UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF JOB #1
THE TRANSLATION USED IS FROM THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION 1996.
There was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. 2He had seven sons and three daughters. 3He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, and five hundred female donkeys, and he employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
4 Every year when Job's sons had birthdays, they invited their brothers and sisters to join them for a celebration. On these occasions they would get together to eat and drink. 5When these celebrations ended—and sometimes they lasted several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, "Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular practice.
[THE TRUTH ABOUT BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IS IN A STUDY OF MINE ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt]
Job's First Test
6One day the angels [Hebrew the sons of God - angels are sons of God in the sense God created them, as so “offspring of God”] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan the Accuser came with them. 7 "Where have you come from?" the Lord asked Satan. And Satan answered the Lord, "I have been going back and forth across the earth, watching everything that's going on."
8Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil."
[EVEN GOD HIMSELF HAD TO ADMIT THAT FROM A HUMAN POINT OF VIEW JOB WAS A VERY RIGHTEOUS MAN (righteousness defined in Ps. 119:172) - Keith Hunt]
9Satan replied to the Lord, "Yes, Job fears God, but not without good reason! 10You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
12"All right, you may test him," the Lord said to Satan. "Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically." So Satan left the Lord's presence.
13 One day when Job's sons and daughters were dining at the oldest brother's house, 14a messenger arrived at Job's home with this news: "Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, 15when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
16While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds, I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
17While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: "Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
18While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother's home.19 Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the desert and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
20Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground before God.21 He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord !"
22 In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
[NOW THAT IS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS ON JOB’S PART - ALL THAT TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU AND YOU THANK THE LORD FOR HAVING IT, AND THANK HIM AGAIN WHEN IT’S TAKEN AWAY…..PUT YOURSELF IN HIS SHOES, WOULD WE DO THE SAME AS JOB? WELL I HOPE WE WOULD - Keith Hunt]
Job's Second Test
One day the angels [Heb. sons of God] came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan the Accuser came with them. 2 "Where have you come from?" the Lord asked Satan.
And Satan answered the Lord, "I have been going back and forth across the earth, watching everything that's going on."
3Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you persuaded me to harm him without cause."
[IT’S KINDA SHOCKING TO THINK GOD COULD LET US BE HARMED, WITHOUT CAUSE. I DO NOT THINK GOD IS PERSUADED LIKE THIS FROM SATAN VERY OFTEN, BUT OBVIOUSLY SOMETIMES THE LORD ALLOWS THIS; THE APOSTLE PAUL WENT THROUGH SOME TERRIBLE THINGS IN LIFE, AS HE PREACHED THE WORD OF GOD, THE LORD ALLOWING MAN (OFTEN INSPIRED BY DEMONIC FORCES) TO BRING MUCH GRIEF UPON PAUL AT TIMES, AND FINALLY HIS DEATH. FOR THE AVERAGE CHRISTIAN THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, THOUGH SOME HAVE HAD TO GIVE THEIR LIFE FOR LIVING AS A CHRISTIAN - HEBREWS 11 - Keith Hunt]
4Satan replied to the Lord, "Skin for skin—he blesses you only because you bless him. A man will give up everything he has to save his life. 5But take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
6"All right, do with him as you please," the Lord said to Satan. "But spare his life." 7 So Satan left the Lord's presence, and he struck Job with a terrible case of boils from head to foot.
[SHOWING SATAN DOES AT TIMES HAVE THE POWER AND IS ALLOWED BY GOD, TO BRING PHYSICAL SICKNESSES TO OUR BODY; MOST OF THE TIME THOUGH IT IS OUR WRONG WAY OF LIVING AND “TIME AND CHANCE” (CATCHING SOMETHING FROM SOMEONE) THAT BRINGS PROBLEMS TO OUR PHYSICAL BODY - Keith Hunt]
8Then Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. 9His wife said to him, "Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die."
