Job Series Daily Reading Week Three

Book of Job

Week Three – Day 11

Job 11

11:1  Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “Are all these words to go unanswered?
Is this talker to be vindicated?
3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence?
Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless
and I am pure in your sight.’
5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak,
that he would open his lips against you
6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,
for true wisdom has two sides.
Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.
10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison
and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11 Surely he recognizes deceivers;
and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12 But the witless can no more become wise
than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.[a]
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your
face; you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
and escape will elude them;
their hope will become a dying gasp.”

Notes on Job 11

“Job’s third friend is your classic legalist. His tone and his words are saturated with abrasive legalism.”
“You are guilty, Job” (Job 11: 1-4)
“You are ignorant, Job” (Job 11: 5-12)
“You are sinful, Job” (Job 11:13-20)
“Check out the man’s opening comment. It is heartless.
“Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?” (Job 11:2)
How’s that for openers? He heard the word windbag earlier and decides to use it again. He’s saying in effect, “We have listened to you about as long as we plan to listen, Job. How many more things do you think you have to say to convince us you’re full of words? The fact is your life is devoid of righteousness.”” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
Zophar accuses and judges Job so sharply that we can clearly see his prideful and arrogant heart. As he accuses Job of being “devoid of righteousness” he is proving he is full of self-righteousness.
Take a look back at Job 11:3-4
“Lets stop right here in the middle of Zophar’s put-down. Job never said that. It was hard enough for Job to be dealt with rudely and tactlessly, but to be misquoted is a terribly painful thing to take sitting down.” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
Have you ever been misinterpreted, misunderstood and accused? It is one of life’s greatest pains. Our greatest comfort can come from knowing that Jesus was, too. He understands our pain and He is now our advocate and defender.
Job has been vulnerable and open with his heart, Job 6:24. He has even asked them to search him for the truth, Job 6:28. “But these critics are given to generalization and placing blame….When legalists make their statements, they don’t work with facts, all they need is volume and the opportunity to put you down, in hopes that you will be intimidated by their presence.”
As Zophar continues in verses 5-10 he calls down judgement from heaven on Job (as if he thinks Job hasn’t suffered enough already) and in his self-righteousness he claims Job is ignorant of God and it is his responsibility to teach him Theology 101 on the greatness of God.
“How sad it is when people who should share ministry end up creating misery….How tragic that these three friends focused on Job’s words instead of the feelings behind those words. A Chinese proverb says, “Though conversing face to face, their hearts have a thousand miles between them.” – Warren Wiersbe
In a time when Job needs his friends to hear his heart, they are looking for any fault or flaw in his words. There is no heart to heart connection and no healing to be had in their conversation.
In verse 12, Zophar calls Job an idiot, and then claims it is impossible for an idiot to become wise. Sadly, he doesn’t stop there. In verse 14, he accuses Job of hiding a moral failure.
Arrogantly, he assumes he knows something that Job isn’t willing to admit.” He believes Job is keeping his sins a secret, “and Zophar is bound and determined to expose them.” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
“Zophar’s ‘hope’ in vs 18 is an attempt to get Job to bargain with God by confessing his ‘hidden sin’ so he can get out of his troubles. This is exactly what Satan wanted Job to do! Satan accused Job of having a ‘commercial faith’ that promised prosperity in return for obedience. If Job had followed Zophar’s advice, he would have played right into the hands of the enemy.
Job did not have a ‘commercial faith’ that made bargains with God. He had a confident faith that said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (13:15). That doesn’t sound like a man looking for an easy way out of difficulties. ‘Job did not understand the Lord’s reasons,’ said C.H. Surgeon, ‘but he continued to confide in his goodness.’ That is faith!” – Warren Wiersbe“Job’s third friend is your classic legalist. His tone and his words are saturated with abrasive legalism.”
“You are guilty, Job” (Job 11: 1-4)
“You are ignorant, Job” (Job 11: 5-12)
“You are sinful, Job” (Job 11:13-20)
“Check out the man’s opening comment. It is heartless.
“Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?” (Job 11:2)
How’s that for openers? He heard the word windbag earlier and decides to use it again. He’s saying in effect, “We have listened to you about as long as we plan to listen, Job. How many more things do you think you have to say to convince us you’re full of words? The fact is your life is devoid of righteousness.”” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
Zophar accuses and judges Job so sharply that we can clearly see his prideful and arrogant heart. As he accuses Job of being “devoid of righteousness” he is proving he is full of self-righteousness.
Take a look back at Job 11:3-4
“Lets stop right here in the middle of Zophar’s put-down. Job never said that. It was hard enough for Job to be dealt with rudely and tactlessly, but to be misquoted is a terribly painful thing to take sitting down.” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
Have you ever been misinterpreted, misunderstood and accused? It is one of life’s greatest pains. Our greatest comfort can come from knowing that Jesus was, too. He understands our pain and He is now our advocate and defender.
