Week #72; Wed, May 15: Job 29:1–39:30
1. Job is convinced his “works” justify his righteous position; he resumes his defense by asserting the “good” he remembers doing in “the months of old” and the honor that was bestowed on him by observers.
2. Elihu, a younger observer, follows Job’s three friends with more focused comments on Job’s friends as well as on Job, still Job holds on to his righteous position–that he does not deserve his condition because of his goodness and kindness for which he is very proud.
3. Elihu’s pronouncements, statements, and assertions appear to lack the elements of grace and mercy.
Job 29, Job’s Summary Defense
1. Job laments the “good old days” as he resumes his righteous defense.
2. He recalls how young, old, nobels, and princes honored him at the gate of the city when he was in his prime.
3. Job “posts” his own books tallying his deliveries to the poor, fatherless, perishing, widows, blind, lame, and needy.
4. Job reflects pride in the “balance sheet” he has drawn up for himself.
Job 30, Job Continues His Summary Defense
1. But, in his current state of infirmities, these same men laugh at him.
2. These same admirers now keep aloof and spit at his sight.
3. As they promote his calamity; they need no help from others.
4. Job’s honor and prosperity has passed away like a cloud before the wind.
5. Job’s days of affliction have taken hold of him; his soul is poured out within him.
Job 31, Job’s Final Appeal
1. Job asks, “Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for workers of iniquity?”
2. Job made a self-determination that his deeds are on the positive side of his ledger page, so he seeks a just balance to let God know his integrity.
3. So confident is Job that he places his own wife at risk for harm by others if his own personal assessment has overlooked any falsehood in his past.
4. Job’s confidence extends to each and every action in his past holding on to dealing justly to the poor, widows, fatherless, or needy without fear of further harm to himself.
5. Job includes justly using his gold in his past transactions as punishable by the judges if he had been false to God above.
Job 32, Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends
1. Job was righteous in his own eyes, so the three men ceased to answer him.
2. Then Elihu burned with anger toward Job because he justified himself rather than God; he burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.
3. Being younger than Job’s three friends, Elihu waited until they finished speaking to Job before he spoke.
4. Elihu declared that it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
Job 33, Elihu Rebukes Job
1. Elihu tells Job, “God is greater than man; he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed(s) and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.”
2. “Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life.”
Job 34, Elihu Asserts God’s Justice
1. Elihu pronounces to Job and his three friends, “Far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.”
2. Elihu states that God’s justice consists of this, “according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him.”
3. Elihu asserts that God’s “eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps . . . He shatters the mighty without investigation, and . . . He strikes them for their wickedness in a place for all to see, because they turned aside from following him and had no regard for any of his ways . . . ”
Job 35, Elihu Condemns Job
1. So, Elihu now applies his thinking to Job.
2. Many “ifs” are used by Elihu to define Job’s position and the action or lack of action by God; a sign of a need for additional wisdom by Elihu too.
3. Elihu concludes that Job “opens his mouth in empty talk; he multiplies words without knowledge.”
Job 36, Elihu Extols God’s Greatness
1. Elihu pridefully concludes that, “truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.”
2. Elihu says, “God is mighty, and does not despise any; he is mighty on strength of understanding.”
3. Elihu cautions against arrogance; “You are full of the judgment on the wicked . . . and . . . judgment and justice seize you.”
4. Elihu adds, “Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him? Who has prescribed for him his way, or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?
Job 37, Elihu Proclaims God’s Majesty
1. Elihu tells more, “Keep listening to the thunder of his voice and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.”
2. Elihu tells Job to, “stop and consider the wondrous works of God (i.e., lightning, wind, cold, heat, ice, waters, clouds, skies, light, etc.)”
3. Elihu adds, “God is clothed with awesome majesty. The almighty–we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
Job 38, The Lord Answers Job
1. Then, unexpectedly, God answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? . . . I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? . . . Who determined it’s measurements? . . . Or the line on it? . . . Who laid its cornerstone?”
2. Upon adding many other unanswerable questions to Job, God told him, “Declare, if you know all this.”
Job 39, The Lord Answers Job (cont.)
1. God follows with many more unanswerable questions for Job.
2. It appears that God is stripping Job of all his pride to get him to a level where he understands where he should stand (or lay prostrate in humility) before God.