[MAYBE MOST AT THIS POINT WOULD CURSE GOD, BUT JOB DID NOT; HE HELD HIS INTEGRITY - Keith Hunt]
10 But Job replied, "You talk like a god-less woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.
[THIS SHOWS SOMETIMES THE LORD ALLOWS BADS THINGS TO HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. AGAIN PAUL HAD ALL KINDS OF BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO HIM DURING HIS SERVICE IN GOD’S MINISTRY. HE HAD A “THORN IN THE FLESH” THAT HE ASKED THREE TIMES TO BE REMOVED….. GOD SAID “NO, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU” - Keith Hunt]
Job's Three Friends Share His Anguish
11Three of Job's friends were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. When they heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. 12When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to demonstrate their grief. 13Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. And no one said a word, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.
[I MEAN SURELY THESE WERE GOOD FRIENDS; WHO WOULD SIT BY YOU FOR 7 DAYS AND MOURN WITH YOU, ONLY GOOD FRIENDS WOULD DO THAT - Keith Hunt]
Job's First Speech
At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth. 2He said: 3 "Cursed be the day of my birth, and cursed be the night when I was conceived. 4 Let that day be turned to darkness. Let it be lost even to God on high, and let it be shrouded in darkness. 5Yes, let the darkness and utter gloom claim it for its own. Let a black cloud overshadow it, and let the darkness terrify it. 6Let that night be blotted off the calendar, never again to be counted among the days of the year, never again to appear among the months. 7Let that night be barren. Let it have no joy.8Let those who are experts at cursing—those who are ready to rouse the sea monster [Hebrew rouse Leviathan].— curse that day. 9Let its morning stars remain dark. Let it hope for light, but in vain; may it never see the morning light. 10Curse it for its failure to shut my mother's womb, for letting me be born to all this trouble. 11Why didn't I die at birth as I came from the womb? 12Why did my mother let me live? Why did she nurse me at her breasts? 13 For if I had died at birth, I would be at peace now, asleep and at rest. 14I would rest with the world's kings and prime ministers, famous for their great construction projects. 15I would rest with wealthy princes whose palaces were filled with gold and silver.16Why was I not buried like a stillborn child, like a baby who never lives to see the light? 17For in death the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. 18Even prisoners are at ease in death, with no guards to curse them. 19Rich and poor are there alike, and the slave is free from his master.
[I WOULD THINK IF ANY OF US HAD JOB’S AFFLICTIONS WE WOULD ALSO WISH FOR DEATH, AND EVEN THAT WE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN. WE ALSO SEE THAT DEATH IS A SLEEP, JUST AS JESUS ALSO TAUGHT IN THE GOSPELS - JOHN 11 AND LAZARUS - Keith Hunt]
20 "Oh, why should light be given to the weary, and life to those in misery?21 They long for death, and it won't come. They search for death more eagerly than for hidden treasure. 22It is a blessed relief when they finally die, when they find the grave. 23 Why is life given to those with no future, those destined by God to live in distress? 24 I cannot eat for sighing; my groans pour out like water. 25What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come to be. 26 I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; instead, only trouble comes."
[BEARING SUCH PHYSICAL BODY PAIN AND MENTAL ANGUISH AT LOOSING YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND THE LIVESTOCK OF YOUR FARM, WOULD I THINK, BRING MOST PEOPLE TO WISH THEY WERE DEAD. I PERSONALLY CANNOT IMAGINE SUCH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN - Keith Hunt]
Eliphaz's First Response to job
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied to Job:
2"Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out? 3"In the past you have encouraged many a troubled soul to trust in God; you have supported those who were weak. 4Your words have strengthened the fallen; you steadied those who wavered. 5But now when trouble strikes, you faint and are broken. 6Does your reverence for God give you no confidence? Shouldn't you believe that God will care for those who are upright?
