Author: gabe

Complete Series Devotional – Week 1

Week 1 – Day One: 1:1-2

READ- Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

REFLECT- Paul was an apostle sent by Jesus Christ. He didn’t send a resume or fill out a job application for an apostle. No, Paul met Jesus personally, while he was on the way to persecute those who followed Jesus. He was knocked off his donkey, blinded by a light, and Jesus spoke to him these words.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them  to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” Acts 26:15-18
“His ministry as an apostle did not come by human nomination nor did he look for human confirmation. It was by divine initiation, preparation, and authentication, which is to say, “by the will of God.” (Sam Storm)
Every word of this letter is to be read by the Colossians and by us as God’s Word delivered by His apostle.

Grace and Peace is essential to this whole letter.
Here is what Martin Lloyd Jones says;
“Grace is the fountain, the spring, the source. It is that particular place in the mountain from which the mighty river you see rolling into the sea starts its race; without it there would be nothing. Grace is the origin and source and fount of everything in the Christian life. But what does the Christian life mean, what is it meant to produce? The answer is “peace.” So there we have the source and there the estuary leading to the sea, the beginning and the end, the initiation, and the purpose for which it is all meant and designed.”

MEDITATE- Meditate on this grace and peace. At the beginning of our study we are being offered grace like a fountain and a source. Grace can flow to us from each of these verses. The result as we read and pray these verses is that grace flows from the page into our lives resulting in peace that can be felt in our life circumstances.

PRAY- Paul addresses this letter to the holy people or saints in Colossae and in Christ. Each of our identities have undergone a radical change. We, like Paul, are now holy people because of the will of God. The result is that we now are both in New York and we are in Christ.

“They moved about Colossae ‘in Christ.’ They worked, served, kept the house, followed the business, met the neighbors, entered into their sorrows and joys, . . . suffered their abuse and insults when such things came – all ‘in Christ.’ They carried about with them a private atmosphere, which was not of Asia but of heaven. To them Christ was the inner home, the dear invisible but real resting place. . . . And what a rich gain for poor Colossae, that they, being in Him, were in it” (Bishop Handley Moule)
Pray that where you live spiritually will impact the place you live physically. Pray you will deeply understand that you are in Christ and that you live in Rockland County NY.

Week 1 – Day Two: 1:3-5
READ- 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel.

REFLECT- Paul consistently and regularly gives thanks. In this specific case Paul is thanking God for the faith and love of the Colossians.
“Now, with all this, he shows that faith and love are the very gifts of God and do not come from ourselves, as men always imagine through a devilish pride. I told you before that St. Paul did not play the hypocrite in giving thanks to God for the faith and love of the Colossians. If every man was able to believe and have faith of his own accord, or could get it by some power of his own, the praise for it ought not to be given to God. For it would be but mockery to acknowledge ourselves indebted to him for what we have obtained, not from him, but from elsewhere. But here St. Paul blesses God’s name for enlightening the Colossians in the faith and for framing their hearts to make them loving. It is to be concluded, therefore, that everything comes from God.” (John Calvin)

Paul gives thanks for their faith and love. He says it springs from, or is catapulted from, hope.

FAITH-The faith that is being spoken of is in Christ Jesus. Faith in and of itself does not hold so much value. Paul gives thanks because the object of their faith is of invaluable worth. Their faith was not fixed inward on self but upward on Jesus.

LOVE- The Colossians display a love for all God’s people. The love spoken of here is outward focused.
“First, love without faith is sloppy and insipid. It yields to compromise when truth is at stake. It lacks courage and is complicit in the sinner’s slide toward a Christless eternity. Of what good is it, in the ultimate sense, to shower someone with affection in the absence of a robust confidence in Jesus and the courage to proclaim him as the sinner’s only hope?
Likewise, faith without love is arid and pompous and eventually mean-spirited and unkind. How dare we say we believe in Jesus and turn a cold shoulder to the very people for whom He died.” (Sam Storm)

Hope- Heaven based hope erupts with love and faith. Our worldly hope can disappoint , but our godly hope doesn’t just come from heaven, it is stored in heaven with a quantity and quality that endures.

MEDITATE- Meditate on hope. Ask God to show you what your hope stored up in heaven looks like, and how it functions in your life. Heaven-based hope catapults faith and love into situations. Where do you need to see more love and faith operating in your life? Ask God to give you heaven based hope for those places.

PRAY- Take time to pray and give thanks for the love and faith of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them to have a heaven-based hope that will allow their love and faith to spring forth even more.

Week 1 – Day Three: 1:6-9a
READ- 6 In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.

REFLECT- The gospel bears fruit. The gospel bears fruit and grows extensively through out the whole world. The gospel also bears fruit intensively in the life of a person. The gospel’s power is such that it has wide ranging results as well as deep and profound results. Truly, as Paul tells us in Romans, the Gospel is the power of God to change and save us.

“This shows us that the gospel is not only the first step in our relationship with God. The gospel is certainly that, but it is also so much more. The gospel is the indispensable key to bearing fruit and growing in spiritual maturity. The gospel must not only come to us, it must grow in us. And that reality shapes everything else Paul says in these verses as he thanks God for the gospel’s intensive work in the lives of his Colossian friends.” (Brian Hedges)

Epaphra, then is a powerful example of the gospel’s work. Epahpras is part of the extensive work of the gospel because he is the faithful minister who shared the gospel with the Colossians believers. Epaphras also faithfully exhibits the profound inner work of the gospel. He prays and wrestles for them in prayer (1: 9 & 4:12), gives reports to Paul of their love in the Spirit, and is a faithful minister, not for his behalf, but on behalf of the Colossians.

“Epaphras… told us of your love in the Spirit.” This is the only specific reference to the Holy Spirit in the book of Colossians. There is a three way relationship going on between, Paul, Epaphras and the Colossians. The love of the Spirit binds them all. This is the reason that since the day that Paul heard of these believers he has not stopped praying for them. He prays because of their love in the Spirit.

MEDITATE- Love is the thing that binds God’s people in these verses. But the center and the thing that transforms them is the gospel. Meditate on the extensive powerful work of the gospel that is growing throughout the world and its intensive personal work that is at work in your own life.

PRAY- Pray for the believers here at RKAC and the Christians who live around us. Paul prays for these Colossians believers though he had never even met them. Paul paints the gospel as this personal agent that is bearing fruit across the world and makes personal grace to the individual. Pray for these believers to bear the fruit of the gospel extensively and throughout the region and pray for them to know the fruit of the gospel intensively in a deep maturity.

Week 1 – Day Four: 1:9-11
READ- We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,

REFLECT- Paul’s prayers often contain the same themes that he explores, teaches, and admonishes in the body of his letters. Paul prays his sermon before he expounds his sermon. It is a prayer for filling that comes from God and produces wisdom and understanding. The understanding and wisdom Paul says they need is spiritual, and it originates with the Holy spirit.
This full knowledge of Christ that comes from the Holy Spirit is what these believers need to meet their challenges.

The aim of Paul’s prayer is that we will live a life worthy of God while fully pleasing Him.
The worthy walk that Paul is speaking about consists of several things.
“It pleases God in every way.”- Paul has prayed for wisdom and understanding from the Spirit. Because of the wisdom that flows from the Spirit, we can walk worthy and please Him.
“It bears fruit in every good work.”- That means that the filling that Paul prayed for results in knowledge of God’s will that produces fruit.
“Growing in the knowledge of God.”- When we live worthy lives, it comes from knowledge of His will, but it also means that our knowledge of God grows.
“Strengthened with all power.”- We are called to live a life worthy of the Lord, but that is impossible to do in our own strength. This worthy walk only can happen when we have all the empowerment available from His glorious strength.
“You may have great endurance and patience.” The worthy walk has the patience to deal with every relational challenge and the endurance to overcome every circumstantial challenge. Nothing overcomes the one who lives a life worthy of the Lord.

“Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 actually frightens some people. It is intimidating to them for one of two reasons (or both): some are afraid they won’t have the power to live worthy of the Lord and to bear fruit in every good work, while others fear that once they start out in their efforts to do so they’ll end up quitting, they simply won’t have the endurance to persevere in what they began. So either the sense of personal weakness and spiritual impotence, on the one hand, or the lack of steadfastness, on the other, often paralyzes people from even trying to live as they know the Lord wants them to. Thank God for Colossians 1:11! Here Paul continues his prayer by asking God to strengthen them with power and to sustain them in their endeavors.” (Sam Storm)

MEDITATE- Meditate on what it means to live a worthy life strengthened with all power from God. The sure sign of that strength in your life is that you are able to have great endurance and patience. God’s all powerful strength overcomes sin, circumstances, and even our own frailties and weaknesses.

“In sum, there is no addiction God’s power cannot break, no sin God’s power cannot defeat, no task to which we are called that God’s power cannot fulfill, no fruit we are called to bear that God’s power cannot produce, no rebellious child God’s power cannot restore, no broken marriage God’s power cannot reconcile, no physical disease God’s power cannot heal. That’s why Paul calls it “majestic power”!” (Sam Storm)

PRAY- These verses are Paul’s actual prayer. Pray them over your life. Pray them over RKAC. Pray them over those you know and love.

Week 1 – Day Five: 1:12-14
READ- 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified
you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

REFLECT- Colossians is a book filled with thanksgiving. (Col. 1:3, 1:12, 2:7, 3:15-17. 4:2) Joy and thanksgiving are good spiritual companions. Thanksgiving that is not joyful tends to be empty and perfunctory. When we lose our joy we tend to criticize and complain. Paul instructs that thanksgiving is to be with joy because of all that God has done on their behalf. Joyful thanksgiving is a response to God’s saving grace.
“The only answer to charis [grace] is eucharistia [gratitude]…. Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo. Gratitude follows grace like thunder lightning.” (Karl Barth)

Paul uses these four words to explain what God has done on our behalf.
Qualified- The verb for qualified here means sufficient or empowered. You and I are very unqualified to share in God’s inheritance because there is nothing in us that is sufficient or empowers us to warrant God’s kingdom. Not only are we unqualified but we have disqualified ourselves by our choices and our behavior. Both our nature and our choices make us unfit for God’s inheritance. It is an amazing feat of God’s grace that has qualified us to share in His kingdom and inheritance.
Rescued-The word in greek means to rescue, save, and deliver from danger. God has rescued us from enemy occupied territory.
Transferred- The rescue operation of God has removed us from the kingdom or domain of darkness into the kingdom of light. The deliverance was so thorough it contained an official transfer. Our transfer makes the old authority null and void and allows us enter into the new authority of the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son.
Redeemed- This word at its root means to rescue someone from slavery by paying a ransom. Redemption and forgiveness go together. Forgiveness means the debt has been paid.
“Christ has not only set us free and transferred us to a new kingdom, but He has canceled every debt so that we cannot be enslaved again. Satan cannot find anything in the files that will indict us!” (Warren Wiersbe)

MEDITATE God did not just transfer people out of the the kingdom of the darkness just the way they are. NO, HE makes us fit and qualified us for heaven. God did not just transfer all the inhabitants of one kingdom and and bring them into His own kingdom. NO, HIS Son had to pay a high cost or ransom for that transfer to take place. We were trapped in that old domain of darkness because of our sins. Jesus paid our ransom. Because of Jesus we have forgiveness of the sins that we have committed and we have forgiveness for the sins that we will commit. Oh what a Savior! Isn’t HE wonderful!

PRAY- Spend time in prayer giving God joyful thanks for your being qualified, rescued, transferred, redeemed and forgiven.

Experience Advent


This Christmas you can come Experience Advent at Risen King.

On Wednesday, December 14th at 7pm we’ll have an event for the whole family that you don’t want to miss.

As part of our advent season, we are blessing local families in need by providing Christmas gifts for their children.

There are a couple ways to get involved: look for this board in the lobby at RK and follow those directions.

Or you can click the button below to sign up to bring a gift.

Advent Readings – Download


Family Advent Guide


Advent Guide

Job Series Daily Reading Week Eight

Book of Job

Week Eight – Day 36

Elihu’s final speech….

37:1 “At this my heart pounds

and leaps from its place.

2 Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice,

to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.

3 He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven

and sends it to the ends of the earth.

4 After that comes the sound of his roar;

he thunders with his majestic voice.

When his voice resounds,

he holds nothing back.

5 God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;

he does great things beyond our understanding.

6 He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’

and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’

7 So that everyone he has made may know his work,

he stops all people from their labor.

8 The animals take cover;

they remain in their dens.

9 The tempest comes out from its chamber,

the cold from the driving winds.

10 The breath of God produces ice,

and the broad waters become frozen.

11 He loads the clouds with moisture;

he scatters his lightning through them.

12 At his direction they swirl around

over the face of the whole earth

to do whatever he commands them.

13 He brings the clouds to punish people,

or to water his earth and show his love.

14 “Listen to this, Job;

stop and consider God’s wonders.

15 Do you know how God controls the clouds

and makes his lightning flash?

16 Do you know how the clouds hang


those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?

17 You who swelter in your clothes

when the land lies hushed under the south wind,


18 can you join him in spreading out the skies,

hard as a mirror of cast bronze?

19 “Tell us what we should say to him;

we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.

20 Should he be told that I want to speak?

Would anyone ask to be swallowed up?

21 Now no one can look at the sun,

bright as it is in the skies

after the wind has swept them clean.

22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;

God comes in awesome majesty.

23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;

in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.

24 Therefore, people revere him,

for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?”

Notes on Job 37

“With all his verbosity and lack of humility, Elihu did say some good things that Job needed to hear. Elihu’s use of rhetorical questions in Job 37:14–18 prepared Job for the series of questions Jehovah would ask him in Job 38—41. Unlike the three friends, Elihu assessed Job’s problem accurately: Job’s actions may have been right—he was not the sinner his three friends described him to be—but his attitude was wrong. He was not the “saint” Job saw himself to be. Job was slowly moving toward a defiant, self-righteous attitude that was not at all healthy. It was this know-it-all attitude that God exposed and destroyed when He appeared to Job and questioned Him.”

(Warren Wiersbe)

Vs.1-2 “At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.”

Elihu’s heart jumps and races when he watches the awesome display that God puts on in a thunderstorm. Just like a thunderstorm demands our attention, so does God as HE calls us to listen to His voice. No thunderstorm can compare with God as HE cries out LISTEN, LISTEN!

“When God speaks in the heavens, it is with roaring (rōḡez) and rumbling (heḡeh). The first word, rōḡez, captures both the clash of the thunder and the fear it arouses in the human breast. While Job has stated that his sufferings have disturbed him deeply (30: 17, 26), Elihu asks him why he should not expect to be unsettled by God’s presence.”(John Hartley)

Vs. 3-5 Lightning and thunder play prominent roles in a thunderstorm. God sends lightning that illuminates the whole sky and is directed where ever He wants. But it is the sound that really gets our attention. His voice is a rolling, roaring marvelous sound that echoes and reverberates because He is God. God’s voice thunders with a greatness and majesty that is beyond our comprehension.

Vs. 6-13 The creator has ordained the weather. Whether it is the snow or a “mighty downpour”, God uses the weather to designate the seasons. All stop their work in order to see the Almighty act. The animals run for cover as the cold winds combined with God’s breath make the deepest rivers to freeze. The weather serves God’s commands. Weather can act as a punishment  or revelation of His love.

Vs.14-20 Elihu tells Job listen, stop everything and focus on God.

Vs.14-15 “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?

God is in control. He controls nature and all things. Nature is his laboratory where these truths are revealed. Our challenge is to then apply these truths in our lives. Verse 19 says, “Tell us what we should say to him”. There is very little to say to the teacher.  It is the teacher that does all the talking.

“In his final speech Elihu seeks to persuade Job to focus on God, the Supreme Teacher. The mighty power of God is emphasized in order to make it crystal clear to Job that no human being is ever in a position to dispute with God. Nevertheless, God is compassionate, insistently luring a person from the error of his ways through discipline. Whoever listens to God’s instruction will receive blessing.

This time Elihu focuses more on the Teacher than on the Teacher’s instructional methods. The incredible wisdom of this Teacher is clearly visible in nature, the particularly marvelous thunderstorm. God’s marvelous ways of directing a storm testify to his great wisdom. God masters all forces, and his ways cannot be surpassed. In fact, He uses the weather to affect the course of human and animal activity. In doing this he wishes that all people may know his work. His direction of the clouds and the winds leads people to ponder his perfect knowledge. Such a wise and a good Creator instructs human beings in order that they might revere him.”

(John Hartley)

Vs. 21-24 No one can look directly at the sun after the clouds are all swept away from the sky,  and no one can look at God in all of majesty and splendor.  He is the almighty! He is exalted in power. He does not crush, abuse or disregard those who are wise in heart. Wisdom literature (which the book of Job is) focuses a lot on wisdom and heart. Elihu is saying that God uses pain to teach the heart about wisdom.