Job has been vulnerable and open with his heart, Job 6:24. He has even asked them to search him for the truth, Job 6:28. “But these critics are given to generalization and placing blame….When legalists make their statements, they don’t work with facts, all they need is volume and the opportunity to put you down, in hopes that you will be intimidated by their presence.”
As Zophar continues in verses 5-10 he calls down judgement from heaven on Job (as if he thinks Job hasn’t suffered enough already) and in his self-righteousness he claims Job is ignorant of God and it is his responsibility to teach him Theology 101 on the greatness of God.
“How sad it is when people who should share ministry end up creating misery….How tragic that these three friends focused on Job’s words instead of the feelings behind those words. A Chinese proverb says, “Though conversing face to face, their hearts have a thousand miles between them.” – Warren Wiersbe
In a time when Job needs his friends to hear his heart, they are looking for any fault or flaw in his words. There is no heart to heart connection and no healing to be had in their conversation.
In verse 12, Zophar calls Job an idiot, and then claims it is impossible for an idiot to become wise. Sadly, he doesn’t stop there. In verse 14, he accuses Job of hiding a moral failure.
Arrogantly, he assumes he knows something that Job isn’t willing to admit.” He believes Job is keeping his sins a secret, “and Zophar is bound and determined to expose them.” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
“Zophar’s ‘hope’ in vs 18 is an attempt to get Job to bargain with God by confessing his ‘hidden sin’ so he can get out of his troubles. This is exactly what Satan wanted Job to do! Satan accused Job of having a ‘commercial faith’ that promised prosperity in return for obedience. If Job had followed Zophar’s advice, he would have played right into the hands of the enemy.
Job did not have a ‘commercial faith’ that made bargains with God. He had a confident faith that said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (13:15). That doesn’t sound like a man looking for an easy way out of difficulties. ‘Job did not understand the Lord’s reasons,’ said C.H. Surgeon, ‘but he continued to confide in his goodness.’ That is faith!” – Warren Wiersbe“Job’s third friend is your classic legalist. His tone and his words are saturated with abrasive legalism.”
“You are guilty, Job” (Job 11: 1-4)
“You are ignorant, Job” (Job 11: 5-12)
“You are sinful, Job” (Job 11:13-20)
“Check out the man’s opening comment. It is heartless.
“Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?” (Job 11:2)
How’s that for openers? He heard the word windbag earlier and decides to use it again. He’s saying in effect, “We have listened to you about as long as we plan to listen, Job. How many more things do you think you have to say to convince us you’re full of words? The fact is your life is devoid of righteousness.”” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
Zophar accuses and judges Job so sharply that we can clearly see his prideful and arrogant heart. As he accuses Job of being “devoid of righteousness” he is proving he is full of self-righteousness.
Take a look back at Job 11:3-4
“Lets stop right here in the middle of Zophar’s put-down. Job never said that. It was hard enough for Job to be dealt with rudely and tactlessly, but to be misquoted is a terribly painful thing to take sitting down.” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
Have you ever been misinterpreted, misunderstood and accused? It is one of life’s greatest pains. Our greatest comfort can come from knowing that Jesus was, too. He understands our pain and He is now our advocate and defender.
Job has been vulnerable and open with his heart, Job 6:24. He has even asked them to search him for the truth, Job 6:28. “But these critics are given to generalization and placing blame….When legalists make their statements, they don’t work with facts, all they need is volume and the opportunity to put you down, in hopes that you will be intimidated by their presence.”
As Zophar continues in verses 5-10 he calls down judgement from heaven on Job (as if he thinks Job hasn’t suffered enough already) and in his self-righteousness he claims Job is ignorant of God and it is his responsibility to teach him Theology 101 on the greatness of God.
“How sad it is when people who should share ministry end up creating misery….How tragic that these three friends focused on Job’s words instead of the feelings behind those words. A Chinese proverb says, “Though conversing face to face, their hearts have a thousand miles between them.” – Warren Wiersbe
In a time when Job needs his friends to hear his heart, they are looking for any fault or flaw in his words. There is no heart to heart connection and no healing to be had in their conversation.
In verse 12, Zophar calls Job an idiot, and then claims it is impossible for an idiot to become wise. Sadly, he doesn’t stop there. In verse 14, he accuses Job of hiding a moral failure.
Arrogantly, he assumes he knows something that Job isn’t willing to admit.” He believes Job is keeping his sins a secret, “and Zophar is bound and determined to expose them.” Charles Swindoll, Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
“Zophar’s ‘hope’ in vs 18 is an attempt to get Job to bargain with God by confessing his ‘hidden sin’ so he can get out of his troubles. This is exactly what Satan wanted Job to do! Satan accused Job of having a ‘commercial faith’ that promised prosperity in return for obedience. If Job had followed Zophar’s advice, he would have played right into the hands of the enemy.
Job did not have a ‘commercial faith’ that made bargains with God. He had a confident faith that said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (13:15). That doesn’t sound like a man looking for an easy way out of difficulties. ‘Job did not understand the Lord’s reasons,’ said C.H. Surgeon, ‘but he continued to confide in his goodness.’ That is faith!” – Warren Wiersbe