[THOUGH HE STARTS OF PRAISING JOB FOR GOOD THINGS, HE SOON GETS INTO “WHEN TROUBLE COMES YOU HAVE NO CONFIDENCE….GOD WILL CARE FOR THE UPRIGHT.” A WAY OF SAYING, “JOB YOU AIN’T REALLY UPRIGHT AFTER ALL” - Keith Hunt]
7"Stop and think! Does the innocent person perish? When has the upright person been destroyed? 8My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. 9They perish by a breath from God. They vanish in a blast of his anger. 10Though they are fierce young lions, they will all be broken and destroyed. 11 The fierce lion will starve, and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered.
[JOB IS TOLD YOU ARE NOT SO RIGHTEOUS AFTER ALL, YOU ARE REAPING WHAT YOU’VE SOWN - Keith Hunt]
12 "This truth was given me in secret, as though whispered in my ear. 13It came in a vision at night as others slept. 14Fear gripped me; I trembled and shook with terror. 15A spirit swept past my face. Its wind sent shivers up my spine. 16It stopped, but I couldn't see its shape. There was a form before my eyes, and a hushed voice said, 17'Can a mortal be just and upright before God? Can a person be pure before the Creator?'
18 "If God cannot trust his own angels and has charged some of them with folly, 19 how much less will he trust those made of clay! Their foundation is dust, and they are crushed as easily as moths. 20They are alive in the morning, but by evening they are dead, gone forever without a trace. 21 Their tent collapses; they die in ignorance.
[JOB IS BEING TOLD HE IS A SINNER; HE’S REAPING WHAT HE’S SOWN; GOD IS PAYING HIM BACK FOR SINS - Keith Hunt]
Eliphaz's Response Continues
"You may cry for help, but no one listens. You may turn to the angels, but they give you no help. 2Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple. 3From my experience, I know that fools who turn from God may be successful for the moment, but then comes sudden disaster.4Their children are abandoned far from help, with no one to defend them. 5Their harvests are stolen, and their wealth satisfies the thirst of many others, not themselves/ 6But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth. 7 People are born for trouble as predictably as sparks fly upward from a fire. 8 My advice to you is this: Go to God and present your case to him. 9For he does great works too marvelous to understand. He performs miracles without number. 10He gives rain for the earth. He sends water for the fields.11 He gives prosperity to the poor and humble, and he takes sufferers to safety. 12He frustrates the plans of the crafty, so their efforts will not succeed. 13He catches those who think they are wise in their own cleverness, so that their cunning schemes are thwarted.14They grope in the daylight as though they were blind; they see no better in the daytime than at night. 15He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong. He saves them from the clutches of the powerful. 16And so at last the poor have hope, and the fangs of the wicked are broken.
[WELLLLL…… NO! GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS BRING RETRIBUTION ON THE WICKED IN THIS LIFE-TIME; MANY LIVE AND PROSPER IN THEIR WICKEDNESS, AS DO SOME OF THEIR CHILDREN. THE POOR ARE NOT ALWAYS RESCUED FROM EVIL PEOPLE. AGAIN ELIPHAZ IS TELLING JOB HE’S A SINNER AND THE LORD IS REWARDING HIM ACCORDINGLY - Keith Hunt]
17"But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the chastening of the Almighty when you sin.18For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. 19He will rescue you again and again so that no evil can touch you 20He will save you from death in time of famine, from the power of the sword in time of war.21 You will be safe from slander and will have no fear of destruction when it comes. 22You will laugh at destruction and famine; wild animals will not terrify you. 23You will be at peace with the stones of the field, and its wild animals will be at peace with you. 24You will know that your home is kept safe. When you visit your pastures, nothing will be missing. 25Your children will be many; your descendants will be as plentiful as grass! 26You will live to a good old age. You will not be harvested until the proper time!
27 "We have found from experience that all this is true. Listen to my counsel, and apply it to yourself."