This chapter is preparing Job to hear God. Unlike Job’s other friends, who were searching for some sin that was the cause for Job’s suffering, Elihu is questioning how Job is responding to suffering. Nature can cause suffering or blessing, and Elihu is saying that in the same way God’s work can unsettle us or bless us. All of creation is crying out, “Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice.”

Week Eight – Day 37

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2 “Who is this that obscures my plans

with words without knowledge?

3 Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

7 while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?

8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

9 when I made the clouds its garment

and wrapped it in thick darkness,

10 when I fixed limits for it

and set its doors and bars in place,

11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,or shown the dawn its place,

13 that it might take the earth by the edges

and shake the wicked out of it?

14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.

15 The wicked are denied their light,

and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?

Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?

18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

20 Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23 which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,

or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

26 to water a land where no one lives,

an uninhabited desert,

27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland

and make it sprout with grass?

28 Does the rain have a father?

Who fathers the drops of dew?

29 From whose womb comes the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

30 when the waters become hard as stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades Can you loosen Orion’s belt?

32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons

or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds

and cover yourself with a flood of water?

35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?

Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]

or gives the rooster understanding?

37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

38 when the dust becomes hard

and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness

and satisfy the hunger of the lions

40 when they crouch in their dens

or lie in wait in a thicket?

41 Who provides food for the raven

when its young cry out to God

and wander about for lack of food?

Notes on Job 38

Vs. 1 In the last two chapters Elihu has spoken eloquently about storms. Now God speaks to Job out of this very storm. Vs.37:2 Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.

“In breaking his silence Yahweh fulfills Job’s deepest yearning. Although the plot requires a word from God, his coming surprises everyone. The air is full of excitement. The greatest wonder of all is that God himself speaks to a mere man. Job has had to wait for the moment of Yahweh’s choosing. It is important also to note that Yahweh comes out of concern for his servant, not because he has been coerced by Job’s oath of innocence (ch. 31). In answering Job he expresses his merciful goodness to his suffering servant.

Amazingly, Yahweh ignores Job’s complaints and avoids making a direct response to his avowal of innocence, and, contrary to the friends’ expectations, he does not reprove Job for some wrongdoing. Rather he addresses Job like a teacher instructing a student who fails to understand an important matter, for he wishes to open up for him new ways of understanding the created order and his wise care of that order. Yahweh seeks to temper the bitter strains of Job’s lament by having Job contemplate his gracious ways in governing the world. He also hopes to persuade Job to perceive the false inferences that have led to his complaint that God fails to keep the times of judgment.” (John Hartley)

Vs. 2-3 “Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence?  Now get ready to fight, for I am going to demand some answers from you, and you must reply.”(Living Bible)

God does not question Job about his guilt or sinfulness. But God does question Job on the lack of humility he showed in questioning God. If he is going to do that he better brace himself and get ready for the questions that will be asked of him.

Vs. 4-7 God is the master builder who laid the earth’s foundation, marked off its dimensions, set its footings and He did all of it while the stars and angels sang. God asks Job,”If you are so smart where were you when I did that”?

Vs. 8-11 God continues with the questions. Who enclosed the seas? Who wore the clouds and darkness like a cape? When I set the boundaries for the sea and the sky and told them where to go where Job were you?

Vs. 12-15 God questions Job instead of answering Job’s questions of why he has suffered so. He asks Job have you ever commanded the morning or shown the sun how to rise?

Vs. 16-24 God fires one question after another at Job. Have you visited the depths of the sea, or the deepest darkest places of hell? Do you understand how vast the earth is or where light and darkness live? Do you know where I have stored all the snow and hail? Or do you know the place where lighting and the wind originate and are then dispersed? God speaks to Job ironically doing further damage to Job’s pride. “Tell me, if you know all this. Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!”

Vs. 25-30 God asks Job, “Do you understand the mysteries of rain, thunderstorms, and how the earth is watered so that it can be fertile and grow grass?” Does the rain and the dew have a father? And who is ice’s mother and who gives birth to frost? Who understands what makes water freeze and change its form?

Vs. 31-33 God continues his torrent of questions directed at Job.“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades Can you loosen Orion’s belt?” God does not let Job relax but challenges him. Do you know how the heavens work and can you set up your own jurisdiction over the earth? “Job, if you understand so much about the heavenly bodies that are thought by some to affect the earth, then why don’t you use that authority to change your situation?” The Lord was speaking with “holy sarcasm” and not revealing some profound truth.

(Warren Wiersbe)

Vs. 34-37 Still God keeps hammering Job with the questions. What do you know about clouds Job? Can you speak to the clouds and cover yourself with their water? Does lightening report to you and go where you send it? Can you count the clouds and pour out the rain that is stored in them?

“Job has complained and agonized out of a sincere heart with an increasing faith, but he has not discerned the judicious counsel of God that permeates all of his deeds throughout the world. Although Job has lacked insight, Yahweh does not say that Job has sinned. He never rebukes Job forswearing his avowal of innocence. But he contends that Job’s limited understanding hinders him from disputing wisely with his Creator about his own fate.” (John Hartley)

Week Eight – Day 38

38:39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness

and satisfy the hunger of the lions

40 when they crouch in their dens

or lie in wait in a thicket?

41 Who provides food for the raven

when its young cry out to God

and wander about for lack of food?


39:1“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?

Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?

2 Do you count the months till they bear?

Do you know the time they give birth?

3 They crouch down and bring forth their young;

their labor pains are ended.

4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;

they leave and do not return.

5 “Who let the wild donkey go free?

Who untied its ropes?

6 I gave it the wasteland as its home,

the salt flats as its habitat.

7 It laughs at the commotion in the town;

it does not hear a driver’s shout.

8 It ranges the hills for its pasture

and searches for any green thing.

9 Will the wild ox consent to serve you?

Will it stay by your manger at night?

10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?

Will it till the valleys behind you?

11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?

Will you leave your heavy work to it?

12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain

and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,

though they cannot compare

with the wings and feathers of the stork.

14 She lays her eggs on the ground

and lets them warm in the sand,

15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,

that some wild animal may trample them.

16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;

she cares not that her labor was in vain,

17 for God did not endow her with wisdom

or give her a share of good sense.

18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,

she laughs at horse and rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its strength

or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?

20 Do you make it leap like a locust,

striking terror with its proud snorting?

21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,

and charges into the fray.

22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;

it does not shy away from the sword.

23 The quiver rattles against its side,

along with the flashing spear and lance.

24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;

it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.

25 At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’

It catches the scent of battle from afar,

the shout of commanders and the battle cry.

26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom

and spread its wings toward the south?

27 Does the eagle soar at your command

and build its nest on high?

28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;

a rocky crag is its stronghold.

29 From there it looks for food;

its eyes detect it from afar.

30 Its young ones feast on blood,

and where the slain are, there it is.”

Notes on Job 39

“In the ancient world, it was a common academic exercise to make lists of plants, animals, stars, and many other things (professions, words, etc.). Such lists were a type of wisdom, so it is no surprise to find a list such as this in a biblical wisdom book.”

(John Walton)

“CAN YOU OVERSEE MY CREATION?” (38:39—39:30) The Lord brought before Job’s imagination a parade of six beasts (lioness, goat, hind [deer], wild donkey, wild ox, and horse) and five birds (raven, ostrich, stork, hawk, and eagle). As he contemplated these creatures, Job had to answer the question, “Do you understand how they live and how to take care of them?” Obviously, Job’s reply had to be no.” (Warren Wiersbe)

38:39-41 Lion & Raven God examines Job with questions. Can you feed the hunter (lion) and the scavenger (the raven)? Yahweh is the Lord and creator over the lion and the raven and provides food for the mighty, the small and their young.

39:1-4 Wild Goat God then questions Job about when and how the mountain goats and deer give birth. Yahweh is the Lord and creator over the animal kingdom and over birth.

39:5-8 Wild donkey God uses his questions here to teach Job about freedom. The wild donkey does not know ropes or riders. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of the freedom that the wild animals know.

39:9-12 Wild Ox God asks Job does the wild ox serve you and give you its strength? Yahweh is the Lord and creator of all animals and their strengths.

39:13-18 Wild Ostrich The ostrich is a silly creature. She can’t fly, she lays her eggs in the sand where they can be trampled, and she does not care for her young. The ostrich was not given any sense, and yet she can run faster than a horse. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of every animal and gives to each of them a unique skill.

39:19-25 The Horse Again God questions Job. Did you give the horse its strength, beauty, agility, or courage? The horse goes into battle and follows the commander’s war cry. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of every animal and gives to the horse courage in the face of battle.

39:26-30 Hawk & Eagle

“Yahweh has equipped the birds of prey with keen eyesight and with the ability to soar high above the landscape. From great heights they can spot their prey and swoop down on it swiftly. Yahweh has also endowed these birds with the wisdom to build their nests high on a rocky cliff, making them very secure. All of these wild animals, free from human control, honor Yahweh as their Lord. Each one contributes to the variety and the beauty of the world order. In these portraits Yahweh demonstrates to Job that he graciously rules the remotest spheres of the world, those that lie far beyond human control. The way that he cares for these creatures testifies to his wise goodness.”

(John Hartley)

Yahweh is the Lord and creator of every animal and takes care of their every need. Through a series of questions God asks Job about creation God’s wisdom and care for all is revealed.  The questions reveal the gap that exists between what God knows and what Job knows. . God reveals His care and concern for all of his creation and this puts Job in the place where he has to make a decision. Will he trust in the God who rules with wisdom and creativity over all of creation and give up his accusations. Yahweh presents his arguments to Job expecting that Job will answer. Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me. (38:3)

Yahweh’s message to Job is that he cares for him even more than for these wild animals. He cares for Job both in the abundance that Job formerly experienced and in his present suffering. His suffering has taken place within the world structure without upsetting that structure. His misfortune does not call into question Yahweh’s lordship, as Job has argued. Nor does it demonstrate that Yahweh acts unjustly or that he permits unjust situations to occur capriciously. All happenings occur within his wise counsel. That means Job’s suffering has taken place within, not outside, God’s wise governance. Just like the wild ass which has to go hungry in exchange for its freedom, so Job has had to endure suffering in exchange for the integrity of his relationship with Yahweh. A human being’s integrity carries far greater value than his physical and emotional health.” (John Hartley)

Week Eight – Day 39

40:1 The Lord said to Job:

2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

Let him who accuses God answer him!”

3 Then Job answered the Lord:

4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?

I put my hand over my mouth.

5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—

twice, but I will say no more.”

6 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:

7 “Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.

8 “Would you discredit my justice?

Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

9 Do you have an arm like God’s,

and can your voice thunder like his?

10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,

and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,

look at all who are proud and bring them low,

12 look at all who are proud and humble them,

crush the wicked where they stand.

13 Bury them all in the dust together;

shroud their faces in the grave.

14 Then I myself will admit to you

that your own right hand can save you.

15 “Look at Behemoth,

which I made along with you

and which feeds on grass like an ox.

16 What strength it has in its loins,

what power in the muscles of its belly!

17 Its tail sways like a cedar;

the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.

18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,

its limbs like rods of iron.

19 It ranks first among the works of God,

yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.

20 The hills bring it their produce,

and all the wild animals play nearby.

21 Under the lotus plants it lies,

hidden among the reeds in the marsh.

22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;

the poplars by the stream surround it.

23 A raging river does not alarm it;

it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.

24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,

or trap it and pierce its nose?

Notes on Job 40

“The book of Job encourages us to avoid the easy reductionism that makes God accountable to how we think the world ought to operate. His wisdom extends far beyond our shortsightedness; there is always more afoot than we can imagine. Our ideas of how things ought to work will always be naive and simplistic. God asks that we trust him.”

(John Walton)

Vs.1-2 The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

           Let him who accuses God answer him!”

God tolerated Job’s speeches and accusations, but now God begins to direct his questions directly to Job and to what Job has been saying. Job has come to a crisis point with God.

“The tables have been turned. Job, the questioner, is being questioned. Building on the evidence just given, Yahweh asks Job a penetrating question that pinpoints the implication of his complaint. That is, in advocating the rightness of his own position so tenaciously, Job has implied that God needs to be corrected. Having presented his position, Yahweh now offers Job the opportunity to articulate such a correction. Moreover, since Yahweh has spoken in response to Job’s challenge, Job may not remain silent without voiding his oath of innocence. His silence would imply his concession. But if he continues to argue, he will leave himself open to divine rebuke.” (John Hartley)

Vs. 3-5  Then Job answered the Lord:“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”

Many of Job’s speeches have been lengthy but Job’ now has little to say in the presence of Yahweh. Job is overcome in the presence of God with his own insignificance and the insignificance of all of his arguments. The word for worthy in hebrew is kabod and it means heavy. Job’s answer to the kabod and honor of God is to declare how unworthy or light and insignificant he is. Job says how can I reply to you God. Instead of talking I should put my hand over my mouth. Job has talked more than anyone else in the whole book; but in the presence of God, Job is having trouble finding the words to respond.

Vs. 6-8 “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” God continues to speak to Job out of the storm. He says get yourself ready so you can answer me like a man. And though Job is pinned to the wall by God’s questions, God honors him at the same time. No other creature that God has spoken so eloquently about has stood in the position that Job is now in.

“Yahweh confronts Job with the major flaw in his accusations. In defending his own innocence so emphatically and lashing out so vehemently at God because of his suffering, Job has essentially charged God with acting unjustly. For a mortal to presume himself guiltless and to impugn God’s just governance of the world approaches the sin of presumptuous pride.

It is important to observe that Yahweh does not accuse Job of any specific sin, thereby agreeing that Job has lived a righteous life. Nevertheless, if the relationship between himself and his servant is to be restored, Job’s self righteous attitude must be altered and his complaint against God’s just governance of the world must be corrected.” (John Hartley)

Vs. 9-14 This section speaks of God’s power and glory over against pride. God tells Job no one has my strength and no one else has a voice like mine that thunders. If you think you can handle the problems of injustice in the world (see v. 8) then make yourself glorious and go take care of it. You then will be the one to handle the proud, execute wrath, and crush the wicked. Go ahead Job take care of the questions of injustice and then save yourself with your own power.

Job said in earlier verses that he should cover his mouth instead of speak. God has continued to show Job the folly of holding on to pride.

Vs.15-24 “God reminded Job that He was the Creator of both the hippo and man (v. 15), and yet He made them different. The hippo eats grass and is strong and mighty; Job ate a variety of fine foods and was weak and unable to fight with the hippo. The hippo has a powerful body, with strong muscles and bones like iron rods; while man’s body is (comparatively speaking) weak and easily damaged. The hippo lounges in the river, hidden under the water, and feeds on the vegetation that washes down from the hills; while man has to toil to earn his daily bread. A raging river doesn’t frighten the hippo, and hunters don’t alarm him. In Job’s day, it was next to impossible to capture the hippopotamus, but how easy it is to capture a man!

“Now, Job,” asks the Lord, “can you capture and subdue this great creature? If so, then I’ll believe that you have the power and wisdom to judge the world justly.” (Warren Wiersbe)

Week Eight – Day 40

41:1 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook

or tie down its tongue with a rope?

2 Can you put a cord through its nose

or pierce its jaw with a hook?

3 Will it keep begging you for mercy?

Will it speak to you with gentle words?

4 Will it make an agreement with you

for you to take it as your slave for life?

5 Can you make a pet of it like a bird

or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?

6 Will traders barter for it?

Will they divide it up among the merchants?

7 Can you fill its hide with harpoons

or its head with fishing spears?

8 If you lay a hand on it,

you will remember the struggle and never do it again!

9 Any hope of subduing it is false;

the mere sight of it is overpowering.

10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.

Who then is able to stand against me?

11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay?

Everything under heaven belongs to me.

12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,

its strength and its graceful form.

13 Who can strip off its outer coat?

Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?

14 Who dares open the doors of its mouth,

ringed about with fearsome teeth?

15 Its back has rows of shields

tightly sealed together;

16 each is so close to the next

that no air can pass between.

17 They are joined fast to one another;

they cling together and cannot be parted.


18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;

its eyes are like the rays of dawn.

19 Flames stream from its mouth;

sparks of fire shoot out.

20 Smoke pours from its nostrils

as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.

21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,

and flames dart from its mouth.

22 Strength resides in its neck;

dismay goes before it.

23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;

they are firm and immovable.

24 Its chest is hard as rock,

hard as a lower millstone.

25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;

they retreat before its thrashing.

26 The sword that reaches it has no effect,

nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.

27 Iron it treats like straw

and bronze like rotten wood.

28 Arrows do not make it flee;

slingstones are like chaff to it.

29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw;

it laughs at the rattling of the lance.

30 Its undersides are jagged potsherds,

leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.

31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron

and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.