Week Three – Day 12

Job 12

12:1 Then Job replied:
2 “Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called on God and he answered—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5 Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure—
those God has in his hand.[a]
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
13 “To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16 To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth[b] around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.

Notes on Job 12

Chapters 12 – 14 are a 3 Part Defense made by Job addressing Zophar’s Accusations.
Part 1: Job Understands the Greatness of God

“The strong rebuke of Zophar is met by an even stronger resistance from Job.” Job begins by concluding Zophar’s rant in verse 11:20. Job turns Zophar on his head and says, “YOU! My three friends, are those wicked people who will fail and your false wisdom will die with you.”

Job calls it what it is in verse 4. He knows his friends see him as a “joke” and “they didn’t have the gall to call him what they thought of him, and he knew it. Would there be a greater insult in life than being seen in the eyes of another as  “a joke?” (when you are going through life’s hardest crises)? Probably not. Especially since Job was really the one who has talked with the Living God. The one who understands who He is and what He is about. Yet he was viewed as a joke in their eyes.

“Job demonstrates his knowledge by addressing God. He asks his arrogant friends to visit the beast of the field and the birds of the air, the fish of the sea….and learn some things from that field trip. Job then ‘gets on a roll,’ we might say, as he begins his list of God’s mighty acts,
Job 12:13-13:1.”

“Zophar claimed that wisdom was not accessible to man (11:7-9), but Job said that God’s creatures could teach them what they needed to know. Even “dumb” creatures know that God’s hand made everything and keeps everything going. [If] God gave men and women the ability to taste and judge food. Would he not give them the even more important ability to evaluate words and assess truth (Job 12:11)?

In verses 12-25, Job describes the wisdom and power of God. Verse 12 likely refers to God, ‘the Ancient One’ and ‘the One who lives long.’ These divine names are a rebuke to Job’s aged friends who thought that their years of experience had taught them so much!
Job pointed out that God is completely sovereign in what He does with nature (vv. 14-15) and with people (vv. 16-25)….He has the wisdom to know what to do, and He has the power to accomplish it (vv. 13,16).

In his sovereignty over people, no matter what their status, God is in control. Job’s argument is that all kinds of people experience difficulties in life because God can do what He pleases. He is no respecter of persons and is not impressed by a person’s rank, wealth, or social status.”
(Warren Wiersbe)

“Job declares, ‘It is all about our God! It is the inscrutable, Almighty God who is in charge of all things. Don’t you think I know that?’ And what a creative way to say it! ‘The God I serve takes delight in undoing human activities and in dismantling human enterprises, and in the process, executing His miraculous undertakings. He alone is in full control.’