[NO HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE DOES NOT TELL YOU THAT GOD WILL KEEP THE UPRIGHT IN SUCH SAFETY AS MENTIONED BY ELIPHAZ. HE WAS PUTTING FORTH AN IDEA THAT THE UPRIGHT WILL NEVER HAVE WHAT JOB NOW FINDS HIMSELF WITH. GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS RESCUE SO NO EVIL WILL COME UPON YOU; GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS SAVE YOU FROM DEATH, OR FROM THE SWORD, OR FROM SLANDER, YOUR HOME OR FARM IS NOT ALWAYS KELP SAFE FROM WILD ANIMALS; CHRISTIANS DO NOT ALWAYS LIVE TO “A GOOD OLD AGE.” JOB WAS BEING TOLD HE WAS BEING CHASTENED OF THE LORD; HE WAS A SINNER AND NEEDED PUNISHING…..SO JOB CONFESS YOUR SINS THAT YOU’VE KEPT FROM US - Keith Hunt]
Job's Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
Then Job spoke again: 2 "If my sadness could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales,3they would be heavier than all the sands of the sea. That is why I spoke so rashly. 4For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. He has sent his poisoned arrows deep within my spirit. All God's terrors are arrayed against me.5 Don't I have a right to complain? Wild donkeys bray when they find no green grass, and oxen low when they have no food. 6People complain when there is no salt in their food. And how tasteless is the uncooked white of an egg! 7My appetite disappears when I look at it; I gag at the thought of eating it!
[“NO I HAVE NOT SINNED, GOD IS AGAINST ME, HE IS BRINGING ALL THIS UPON ME WITHOUT CAUSE….SHOULD I NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN?” SO JOB IS SAYING - Keith Hunt]
8 "Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my hope. 9 I wish he would crush me. I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me. 10At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 But I do not have the strength to endure. I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on. 12Do I have strength as hard as stone? Is my body made of bronze?13 No, I am utterly helpless, without any chance of success.
[JOB SAYS: “I AM BUT HUMAN FLESH AND BLOOD; DESPITE WHAT GOD HAS BROUGHT ON ME I HAVE NOT DENIED HIS WORDS; I AM WANTING TO DIE, I HAVE NO STRENGTH LIKE A STONE, MY BODY IS NOT MADE OF BRONZE….. I AM WEAK FLESH AND BLOOD, I WISH GOD WOULD END MY LIFE” - Keith Hunt]
14 "One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you have accused me without the slightest fear of the Almighty. 15My brother, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook that overflows its banks in the spring 16when it is swollen with ice and melting snow. 17But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears. The brook vanishes in the heat. 18The caravans turn aside to be refreshed, but there is nothing there to drink, and so they perish in the desert. 19With high hopes, the caravans from Tema and from Sheba stop for water, 20but finding none, their hopes are dashed. 21You, too, have proved to be of no help. You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid. 22But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift? Have I begged you to use any of your wealth on my behalf? 23 Have I ever asked you to rescue me from my enemies? Have I asked you to save me from ruthless people?
[JOB SAYS TO HIS FRIEND, YOU HAVE BEEN NO HELP IN MY DESTRUCTION, FOR YOU HAVE NOT SAID THE TRUTH…
You, too, have proved to be of no help. You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid. 22But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift? Have I begged you to use any of your wealth on my behalf? 23 Have I ever asked you to rescue me from my enemies? Have I asked you to save me from ruthless people? - Keith Hunt]
24 "All I want is a reasonable answer— then I will keep quiet. Tell me, what have I done wrong?25 Honest words are painful, but what do your criticisms amount to? 26Do you think your words are convincing when you disregard my cry of desperation? 27You would even send an orphan into slavery or sell a friend. 28Look at me! Would I lie to your face? 29Stop assuming my guilt, for I am righteous. Don't be so unjust. 30Do you think I am lying? Don't I know the difference between right and wrong?