32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;

one would think the deep had white hair.

33 Nothing on earth is its equal—

a creature without fear.

34 It looks down on all that are haughty;

it is king over all that are proud.”

Notes on Job 41

Vs.1-6 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?

Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook?

Leviathan comes from the hebrew word meaning to twist. It was a huge crocodile that twisted and churned in the water killing its prey. In ancient literature the Leviathan was a many headed monster or a sea monster. This section introduces the Leviathan and then uses him as an object lesson for Job. Yahweh is showing Job that there are creatures that he can’t, hook, tie down, or pull in. If Job is unable to handle Leviathan then how can he handle the more complex questions about justice and suffering.

God ask Job questions about the leviathan. “Do you think you can talk to Leviathan and reach some kind of agreement?”  “Job, if you are inferior in strength to this creature how can you make it your slave?” Vs. 5, God goes on to tell Job, “you can’t domesticate Leviathan so that you can pet him and lead him around on a leash”. Vs. 6 tells Job, “you can’t barter, swap or trade leviathan.”

Vs. 7-11 “Does Job think that he can capture this large creature with harpoons and a fishing spear? Before he attempts to capture Leviathan, he needs to take account of the mighty battle that would ensue. Should he fight this creature once, he would not do so again. Any hope of subduing Leviathan that he has is false. Its very appearance strikes such terror in the human heart that a person is laid low before the beast. The picture is that of one cringing before a brute force without any ability to resist.” (John Hartley)                                                                                                               God uses verses 10-11 to drive home his point. No man can stand before Leviathan the most frightening creature that God has created. So how can Job, or any man presume, to stand before a holy, terrifying and almighty God. Vs. 11 makes it clear that no one in their right mind would presume to stand and make a claim against God in His own court. “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.”

Vs. 12-30 “Leviathan is impregnable. Since nothing can pierce its double coat of mail, hunters used hooks and ropes against its mouth (cf. 40: 25), but no one can pry open Leviathan’s large mouth. If one daringly succeeded in getting its mouth open, its numerous sharp teeth would fill him with terror. In contemplating taking up his case with God, Job has been concerned with being overcome by terror (cf. 9: 32– 35; 13: 20– 21). Now Yahweh is showing Job that his apprehensions were on target. If he would have to retreat in terror before Leviathan, surely he could not stand before God at court. (John Hartley)

Leviathan’s hide is filled with many small shields fitted so closely together that nothing can penetrate. He snorts lightening and his eyes are red like the sun. Truly he is a monster with flames coming out of his mouth and smoke out of his nostrils.

It is the strongest of creatures with a chest like a rock. And when “it rises up, the mighty are terrified”. No sword can pierce Leviathan’s hide or spear break through that chest of rock.  If you try and use iron or bronze against Leviathan it will be like straw or rotting wood. Neither arrows, slingshots or clubs work against him. Even his undersides are not soft but are like pieces of broken pottery.

Vs.33-34 Nothing on earth is its equal—a creature without fear. It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud.”

No creature is a like the leviathan. Job cannot subdue Leviathan and he certainly cannot subdue the God who created Leviathan.

The most monstrous quality of Leviathan is saved for the last. He is the king over all that is proud.

40:11-12 had a similar message, “Look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them.” God ends his speech speaking about pride. Job has been tempted with pride in the midst of his pain. Pride is not a quality of a wise man but of a monster. As he stands before God pride is more dangerous to Job than Leviathan.

Job 42 – Epilogue and Closing Notes

42:1 Then Job replied to the Lord:

2 “I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’

Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,

things too wonderful for me to know.

4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;

I will question you,

and you shall answer me.’

5 My ears had heard of you

but now my eyes have seen you.

6 Therefore I despise myself

and repent in dust and ashes.”


7 After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite

and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and

each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.

Notes on Job 42 and Bibliography

“God wants us to choose to love him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to him, not to our own good feelings and rewards. He wants us to cleave to him, as Job did, even when we have every reason to deny him hotly. That, I believe, is the central message of Job. Satan had taunted God with the accusation that humans are not truly free. Was Job being faithful simply because God had allowed him a prosperous life? Job’s fiery trials proved the answer beyond doubt. Job clung to God’s justice when he was the best example in history of God’s apparent injustice. He did not seek the Giver because of his gifts; when all gifts were removed he still sought the Giver.”

― Philip Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?

Job, after a long wait, has heard from God. Job’s task now is to respond to the God who has spoken to him out of the whirlwind. His response is not an admission of sin, but it is a realization that his brash words have put him perilously close to sin. Job says to God, “I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head..”(The Message)

“I know that you can do all things”, Job says to God. God has revealed Himself personally to Job as the LORD over all of creation. He is the God who laid the foundations of the world, knows where hail and snow are stored and the One who hung the stars. Job has spoken personally to the God who can do all things. Job admits to God, now that I have heard you and now have seen you, logically and with reason then I must repent.

“Job abases himself and recants, confessing himself to be no better than the dust and ashes on which he has been sitting. Job has come to a true assessment of himself before the holy God. . . . Job both renounces all false pride and concedes that God has been true to justice in allowing him, the noblest sheikh, to be brought so low that he has had to sit outside the city on the ash heap. The term recant (niham) means to turn from a planned course of action and take up a new course. It implies the strongest resolve to change direction, but not an attitude of remorse. It is affirmative action based on conviction. In recanting Job surrenders to God the last vestige of his self-righteousness, i.e., he withdraws his avowal of innocence. From now on he will locate his self-worth in his relationship with Yahweh, not in his own moral behavior or innocence. Thus Job commits his fate into God’s hands knowing that he can bear any fate, for he has seen Yahweh.” (John Hartley)

Immediately after Job’s repentance God addresses Job’s friends saying “I am angry with you because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” God asks of the friends an offering that only nobility could afford. The friends, in an act that must have cost their pride greatly, are also instructed to ask Job to pray for them. Job has found such favor with God that what Job asks is granted from God. The friends do what God tells them, and the Lord accepts Job’s prayer. The scene shows how Job has been restored.

God goes further in the restoration of Job. “The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” The doubling of Job’s fortunes shows the generous nature of God’s blessing, and the completeness of Job’s restoration. Job’s favor with God is restored, fortunes are restored and now God restores familial relationship. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. The meal reestablishes the fellowship between Job and friends and family. The siblings comforted Job and each one brought him a gift of silver or gold. God allows people to be part of his restoration process.

Vs.12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. The epilogue corresponds to the details given in Chapter one.  The amount of livestock listed in chapter 42 is double the amount listed in chapter one. Chapter 42 also tells us that Job saw seven sons and three daughters born to him.  This has to be the most touching and painful detail included. There is no way to replace the children that Job had lost, but he was able to once again enjoy the blessing of children. Not only did Job enjoy his children but his daughters were the most beautiful in all the land and they were so blessed that they like their brothers received an inheritance. Job was once again the greatest man among all the people of the East as he had been in chapter one. He lived a long and full life. The Lord’s confidence in chapter one when He said to Satan, “Have you considered by servant Job” had been completely vindicated.

Job was a restored and blessed man. His greatest blessing was not in his health, riches, family or livestock. His greatest blessing was hearing God’s voice come out of the whirlwind. Job knew God. Job came to know God not despite the pain but though the pain. As he said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”


Hartley, John E. The Book of Job. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Stedman, Jay C., and Jim Denney. Let God Be God: Life-changing Truths from the Book of Job. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 2007.

Swindoll, Charles R. Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance. Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group, 2004.

Walton, John H. Job: From Bibliical Text … to Contemporary Life. N.p.: n.p., n.d.

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Patient: Waiting on God in Difficult times. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009.

Job Series Daily Reading Week Seven

Book of Job

Week Seven – Day 31

Job 32

Elihu is introduced and speaks….
32:1 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. 3 He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.

6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:
“I am young in years,
and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
not daring to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak;
advanced years should teach wisdom.’
8 But it is the spirit in a person,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old who are wise,
not only the aged who understand what is right.
10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me;
I too will tell you what I know.
11 I waited while you spoke,
I listened to your reasoning;
while you were searching for words,
12   I gave you my full attention.
But not one of you has proved Job wrong;
none of you has answered his arguments.
13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
let God, not a man, refute him.’
14 But Job has not marshaled his words against me,
and I will not answer him with your
15 “They are dismayed and have no more to
say;words have failed them.
16 Must I wait, now that they are silent,
now that they stand there with no reply?
17 I too will have my say;
I too will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
and the spirit within me compels me;
19 inside I am like bottled-up wine,
like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak and find relief;
I must open my lips and reply.
21 I will show no partiality,
nor will I flatter anyone;
22 for if I were skilled in flattery,
my Maker would soon take me away.

Notes on Job 32

“Job was silent. He had ended his defense and given oath that he was not guilty of the sins he had been accused of by his friends. Job had challenged God either to vindicate him or to pass sentence on him. The trial had gone on long enough, and it was time for the Judge to act.

Job’s three friends were silent, appalled that Job had dared to speak so boldly to God and about God. They were sure that God’s judgment of Job was the next thing on the agenda.

But God was silent. No fire came from heaven, and no voice spoke in divine wrath. The silence was God’s eloquent witness to the three friends that they were wrong in what they had said both about Job and about God. It was also God’s witness to Job that the God of the universe is not at the beck and call of His creatures. God doesn’t appear just because somebody thinks it’s time for a showdown.

However in the crowd around the ash heap, one person was not silent. It was Elihu, a man so unknown that his full pedigree had to be given so people could identify him (Job 32:2). Neither Job (1:1) nor his three friends (2:11) needed that kind of detailed identification for others to know them.”(Warren Wiersbe)

“Job’s avowal of innocence is so audacious and final that it leaves the comforters speechless. All are terrified, waiting for an answer from the heavens. But God remains silent. Then a young man named Elihu arises. Taking advantage of the silence, he asks for permission to address Job. Possessed by a compelling need to defend God’s honor, he is convinced that he can instruct Job even though the others have failed. Who should change the mood but the youthful, bombastic Elihu. What a surprise! Elihu’s verbose, overly apologetic style offers comic relief to break the tight, fearful atmosphere created by Job’s oath.

On the serious side Elihu claims divine inspiration as the source of his wisdom (32:18– 22). Enlightened by God’s Spirit, he offers special insight into the way God instructs people. Thus he functions as God’s forerunner both by his position between Job’s avowal of innocence and Yahweh’s answer and by the content of his speeches.

After a lengthy apology for speaking, Elihu delivers four unanswered discourses. His thesis is twofold: God disciplines a person to turn him from the error of his way, and God governs justly without exception. Although Elihu’s approach is close to that of the three friends, he differs from them in that he does not assume that all suffering is punishment for past sins. He teaches that misfortune may befall a person in order to awaken him to some wrongful attitude or unconscious error and thus keep him from taking a wrong course. Another major difference in his teaching is the emphasis that suffering may be an expression of God’s mercy more than his wrath. With these theses Elihu makes a significant contribution to the core issue of the book, namely, how the righteous should respond to suffering.” (John Hartley)

Vs. 1- 5, Elihu’s Introduction: Elihu is introduced and his genealogy is announced. Elihu speaks into a situation where he had not been invited. His anger with Job and his anger with Job’s friends prompts him to speak. He is angry with Job for being self righteous and angry with Job’s friends for not thwarting Job’s assaults on God’s character. Elihu’s name means “He is my God” and he takes the role of defending God’s honor in the book. His youth and his anger are the qualities that the author highlights in the introduction.

Vs.6-7, Elihu’s youth: We learned that Elihu had been boiling over with anger, but had not spoken because of his youth. In verse 6 Elihu says that he is young, timid, and afraid of sharing his views and begins speaking with a long apology for speaking. He is disappointed that the previous speakers’ age had not made them more wise. So Elihu feels that he must now speak to defend God.

Vs. 8-22, Elihu’s apology: Elihu is interjecting his speech on Job and his friends. His apology is offered to make his listeners more sympathetic to what he is about to say. He starts off by telling them that a person is not wise because they have age, but because the spirit of God has given them insight. And then he continues telling them why they should listen to him.

“Therefore I say: Listen to me; I too will tell you what I know. I waited while you spoke, I listened to your reasoning; while you were searching for words,  I gave you my full attention. (vs. 10-12a)

He asks for their full attention and then goes after what he perceives as the problem, which is Job’s continued defense of his own honor.

But not one of you has proved Job wrong; none of you has answered his arguments. (vs 12b)

Elihu has watched the courtroom where Job’s righteousness has been on trial. He listened to all of the testimonies and has decided that he must step in to defend God’s honor. Elihu is saying that Job’s wisdom is suspect since he is under such great suffering. He then tells Job’s friends that they have failed to answer Job’s arguments and complaints. “But he has not come against me, Elihu, and I will not use your failed arguments to answer him.”

Elihu can’t believe the the friends have ended the arguments with silence. How could they be so dismayed as to not answer the terrible things that Job has said.

Vs.16 Elihu says, Must I wait, now that they are silent, now that they stand there with no reply? In other words just because Job struck you dumb with silence does not mean I have to be silent. No, Elihu says that he is full of words. The spirit is in him and is compelling him to speak. He uses a picture of a bottle of wine or a wine skin that is about to burst because it has so much to say. Elihu says he has to speak to find relief.  It’s as if the words are going to burst out of him if he doesn’t get this opportunity.  He ends using again the words of apology. “But I promise I won’t flatter any one or show favoritism when I do speak”, which is sort of ironic. Job is in the position of suffering because God complimented Job before Satan and showed how much he favored Job.

Week Seven – Day 32

Job 33

Elihu’s speech

33:1“But now, Job, listen to my words;

pay attention to everything I say.

2 I am about to open my mouth;

my words are on the tip of my tongue.

3 My words come from an upright heart;

my lips sincerely speak what I know.

4 The Spirit of God has made me;

the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

5 Answer me then, if you can;

stand up and argue your case before me.

6 I am the same as you in God’s sight;

I too am a piece of clay.

7 No fear of me should alarm you,

nor should my hand be heavy on you.

8 “But you have said in my hearing—

I heard the very words—

9 ‘I am pure, I have done no wrong;

I am clean and free from sin.

10 Yet God has found fault with me;

he considers me his enemy.

11 He fastens my feet in shackles;

he keeps close watch on all my paths.’

12 “But I tell you, in this you are not right,

for God is greater than any mortal.

13 Why do you complain to him

that he responds to no one’s words[a]?

14 For God does speak—now one way, now another—

though no one perceives it.

15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,

when deep sleep falls on people

as they slumber in their beds,

16 he may speak in their ears

and terrify them with warnings,

17 to turn them from wrongdoing

and keep them from pride,

18 to preserve them from the pit,

their lives from perishing by the sword.

19 “Or someone may be chastened on a bed


of pain with constant distress in their bones,

20 so that their body finds food repulsive

and their soul loathes the choicest meal.

21 Their flesh wastes away to nothing,

and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.

22 They draw near to the pit,

and their life to the messengers of death.

23 Yet if there is an angel at their side,

a messenger, one out of a thousand,

sent to tell them how to be upright,

24 and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

‘Spare them from going down to the pit;

I have found a ransom for them—

25 let their flesh be renewed like a child’s;

let them be restored as in the days of their youth’—

26 then that person can pray to God and find favor with him,

they will see God’s face and shout for joy;

he will restore them to full well-being.

27 And they will go to others and say,

‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right,

but I did not get what I deserved.

28 God has delivered me from going down to the pit,

and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’

29 “God does all these things to a person—

twice, even three times—

30 to turn them back from the pit,

that the light of life may shine on them.

31 “Pay attention, Job, and listen to me;

be silent, and I will speak.

32 If you have anything to say, answer me;

speak up, for I want to vindicate you.

33 But if not, then listen to me;

be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Notes on Job 33

Elihu’s continues the apology vs. 1-7

“Turning from the general audience, Elihu addresses Job directly. Having promised to speak impartially and with genuine insight, Elihu exhorts Job: listen carefully to all my words. In addressing Job by name he does not use any titles, showing his disregard for the position or prestige of any person, as he has just promised he would do. This form of address, however, also reflects Elihu’s brash character in that he does not fear to address a distinguished elder by name.” (John Hartley)

Elihu tells us all that he is about to open his mouth and that when he speaks his words are upright and sincere. He lets Job know that he can speak for God because God made him and gave him life. Elihu challenges Job that they are equals made of the same stuff and does not recognize Job’s age or wisdom.  So he tells Job, “Answer me then, if you can; stand up and argue your case before me.”

God uses suffering vs. 8-30

V.s. 8-11, Elihu does not quote Job directly but does a pretty good job of assessing his arguments. From Elihu’s evaluation of Job’s feelings, ‘I am pure, I have done no wrong. I am clean and free from sin.Yet God has found fault with me; he considers me his enemy. (Vs. 9-10),  It is clear that Elihu has heard Job.