Job is making it clear that God alone is the One before whom he bows, and in doing so he implies, “I’m not sure you’ve ever met Him. Don’t bully me. While I cannot answer why I’m suffering like this, I can tell you somehow and in some way the God of heaven, the silent God, the One who seems to be absent from my perspective, is still in control.

And to think they considered Job an air headed idiot!”
(Swindoll)

Week Three – Day 13

Job 13

13:1“My eyes have seen all this,
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty
and to argue my case with God.
4 You, however, smear me with lies;
you are worthless physicians, all of you!
5 If only you would be altogether silent!
For you, that would be wisdom.
6 Hear now my argument;
listen to the pleas of my lips.
7 Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you show him partiality?
Will you argue the case for God?
9 Would it turn out well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you might
deceive a mortal?
10 He would surely call you to account
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would not his splendor terrify you?
Would not the dread of him fall on you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Keep silent and let me speak;
then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy
and take my life in my hands?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my
deliverance,
for no godless person would dare come
before him!
17 Listen carefully to what I say;
let my words ring in your ears.
18 Now that I have prepared my case,
I know I will be vindicated.
19 Can anyone bring charges against me?
If so, I will be silent and die.
20 “Only grant me these two things, God,
and then I will not hide from you:
21 Withdraw your hand far from me,
and stop frightening me with your terrors.
22 Then summon me and I will answer,
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many wrongs and sins have I
committed?
Show me my offense and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you torment a windblown leaf?
Will you chase after dry chaff?
26 For you write down bitter things against me
and make me reap the sins of my youth.
27 You fasten my feet in shackles;
you keep close watch on all my paths
by putting marks on the soles of my feet.
28 “So man wastes away like something
rotten,
like a garment eaten by moths.

Notes on Job 13

Part 2: Job Defends his Integrity
Job’s defense of his integrity is also in 3 parts:
1. Disappointment in his 3 friends
2. Declaration of faith in the Lord
3. Desire for God to come to him and settle the issue once and for all
1. Disappointment (vv 1-12). Job’s friends had not been an encouragement to him. They had
taken a superior attitude as judges, assuming that they knew God better than Job did. They did
not identify with him in his grief and pain. Job called them “forgers of lies,” “physicians of no
value,” and “deceitful defenders of God.”
Forgers of Lies: The word forgers often used in verse 4 also means “whitewashers.” They
smeared the whitewash of their lies over the discussion so that they avoided the difficult
problems while maintaining their traditional ideas (Ps. 119:69). They stayed on the surface of
things and never went deep into God’s truth or Job’s feelings. Counseling that stays on the
surface will accomplish very little. If we are going to help people, we must go much deeper; but
this demands love, courage, and patience.
Have you ever had counsel that stayed on the surface? Shallow platitudes can be just as
hurtful as false accusations. It means the friend is unwilling to enter into your pain or allow
your pain to enter into their comfortable world.
Physicians of No Value: As physicians, their diagnosis was wrong so their remedy was useless.
Defenders of God: They would be better off silent, for they did not know what they were talking
about. They had such a rigid and narrow view of God, and such a prejudiced view of Job, that
their whole “case” was a fabrication of lies.
2. Declaration (vv. 13-17). This is one of the greatest declarations of faith found anywhere in
Scripture, but it must be understood in its context. Job is saying, “I will take my case directly to
God and prove my integrity. I know I am taking my life in my hands in approaching God, because
He is able to slay me. But if He doesn’t slay me, it is proof that I am not the hypocrite you say I
am.” Later, Job will take an oath and challenge God to pass judgement (Job 27). To approach
God personally was a great act of faith (Ex. 33:20, Judges 13:22-23), but Job was so sure of his
integrity that he would take his chances. After all, if he did nothing, he would die; and if he was
rejected by God, he would die; but there was always the possibility that God would prove him
right.
3. Desire (vv. 18-28). These words are addressed to God. Job has “prepared his case” (v. 18) and
is sure that he will win. Job has two desires: that God would remove His chastening hand and
give Job relief, and that God would come to Job in such a way that He would not frighten him.
Job is asking God to meet him in court so they can talk over God’s “case” against Job and Job’s
“case” against God. In verse 22, Job gives God the option of speaking first!
Why does Job want to meet God in court? So that God can once and for all state His
“case” against Job and let Job know the sins in his life that have caused him to suffer so much.
Job felt the time had come to settle the matter, even if it meant losing his own life in the process.
Outline by Warren Wiersbe:
“Job concludes his response by opening his heart before his God. He hides nothing as he
declares his own pain as well as his confusion.” (Charles Swindoll)
In our times of greatest pain the only cure is to go to the Great Physician and pour out our
hearts.