[JOB MAINTAINS HIS INTEGRITY AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. HE ASKS TO BE TOLD WHAT HE’S DONE WRONG. IN OTHER WORDS HE KNOWS HIS FRIENDS HAVE NEVER SEEN HIM DO WRONG OR EVIL OF ANY KIND - Keith Hunt]
"Is this not the struggle of all humanity? A person's life is long and hard, like that of a hired hand, 2like a worker who longs for the day to end, like a servant waiting to be paid. 3 I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery. 4When I go to bed, I think, 'When will it be morning?' But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn. 5My skin is filled with worms and scabs. My flesh breaks open, full of pus.
[JOB TELL THEM WHAT IT’S LIKE….. MISERY THAT IS HARD TO IMAGINE - Keith Hunt]
Job Cries Out to God
6 "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle flying back and forth. They end without hope. 70 God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again experience pleasure. 8You see me now, but not for long. Your eyes will be on me, but I will be dead. Just as a cloud dissipates and vanishes, those who die will not come back. 10They are gone forever from their home—never to be seen again. 11 I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. I must complain in my bitterness. 12Am I a sea monster that you place a guard on me?13If I think, 'My bed will comfort me, and I will try to forget my misery with sleep,' 14you shatter me with dreams. You terrify me with visions. 15 I would rather die of strangulation than go on and on like this. 16 I hate my life. I do not want to go on living. Oh, leave me alone for these few remaining days.
[I THINK WE CAN KINDA UNDERSTAND BY NOW THAT FOR JOB DEATH WOULD BE A BLESSING, LIFE AS IT IS FOR HIM AT PRESENT IS OVERWHELMINGLY ANGUISH - THOSE WHO DIE ARE GONE FROM THE EARTH, NOT TO COME BACK IN A FEW WEEKS OR MONTHS. ONLY THE VERY FEW HAVE EVER BEEN RAISED TO PHYSICAL LIFE AFTER DEATH…. LAZARUS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN WAS ONE; BUT GENERALLY ALL WILL BE GONE…… FROM THIS LIFE…… UNTIL THE RESURRECTION DAY - Keith Hunt]
17 "What are mere mortals, that you should make so much of us? 18For you examine us every morning and test us every moment.19 Why won't you leave me alone—even for a moment? 20Have I sinned? What have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why have you made me your target? Am I a burden to you? 21Why not just pardon my sin and lake away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone."
[JOB SAYS TO GOD, “IF I’VE SINNED, THEN SHOW ME MY SIN; WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU THAT IS SO WRONG YOU EXAMINE ME LIKE THIS. JUST PARDON MY SIN WHATEVER IT IS AND WALK AWAY FROM ME AND LET ME DIE” - Keith Hunt]
Bildad's First Response to job
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied to Job:
2 "How long will you go on like this? Your words are a blustering wind. 3Does God twist justice? Does the Almighty twist what is right? 4Your children obviously sinned against him, so their punishment was well deserved. 5But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty,6 if you are pure and live with complete integrity, he will rise up and restore your happy home. 7And though you started with little, you will end with much.
8"Just ask the former generation. Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors. 9For we were born but yesterday and know so little. Our days on earth are as transient as a shadow. 10But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations.
11"Can papyrus reeds grow where there is no marsh? Can bulrushes flourish where there is no water?12While they are still flowering, not ready to be cut, they begin to wither. 13So is the fate of all who forget God. The hope of the godless comes to nothing. 14Everything they count on will collapse. They are leaning on a spiderweb. 15They cling to their home for security, but it won't last. They try to hold it fast, but it will not endure. 16The godless seem so strong, like a lush plant growing in the sunshine, its branches spreading across the garden. 17Its roots grow down through a pile of rocks to hold it firm. 18But when it is uprooted, it isn't even missed! 19That is the end of its life, and others spring up from the earth to replace it. 20But look! God will not reject a person of integrity, nor will he make evildoers prosper.21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. 22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be destroyed."