V.s. 12-22 “Elihu begins by warning Job that no one can “out-God” God (33:12). Job seems to believe that he has caught God in an inconsistency— that his policies are somehow flawed or his execution of them lacking. To his credit, Elihu avers on principle that this can never be the case. This theological commitment is Elihu’s strength and it is what makes his position more acceptable than Job’s.

Specifically, Elihu contends that God has not been silent; rather, Job has not been listening on the right frequency. He presents dreams and visions as the first examples of the media God uses for communication (33:15–18). Everyone in the ancient world believed that dreams were communication from deity, and Job himself has referred to his dream experiences as one of the ways God has terrorized him (7 14). In ancient Near Eastern thinking, nightmares indicate that the gods are angry with the dreamer. Thus, terrifying dreams constitute one form that suffering takes. Elihu adds physical pain to the list of divine communications in 33:19 along with distress (such as Job experienced in losing his property and family). He identifies all of these communication strategies as having corrective intentions (33:17– 18).

In other words, Elihu considers these communications to be instructive and constructive rather than punitive. In this he offers a perspective not represented in the thinking of Job or his friends.”

(John Walton)

V.s. 23—24, “Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand,

    sent to tell them how to be upright,and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

    ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them—”

“In Elihu’s teaching this special angel works for the restoration of those who have strayed from the right way. This means that God does not immediately abandon any of his servants who err. The converse is the truth; he labors zealously for their full restoration to faithful service.”

John Hartley. The Book of Job (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament)

V.s.23-30 Elihu believes in God’s grace.  A person can pray and find favor or receive the grace of God. God restores and delivers.

V.s. 30-33, Elihu concludes discourse.

“Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. If you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want to vindicate you. But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.

Elihu ends this speech telling Job to listen. He says, “if you have to speak Job, speak now, but if not just listen and be silent”, because Job has made his vow of innocence before God. Job remains silent waiting on his response from God while Elihu concludes this speech and gets ready for his second address.

Elihu’s continues the apology vs. 1-7

“Turning from the general audience, Elihu addresses Job directly. Having promised to speak impartially and with genuine insight, Elihu exhorts Job: listen carefully to all my words. In addressing Job by name he does not use any titles, showing his disregard for the position or prestige of any person, as he has just promised he would do. This form of address, however, also reflects Elihu’s brash character in that he does not fear to address a distinguished elder by name.” (John Hartley)

Elihu tells us all that he is about to open his mouth and that when he speaks his words are upright and sincere. He lets Job know that he can speak for God because God made him and gave him life. Elihu challenges Job that they are equals made of the same stuff and does not recognize Job’s age or wisdom.  So he tells Job, “Answer me then, if you can; stand up and argue your case before me.”

God uses suffering vs. 8-30

V.s. 8-11, Elihu does not quote Job directly but does a pretty good job of assessing his arguments. From Elihu’s evaluation of Job’s feelings, ‘I am pure, I have done no wrong. I am clean and free from sin.Yet God has found fault with me; he considers me his enemy. (Vs. 9-10),  It is clear that Elihu has heard Job.

V.s. 12-22 “Elihu begins by warning Job that no one can “out-God” God (33:12). Job seems to believe that he has caught God in an inconsistency— that his policies are somehow flawed or his execution of them lacking. To his credit, Elihu avers on principle that this can never be the case. This theological commitment is Elihu’s strength and it is what makes his position more acceptable than Job’s.

Specifically, Elihu contends that God has not been silent; rather, Job has not been listening on the right frequency. He presents dreams and visions as the first examples of the media God uses for communication (33:15–18). Everyone in the ancient world believed that dreams were communication from deity, and Job himself has referred to his dream experiences as one of the ways God has terrorized him (7 14). In ancient Near Eastern thinking, nightmares indicate that the gods are angry with the dreamer. Thus, terrifying dreams constitute one form that suffering takes. Elihu adds physical pain to the list of divine communications in 33:19 along with distress (such as Job experienced in losing his property and family). He identifies all of these communication strategies as having corrective intentions (33:17– 18).

In other words, Elihu considers these communications to be instructive and constructive rather than punitive. In this he offers a perspective not represented in the thinking of Job or his friends.”

(John Walton)

V.s. 23—24, “Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand,

    sent to tell them how to be upright,and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

    ‘Spare them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for them—”

“In Elihu’s teaching this special angel works for the restoration of those who have strayed from the right way. This means that God does not immediately abandon any of his servants who err. The converse is the truth; he labors zealously for their full restoration to faithful service.”

John Hartley. The Book of Job (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament)

V.s.23-30 Elihu believes in God’s grace.  A person can pray and find favor or receive the grace of God. God restores and delivers.

V.s. 30-33, Elihu concludes discourse.

“Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak. If you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want to vindicate you. But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.

Elihu ends this speech telling Job to listen. He says, “if you have to speak Job, speak now, but if not just listen and be silent”, because Job has made his vow of innocence before God. Job remains silent waiting on his response from God while Elihu concludes this speech and gets ready for his second address.

Week Seven – Day 33

Job 34

Elihu’s Second Discourse

34:1 Then Elihu said:

2 “Hear my words, you wise men;

listen to me, you men of learning.

3 For the ear tests words

as the tongue tastes food.

4 Let us discern for ourselves what is right;

let us learn together what is good.

5 “Job says, ‘I am innocent,

but God denies me justice.

6 Although I am right,

I am considered a liar;

although I am guiltless,

his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’

7 Is there anyone like Job,

who drinks scorn like water?

8 He keeps company with evildoers;

he associates with the wicked.

9 For he says, ‘There is no profit

in trying to please God.’

10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.

Far be it from God to do evil,

from the Almighty to do wrong.

11 He repays everyone for what they have done; he brings on them what their conduct deserves.

12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,

that the Almighty would pervert justice.

13 Who appointed him over the earth?

Who put him in charge of the whole world?

14 If it were his intention

and he withdrew his spirit[a] and breath,

15 all humanity would perish together

and mankind would return to the dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;

listen to what I say.

17 Can someone who hates justice govern?

Will you condemn the just and mighty One?

18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’

and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’

19 who shows no partiality to princes

and does not favor the rich over the poor,

for they are all the work of his hands?

20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night; the people are shaken and they pass

away; the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;

he sees their every step.

22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,

where evildoers can hide.

23 God has no need to examine people further,

that they should come before him for judgment.

24 Without inquiry he shatters the mighty

and sets up others in their place.

25 Because he takes note of their deeds,

he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.

26 He punishes them for their wickedness

where everyone can see them,

27 because they turned from following him

and had no regard for any of his ways.

28 They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,

so that he heard the cry of the needy.

29 But if he remains silent, who can condemn him?

If he hides his face, who can see him?

Yet he is over individual and nation alike,

30  to keep the godless from ruling,

from laying snares for the people.

31 “Suppose someone says to God,

‘I am guilty but will offend no more.

32 Teach me what I cannot see;

if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’

33 Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent?

You must decide, not I;

so tell me what you know.

34 “Men of understanding declare,

wise men who hear me say to me,

35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;

his words lack insight.’

36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost

for answering like a wicked man!

37 To his sin he adds rebellion;

Notes on Job 34

“Because Elihu is so overly apologetic in a boastful manner, his stature has suffered greatly in biblical interpretation. For example, some of the early church fathers consider him to be overconfident and arrogant. It must be taken into account, however, that Elihu’s relationship with Job differs from that of the other three comforters. He is not a friend who is bound by loyalty to seek his restoration (cf. 6: 14– 23). Rather he is a young, promising wise man who attempts to offer some new insight into the issue of Job’s suffering. He hopes to instruct and encourage Job while everybody is awaiting God’s answer.”  (John Hartley)

Elihu’s Second Discourse

Elihu defends God and attempts to convince Job that his complaint against God is unwarranted.  Elihu believes that God’s discipline is one of the ways that God speaks.  At the same time he is afraid that Job is beginning to harden his heart to God’s discipline.

Listen vs. 1-4 In the previous chapter Elihu told Job to listen. Elihu now directs the whole listening audience to do the same. Listen and let us test Job’s words and decide what is right and what is wrong.

Elihu challenges Job vs. 5-33

  1. Elihu speaks to everyone: vs. 5-15. Elihu speaks to the crowd giving them a synopsis of Job’s complaint. Job is scornful and bitter. Job keeps saying he is guiltless, and God has hit him with an arrow that leaves a wound that can never be cured. Elihu addresses the crowd. LISTEN. It is unthinkable that God could do anything wrong.
  2. Elihu speaks to Job: vs. 16-33. Now Elihu begins to speak to Job directly. Again he says listen. He ask Job a pointed question, “Will you condemn the just and mighty One?” Elihu goes on to say that that God is just. God does not show favoritism based on money, position or lineage. God’s eyes are on all, and He sees all they do. There is no shadow or place that evil can hide. God has seen all and he doesn’t have to examine people any more than He has. When God punishes the wicked He does it out in the open where all can see. Elihu stresses that God punishes the wicked. In vs. 32 he says what a wicked sinner like Job should say, “Teach me what I cannot see if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.”

Judgement of Job: vs. 34 -37. Elihu asks Job how can God reward you when you refuse to repent. Elihu argues that he and Job’s friends agree the Job has no understanding of his suffering. Elihu declares that Job is not only guilty of sin but rebellion in his accusations against God.

“Elihu has endeavored to refute both Job’s claim of innocence and his complaint that God does not always execute justice in matters on earth by elaborating the thesis that God, the sovereign Lord, governs the world justly. Nothing escapes God’s attention, nor does he allow any wicked person to exert his influence unchecked. From this perspective Elihu cannot fathom how any human being could demand that God grant him judicial hearing by filing a complaint against God himself. In fact, such a demand reeks of rebellion against God’s rule. Job, therefore, needs to accept God’s disciplinary punishment rather than questioning God’s motives. Otherwise he is deserving of the severest penalty.

This speech seems to contrast sharply in tone and emphasis with Elihu’s first speech. That is, Elihu’s compassion and openness seem to have hardened into a rigid concern to protect God’s just rule from the challenge of a rebel like Job. In his view Job has added unbelief to his sin by complaining so bitterly against God. He believes that that is why Job never receives any response from God. Elihu thus locates Job’s plight in his inflamed rhetoric rather than in any continuance of past sins. Therein Elihu departs from the judgment of the comforters that Job is suffering because of some hidden sin that he had committed.

Elihu has also misjudged Job, however, and he has overstepped his intention of instructing Job. He too fails to allow for the particulars of an individual case. Nevertheless, he forewarns Job that he will have to abandon his complaint against God and his avowal of innocence if he is ever to find reconciliation with God. In this way Eiihu prepares Job for a proper response to the theophany, but unfortunately at the high price of blatantly condemning him and making him apprehensive about being smitten with worse suffering.” (John Hartley)

Week Seven – Day 34

Job 35

35:1 Then Elihu said:

2“Do you think this is just?

You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’

3 Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,

and what do I gain by not sinning?’

4 “I would like to reply to you

and to your friends with you.

5 Look up at the heavens and see;

gaze at the clouds so high above you.

6 If you sin, how does that affect him?

If your sins are many, what does that do to him?

7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him,

or what does he receive from your hand?

8 Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,

and your righteousness only other people.

9 “People cry out under a load of oppression;

they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.

10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,

who gives songs in the night,

11 who teaches us more than he teaches the beasts of the earth

and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?’

12 He does not answer when people cry out

because of the arrogance of the wicked.

13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.

14 How much less, then, will he listen

when you say that you do not see him,

that your case is before him

and you must wait for him,

15 and further, that his anger never punishes

and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.

16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;

without knowledge he multiplies words.”

Notes on Job 35

“In his concern to defend the truth that God is just, Elihu appears to be as critical and condemnatory of Job as the three comforters have been…. Elihu is less concerned to prove that Job has committed some hidden sin that has led to his plight than to show that Job’s asseverations of innocence and his charges against God are presumptuous folly. While he has made Job appear to be more arrogant than he really has been, he helps Job reflect on the presumptuous nature of his bold claims. In this manner he prepares Job for the possibility that he might have to surrender his avowal of innocence when God addresses him.” (John Hartley)

Vs.1-7“Do you think this is just? You say, ‘I am in the right, not God. (vs. 2) This is not a direct quote of Job’s words, but Elihu is pushing Job in his vow of innocence by saying, “how can you put your innocence up against God’s”. Elihu goes on to convince Job by saying that Job’s sins and his righteousness don’t impact God and His effectiveness. Elihu addresses his remarks towards Job and his friends. He tells Job that his wickedness and his righteousness don’t affect God but they do affect other people.

Vs. 8-13- “In 35:8–13 Elihu contrasts two different ways of approaching God. The first involves prayers for relief from oppression (35:9); the second involves a search for God and recognition of his grace as he teaches wisdom (35:10–11). Elihu suggests that God is not responsive to the former (35:12–13). In this he suggests that people should be more interested in coming to know God better rather than on trying to get God to solve their problems. He should be the object of our inquiry rather than the object of our complaints. He is not at our beck and call and cannot be called to heel like a dog— he is our Maker!”

“If God’s “job” is not to field people’s complaints, then Job should not expect God to be responsive to his calls for attention. Elihu would say that we should think in terms of us responding to God rather than God responding to us. God responds according to his own purposes and timing. People cannot call him to account for the way he interacts with them nor to criticize him in accordance with their own expectations.” (John Walton)

Vs. 14-16 Job has grieved that he has not seen or heard from God. Elihu is criticizing Job, who in his estimation, has hurt his relationship with God with all his complaining. So Elihu says “then God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it. How much less, then, will he listen when you say that you do not see him.” Elihu goes on to say to Job, “You need to believe that your case is before God and wait for him.” Elihu’s advice to Job is that waiting on God is the best position to place himself. Job’s crying and lamenting has not gotten God’s attention.

Elihu ends the chapter saying, “Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words.” Job has endured painful losses, critical attack from his friends and now he has to listen to this young man tell him that he is self-righteous and speaking nonsense. The one truth of Elihu that is clear is that Job is left in the position of waiting. Job’s case is before God and Job can do nothing else but wait for him.

 Week Seven – Day 35

Job 36

36:1 Elihu continued:

2 “Bear with me a little longer and I will

show you that there is more to be said

in God’s behalf.

3 I get my knowledge from afar;

I will ascribe justice to my Maker.

4 Be assured that my words are not false;

one who has perfect knowledge is with you.

5 “God is mighty, but despises no one;

he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.

6 He does not keep the wicked alive

but gives the afflicted their rights.

7 He does not take his eyes off the righteous;

he enthrones them with kings

and exalts them forever.

8 But if people are bound in chains,

held fast by cords of affliction,

9 he tells them what they have done—

that they have sinned arrogantly.

10 He makes them listen to correction

and commands them to repent of their evil.

11 If they obey and serve him,

they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity

and their years in contentment.

12 But if they do not listen,

they will perish by the sword

and die without knowledge.

13 “The godless in heart harbor resentment;

even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.

14 They die in their youth,

among male prostitutes of the shrines.

15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;

he speaks to them in their affliction.

16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress

to a spacious place free from restriction,

to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.

17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;

judgment and justice have taken hold of you.

18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;

do not let a large bribe turn you aside.

19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts

sustain you so you would not be in distress?

20 Do not long for the night,

to drag people away from their homes.

21 Beware of turning to evil,

which you seem to prefer to affliction.

22 “God is exalted in his power.

Who is a teacher like him?

23 Who has prescribed his ways for him,

or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?

24 Remember to extol his work,

which people have praised in song.

25 All humanity has seen it;

mortals gaze on it from afar.

26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!

The number of his years is past finding out.

27 “He draws up the drops of water,

which distill as rain to the streams;

28 the clouds pour down their moisture

and abundant showers fall on mankind.

29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,

how he thunders from his pavilion?

30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,

bathing the depths of the sea.

31 This is the way he governs the nations

and provides food in abundance.

32 He fills his hands with lightning

and commands it to strike its mark.

33 His thunder announces the coming storm;

even the cattle make known its approach.

Notes on Job 36

“In a more compassionate tone Elihu returns to the theme of God’s disciplinary use of suffering. He teaches that God protectively watches the righteous. If they commit a transgression, he lets them know what they have done wrong, often using the cords of affliction to instruct them. If they respond to his rod of discipline, they will be restored and behold the divine splendor in awe. But if they persist in their transgression, they will die. After warning Job, Elihu focuses on God’s glory that is revealed in a thunderstorm.” (John Hartley)

Vs. 1-4, Elihu introduces his last speech with the apologetic tone that he used in his first speech.  “Just bear with me a little longer”, he tells Job and his friends. “I will defend God and I have lots of material to use on his behalf”. Elihu makes the claim that his knowledge and wisdom not only come from God the creator, but will prove that God is in the right. Elihu begins apologetically but then he moves to justifying and elevating himself, “Be assured that my words are not false; one who has perfect knowledge is with you.”