Week Three – Day 14

Job 14

14:1 “Mortals, born of woman,
are of few days and full of trouble.
2 They spring up like flowers and wither away;
like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
3 Do you fix your eye on them?
Will you bring them[a] before you for judgment?
4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure?
No one!
5 A person’s days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed.
6 So look away from him and let him alone,
till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.
7 “At least there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As the water of a lake dries up
or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12 so he lies down and does not rise;
till the heavens are no more, people will not awake
or be roused from their sleep.
13 “If only you would hide me in the grave
and conceal me till your anger has passed!
If only you would set me a time
and then remember me!
14 If someone dies, will they live again?
All the days of my hard service
I will wait for my renewal[b] to come.
15 You will call and I will answer you;
you will long for the creature your hands have made.
16 Surely then you will count my steps
but not keep track of my sin.
17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag;
you will cover over my sin.
18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles
and as a rock is moved from its place,
19 as water wears away stones
and torrents wash away the soil,
so you destroy a person’s hope.
20 You overpower them once for all, and they are gone;
you change their countenance and send them away.
21 If their children are honored, they do not know it;
if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.
22 They feel but the pain of their own bodies
and mourn only for themselves.”

Notes on Job 14

Part 3: The Hopelessness of Job

The end of Job’s defense is “raw, unguarded vulnerability. Humanity on display. Job doesn’t see himself ever getting better, so he now leaps to the life beyond.” In verse 7, Job reflects that there is more hope for a tree after death than for a man. “Again, Job’s depression shines through. He states what he believes, based on what he knows.” (Charles Swindoll)

The book of Job’s life is an ancient book. At the time of Job’s life there was very little revelation from God about heaven or resurrection, but there were many questions. We are blessed to live in a time where the full revelation of resurrection through Jesus Christ has been revealed in Scripture. We have that certain hope to hold on to, that there is more to life than just this earthly life. But in order to enter Job’s pain and hear his hopeless heart we must understand he does not have that hope in Christ. Though he has no revelation of resurrection, he knows his God and so still he has hope.

You will call and I will answer you;
you will long for the creature your
hands have made.
Surely then you will count my steps
but not keep track of my sin. (vs 15-16)

“Suddenly we’re at the end of Job’s response. We now know that when we die, we live on. Jesus himself taught, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25-26)

“In fact, we all have life everlasting, but our destinies are different. Some will spend eternity with God in Heaven, some will spend eternity without God in hell. Those represent the two alternatives. Sobering. Yes, Job, when we die we live again. In fact, we live on. But up to this point Job has only questions.” (Charles Swindoll)

As we close this 1 cycle of conversations with Job’s friends we are left with some questions to ask ourselves.

1. Am I seeking to know the depths of God, or am I just skimming the surface?
“Our current culture is so busy we can become proficient at faking it. We can look like we’re going to the depths when in fact we’re just skating. We seem more interested in managing life     into a comfortable existence than in letting God Spiritually transform us through life’s hardships. Don’t seek a friend who’ll help you get out from under it quickly. Stay there. Stay in it. The Lord God will get you through it.” (Charles Swindoll)

2. When life looks hopeless, where is my hope set?
Job did not have truth of scripture yet revealed to hold on to. But still he held on to Hope in the Almighty God that he knew personally. How well do you know God? Can you hold on to him even when life feels hopeless?

3. What kind of friend AM I? Can I discern the ‘wisdom’ of my friends?
Job’s friends used manipulation, accusation, false wisdom, judgement and many     other         deceptive tactics to try to lead Job. In order to discern their words as false and empty Job     clung to truth in his identity and in God’s identity. When faced with the trials of your friends or trials of your own, can you hold fast to your identity and the identity of God?

