often our own words of supposed encouragement have hurt others we intended to help? Brothers and sisters let us not be too quick to make a hypocritical judgment of others.

Job 33

Vs. 1, “But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say.” Having been introduced to Elihu from our previous chapter, we now see him address Job directly (vs. 1-7). Elihu realized that he too was simply one of God’s creation formed of clay (vs. 6). Elihu did not want Job to feel like he was condescending towards him. We know Elihu must have listened well for he was able to quote what Job had lamented earlier (vs. 8-11). Having thought about Job’s assertion of God, Elihu confronted him to tell him Job was wrong (vs. 12-13). Elihu sees God as someone who does speak to His creation through dreams/visions, suffering, and angels (vs. 14-33). Elihu shares some wise words as he perceives that God does use suffering for a purpose. Suffering gets our attention so that we do not go into the pit of sin and despair. Earlier, Job had cried out for a mediator and Elihu pictures that mediator as an angel.

Regarding application…Sincere Speech. Vs. 3, “My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know.” I believe Elihu did speak sincerely from his heart. Throughout this speech (Job 32-37), Elihu directly addressed Job three times and mentions his name seven other times. Quite a stark contrast when you compare it to the three friends who never mentioned Job’s name once. There is power in a name. Psychologists will tell you that everyone likes to hear their name spoken. When I worked at the bank, we would coach the personal bankers to mention their clients names at least 3-5 times throughout the opening of accounts. There is something about sincerity if we speak and know someone’s name. Try speaking the name of people you talk to directly over the next week (Family, friends, servers at restaurants, etc.). You will notice that there will generally be a better response!

Job 32

Vs. 2, “But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.” After patiently waiting for all four to end their conversations, Elihu son of Barakel enters the scene. Question: Who is this guy? Elihu was a Buzite which meant that he was also related to those who were from the tribe Uz. Abraham was from the tribe of Uz. Elihu opens up his dialogue with much indignation (vs. 1-5)! He is exasperated that the three friends were unable to prove Job wrong and upset that Job was justifying himself before God. Elihu is an interesting character in the drama of Job’s life. I’m not quite sure what to think about his role. He claimed he was inspired, but really didn’t bring much more to the table. In fact, when God finally speaks later (Job 38), the three friends are mentioned, but Elihu is not. However, Elihu does share some insightful thoughts on the mystery of God’s work over the foolishness of His creation.

Regarding application…Patience. Vs. 11, “I waited while you spoke, I listened to your reasoning; while you were searching for words.” While Elihu is passionately indignant when he finally speaks, much props to his great patience. Because he was younger, he took the time to respect Job and his three friends. He listened intently on what they had to say. Question: How is your patience in conversation? We are often so quick to share what we have to say, we don’t take the time to listen properly. I would love to say that I have this type of patience! However, I am humbled. As James reminds us, “be quick to listen and slow to speak” James 1:19.

Job 31

Vs. 4, “Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” Job was on trial by his friends of being guilty for the horrific tragedy that beset him. This is Job’s final defense as he confirms with “if” and “then” statements. Job takes inventory of all possible transgressions and boldly invites the consequences if he is guilty. Job mentions three of the greatest stumbling blocks: lust, deceit, and adultery (vs. 1-12). And yet he claims before his friends he is innocent of such things. I’m impressed for God indeed chose a righteous man! He then made a defense for how he treated others (vs. 13-26, 28-34). He also defended himself when it came to his relationship with the Lord (vs. 24-28). And in the latter section of our chapter (vs. 35-40), Job makes is as clear as possible that he is willing to suffer any additional consequences if he is guilty.

Regarding application…God Hears Us. Vs. 35, “Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing.” Job was rightfully an exasperated man as he cried out for justice! He isn’t quite sure if God is on his side or his adversary. We can’t blame Job for being in such a confused state. Question: Why is this happening to me? Like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, we may wonder why tough times come our way. I like Gandalf’s response, “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Job did not get to decide his circumstance, nor do we. Take comfort in knowing that when we cry out to God, He absolutely hears us! I might add, He also answers according to HIS timing!

Job 30

Vs. 9, “And now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them.” Our chapter today mirrors the previous one as Job compares and contrasts his life. Having just recalled the glory of his past, Job now faces the harshness of his present. Rather than respected Job is now mocked (vs. 1-15). But to add insult to injury, the young men were children of those who were outcasts and despised. Rather than blessings pour out to Job, it was suffering for what seemed endless days (vs. 15-23). He turned to others for help, but no one would come to his rescue (vs. 24-25). Any hope in Job’s life was fading as he was suffering physically, mentally, and spiritually (vs. 26-31).

Regarding application…Don’t Stop Believing. Vs. 16, “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.” My heart goes out to Job for he just cannot understand why this suffering has come his way. Yet, we can find solace in knowing what God had in store for Job. Jesus set the ultimate example of suffering before glory. You are not alone. There is something comforting in knowing that there are others who have gone before us. And there are others who are going through similar circumstances. Over the past year, I’ve had opportunities to sit down and speak with other Pastor’s. It is quite encouraging to hear testimonies of others who are struggling with like-minded things. That’s why community in God’s church is so very important. Don’t stop believing!