Vs. 5-15, God is great and mighty Elihu tells Job, but yet he still watches over the affairs of men. God’s purposes work on behalf of the righteous.

Read how God treats the righteous in this way,

He never takes his eyes off the righteous; he honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly.

When things go badly, when affliction and suffering descend,

God tells them where they’ve gone wrong, shows them how their pride has caused their trouble. He forces them to heed his warning, tells them they must repent of their bad life.

If they obey and serve him, they’ll have a good, long life on easy street.

But if they disobey, they’ll be cut down in their prime and never know the first thing about life…….But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.

(The Message)

Elihu’s point is this, we all have to learn from our suffering.

Vs. 16-21, Elihu tells Job how God is trying to woo him away from the jaws of danger. God wants to bring Job, Elihu says to a wide open safe place with food and blessing. But for Job there are still dangers. Job might try and get out of the situation by trying to use money to bribe his way out of the distress that he is in (vs.18 & 19). Or Job might try and take his own life, thinking that is preferable to learning the difficult lesson that God is trying to teach him through suffering (vs. 20-21).

Vs. 22-26, In this section Elihu tells of God’s greatness and power. He is an amazing teacher, and no-one has had to teach God, and no-one can tell God that he has done wrong. No, the proper response before God is to rave about his works and to worship him in song.

“Take a long, hard look. See how great he is—infinite, greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out! (vs. 26 in the Message)


Vs. 27-33, Elihu illustrates God’s greatness using a storm. For those who live in the desert a thunderstorm is a glorious thing. The rain is how God provides for his creation. Only God can turn a dry and desert place into a fertile garden. “This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.” (vs. 31)

“Like a warrior God lifts up lightning in his hands and orders it toward its mark like an arrow shot from his bow. These arrows are released with such sure aim that they always strike their target; this phenomenon is utterly amazing since they are hurled forth in a zigzag pattern. In their trajectory they obediently follow God’s command. The thunder announces God’s presence, and the fury of the storm reveals that his indignant wrath is burning hotly. God makes his passion visible in the storm.” (John Hartley)

The storm is an illustration of God’s power and goodness to Job and to us. See how great he is—infinite, greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!

Job Series Daily Reading Week Six

Book of Job

Week Six – Day 26

Job 27

27 And Job continued his discourse:
2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3 as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4 my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5 I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked,
my adversary like the unjust!
8 For what hope have the godless when they are cut off,
when God takes away their life?
9 Does God listen to their cry
when distress comes upon them?
10 Will they find delight in the Almighty?
Will they call on God at all times?
11 “I will teach you about the power of God;
the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 You have all seen this yourselves.
Why then this meaningless talk?
13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
14 However many his children, their fate is the sword;
his offspring will never have enough to eat.
15 The plague will bury those who survive him,
and their widows will not weep for them.
16 Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17 what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.
18 The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,
like a hut made by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a tempest snatches him away in the night.
21 The east wind carries him off, and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22 It hurls itself against him without mercy
as he flees headlong from its power.
23 It claps its hands in derision
and hisses him out of his place.”

Notes on Job 27

This chapter concludes the three dialogues of speeches that Job has with his three friends.   Zophar has remained silent and not participated in the third cycle.
“IN THIS THIRD CYCLE of dialogues, the spiritualist,
Eliphaz, is left to enumerate the offenses in the indictment (22: 5– 11).
Bildad the traditionalist has nothing new to say, as his mere six verses attest. He is left blithering the unsatisfying conclusion, “OK, man is nothing more than a maggot.”
Zophar, the rationalist, has nothing at all to say in the third series. The absence of a speech by Zophar reveals that rationalism has been silenced.
The series concludes in chapter 27 as Job defiantly rejects all accusations; he will never budge from his integrity.” (John Walton)

Job 27:1-12- Job speaks directly to his friends as he is concluding the third cycle of dialogues between them. Job is vehemently denying their accusations that they have made and is willing to go to great lengths to do so.

“Job takes an oath (Job 27:1–6). Once again, Job stood fast in affirming his integrity (10:1–7; 13:13–19; 19:23–27; 23:2–7); but this time, he gave an oath: “As God lives” (27:2). Among Eastern people in that day, taking an oath was a serious matter. It was like inviting God to kill you if what you said was not true. Job was so sure of himself that he was willing to take that chance.

Job also repeated his charge that God was not treating him fairly (“[He] has denied me justice,” v. 2 NIV). Job had asked God to declare the charges against him, but the heavens had been silent. Job had called for an umpire to bring him and God together, but no umpire had been provided.

So Job declared that, as long as he lived, he would defend himself and maintain his integrity. He would not lie just to please his friends or to “bribe” God into restoring his fortunes. (Satan would have rejoiced at that!) Job had to live with his conscience (“heart,” v. 6) no matter what his friends said or his God did to him.” (Warren Wiersbe)

Verses 1-6 are very important. Job’s is answering the accusations that have come over the past 25 chapters of the book. His friends have declared over his suffering that it is the wicked that suffer thus Job must be wicked. Job steadfastly is standing against his friends accusations of wickedness.  To do so means that Job must then defend his own integrity.

His defense begins in with what he has said and will say; Vs.4 “my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies.”

Job is saying he cannot lie, thus to admit that his friends are right would be a lie.  He states in vs. 5 “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.” The verb admit in this verse means to declare someone righteous or innocent. It is a word used in legal matters.  Job declares that he will never ever admit that his friends are right.

Vs. 6  I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it ;my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. Job states that he has been innocent and will be innocent in the future.

Verses 7-10-After three rounds of discussions with his friends we can assume that Job sees his so called friends now as his enemies. “May my enemy be like the wicked, my adversary like the unjust! His friends have accused him of being wicked and now Job says let them be treated like the wicked.

Job 27:13-23- “Job turns to discuss the fate of the wicked, a topic overworked by the counselors. His comments show that he understands it as well as they do. But Job makes the counselors, and not himself, the implied objects of the destiny described.”Reformed Study Bible

Vs. 13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked, the heritage a ruthless (or wicked) man receives from the Almighty.”

Their destiny is fatal. Their children don’t have enough to eat and are overwhelmed by plagues.

Though the wicked may appear to prosper having more silver and clothing than the upright, in the end their bank accounts and closets will be given to the righteous. Vs.16 Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay,17 what he lays up the righteous will wear and the innocent will divide his silver.

They go to bed wealthy and wake up poor. Terrors pour in on them like flash floods— a tornado snatches them away in the middle of the night, A cyclone sweeps them up—gone! Not a trace of them left, not even a footprint. Catastrophes relentlessly pursue them; they run this way and that, but there’s no place to hide—” Job 27:19-22 in the Message

Week Six – Day 27

Job 28

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found

28:1There is a mine for silver

and a place where gold is refined.

2 Iron is taken from the earth,

and copper is smelted from ore.

3 Mortals put an end to the darkness;

they search out the farthest recesses

for ore in the blackest darkness.

4 Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,

in places untouched by human feet;

far from other people they dangle and sway.

5 The earth, from which food comes,

is transformed below as by fire;

6 lapis lazuli comes from its rocks,

and its dust contains nuggets of gold.

7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path,

no falcon’s eye has seen it.

8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it,

and no lion prowls there.

9 People assault the flinty rock with their hands

and lay bare the roots of the mountains.

10 They tunnel through the rock;

their eyes see all its treasures.

11 They search the sources of the rivers

and bring hidden things to light.

12 But where can wisdom be found?

Where does understanding dwell?

13 No mortal comprehends its worth;

it cannot be found in the land of the living.

14 The deep says, “It is not in me”;

the sea says, “It is not with me.”

15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,

nor can its price be weighed out in silver.

16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,

with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.

17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold.

18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;

the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.

19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;

it cannot be bought with pure gold.

20 Where then does wisdom come from?

Where does understanding dwell?

21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,

concealed even from the birds in the sky.

22 Destruction and Death say,

“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”

23 God understands the way to it

and he alone knows where it dwells,

24 for he views the ends of the earth

and sees everything under the heavens.

25 When he established the force of the wind

and measured out the waters,

26 when he made a decree for the rain

and a path for the thunderstorm,

27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;

he confirmed it and tested it.

28 And he said to the human race,

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,

and to shun evil is understanding.”

Notes on Job 28

“Here is a magnificent hymn in praise of wisdom.  Wisdom is extolled as the noblest divine trait. God knows wisdom fully and employs it in all of his ways, but its abode is hidden from mankind. This hymn consists of three pericopes plus a conclusion:

human skill in mining technology (vv. 1– 11); wisdom’s value, beyond purchase (vv. 12– 19); God’s knowledge of wisdom (vv. 20– 27); wisdom for mankind (v. 28).

This hymn comes at the end of the disturbed third cycle. Since its abstract, reflective tone does not match well any of the speakers, it is taken to be a piece that stands outside the dialogue. It functions as a bridge between the dialogue and the groups of speeches that are coming.” (John Hartley)

As said in the previous chapter and notes the three cycles of dialogues between Job and his friends have ended. As chapter 28 begins we see a different type of literary style being used. We see many elements in this chapter that are found in the book of Proverbs which is an example of wisdom literature.  Job is lamenting at the lack of wisdom that has been seen in the discussion between he and his friends and begins a personal search for wisdom.

“But where shall wisdom be found?” (Job 28:12). “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?” (v. 20 NIV). Job asked these questions because he was weary of the cliches and platitudes that his three friends were giving him in the name of “wisdom.” His friends were sure that their words were pure gold, but Job concluded they were tinsel and trash. The three men had knowledge, but they lacked wisdom.” (Warren Wiersbe)

  1. You can’t mine for wisdom– Job 28:1-11- “Job takes us deep into the earth where brave men are mining gold, iron, copper, and precious stones. Precious metals and precious stones are often used in Scripture as symbols of wisdom (Prov. 2:1–10; 3:13–15; 8:10–21; 1 Cor. 3:12–23). Once you have found it, you must “refine” it in the furnace and “mint” it for practical use. Paul said that the opposite of God’s wisdom is man’s wisdom—“wood, hay, and stubble”—materials that are not beautiful, durable, or valuable (1 Cor. 3:12). You can find wood, hay, and stubble on the surface of the earth; but if you want real treasures, you must dig deep. Job describes how men work hard and face great danger to find material wealth. They tunnel through hard rock and risk their lives to get rich. Why will men and women not put that much effort into gaining God’s wisdom?”

(Warren Wiersbe)

  1. Wisdom’s Worth– Job 28:12-19- Vs. 12,”But where can wisdom be found?Where does understanding dwell? “ This is the question that Job poses. And right off after posing the question Job shares with us one of the problems.  We mere mortals don’t understand the importance and value of wisdom and thus it rarely is found in our midst.  In fact you don’t find wisdom in the sea or the debts of the earth.  Wisdom can’t be bought with gold or silver and the jewels of this world don’t compare to its worth or value.
  1. Wisdom comes from God – Job 28:2—28- Vs. 20 “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? “Job reiterates the question to emphasize its importance. He then tells us that wisdom is hidden from all eyes(vs. 21). Death’s knowledge of wisdom consists in only hearing about it through rumors (vs. 22). Only God knows the way to wisdom and understands where it lives (vs. 23). God can see everything in heaven and earth and from that vantage point He understands wisdom (vs. 24).  27,”He looked at wisdom and appraised it; He confirmed it and tested it.” Wisdom begins with God. God looks at us humans and says, “The fear of the Lord -that is wisdom” (v. 28). Job is letting us know that wisdom has a spiritual source and is more than a collection of facts. God not only recognizes wisdom and presents it to us but He is telling us that wisdoms value has been appraised, its direction and path confirmed and its lessons and worth have been tested.  Wisdom comes from God alone.

“Job’s experience verifies the concluding principle of this hymn that a human being finds true wisdom only in fearing God. This wisdom is a spiritual wisdom that transcends human knowledge, but that does not mean that it is irrational. The converse is true. It is intelligible, for it is the portal into the vast resources of God’s wisdom. That is why Yahweh can dialogue with Job and offer him insight into his own wonderful ways. ” (John Hartley)

Week Six – Day 28

Job 29

Job begins his lament….

29:1 Job continued his discourse:

2 “How I long for the months gone by,

for the days when God watched over me,

3 when his lamp shone on my head

and by his light I walked through darkness!

4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,

when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,

5 when the Almighty was still with me

and my children were around me,

6 when my path was drenched with cream

and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.

7 “When I went to the gate of the city

and took my seat in the public square,

8 the young men saw me and stepped aside

and the old men rose to their feet;

9 the chief men refrained from speaking

and covered their mouths with their hands;

10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,

and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.

11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,

and those who saw me commended me,

12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help,

and the fatherless who had none to assist them.

13 The one who was dying blessed me;

I made the widow’s heart sing.

14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;

justice was my robe and my turban.

15 I was eyes to the blind

and feet to the lame.

16 I was a father to the needy;

I took up the case of the stranger.

17 I broke the fangs of the wicked

and snatched the victims from their teeth.

18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,

my days as numerous as the grains of sand.

19 My roots will reach to the water,

and the dew will lie all night on my branches.

20 My glory will not fade;

the bow will be ever new in my hand.’

21 “People listened to me expectantly,

waiting in silence for my counsel.

22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;

my words fell gently on their ears.

23 They waited for me as for showers

and drank in my words as the spring rain.

24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;

the light of my face was precious to them.

25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;

I dwelt as a king among his troops;

I was like one who comforts mourners.

Notes on Job 29

“Job has decided how he will rest his case. He takes a daring step in a final attempt to clear himself. He swears an avowal of innocence. His oath forces the issue, for the oath compels God either to clear him or to activate the curses. Even if God continues to remain silent, that would be an answer, for if the curses Job utters are not activated, the entire community would be convinced that Job is innocent. So after swearing this avowal of innocence, Job will sit in silence, awaiting God’s answer. This avowal of innocence consists of three distinct parts:

Job’s remembrance of his former abundant life (ch. 29), a lament (ch. 30), and an oath of innocence (ch. 31).

The author has composed a wonderful piece by stretching the structure of a psalm of lament. At the beginning he has placed Job’s reminiscence of his past glory (ch. 29). And at the conclusion he has elaborately expanded an oath of innocence, an element that appears in some psalms of lament (e.g., Ps. 7: 4– 6 [Eng. 3– 51; 17: 3, 5). 1 The entire speech may be labeled an avowal of innocence. The oath of innocence is the focal point of the avowal, for by it Job demands from God a legal judgment on his character. The remembrance portrays by contrast the depth of Job’s affliction as expressed in the lament. These two elements also reveal Job’s motivation for uttering the oath. And the lament seeks to move God to respond”

(John Hartley)

“Job begins his avowal of innocence with a detailed description of his former stature in the community.  Then he had intimate fellowship with God. The community recognized God’s favor in his life and showed him their highest respect. But Job did not rest in his glory; he diligently helped the poor and unfortunate. Confident that he pleased God, he looked for a long, prosperous life. This remembrance serves to portray the depth of his shame as he will express it in his lament (ch. 30).”  (John Hartley)

This chapter is divided into 5 sections.

  1. God’s blessing (vs.1-6) God watched over Job. Job acknowledges that great blessings came from God’s protective gaze. God’s attention was like a lamp that shone upon Job giving him direction and courage. This light did not diminish even when Job walked through darkness. In the prime of his life Job had the pleasure of children, God’s presence, and above all His intimate friendship. Job tells how he longs for those times when he was so blessed. Everywhere he went it was full of cream and olive oil.  These are symbols of blessing and abundance.
  2. Job’s respect (vs. 7-10) Job was in the prime of his life and received due respect at the city gate and square. These were the places of commerce and government in the city and in both arenas Job was respected. Young and old men alike recognized Job’s position. Men who themselves were well respected would be silent in Job’s presence. As the author of Job tells us, “he was the greatest man among all the people of the East”( vs. 1:3).
  3. Job’s justice (vs. 11-19 ) “Whoever heard about Job blessed him, and those who saw him commended him. Job is claiming that the high respect he was given was due to his zealous pursuit of righteousness. He showed mercy toward the afflicted. When he heard the poor and the orphan crying for help, he came to their aid. Patriarchal religion (and ancient Near Eastern society) taught that widows, orphans, and the poor— the powerless members of society— came under God’s special concern. When the wicked lorded it over them and the wealthy enriched themselves at their expense, the only weapons these poor had were their pleas to God for help. They were too poor to take any legal recourse against these oppressors. Consequently, the mark of a righteous person was that he heard the cries of these miserable creatures and acted to rescue them.” (John Hartley)

Job wore righteousness like it was his own clothing. He was the eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, father to the needy, advocate for the stranger and protector of the victims.

