As Kevin Miller writes in his blog article about Job “Job is a book of tragedy, foolish counsel, mourning, but also great strength.” For us it can be counted as such a real romantic film: Job begins and ends happy and cheery, but in-between we get drama of high calibre. By the end of the very first chapter, all of Job’s kids were dead, his animals had been killed and/or stolen, almost of of his servants were dead, and he had completely crushed. Than his health was taken away and by the end of Job 2, we found this (once) wealthy, healthy, man of integrity sitting on a pile of ashes scraping his gaping wounds with broken pieces of pottery. As so often happens by humans is that his friends also started to accuse him of all sorts of bad things. People love it to find the evil by an other, but do not want to see “the beam” in their own eyes. “In Job 8:4, Job’s good old buddy, Bildad, even has the audacity to accuse Job of hidden sin! As if Job were to blame for his suffering! That’s a sad misconception that is sometimes even taught from pulpits today: hidden sin is causing your suffering. ” writes Miller rightly. We have to be careful not to fall in that trap or pitfall.
We also may not accept the latest theologies: Poverty theology and prosperity theology. The first considering those who are poor to be more righteous than those who are rich. It considers a matter of greed to become more wealthy than others and it honours those who choose to live in poverty as particularly devoted to God. Conversely, prosperity theology considers those who are rich to be more righteous than those who are poor; it honours those who are affluent as being rewarded by God because of their faith. In fact, both poverty and prosperity theology can be half-truths but are not depicting the full picture of Gods handling people.
Instead of clinging our hears to false teachers we do better to take Gods Words to our heart. As Arlin Sorensen says: “God has spoken to us clearly through His Word – the Bible is His first communication to us. But more than that – God continues to speak to us as well. The Holy Spirit lives in us to communicate God’s Truth to our hearts. God may speak to us through a dream or a vision. There is no shortage of God speaking to us and giving us direction for life. ” (About Job 33) Even without any book we could and should hear the words from God, because God is talking to us continually through creation, His Word, and the Spirit that lives in us. In the Book of Job as in many other Books of the Bible God lifts up a veil and is shown up as the Most Almighty, Omnipotent, Most Wise and Creator of all things and of all beings. The problem is that most of us do not want to read the Bible and as such hear the Words of God. They prefer to listen to the most popular speakers. But they are not always the wise speakers. On the other hand we also often fail as listeners because we have certain ideas to which we want to keep fast. Most listeners are already preparing their response before the ones to whom they listen ever finish what they have to say. We saw a glimpse of how we want to win the argument, like Elihu who thought he had all the answers. A lot of persons also think the Bible is just an old book and they forget that this Book of Books, the Best-seller of all times can change their life.
Because we want things our way, we prefer the answers who go in our direction of thinking and we dare to feel unjustified when something does happen not like we want it. Often it is our pride which hinders us to think straight and worse, makes it impossible to hear the answers from God. I do hope that in Arlin Sorensen’s Thoughts on Scripture the writer means not with ” It does keep us from hearing God’s response – because there isn’t one. ” that there is no answer for us, because even if we have haughtiness or arrogance God has everybody given the chance to put his or her pride aside and to take up His Word of Wisdom in their hands to learn from it. He is right to say that God opposes the proud. Scripture tells us that over and over. But that God doesn’t hear well – if at all – when pride is our defining character we cannot find right, because God listens to everything what happens and to what people say. He knows and sees everything. Nothing can escape His eye or ear. He doesn’t despise any. Jehovah is not going to look down upon with contempt just because a person can have some bad characteristics as pride. Yes He detest excessive self-esteem but He does see through our eyes and heart and knows were our attitude comes from. If we are honestly willing to hear God He shall come close to us. God shows no partiality to mankind (Job 34:19) and He has always His answer ready for everybody, who wants to hear it. Though it may not always come at the time we would think appropriate. It is up to God to decide to whom He gives answer when. God is always in control of everything. God is powerful and mighty because His righteous judgement and wisdom. Elihu showed us in chapter 36 how God gives some answers to the world, though they may not be like they would like to hear them. (Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37) Nothing can be “thwarted” from God (NIV) no purpose of Him can be restrained. (Job 42:2) Nothing is to difficult for God (Genesis 18:14; Isaiah 43:13; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26) When we are in agony, like Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, we can pray to Him and ask Him for things which seem impossible, because He can do everything (Mark 14:36) which shall always be more than any human being (Luke 18:27). God wants to be heard (Job 33:16) and use also people to let His voice been heard (2 Kings 17:13). By showing the people the results of their doings, the crimes caused by their pride, God gives answers to them (Job 36:9). To hear God we sometimes have to be willing to stand still and to be prepared to listen (Job 37:14). To stop or “stand still”: “Stand still and see the salvation of God” (Exodus 14:13; 2 Chronicles 20:17). “Stand still and hear God’s commandments” (Numbers 9:8). “Stand still that I may show you the word of God” (1 Samuel 9:27). “Stand still that I may reason with you” (1 Samuel 12:7).