Week Three – Day 15

Job 15

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Would a wise person answer with empty notions
or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3 Would they argue with useless words,
with speeches that have no value?
4 But you even undermine piety
and hinder devotion to God.
5 Your sin prompts your mouth;
you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
your own lips testify against you.
7 “Are you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s council?
Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
9 What do you know that we do not know?
What insights do you have that we do not have?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
men even older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
words spoken gently to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage against God
and pour out such words from your mouth?
14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure,
or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,
if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,
who drink up evil like water!
17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;
let me tell you what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared,
hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19 (to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;
he is marked for the sword.
23 He wanders about for food like a vulture;
he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror;
troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist at God
and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him
with a thick, strong shield.
27 “Though his face is covered with fat
and his waist bulges with flesh,
28 he will inhabit ruined towns
and houses where no one lives,
houses crumbling to rubble.
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness;
a flame will wither his shoots,
and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,
for he will get nothing in return.
32 Before his time he will wither,
and his branches will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,
like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless will be barren,
and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
their womb fashions deceit.”

 Notes on Job 15

Cycle 2. Eliphaz Speaks

“During this second round of speeches, the fire becomes hotter as the three friends focus more on proving Job wrong than on giving Job help. After all, their own peace of mind was at stake, and they were not about to surrender. If Job was not a sinner being punished by God, then all three friends’ understanding of God was all wrong. But that meant they had no protection against personal suffering themselves! If obedience is not a guarantee of health and wealth, then what happened to Job might happen to them.” (Warren Wiersbe) The friends were willing to sacrifice Job in order to hold on to their belief that bad things must happen to people who deserve them.

“In his first speech (Job 4-5), Eliphaz had displayed some kindness towards Job, but you find neither patience nor kindness in this second address. Nor do you find any new ideas: Eliphaz merely repeats his former thesis that man is a sinner and God must punish sinners (5:17-19)” (Warren Wiersbe) As if the first Cycle was not hard enough on Job, Eliphaz begins by making sure the second cycle is worse, much worse. There is not even a hint of grace. Eliphaz comes out swinging with verbal punches intended to guilt and condemn Job into believing that he is getting from God what he deserves.

Eliphaz uses the following tactics:

Insult (vs. 3) Again Job is insulted as being unwise and speaking useless words. All that Job has just poured out of his heart is crushed by this insult that his speech as no value.
Guilt (vs. 4-5) Eliphaz uses guilt directed at Job’s values (true piety and devotion). We are most susceptible to guilt when it is directed at the values we most want to honor and uphold.
Condemnation (vs. 6) Eliphaz tries to shift blame that it is not he who condemns Job; it is Job himself who condemns.
4. Exaggeration & Sarcasm (vs 7-16) He uses humiliating questions to undermine Job’s testimony and interrogate Job’s wisdom.
5. Accusations (vs 21-22) “Having rebuked him, he follows up with reminders of the fate of the wicked as he ends his speech. He says in effect, ‘Job, because you’re wicked, you writhe in pain. Plain and simple, that’s why you’re in pain. You’re only getting what you deserve.’”

Have these tactics been used against you? How did you respond to them? Did the tactics work or did you fight back? Why or why not?

In verse 25, Eliphaz makes a conclusion that all this is happening to Job because of his arrogance. Eliphaz is convinced Job is arrogant and so he is getting from God what he deserves.

Eliphaz and Job’s other friends have bought into Satan’s theology: We serve God for what we get out of it. This is the ultimate lie that Satan wants us to believe: if we do good we get good, if we do bad we get bad. “If people serve God only for what they get out of it, then they are not serving God at all; they are only serving themselves by making God their servant. Their “religion” is only a pious system for promoting selfishness and not glorifying God.” (Weirsbe)

The trouble for Job’s friends is that if their belief is dismantled and Job is found to be a righteous man then they are also at the mercy of God’s almighty hand no matter how “good” or “bad” they are. Job’s friends are not willing to risk that outcome. Job must be found guilty and they must be found righteous.