  1. 4. Job’s hope ( vs.19-20) Job’s hope was that the result of his righteousness would be long life

and continued blessing. He believed that he would flourish like a tree planted by water.  This is a biblical image of righteousness and prosperity found in the Psalms and Jeremiah. Job could not even imagine that his blessing would end. The bow is a symbol of power and manly strength and Job believed that his strength would be like a new bow always at hand.

  1. Job’s dignity (vs. 21-25) Job remembers the good times, but the memory is not a blessing.

The memory accentuates the great losses that he has endured. Job, in his weakened state

with unfathomable losses, remembers the days that people treated him with dignity. People

stood in line to be able to listen to him and receive his advice. Job’s counsel left people

speechless, and they felt like his words fell on their ears like a soft rain. They longed for what

he had to say because his words had life on them like the spring rains. His smile didn’t just

light up Job’s face, but it was like a light to everyone who saw it.

“Job’s musings conclude by equating his high social standing to the role of a chief or king. The

passage’s imagery nuances the specific form of control he exercised: he chose their way, and he was like a king among his troops. These phrases suggest unquestioned loyalty from his followers and portray Job as a compassionate leader, not an oppressive tyrant over unwilling subjects.” (John Walton)

Job 29-31 is a lament. Job begins the lament by allowing us to see the depth of what he

has lost.  We have learned the facts of how he has lost crops, servants, children and health, but now we see how he has also lost respect, dignity, position and his vocation.

Week Six – Day 29

Day 29

Job 30

Job continues his lament…

30:1“But now they mock me,

men younger than I,

whose fathers I would have disdained

to put with my sheep dogs.

2 Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,

since their vigor had gone from them?

3 Haggard from want and hunger,

they roamed the parched land

in desolate wastelands at night.

4 In the brush they gathered salt herbs,

and their food was the root of the broom bush.

5 They were banished from human society,

shouted at as if they were thieves.

6 They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,

among the rocks and in holes in the ground.

7 They brayed among the bushes

and huddled in the undergrowth.

8 A base and nameless brood,

they were driven out of the land.

9 “And now those young men mock me in song;

I have become a byword among them.

10 They detest me and keep their distance;

they do not hesitate to spit in my face.

11 Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me,

they throw off restraint in my presence.

12 On my right the tribe attacks;

they lay snares for my feet,

they build their siege ramps against me.

13 They break up my road;

they succeed in destroying me.

‘No one can help him,’ they say.

14 They advance as through a gaping breach;

amid the ruins they come rolling in.

15 Terrors overwhelm me;

my dignity is driven away as by the wind,

my safety vanishes like a cloud.

16 “And now my life ebbs away;

days of suffering grip me.

17 Night pierces my bones;

my gnawing pains never rest.

18 In his great power God becomes like clothing to me;

he binds me like the neck of my garment.

19 He throws me into the mud,

and I am reduced to dust and ashes.

20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;

I stand up, but you merely look at me.

21 You turn on me ruthlessly;

with the might of your hand you attack me.

22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;

you toss me about in the storm.

23 I know you will bring me down to death,

to the place appointed for all the living.

24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man

when he cries for help in his distress.

25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?

Has not my soul grieved for the poor?

26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;

when I looked for light, then came darkness.

27 The churning inside me never stops;

days of suffering confront me.

28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;

I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.

29 I have become a brother of jackals,

a companion of owls.

30 My skin grows black and peels;

my body burns with fever.

31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,

and my pipe to the sound of wailing.

Notes on Job 30

“As the books of Job, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk clearly show, God has a high threshold of tolerance for what is appropriate to say in a prayer. God can “handle” my unsuppressed rage. I may well find that my vindictive feelings need God’s correction – but only by taking those feelings to God will I have the opportunity for correction and healing.”

Phillip Yancey, The Bible Jesus Read

“After recounting his past blessings and the respect he had in the assembly, Job laments the depths of his shame and the severity of his suffering. He is deeply distressed that he is scorned by all, even the desert rabble. He also cries out from the piercing pains that torment him. It is very distressing to Job that he sees God’s mighty hand behind his suffering. Moreover, God’s silence to his pleas exasperates him. In anguish he laments like a psalmist who sings a psalm of lament to the tune of the harp and flute.

This lament is artfully structured in relationship to his remembrance (ch. 29). In the lament Job speaks of the shame caused by external forces, then of his personal distress, while in his remembrance he recounted his personal blessings and then the honor others bestowed on him. The three sections of this lament are Job’s present disgrace (vv. 1– 15); an accusation against God (vv. 16– 23); and a self-lament (vv. 24– 31).” (John Hartley)

This chapter is carefully structured so that it parallels and corresponds to the last chapter.  Point by point Job laments how what he enjoyed as a blessed man in chapter 29 has now been lost and is being grieved in chapter 30.

Disgrace (vs. 1-15) Job recounts how his dignity has been mocked. The insults are made even harder to bear because they are not coming from the elite of society, but from those he would considered the scum of the earth. Job would have considered their fathers inappropriate to work with his dogs tending livestock, and now their sons mock and taunt him. Job finds it crushing to have to suffer insults from those who are thieves and exiles. Job who once had a powerful name faces jeers from a nameless gang who deride his name in song. Facing the worst indignities, Job laments,  “They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.”

Job spoke in  the previous chapter about his strength being like a new bow always at hand. Now in chapter 30 he speaks of the loss of his strength as God afflicting him and unstringing his bow. Job is totally overwhelmed, his dignity driven away, his safety vanished.

Accusation (vs.16-23) Job suffers daily an inward sense of loss as his life is withering away. Job suffers nightly physical pain in his bones that prevent him from sleeping and a restrictive pain that chokes him like a tight garment around his neck. Job turns this lament towards God who he says is reducing him to dust and ashes. And then in a torrent of accusations Job turns his lament on God.  “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” (vs. 20-21)

Job instead of being like a tree planted and rooted by the water as he mentioned in chapter 29, now sees himself as uprooted and tossed around by the winds and the storm. With bitterness and sarcasm Job laments, “I know you will bring me down to death.”

Lament  (vs. 24-31)

Job, who with tears helped the poor and the needy, now faces evil when he looks to others for help. He grieves how can one answer cries of anguish by hurting an already broken man. Job had hoped that he who had shown compassion to others would find light or compassion at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately all Job can see is only evil at the end of his tunnel.

Job is heart sick and physically sick. There is agitation in his stomach, he has a burning fever, and his complexion has grown dark and peeled.

“Job concluded his plaintive rehearsal of his present remorse by stating that his joy had turned to grief (30:31). His harp and flute, instruments for expressing joy (cf. 21:12), now played only funeral dirges in accompaniment to people weeping in grief. The last five verses alternate between emotional pain (30:27, 29, 31) and physical pain (30:28, 30). The urchins mocked, spit, and attacked; God remained silent; friends were unsympathetic; and Job groaned in pain. Such was the plight of Job—the former plutocrat*.” (Roy Zuck )

*plutocrat-someone who exercises power by wealth

Week Six – Day 30

Day 30

Job 31

Job’s Lament continues…

31:1“I made a covenant with my eyes

not to look lustfully at a young woman.

2 For what is our lot from God above,

our heritage from the Almighty on high?

3 Is it not ruin for the wicked,

disaster for those who do wrong?

4 Does he not see my ways

and count my every step?

5 “If I have walked with falsehood

or my foot has hurried after deceit—

6 let God weigh me in honest scales

and he will know that I am blameless—

7 if my steps have turned from the path,

if my heart has been led by my eyes,

or if my hands have been defiled,

8 then may others eat what I have sown,

and may my crops be uprooted.

9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman,

or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,

10 then may my wife grind another man’s grain,

and may other men sleep with her.

11 For that would have been wicked,

a sin to be judged.

12 It is a fire that burns to Destruction[a];

it would have uprooted my harvest.

13 “If I have denied justice to any of my servants,

whether male or female,

when they had a grievance against me,

14 what will I do when God confronts me?

What will I answer when called to account?

15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?

Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?

16 “If I have denied the desires of the poor

or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,

17 if I have kept my bread to myself,

not sharing it with the fatherless—

18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,

and from my birth I guided the widow—

19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,or the needy without garments,

20 and their hearts did not bless me

for warming them with the fleece from my sheep,

21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,knowing that I had influence in court,



22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,

let it be broken off at the joint.

23 For I dreaded destruction from God,

and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.

24 “If I have put my trust in gold

or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’

25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,

the fortune my hands had gained,

26 if I have regarded the sun in its radiance

or the moon moving in splendor,

27 so that my heart was secretly enticed

and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,

28 then these also would be sins to be judged,

for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.

29 “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune

or gloated over the trouble that came to him

30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin

by invoking a curse against their life—

31 if those of my household have never said,

‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’—

32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,

for my door was always open to the traveler

33 if I have concealed my sin as people do,[b]

by hiding my guilt in my heart

34 because I so feared the crowd

and so dreaded the contempt of the clans

that I kept silent and would not go outside—

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.

36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,

I would put it on like a crown.

37 I would give him an account of my every step;

I would present it to him as to a ruler.)—

38 “if my land cries out against me

and all its furrows are wet with tears,

39 if I have devoured its yield without payment

or broken the spirit of its tenants,

40 then let briers come up instead of wheat

and stinkweed instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

Notes on Job 31

“After having reminisced about the glory of his former days and having lamented his present disgrace, Job swears an oath of innocence in a final move to prove that he is not guilty of any wrongdoing. The oath requires God either to activate the curses of the oath or to clear the swearer. Should God remain silent, Job would be declared innocent by not being cursed. A common formula for an oath of innocence is, “May God do such to me, if I do (or do not do) so and so.” The swearer usually suppresses the actual curse either with evasive language or abbreviated formulas, no doubt fearful of the very verbalizing of a specific curse. But Job is so bold that four times he specifies the curse that should befall him if he be guilty (vv. 8, 10, 22, 40). His wreckless bravery reflects his unwavering confidence in his own innocence.”

(John Hartley)

Job lists 14 sins that he has not committed.

  1. Lust (vv. 1– 4) Job says he has made a covenant with his eyes so that he will not entertain lust.
  2. Falsehood (vv. 5– 6) Job says God can weigh him on the scales that measure honesty.
  3. Covetousness (vv. 7– 8) Job says if his heart or hands have participated in taking from others, then let what he has in terms of crops be given to another.
  4. Adultery (vv. 9– 12) Job calls adultery a fire and says he has never entertained that fire. Job says he has not lusted after another woman than his wife. He calls down an oath that if he has to let his wife serve and sleep with another man.
  5. Mistreatment of one’s servants (vv. 13– 15) Job recognizes that it is God to whom he must give an account, and he formed both Job and his servants. Job asks how could he not treat them justly when they too are created by God.
  6. Lack of concern for the poor (vv. 16– 18) Job defends the way that he has treated the poor, orphans and widows. He has been conscientious to share and to give.
  7. Failure to clothe the poor (vv. 19– 20) Job states that no one lacked clothes or warmth because he did not give.
  8. Perversion of justice against the weak (vv. 21– 23) Job says because he believes in God’s glory and in his justice, he would never mistreat the orphan, or lie in court. He calls down a punishment upon himself if he has ever done so.
  9. Trust in wealth (vv. 24– 25) Job states that he has not trusted in his wealth or made silver or gold his security. He goes even farther saying that the wealth he has known has not been the source of his joy.
  10. Worship of the heavenly bodies (vv. 26– 28) Job has not worshipped the sun or moon secretly or publicly.
  11. Satisfaction at a foe’s misfortune (vv. 29– 30) Job has not cursed his enemies or rejoiced in their downfall. His mouth has not participated in a sin against his enemy
  12. Failure to extend hospitality to a sojourner (vv. 31– 32) Job has been hospitable to the traveler who needed a place to stay the night.
  13. Concealment of a sin without confession (vv. 33– 34) Job has not hidden his sin
  14. Abuse of the land (vv. 38– 40b). Job calls on God to curse his land with weeds instead of crops if he has misused the land that God has given him.

List of sins-John Hartley. The Book of Job (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament)

In verses 33–37, Job asked God (“my adversary” or “accuser”= judge) to give him three things: a hearing, an answer to his charges, and a document to prove his innocence. If God couldn’t do these things, then Job was willing that God send the curses included in Job’s oath. Job was prepared to give God an accounting of his every step if that’s what it would take to bring the case to an end. Job had nothing to hide; he was not a hypocrite, cringing for fear of the people (vv. 33–34). (Warren Wiersbe)

Read again the vow of innocence that Job makes in verses 35-37, “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. Surely I would wear it on my shoulder.” Job makes this vow after defending himself chapter after chapter.  After making this vow it says that Job had no more words.

Job Series Daily Reading Week Five

Book of Job

Week Five – Day 21

21:1 Then Job replied:
2 “Listen carefully to my words;
let this be the consolation you give me.
3 Bear with me while I speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.
4 “Is my complaint directed to a human
Why should I not be impatient?
5 Look at me and be appalled;
clap your hand over your mouth.
6 When I think about this, I am terrified;
trembling seizes my body.
7 Why do the wicked live on,
growing old and increasing in power?
8 They see their children established around
their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their homes are safe and free from fear;
the rod of God is not on them.
10 Their bulls never fail to breed;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
11 They send forth their children as a flock;
their little ones dance about.
12 They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre;
they make merry to the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their years in prosperity
and go down to the grave in peace.[a]
14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We have no desire to know your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve
What would we gain by praying to him?’
16 But their prosperity is not in their own
so I stand aloof from the plans of the
17 “Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked
snuffed out?
How often does calamity come upon
the fate God allots in his anger?
18 How often are they like straw before the
like chaff swept away by a gale?
19 It is said, ‘God stores up the punishment
of the wicked for their children.’
Let him repay the wicked, so that they
themselves will experience it!
20 Let their own eyes see their destruction;
let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what do they care about the families
they leave behind when their allotted
months come to an end?
22 “Can anyone teach knowledge to God,
since he judges even the highest?
23 One person dies in full vigor,
completely secure and at ease,
24 well nourished in body,[b]
bones rich with marrow.
25 Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having enjoyed anything good.
26 Side by side they lie in the dust,
and worms cover them both.
27 “I know full well what you are thinking,
the schemes by which you would wrong
28 You say, ‘Where now is the house of the
the tents where the wicked lived?’
29 Have you never questioned those who
Have you paid no regard to their
30 that the wicked are spared from the day
of calamity, that they are delivered from[c]
the day of wrath?
31 Who denounces their conduct to their
face? Who repays them for what they have
32 They are carried to the grave,
and watch is kept over their tombs.
33 The soil in the valley is sweet to them;
everyone follows after them,
and a countless throng goes[d] before
34 “So how can you console me with your
Nothing is left of your answers but

Notes on Job 21

It seems that a man suffering so much would have no fight left within him to ague back against Zophar’s vicious speech. But Job did not just take his insults. “Job replied to Zophar’s statements and refuted each of them. Job stated that, from his point of view, it appears that the wicked have long lives (vv. 7-16), they are not often sent calamity (vv. 17-21), and the death of the wicked is no different from the death of other men (vv. 22-34). Point by point, Job took Zophar’s speech and shredded it into bits.” (Weirsbe)

But first, Job takes a minute to tell Zophar to listen up. He is tired of his friends not paying attention and misunderstanding his words. He urges them that this is the best thing they can do to console him: to listen, not speak.

Job’s answer echoes Zophar’s outline, addressing all three of his points.
1. Who says the wicked always die young?
2. Where’s the proof that the godless always suffer calamity?
3. How can you say that death always falls hard on the wicked? (Swindoll)

Who says the wicked always die young? “Job begins his defense by asking Zophar an excellent question amplified—‘If the wicked always die young, why do so many continue on, becoming more powerful?…And yet there’s no question —they really don’t know God.” (Job 21:7) (Swindoll) Job is not defending that the wicked live long because he wants to prove they do, he is defending that it is God’s will to decide when a man lives or dies not a man’s sinfulness or righteousness.

Where’s the proof that the godless always suffer calamity? Job has depth of understanding to know that what separates the believer from the unbeliever is not blessing or calamity before death—it is life after death. He knows many godless people have rich lives on Earth, but none of those riches can be taken with them after death. He also understands that many people including himself may suffer greatly in this world and lose everything, but with Christ in Heaven they will gain everything. “Never forget, our Good News is about the life beyond. Believing that Good News does not mean you will suddenly become affluent. Nor does it mean if you don’t believe it you’re doomed to poverty or a life in prison. Our theology needs to be clearly understood and articulate apart from economic lifestyles or personal preferences or narrow-minded prejudices.” (Swindoll)

How can you say that death always falls hard on the wicked? Job reminds Zophar that death falls hard on us all. Death is death, it does not need to be measured. Side by side (the wicked and the righteous) lie in the dust, and worms cover them both (vs. 26).