[AGAIN TRYING TO SAY JOB IS SOME BIG HUGE SINNER, AS HIS CHILDREN WERE, SO THEY PERISHED. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT EVIL DOERS DO NOT PROSPER, SOME EVIL DOERS PROSPER RIGHT TILL DEATH. AS THE PAPYRUS GROWS ONLY IN THE MARSH, SO EVIL BRINGS FORTH DISASTER - THE TWO GO HAND IN HAND. THIS IS THE ARGUMENT THAT GOD WILL NOT PROSPER EVIL DOERS, SO JOB NEEDED TO CONFESS HIS SINS AS EVERYTHING WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM HIM; HE MUST THEREFORE BE AN EVIL DOER.
Job's Third Speech: A Response to Bildad
Then Job spoke again: 2 "Yes, I know this is all true in principle. But how can a person be declared innocent in the eyes of God? 3If someone wanted to take God to court, would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times? 4For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully?
[JOG SAYS, “HOW DO I CHALLENGE GOD TO PROVE I’M NOT A SINNER?” - Keith Hunt]
5 "Without warning, he moves the mountains, overturning them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble. 7If he commands it, the sun won't rise and the stars won't shine. 8He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. 9 He made all the stars—the Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky. 10His great works are too marvelous to understand, He performs miracles without number.
[ JOB, “HOW CAN I CHALLENGE SUCH A MIGHTY ONE AS GOD?” - Keith Hunt]
11 Yet when he comes near, I cannot see him. When he moves on, I do not see him go. 12If he sends death to snatch someone away, who can stop him? Who dares to ask him, 'What are you doing?' 13And God does not restrain his anger. The mightiest forces against him are crushed beneath his feet.
[JOB, “SEE HOW MIGHTY HE IS, WHO AM I TO STAND UP TO HIM?” - Keith Hunt]
14"And who am I, that I should try to answer God or even reason with him? 15 Even if I were innocent, I would have no defense. I could only plead for mercy. 16And even if I summoned him and he responded, he would never listen to me. 17For he attacks me without reason, and he multiplies my wounds without cause.
[JOB, “I AM WEAK TO REASON WITH GOD. HE WOULD NOT LISTEN TO ME, FOR HE NOW ATTACKS ME WITHOUT CAUSE, WOUND UPON WOUND.” Keith Hunt]
18 He will not let me catch my breath, but fills me instead with bitter sorrows. 19As for strength, he has it, as for justice, who can challenge him? 20Though I am innocent, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty. Though I am blameless, it would prove me wicked.
[JOB, “WHATEVER I WOULD SAY, WOULD COME TO NAUGHT; SAYING I AM BLAMELESS WOULD NOT HELP.” Keith Hunt]
21"I am innocent, but it makes no difference to me—I despise my life. Innocent or wicked, it is all the same to him. That is why I say, 'He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.' 23He laughs when a plague suddenly kills the innocent. 24The whole earth is in the hands of the wicked, and God blinds the eyes of the judges and lets them be unfair. If not he, then who?
[JOB, “GOD IS IN CHARGE; NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT HIM ALLOWING IT; IF IT’S NOT HE WHO ALLOWS IT, THEN WHO, THERE IS NONE GREATER.” Keith Hunt]
25"My life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away, filled with tragedy. 26It disappears like a swift boat, like an eagle that swoops down on its prey. 27If I decided to forget my complaints, if I decided to end my sadness and be cheerful, 28I would dread all the pain he would send. For I know you will not hold me innocent, O God. 29Whatever happens, I will be found guilty. So what's the use of trying?
[JOB, “HE’S SO MIGHTY COMPARED TO ME, HE WILL DO WHAT HE WILLS, SO WHY SHOULD I TRY TO DEFEND MYSELF.” Keith Hunt]
30Even if I were to wash myself with soap and cleanse my hands with lye to make them absolutely clean, 31you would plunge me into a muddy ditch, and I would be so filthy my own clothing would hate me.
32 "God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. 33 If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there is none. 34The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment. 35Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength.”