“Behold, God is mighty, and despises not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserves not the life of the wicked: but gives right to the poor. He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yes, he does establish them forever, and they are exalted. And if they are bound in fetters, and are held in cords of affliction; Then he shows them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He opens also their ear to discipline, and commands that they return from iniquity.” You can read here how God answers them and which advice He give those people who got a higher position but could not keep it right. ” If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge. But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he binds them. They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.” (Job 36:5-14 KJBPNV)
“He delivers the poor in his affliction, and opens their ears in oppression. Even so would he have removed you out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no narrow place; and that which should be set on your table should be full of fatness.” (Job 36:15-16 KJBPNV)
“Behold, God exalts by his power: who teaches like him?” (Job 36:22 KJBPNV)
“He seals up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.” (Job 37:7 KJBPNV)
“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. Men do therefore fear him: he respects not any that are wise of heart.” (Job 37:23-24 KJBPNV)
“Gird up your loins now like a man: I will demand of you, and declare you unto me.” (Job 40:7 KJBPNV)
“Then will I also confess to you that your own right hand can save you.” (Job 40:14 KJBPNV)
“I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from you. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” (Job 42:2-3 KJBPNV)
Also people who do not believe in God shall at certain times, decided by God, be able to hear God saying things to them. Because God’s desire is that we move away from sin and move to righteousness. He opens our ears to know His commands Job 36:10).
In Job 37:19 Elihu seems to have taunted Job asking him to teach them (Elihu and the three friends) how they should understand how to speak with God. Our brother Robert Prins wrote: “Elihu began by looking up. Maybe we should do the same as we gaze at the vastness of the heavens, the ethereal blue of the sky, the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset – new pictures painted by God for us to marvel at every day. We can see the expanse of his power as we look up into space and see the millions of stars he has created in glorious beauty, shining in the blackness on the night sky. And when we see clouds we can be impressed by the sheer volume and weight of water that God suspends above the earth. Who has not failed to be impressed by the thunder and lightening of a storm – thunder that can be heard all over the land, and lightening that lights up the whole earth with one almighty flash. And what about the rain, the snow or the hot sun and the way that God can disrupt the whole of man’s affairs by floods, snowstorm, earthquake or heatwave…
May our hearts also pound and leap from their places as we stop to consider God’s wonders.”
We have to reflect on what happens in the world and how God works on it. we have to try to understand God’s involvement in the way that things work in the natural world. Looking around us we can “see” and “hear” a lot of answers to our questions. Other people can sensitise others, like us, to get to know more about the Creator deity. They also can let us see that trials we often go through are not only for us, but for those around us as well and for people far away, who often have nothing to do with what caused their problem either.
As God broke His silence to Job (Job 38:1-) (Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42) He employed a series of more than 70 questions to show Job and humankind, his ignorance and God’s greatness. As long as everything goes all right nobody seems to worry about God, but as soon as something terrible happens ‘everybody’ wants to blame God for it. Suddenly everybody has than criticism on the Creator. Speaking with great irony and personifying His other creations God want putting men right in front of it, and having them to face the facts. did not God confront Job with mysteries of the animal kingdom in order to make him more aware of his ignorance and thus of his inability to be a competent judge of the works of God?
We get to see the other point about what the Book of Job is about. When people criticizes the way things happen in the world and blame God for it, they are trying to usurp God’s position as Master or Governor of this world (Job 40:6-14).
Normally God has not to justify Himself before us, but God addressed the issue of His own justice and Job his futile attempt at self-justification (Job 40:8-14). God questions man if he would condemn the Creator or discredit His justice to justify man himself (Job 40:8 )
In this world many want to have modern gods, people to whom they can look up. Some of those men and women would not mind taking on the appearance of deity. God challenges those people (Job 40:10) King David knew his place and wanted to honour God, but hoped that the adversaries and accusers would be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak (Psalm 109:29).
As we came to chapter 42 of the Book of Job the contest with the satan, i.e. the accuser is now over and Job became restored. Job repented for the presumptuous words he spoke to the Most High, his Creator(Job 42:6). We got to see that Jehovah does not want people to suffer for no reason. God could not be impressed with the words of Jobs friends. He found it time that the friends of Job were put on their place and that Job could enjoy again happiness. This last one put away his pride and rebellion and finds contentment in the knowledge that he has God’s fellowship. We also should already be pleased that God wants to be with us, though we do not understand all His ways with us and with the world around us.