By dismantling Zophar’s arguments Job further encourages himself that he has no reason to listen to these “miserable comforters.” He is emboldened to call their words “nonsense and falsehood.” But notice that Job has never taken on the sharp tongue of his friends. He has called them out for the “miserable comforters” that they are, but he has never attacked them, judged them or accused them in the way they have to him.

Have you ever been attacked or accused by empty words that were nonsense and falsehood? How did you respond to your accuser? Did you attack back? In what ways do Job’s responses model for you how to respond in conflict?

Week Five – Day 22

Cycle 3 – Eliphaz Speaks
22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Can a man be of benefit to God?
Can even a wise person benefit him?
3 What pleasure would it give the Almighty if
you were righteous?
What would he gain if your ways were
4 “Is it for your piety that he rebukes you
and brings charges against you?
5 Is not your wickedness great?
Are not your sins endless?
6 You demanded security from your relatives
for no reason;
you stripped people of their clothing,
leaving them naked.
7 You gave no water to the weary
and you withheld food from the hungry,
8 though you were a powerful man, owning
land— an honored man, living on it.
9 And you sent widows away empty-handed
and broke the strength of the fatherless.
10 That is why snares are all around you,
why sudden peril terrifies you,
11 why it is so dark you cannot see,
and why a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God in the heights of heaven?
And see how lofty are the highest stars!
13 Yet you say, ‘What does God know?
Does he judge through such darkness?
14 Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see
us as he goes about in the vaulted  
15 Will you keep to the old path
that the wicked have trod?
16 They were carried off before their time,
their foundations washed away by a flood.
17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 Yet it was he who filled their houses with
good things, so I stand aloof from the plans of the
19 The righteous see their ruin and rejoice;
the innocent mock them, saying,
20 ‘Surely our foes are destroyed,
and fire devours their wealth.’
21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him;
in this way prosperity will come to you.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth
and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be
If you remove wickedness far from your
24 and assign your nuggets to the dust,
your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the
25 then the Almighty will be your gold,
the choicest silver for you.
26 Surely then you will find delight in the
Almighty and will lift up your face to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows.
28 What you decide on will be done,
and light will shine on your ways.
29 When people are brought low and you
say, ‘Lift them up!’
then he will save the downcast.
30 He will deliver even one who is not
innocent, who will be delivered through the
cleanness of your hands.”

Notes on Job 22

In the previous cycles of debate Elizphaz has been the calmer friend with more smooth talk and elegant words, but now in the third debate he begins to lose his cool. “In Job 22, Eliphaz piles accusation and invective onto poor Job. He accuses Job of wrong motives. He invents false charges. He resorts to insult in his arguments. Eliphaz is trying to peer into Job’s hidden motives. He argues that Job thinks that by defending himself, he is defending God’s honor and integrity. He thinks Job is claiming that God’s reputation depends on Job’s own ability to appear righteous.

But that’s a false charge. That’s not Job’s intent at all. Throughout this account, Job has consistently viewed God as holy and righteous, even though Job can’t understand God’s actions. Job never thinks for a moment that his own circumstances reflect on God’s attributes in any way. Eliphaz suggests that Job feels that God is unfairly punishing him. Again, Job never said that. Had Job done so, he would be doing exactly what Satan wanted Job to do: accuse and blaspheme God. True, Job questioned God and wondered why God allowed him to suffer, but Job never says, “God, You’re unjust! You’re acting unrighteously!” That is just what Eliphaz suggests here, and it is a false charge.

Here is one of the crucial lessons from the book of Job: In our own times of testing and trial, Satan wants us to do what Eliphaz falsely accuses Job of doing. Satan wants us to blame God and accuse Him of being unfair and unjust. If Satan succeeds in wringing such a cry from our lips, then we have succumbed to the satanic strategy. At that moment, we become guilty of making an accusation against the God of righteousness. If we do that in our times of pain and loss, we need to go to God, confess our fault, and ask His forgiveness and for the strength and the faith not to do so again.” (Stedman)

Satan is working through Job’s friends, but Job never succumbs to their provoking. Oblivious to the powers of the enemy at work within him, Eliphaz grows in anger and frustration with Job as he refuses to yield to their accusations of hidden sin. Eliphaz invents and hurls accusations at Job as if he saw the events happen himself. “Not one of the accusations are true. Eliphaz simply invents lies. He claims that Job’s sins are ‘endless,’ that he has extorted, stolen, mistreated the poor, and abused widows and orphans.” (Stedman)

Eliphaz’s opening accusations are key to this text. “[He] first accused Job of the sin of pride. Job was acting as though his character and conduct were important to God and beneficial to Him in some way. Eliphaz’s theology centered around a distant God who was the Judge of the world but not the Friend of sinners. But Job’s character and conduct were important to God, for God was using Job to silence the Devil. Neither Job nor his three friends knew God’s hidden plan, but Job had faith to believe that God was achieving some purpose in his lifee and would one day vindicate him. Furthermore, the character and behavior of God’s people are important to the Lord because His people bring Him either joy or sorrow (1 Thess. 4:1; Heb 11:5; Gen. 6:5-6; Ps. 37:23). He is not a passive, distant God who does not identify with His people but the God who delights in them as they delight in Him (Ps. 18:19; Isa. 63:9; Heb. 4:14-16).” (Weirsbe)

In the end, from verses 21-30, he explains what it means to submit to God and the benefits we receive from submitting. “Eliphaz says some excellent things in this appeal, but he says them to the whong man. When we get to the end of the book, we will discover that it is Eliphaz and his two friends who are out of fellowship with God. They will need Job to intercede for them so that they can be restored (42:7-10). (Weirsbe)

Week Five – Day 23

23:1 Then Job replied:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
3 If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
4 I would state my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would find out what he would answer me,
and consider what he would say to me.
6 Would he vigorously oppose me?
No, he would not press charges against me.
7 There the upright can establish their innocence
before him,
and there I would be delivered forever from my
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see
him; when he turns to the south, I catch no
glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his
I have treasured the words of his mouth more
than my daily bread.
13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose
him? He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me,
and many such plans he still has in store.
15 That is why I am terrified before him;
when I think of all this, I fear him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
by the thick darkness that covers my face.

Notes on Job 23

“Instead of arguing with his friends, or compromising his integrity by giving in to Eliphaz’s appeal, Job ignores them completely and speaks to and about the Lord. Job has already made it clear that his dispute was not with men but with God, and he emphasizes this fact in his speech.” (Weirsbe)

“In Job chapters 23 and 24 he makes three complaints against the Lord.”
1. “God is hiding from me” (Job 23:1-12)
2. “God is frightening me”  (Job 23:13-17)
3.  “God perplexes me” (Job 24:1-25)

“‘If only I knew where to find him: if only I could go to his dwelling!’ (v. 3). This was another appeal to meet God in court and have a fair trial. Job was prepared to state his case, present his arguments, and let God give the verdict. Job was confident that, despite God’s great power as a Lawgiver, he would win his case, for he was an upright man, and God could not condemn the upright in heart (v. 7).” (Weirsbe) Job laments that he cannot find God in order to present his case before Him. “Of course, God is present everywhere, but Job wanted a personal  meeting with God.” (Weirsbe) In verse 10, Job confirms that though He cannot find God to meet with him, he knows where Job is. Job is in the furnace. “But it was a furnace of God’s appointment, not Job’s sin; and God would use Job’s affliction to purify him and make him a better man. This is not the only answer to the question “Why do the righteous suffer?” but it is one of the best, and it can bring the sufferer great encouragement….Some people go into the furnace of affliction and it burns them; others go in and the experience purifies them. What makes the difference? Their attitude toward the Word of God and the will of God. If we are nourished by the Word and submit to His will, the furnace experience, painful as it may be, will refine us and make us better. But if we resist God’s will and fail to feed on His truth, the furnace experience will only burn us and make us bitter.” (Weirsbe)

Have you ever found yourself in God’s furnace? Reflect on how you responded to the furnace. Journal about what you learned about yourself and about God.

Week Five – Day 24

24:1“Why does the Almighty not set times for
Why must those who know him look in
vain for such days?
2 There are those who move boundary
stones;they pasture flocks they have stolen.
3 They drive away the orphan’s donkey
and take the widow’s ox in pledge.
4 They thrust the needy from the path
and force all the poor of the land into
5 Like wild donkeys in the desert,
the poor go about their labor of foraging
the wasteland provides food for their
6 They gather fodder in the fields
and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
7 Lacking clothes, they spend the night
naked; they have nothing to cover
themselves in the cold.
8 They are drenched by mountain rains
and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
9 The fatherless child is snatched from the
breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;
they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces[a];
they tread the winepresses, yet suffer
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
and the souls of the wounded cry out for
But God charges no one with wrongdoing.
13 “There are those who rebel against the
light, who do not know its ways
or stay in its paths.
14 When daylight is gone, the murderer rises
up, kills the poor and needy,
and in the night steals forth like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk;
he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’
and he keeps his face concealed.
16 In the dark, thieves break into houses,
but by day they shut themselves in;
they want nothing to do with the light.
17 For all of them, midnight is their morning;
they make friends with the terrors of
18 “Yet they are foam on the surface of the
water; their portion of the land is cursed,
so that no one goes to the vineyards.
19 As heat and drought snatch away the
melted snow,
so the grave snatches away those who
have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them,
the worm feasts on them;
the wicked are no longer remembered
but are broken like a tree.
21 They prey on the barren and childless
woman, and to the widow they show no
22 But God drags away the mighty by his
power;  though they become established,
they have no assurance of life.
23 He may let them rest in a feeling of
security, but his eyes are on their ways.
24 For a little while they are exalted, and then
they are gone;
they are brought low and gathered up like
all others;
they are cut off like heads of grain.
25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false
and reduce my words to nothing?”

Notes on Job 24

Continued from Day 23 on Job 23 – Job’s 2nd Complaint against God.

13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me,
and many such plans he still has in store.
15 That is why I am terrified before him;
when I think of all this, I fear him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.

“God is frightening me”  (Job 23:13-17) At one time in his life, before his afflictions, Job found great comfort and peace in the sovereignty of God. Now he is struggling with fear about what this sovereign God may do to him next. “Those who resist or deny the sovereignty of God rob themselves of peace and courage. ‘There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of sovereignty,’ said Charles Haddon Spurgeon. But when, like Job, are in darkness and pain it is easy to fall apart and become frightened. Job 23:14 must be contrasted with Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”” (Weirsbe) Job was afraid, but He knew God was ultimately his Friend, his advocate, and his intercessor.
“God perplexes me” (Job 24:1-25) “This entire chapter focuses on the seeming injustices that God permits in this world….Job is to be commended for seeing somebody else’s troubles besides his own and for expressing a holy anger against sin and injustice. Too often, personal suffering can make us selfish and even blind us to the needs of others, but Job was concerned that God help others who were hurting. His three friends were treating the problem of suffering in far too abstract a fashion, and Job tried to get them to see hurting people and not just philosophical problems.” (Weirsbe)

Job was not blind to the pain and suffering of others even when he was overcome by his own. In this passage Job is crying out for God’s justice on behalf of others just as much as for his own. “Is it true that the wicked never face God’s justice? No. It may seem that way for a time. But Job concludes that God’s justice is not denied; it is merely delayed. The wicked flourish now, but judgement is coming.
If it seems that the wicked go unpunished, it’s only because God withholds His hand, giving them a chance to repent. That is why God seems to delay. If He judged every sin the moment it was committed, who would escape judgement? I wouldn’t and neither would you.” (Stedman)

“The major message Job leaves us is fairly obvious by now: Even though God [can be] elusive and mysterious, strange and silent, invisible and seemingly passive, He is trustworthy.” (Stedman)

3 Lessons:
Resist the tempation to explain everything; God knows.
Focus on the future benefits, not the present pain; God leads
Embrace the sonereignty of the Almighty; God controls. Refuse to believe that life is based on blind fate or random chance.

Week Five – Day 25

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “Dominion and awe belong to God;
he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
3 Can his forces be numbered?
On whom does his light not rise?
4 How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
5 If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
6 how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot—
a human being, who is only a worm!”
26:1 Then Job replied:
2 “How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
3 What advice you have offered to one without
And what great insight you have displayed!
4 Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
5 “The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in
6 The realm of the dead is naked before God;
Destruction[a] lies uncovered.
7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty
space;he suspends the earth over nothing.
8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9 He covers the face of the full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.
10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the
for a boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea;
by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his

Notes on Job 25

Chapter 25: Bildad is the third speaker in the third cycle of debate. This is his last time to speak and he makes it brief. Bildad makes two points:
“First, Bildad tells us that God is all-powerful (v. 2). In other words, there is no point in fighting God…What Bildad says is true, of course. What is not true is Bildad’s suggestion that Job has opposed God. Like Job’s other two friends, Bildad clings to his false premise, which is that job is suffering because of hidden sin in his life.” (Stedman)
Bildad’s second point: no one is righteous before God. This to is in effect true, “but there is something about the way Bildad makes this point that is totally untrue. Bolded refers to a human being as the equivalent of a maggot or a worm. God’s Word never demeans human being in such terms…God Himself never makes such a statement anywhere in Scripture. God views us as creatures of worth and value, made in His own image, so precious that He would send His only Son to die in our place. God never treats us as maggots or worms, even when we are in the depths of our own sin and rebellion. When Bildad refers to human beings in such ugly terms, he reflects a narrow theology that does not fit the facts.
You are not a worm. You are a precious and lovely child of the King. That is your identity in the eyes of your loving Father.” (Stedman)

Chapter 26: “According to Job’s friends, Job lacked wisdom; yet Bildad didn’t share one piece of wisdom or insight (v. 4) If Bildad’s words had come from God, then they would have done Job good; for Job had been crying out for God to speak to him. The conclusion is that Bildad’s words came from Bildad, and that’s why they did Job no good.” (Weirsbe)
“An intriguing change of roles now occurs. Instead of Bildad teaching Job, Job becomes the teacher. It’s almost as if he decides, ‘Since you don’t have any answers, let me tell you about the infinite, incomprehensible God, who hasn’t revealed all the whys and wherefores of His activities….Job is instructing Bildad. Whether Bildad is listening or not, who knows? But the beautiful thing is that Job has a relationship with God that Bildad never heard of. And because of that relationship Job can rely on God for whatever he may need. There is great comfort found when we rely on God in simple faith. We trust. We stay strong.” (Swindoll)

Job Series Daily Reading Week Four

Book of Job

Week Four – Day 16

16:1 Then Job replied:
2 “I have heard many things like these;
you are miserable comforters, all of you!
3 Will your long-winded speeches never
What ails you that you keep on arguing?
4 I also could speak like you,
if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
and shake my head at you.
5 But my mouth would encourage you;
comfort from my lips would bring you
6 “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
and if I refrain, it does not go away.
7 Surely, God, you have worn me out;
you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have shriveled me up—and it has
become a witness;
my gauntness rises up and testifies
against me.
9 God assails me and tears me in his anger
and gnashes his teeth at me;
my opponent fastens on me his piercing
10 People open their mouths to jeer at me;
they strike my cheek in scorn
and unite together against me.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
and thrown me into the clutches of the
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
13  his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
he rushes at me like a warrior.
15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
and buried my brow in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
dark shadows ring my eyes;
17 yet my hands have been free of violence
and my prayer is pure.
18 “Earth, do not cover my blood;
may my cry never be laid to rest!
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[a]
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as one pleads for a friend.
22 “Only a few years will pass
before I take the path of no return.

Notes on Job 16

Chapters 16 and 17 are a 2-part response by Job to Eliphaz
Part 1: Job’s Rebuke

Picture Job. He has lost everything: family, home, wealth, and health. He is in miserable emotional and physical pain. His friends have come to comfort him but instead they judge and accuse him for getting himself into this situation.

“[Job] rightly refers to his so-called friends as “miserable comforters.” What a weight of irony is contained in those two words. These men came to comfort Job; instead, they increased his misery. When a person is suffering, there is no more unwelcome visitor than a “miserable-comforter,” a person who brings misery and calls it comfort.
Notice that by this point in the story of Job, Satan has faded from the scene; his name is not mentioned. He’s still there—make no mistake—but he’s in the background. He’s using Job’s three friends as vehicles for delivering what the apostle Paul calls “the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). In the book of Revelation, Satan is called “the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night” (12:10). It is tragic indeed that Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar allowed themselves to be used as channels for Satan’s accusations against an innocent, suffering man.”
After Job has finished rebuking his friends for the miserable comforters that they are, he addresses God. In his anger and despair Job charges God on several extreme accounts:

Account 1: Job concludes God must hate him. (vs 7-11)
Account 2: Job charges God with all that is wrong in his life and all that he has lost. (vs. 12-14)
Account 3: Job protests his innocence. (vs. 15-17)

“God, who is wonderfully patient, does not reply against Job, nor does He retaliate in anger. God knows Job’s heart. He knows Job’s faith and love for Him. But He also understands that Job has his breaking point. In this passage, the natural view of life has broken into Job’s faith. This suffering man now sees his life in a different light.”