[JOB, “I ONLY SEE UTTER DEFEAT IF I TRIED TO CHALLENGE GOD; AND THERE IS NO MEDIATOR; A MORTAL LIKE ME COULD NEVER TAKE GOD TO TRIAL OR ARGUE WITH HIM.” Keith Hunt]
Job Frames His Plea to God
"I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, 'Don't simply condemn me—tell me the charge you are bringing against me.3 What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while sending joy and prosperity to the wicked? 4Are your eyes only those of a human? Do you see things as people see them? 5 Is your lifetime merely human? Is your life so short 6that you are in a hurry to probe for my guilt, to search for my sin? 7Although you know I am not guilty, no one can rescue me from your power.
[JOB CLINGS TO BEING NOT GUILTY OF ANYTHING WORTHY OF ALL HE HAS AND IS SUFFERING; HE SAYS GOD KNOWS THERE IS NO CAUSE FOR HIM TO BE GIVEN ALL THIS MISERY, BUT HE IS IN GOD’S HANDS AND NO ONE CAN DELIVERY HIM FROM THE LORD’S POWER - Keith Hunt]
8"You formed me with your hands; you made me, and yet you completely destroy me.9 Remember that I am made of dust— will you turn me back to dust so soon? 10You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.* 11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. 12You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care. 13Yet your real motive—I know this was your intent—14was to watch me, and if I sinned, you would not forgive my iniquity. 15 If I am guilty, too bad for me. And even if I'm innocent, I am filled with shame and misery so that I can't hold my head high. 16And if I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion and display your awesome power against me. 17Again and again you witness against me. You pour out an ever-increasing volume of anger upon me and bring fresh armies against me. 18Why, then, did you bring me out of my mother's womb? Why didn't you let me die at birth? 19Then I would have been spared this miserable existence. I would have gone directly from the womb to the grave. 20 I have only a little time left, so leave me alone—that I may have a little moment of comfort 21 before I leave for the land of darkness and utter gloom, never to return. 22 It is a land as dark as midnight, a land of utter gloom where confusion reigns and the light is as dark as midnight.”
[JOB IS SAYING HE DID NOT WARRANT THIS HARD POWER OF GOD’S HAND; HERE WE SEE GOD FORMS LIFE IN THE WOMB; WHEN EGG AND SEED UNITE HUMAN LIFE IS FORMED. AT THIS POINT JOB IS BELIEVING HE HAS BUT A SHORT TIME LEFT BEFORE THE DARKNESS OF DEATH IS UPON HIM. TO JOB IT SEEMED GOD WAS AFTER HIM AT EVERY CORNER. HE BEMOANS THE FACT THAT HE LIVED AFTER BEING BORN, AND THINKS GOD SHOULD HAVE LET HIM DIE. IF WE WERE IN JOB’S SHOES I THINK WE ALSO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT BETTER THAT WE HAD DIED AT BIRTH. AT THIS POINT IN HIS ORDEAL HE PUTS DEATH, IN THE PICTURE OF DARKNESS, UTTER GLOOM, NEVER TO RETURN. LATER HE COMES TO SEE THERE IS HOPE AFTER DEATH, A RESURRECTION. WHAT HE MEANS BY “WHERE CONFUSION REIGNS” IS PROBABLY HIS MIND OF CONFUSION AS IT WAS THEN - IN SUCH A MIND-SET FROM HIS PAIN, DISCOMFORT, AND MENTAL ANGUISH, HE COULD SEE NOTHING ELSE BUT CONFUSION WAITING FOR HIM. HE COULD NOT EVEN SEE THAT AS A CHILD OF GOD NO SUCH CONFUSION AWAITED HIM AFTER DEATH. WHEN IN THIS SATE OF PHYSICAL TORMENT THE MIND CAN PLAY TRICKS ON US; WE JUST DO NOT THINK CLEARLY - Keith Hunt]
10:10 * Hebrew - You poured me out like milk and curdled me like cheese.
TO BE CONTINUED