Knowing that God is in control of everything but that He has given men the right to clear all things themselves, it is up to take our own responsibility. After the fall Adam and Eve and all their next generations could prove they could manage the creation. So lets tackle it according to our best means, knowing that we all received everything around us in loan from the Creator Jehovah our God, the Most High and omnipotent.
As a Christian, we should lovingly and sincerely have concern for many people and their many circumstances. We should see what happens in the world and should look for the underlying causes. First of all should we always remember that God has given men a free will. The Creator has given men the possibility to choose and to have many choices. So we should be aware which way several people wanted to go, what they did and what consequences they and not God, brought to other human beings and to the rest of the creation of God. As children of God our hearts should ache for the pain and trouble that other creatures experience in life. This concern should compel us to react wisely and to come unto their help. To people we should speak truth into their life, which can include everything from pointing out sin to giving wise counsel, and intercede for them before God in prayer. We also have to stay aware of our limitations. We never can “play for God”. As finite beings, there is only so much we can do and we must discern whom God has called us to help and how God has called us to help them. We have to make choices how and how much we can help and have to put priorities first. Whatever happens we should carry first whatever load God has allowed to come over us, but not blaming Him for it. Than we should see how God still stays with us and helps us to carry that load or burden. As brothers and sisters in Christ we can help each other to make the burden lighter. Out of love we should try to do everything to make the problems less.
“Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of the Messiah. For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” (Galatians 6:2-5 KJBPNV)
Let us be humble enough to accept that the Creator of all things has a good Plan which He is going to bring to a good end in due time. Although we cannot fully understand or appreciate Him, we can love, trust, respect Him and acknowledge that God alone can save us. Jehovah is our strength and He is the only underived and self-sustaining existence in the universe. All other forms of life are but incorporations of the life which is in Him — so many subdivisions of the stream which issues from the great fountainhead. God, as the antecedent, eternal power of the universe, has elaborated all things out of Himself. The testimony before us is, that the God of gods did not hide from the wilderness Israelites, for in the startling familiarity they had every proof that He was with them in the shining face of Moses and the tables of stone. There were rules in abundance on how to worship, but even that did not make obedient children. God’s life instruction and every provision of over reaching care, made little difference to the Israelites. Having the opportunity to read all the stories what happened to the people of God we should know better and take care not “to follow the world”. We should choose to follow the man God had sent to the earth to save the world. And we should follow the teachings of that son of God, called Yeshua or Jesus, the Nazarene, also called the Messiah.
In case we are not so happy with our life, let us look how we can make it better and easier to bear. Our disappointment is in itself a sign that we hunger for something better, and whatever our suffering situation and disappointment with the outcome, that we will regain a better outlook. All sufferers can have Hope. God especially cares and provides for all men — He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16,17). The disappointment, with God’s answer, can be overwhelming, but God’s disappointment with us and God’s rejection of us are worse. We may never know the purpose of our suffering, but we need to rest assured that God has one. None of His should ever risk rejection.
If God leaves room for doubts and doubters, and we know He does, He also leaves room for the faithless, and in our disappointment, even for us. So God wants to give everybody His answer and His Help. The God who is positive has not only measures and rules for us but also promises.That we always have our ears and eyes open to see God ways and hear His answers and follow His instructions. That we have our eyes fixed on Gods Hope and that we hope in Him and in His son.
“The final chapters of this remarkable book, one of the first on record, brings the drama to a wonderful conclusion. The questions with which it opened by the quest of the Satan, are now answered, and Job finds his experiences have developed his character and understanding. As a wonderful type of the Lord Jesus, Job is vindicated by Yahweh, and becomes a mediator for his friends. He is again commended as Yahweh’s ‘righteous servant’ and is restored and honoured sevenfold. The last speech of the Deity is in Job 41, in which is revealed the power of the flesh in the great leviathan, and the way in which the Almighty Creator permits His creation to display greater spiritual principles. So the record continues as the mighty leviathan is presented as the final picture of Yahweh’s omnipotence.  Its untamable ferocity: Job 41: 1-9.  Its terrifying appearance: Job 41: 10-24.  Its power in attack: Job 41: 25-32.  Its incontestable supremacy: Job 41: 33,34″ (GEM).
Job 42: “The picture moves to the exaltation of Job:  Job humbles himself before Yahweh: Job 42 1-6.  Divine rebuke of Job’s accusers: Job 42 7-9.  Job restored and honoured: Job 42 10-17. The type is before us in the record of Job; the antitype will shortly be revealed in the return of Yahshua the Anointed, and the elevation of his true family. Then great blessing will come to the whole world, in fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant” (GEM).