Reflect on God’s patience with you. In pain and anger have you accused God? What was God’s response to your accusations?

After Job releases his anger at God, “we again glimpse a faint reflection of what God is trying to show him….Faith breaks through once more. Job concludes that he still has witness in heaven, an advocate on high, an intercessor, a friend who will plead with God. Job expects help from on high as he wrestles with his pain and his sense of separation and alienation from God.”
Sometimes we need to release the real anger we feel in order to see clearly what God is trying to show us. Faith is allowed room to expand and fill our heart as we release the confusion and frustration we feel.
“Who is this Advocate, this Intercessor, who pleads Job’s case with God? Hebrews reveals to us, “But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to interceded for them” (7:24-25). Though Job’s theological understanding is limited because he lives in Old Testament times, God seems to have revealed to him a partial glimpse of the spiritual reality that has been revealed to us in full: Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the God-Man who was crucified and rose again, is our Advocate on high, our Intercessor, our Friend. He has broken down the wall of separation between humanity and God.

Though Job can’t possibly grasp the length and breadth and depth of this truth, faith has broken through to his struggling heart, enabling him to lay hold of the fact that God has provided help from on high. Job had no name for that help, but you and I do: Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the One God wants us to lean on in times of pain and loss. Job is learning that the Lord alone can sustain him. God Himself can answer the searching questions of a suffering heart.”

Week Four – Day 17

17 :1 My spirit is broken,
my days are cut short,
the grave awaits me.
2 Surely mockers surround me;
my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
3 “Give me, O God, the pledge you demand.
Who else will put up security for me?
4 You have closed their minds to understanding;
therefore you will not let them triumph.
5 If anyone denounces their friends for reward,
the eyes of their children will fail.
6 “God has made me a byword to everyone,
a man in whose face people spit.
7 My eyes have grown dim with grief;
my whole frame is but a shadow.
8 The upright are appalled at this;
the innocent are aroused against the ungodly.
9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways,
and those with clean hands will grow stronger.
10 “But come on, all of you, try again!
I will not find a wise man among you.
11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered.
Yet the desires of my heart
12 turn night into day;
in the face of the darkness light is near.
13 If the only home I hope for is the grave,
if I spread out my bed in the realm of
14 if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then is my hope—
who can see any hope for me?
16 Will it go down to the gates of death?

Notes on Job 17

Part 2: Job’s hope crumbles

Finally, “Job offers a plea to God to end his life and relieve him from suffering.” (Wiersbe)
In verse 9, Job challenges his three friends to continue their arguments and accusations. He knows they are foolish and cruel, so he challenges them to continue spewing at him because he is so crushed in spirit, hurt, and depressed that he believes nothing more can hurt him.
“At this point, at least, you would think that Job’s friends would finally agree that he has had enough. You’d think they would give this poor man a break from their accusations, their finger pointing, and their tongue wagging. But no, they are relentless in their effort to force Job to admit to hidden sins he has never committed.
Why are Job’s “comforters” so determined to find sin in the life of this blameless man? Perhaps part of the reason is that Job’s affliction makes them feel anxious and insecure about their own lives. They see Job and think, “If he can be stricken with calamity, then it could happen to me, too!”
Job’s suffering disrupts their neat and tidy theological worldview, which says, “If you do good, you’ll be rewarded; only evil people suffer.” If good people can suffer pain and loss (and these three men certainly see themselves as good), then where is their security in life? If the innocent can suffer, then any one of them could end up just like Job.
So Job and his three friends are locked in conflict. Job knows he is innocent, and he will not lie by admitting to sin he never committed. Yet his three friends feel they must force Job to admit his sin or their whole worldview comes apart. The longer Job asserts his own innocence, the more desperate his friends become to obtain his confession. Its a case of three relentless forces versus one immovable object.” (Stedman)
Does your worldview look at suffering as a result of sin? Do you struggle with the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?”Ask yourself, “Where is my security? In my behavior or in my God?”
At the end of the dialogue Job’s hope has crumbled (Job 17:11-16).
Though Job claimed death was his only escape, “at no time did Job ever consider taking his own life or asking someone else to do it for him. Life is a sacred gift from God, and only God can give it and take it away. On the one hand, Job wanted to live long enough to see himself vindicated; but on the other hand, he didn’t know how much more he could endure.” (Wiersbe)
“God did not answer Job’s plea for death because He had something far better planned for him. God looked beyond Job’s depression and bitterness and saw that he still had faith.” (Wiersbe)

Week Four – Day 18

18:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “When will you end these speeches?
Be sensible, and then we can talk.
3 Why are we regarded as cattle
and considered stupid in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger,
is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?
Or must the rocks be moved from their place?
5 “The lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out;
the flame of his fire stops burning.
6 The light in his tent becomes dark;
the lamp beside him goes out.
7 The vigor of his step is weakened;
his own schemes throw him down.
8 His feet thrust him into a net;
he wanders into its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare holds him fast.
10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground;
a trap lies in his path.
11 Terrors startle him on every side
and dog his every step.
12 Calamity is hungry for him;
disaster is ready for him when he falls.
13 It eats away parts of his skin;
death’s firstborn devours his limbs.
14 He is torn from the security of his tent
and marched off to the king of terrors.
15 Fire resides in his tent;
burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.
16 His roots dry up below
and his branches wither above.
17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;
he has no name in the land.
18 He is driven from light into the realm of
and is banished from the world.
19 He has no offspring or descendants among his
no survivor where once he lived.
20 People of the west are appalled at his fate;
those of the east are seized with horror.
21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man;
such is the place of one who does not know

Notes on Job 18

Cycle 2: Bildad Speaks
“In the first debate, Bildad gave the appearance of a logician, the coldly analytical intellectual. Here, in the second debate, Bildad is still cold hearted toward Job and analytical in his argument—but with a difference. Now Bildad is clearly angry with Job because Job has not admitted his own sin. Bildad is frustrated with what he sees as Job’s stubbornness and dishonesty, and he’s upset that Job’s replies have been blunt and strongly worded. In short, Bildad gets mad.” (Stedman)
How long will you hunt for words? Show understanding and then we can talk. Why are we regarded as beasts, as stupid in your eyes? O you who tear yourself in your anger— For your sake is the earth to be abandoned, Or the rock to be moved from its place? —Job 18:2-4, the Message
“In Job 17:10, Job said to his three tormentors, “I will not find a wise man among you.” Bildad, who is very proud of his intellectual prowess, clearly takes offense at Job’s statement. So he counterattacks and demands that Job “be sensible,” adding, “Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight?” (Stedman)
Bildad’s monologue is trying to scare Job into repenting. He repeatedly uses metaphors of death in order to provoke Job to repent. In verse 8, he suggests Job is trapped in some hidden sin that he will not reveal and so death and tragedy are trying to expose him. The problem is that Job has not sinned. Job does not need to repent to fix his situation, and he knows that. Bildad’s way of thinking about God is wrong. “Here’s the way Bildad thinks. God is just and fair. God not only punished the wicked, He blesses the righteous. If you repent, God will bless you and relieve you of your affliction. If you don’t repent, He’ll keep judging you and your pain will continue…Bildad’s theology doesn’t have room for mystery. Everything is black or white. If you obey, you will be blessed….For mysterious reasons beyond our comprehension, He permits pain. And then there are other times for reasons that are clearly revealed, He tests us. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul was willing to accept the mystery of God’s will in leaving him with the affliction after he had urgently prayed for relief three times.” (Swindoll) The mystery of God’s will includes that we pursue Him for healing while at the same time we submit to His will.

Week Four – Day 19

19:1 Then Job replied:
2 “How long will you torment me
and crush me with words?
3 Ten times now you have reproached me;
shamelessly you attack me.
4 If it is true that I have gone astray,
my error remains my concern alone.
5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above
and use my humiliation against me,
6 then know that God has wronged me
and drawn his net around me.
7 “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response;
though I call for help, there is no justice.
8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass;
he has shrouded my paths in darkness.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.
10 He tears me down on every side till I am
gone; he uproots my hope like a tree.
11 His anger burns against me;
he counts me among his enemies.
12 His troops advance in force;
they build a siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has alienated my family from me;
my acquaintances are completely
estranged from me.
14 My relatives have gone away;
my closest friends have forgotten me.
15 My guests and my female servants count
me a foreigner;
they look on me as on a stranger.
16 I summon my servant, but he does not
though I beg him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is offensive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my own family.
18 Even the little boys scorn me;
when I appear, they ridicule me.
19 All my intimate friends detest me;
those I love have turned against me.
20 I am nothing but skin and bones;
I have escaped only by the skin of my
21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Why do you pursue me as God does?
Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool
on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him,
since the root of the trouble lies in him,[g]’
29 you should fear the sword yourselves;
for wrath will bring punishment by the
sword, and then you will know that there is

Notes on Job 19

Job understands that being corrected is a good thing. We need people to hold us accountable and challenge us when we are out of line. But in their effort to correct and reprove, Job’s friends are the ones out of line. Job pleads with them, “enough is enough!” In verse 4, “Job rightly says that if he has sinned, it is now his concern alone. Even if Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are right about Job, they have already done all they can do. What purpose is served by continuing to attack him? He’s also correct in pointing out the unrighteous motives behind their attack: At the same time they are accusing Job of unconfessed sin, they are exalting themselves over him. They cannot accuse Job of being an “evil man” (to use Bildad’s words) without setting themselves up as good men. They have used Job’s pain and humiliation against him. In the process, they have elevated themselves over him.” (Stedman)

Sometimes in our most trying times God is quiet. Just silent. In verses 7-13 Job laments God’s silence and recounts all that he feels God has done to him. “Job feels bewildered, isolated, and rejected by family, friends, and God himself. There are few experiences in life more baffling and painful than being rejected by those who should understand us. Job is still reeling from his physical pain—still scraping his boils with pieces of broken pottery. He’s reeling from his emotional pain—still grieving the deaths of his children and the loss of all his material possessions. And along with all of this suffering, he must endure the misjudgment and rejection of family and friends. How much more can this poor man take?” (Stedman)

Have you been through trials that caused you to feel bewildereed, isolated and rejected? How have you processed that pain that you received? Have you lamented?
Lamenting is an integral way in which we take care of our soul. It is the process of pouring out the pain of our soul so that we can see more clearly what is happening and can receive what might be on the other side of the pain. Lamenting is different from complaining. Lamenting seeks to work through the pain in order to heal while complaining is used to wallow in the pain so that others will be in pain with us. Often, a lament opens up our eyes and ears to see and hear God’s will.
In verse 23 it seems that Job’s lament was interrupted by a vision from God filled with faith. “Amid all his suffering and the accusations from his supposed friends, something wonderful happens: Job experiences a vision of faith. I believe God gave Job this vision to sustain him—a glimpse of glorious light at the end of a very dark tunnel of pain. This vision refines and expands upon a previous insight God gave to Job—a promise of help from on high. You’ll recall that in chapter 16, Job said:
Even now my witness is in heaven;  my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend[a]
as my eyes pour out tears to God;  on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as one pleads for a friend (vv 19-21).
Job already know that he has a witness in heaven, an advocate on high, an intercessor and friend who will plead his case before God. As we have seen, God partially revealed to Job a truth that has been revealed to us in full: Jesus Christ is our advocate on High. Now an even greater truth breaks through:
I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God (19:25-26).
This is one of the most triumphant statements of faith in all of Scriptures. It may well be the earliest written intimation of the resurrection to be found in the Word of God. Gradually, out of the anguish and despair of this man’s heart, a realization has dawned: God is working out a great and mighty purpose in human history….In this statement, Job looks ahead by faith to the incarnation of the Lord Jesus. Job calls him “my Redeemer” —that is, his vindicator, the one who will defend him, ransom him, and resurrect him from the dust of death. Praise God, Job’s Redeemer is my Redeemer and yours as well if we place our trust in Him.” (Stedman)

Week Four – Day 20

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer
because I am greatly disturbed.
3 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me,
and my understanding inspires me to reply.
4 “Surely you know how it has been from of
old, ever since mankind[a] was placed on the
5 that the mirth of the wicked is brief,
the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.
6 Though the pride of the godless person
reaches to the heavens and his head touches
the clouds,
7 he will perish forever, like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is
8 Like a dream he flies away, no more to be
banished like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw him will not see him again;
his place will look on him no more.
10 His children must make amends to the
his own hands must give back his wealth.
11 The youthful vigor that fills his bones
will lie with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth
and he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he cannot bear to let it go
and lets it linger in his mouth,
14 yet his food will turn sour in his stomach;
it will become the venom of serpents within
15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed;
God will make his stomach vomit them up.
16 He will suck the poison of serpents;
the fangs of an adder will kill him.
17 He will not enjoy the streams,
the rivers flowing with honey and cream.
18 What he toiled for he must give back
uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his
19 For he has oppressed the poor and left
them destitute;
he has seized houses he did not build.
20 “Surely he will have no respite from his
he cannot save himself by his treasure.
21 Nothing is left for him to devour;
his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the midst of his plenty, distress will
overtake him;
the full force of misery will come upon him.
23 When he has filled his belly,
God will vent his burning anger against him
and rain down his blows on him.
24 Though he flees from an iron weapon,
a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him.
25 He pulls it out of his back,
the gleaming point out of his liver.
Terrors will come over him;
26  total darkness lies in wait for his treasures.
A fire unfanned will consume him
and devour what is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will expose his guilt;
the earth will rise up against him.
28 A flood will carry off his house,
rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
29 Such is the fate God allots the wicked,
the heritage appointed for them by God.”

Notes on Job 20

Zophar has nothing new to say. His theme has already been covered by Bildad and Eliphaz. But, “Zophar seems insulted and annoyed by Job’s stubborn insistence on his own innocence. He confesses that he is disturbed because Job has rebuked him. Zohar sees Job as a sinful man, and he feels that being rebuked by a sinful man is a stain on his honor. So Zophar launches into as angry attack on Job’s integrity.” (Stedman)

First, in verse 6, Zophar attacks Job’s integrity by claiming Job is proud and his head is in the clouds to think of himself as innocent in this situation. Second, in verse 10, he claims that Job’s children will be making amends for his crimes after his death. This must have stung even more so considering Job had to bury each of his children before he died. Third, in verses 12 through 13, Zophar makes a claim that Job has not only committed sins, but that he enjoys evil as much as food!

In verse 27, “Zophar declares that the evil deeds of the wicked will always be exposed.” (Swindoll)  He suggests, in verse 19, “that Job as acquired his wealth by oppressing the poor, and that while Job was enjoying his wealth, disaster and ill health overtook him. Zophar sees Job’s suffering as proof that his evil has been brought to light.” (Swindoll)
“Those who wish to set others straight and gain control over them are often disquieted, agitated, and insulted because they don’t agree. They don’t want to listen; they want to talk. They don’t want to learn; they want to instruct, preferably lecture. And they certainly don’t want to be disagreed with!” (Swindoll)

“Zophar makes three affirmations to prove that the fate of the wicked is indeed terrible:
1. Their life is brief (Job 20:4-11)
2. Their pleasure is temporary (Job 20:12-19)
3. Their death is painful (Job 20:20-29)

All that Zophar says is true, in a real sense. The prosperity of the wicked will be cut off, and their evil deeds will be exposed, judged, and punsihed. But only God can say when that will happen, and it is presumptuous and arrogant to point a finger at a suffering person and say, without evidence, ‘Your suffering is a punishment for sin’” (Weirsbe)

Pause for a few minutes of reflection. Have you used your knowledge or understanding of scripture as judgement on others? Have you used your tongue to give a harsh lecture when you wanted to gain control? Ask the Lord these questions. Take time to repent.

Perhaps what is most disturbing about Zophar’s speech is that as a friend of Job’s he can be so deceived by his own theology. We understand from the text that these men were true friends of Job’s. This would mean that they had witnessed his life and knew what kind of man he was with his family and business. However, when their theology of God’s goodness and righteousness is threatened, the friends lose perspective of the truth. Zophar goes so far as to falsely accuse Job of enjoying evil and robbing from the poor in order to defend Job’s own conscience. Zophar’s security in his theology had become an “ultimate” thing in his life. He was willing to exchange discernment, wisdom, compassion and love for his theology that the righteous are blessed and the unrighteous are punished.

Have you ever found yourself compromising the truth, or someone else’s reputation in order to defend your worldview? Have you exchanged the fruit of the spirit for your “ultimate” things. Journal about how God might be shaping your theology and worldview in order to better understand Him and His people.

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