“Trouble (so far from being evidence of desertion) is a means employed in His hands to lay the foundation of future joy and blessedness. Let His children then be comforted and strengthened to endure even the deepest and most inexplicable affliction. Let them learn to see God in the darkness and to feel His hand in the tempest. Let them beware of the folly of Job’s three friends rebuked of God. Let them know that this time of our pilgrimage is the night, and that though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning and that joy a joy prepared by the weeping. Let them apply the consolation Christ has given them: ‘Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall be comforted’ [Matthew 5:4]” (WP 83).
Epilogue of the Book of Job
The Deliverance of Job
Job 42 (New Century Version)
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 said what is right about me, as my servant Job did. 8 Now take seven bulls and seven male sheep, and go to my servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will listen to his prayer. Then I will not punish you for being foolish. You have not said what is right about me, as my servant Job did.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord said, and the Lord listened to Job’s prayer. 10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord gave him success again. The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had owned before. 11 Job’s brothers and sisters came to his house, along with everyone who had known him before, and they all ate with him there. They comforted him and made him feel better about the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave Job a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 The Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life even more than the first part. Job had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand teams of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys. 13 Job also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first daughter Jemimah, the second daughter Keziah, and the third daughter Keren-Happuch. 15 There were no other women in all the land as beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father Job gave them land to own along with their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived one hundred forty years. He lived to see his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. 17 Then Job died; he was old and had lived many years.
The LXX adds, as footnote: “And it is written that he shall rise up again, with those whom the LORD shall raise up.”
Please do find more about Suffering on our main website:
Related please do read:
- About suffering
- Disappointed with God
- Gods design in the creation of the world
- Gods instruction about joy and suffering
- Gods promises
- Gods measure not our measure
- Gods non answer
- Gods promises to us in our suffering
- Gods hope and our hope
- Gods salvation
- Hope for the future
- Importuning for suffering hearts
- Looking for blessed hope
- Miracles in our time of suffering
- Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
- Promise of comforter
- Seems no future in suffering
- Suffering – through the apparent silence of God
- Suffering continues
- Suffering leading to joy
- Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
- Words from God about suffering
- Working of the hope
- Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- According to some Job (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com) receives from God a response more than a little unsatisfying. According to those writers God does not tell Job why he has suffered. God puts Job in his place by showing him how little Job actually knows and when you read the story good you can find a lot of answers in the discussions that went on.
- Surviving and Learning from the Book of Job (richardburkey.wordpress.com) let us rightly know that God’s plans are bigger than our plans. God’s view of the world is bigger then our view. The book of Job challenges our reading as God “corrects” the 3 friends and their theology. In many ways, they sum up what most believe about God. They state what the obvious should be, how most situations work, or in most case “rules of thumb” when it comes to understanding how the world works. One problem, they are proven wrong. Put God in a box, and the lid shuts tight usually either snapping at a finger or leaving you on the outside.
Job throughout the book has pleaded for a hearing before God. Job wants to know why (don’t we all?). Yet God simply, powerfully, eloquently declares who He is. He is God, beyond Job in his day, and beyond us in our day.
- Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
We can imagine that people get scared when they hear certain preachers talking as the three friends of Job. As the wife of a Southern Baptist pastor writes in her blog that one pastor saying that all the troubles which befell Job were his fault because he spoke forth fear into his life. That alleviated some of her fears somewhat. Though we would recommend starting to read the full Book of Job it is true that you don’t hear much in church or otherwise about the book of Job other than a passing comment or reference here or there. Studying Job brings forward that there is much more than that character of a righteous man blamed to be unrighteous and being rightly penalised by God.
Last chapter we saw that Job succumbed to the same self pity we all succumb to at times.
When things are going good in their lives, rarely do people give God the credit for it, but as soon as trouble comes along, the first one to get the blame is God. Even worse, there are ministers out there telling people its O.K. to get angry with God. (Stop Blaming God) There are also a lot of preachers trying to convince people that it is God who brings punishment to the wicked today. Many have to come out that came out of that false system of thinking. Job’s friends did not see that it was the accuser and adversary of God (satan) was trying to drive a wedge between God and His beloved. If Job proved to be righteous only because “it pays” then Satan (any adversary) wins his bet with God. As the friends certain pastors say rightly God is almighty and just. They also preach that because no human is entirely innocent in God’s eyes and therefore have to suffer as suffering, according to them, must be a retribution for some sin. It has come so bad that today we even find pastors who say certain violent action and bringing pain to others is justified because the others deserve it. (Antichrist and The Most Hated Family in America in crisis) These doom preachers are right when they say that the Holy God shows us, that He completely is in state to bring the destruction over this whole world because of the sin. The Bible tells us of this tremendous fact in Genesis 6:12-13 when God, looking on the earth, saw that it was evil: for the way of all flesh had become evil on the earth. And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come; the earth is full of their violent doings, and now I will put an end to them with the earth. “And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Genesis 6:12-13 ASV) God brought the deluge over the earth, but that was the first and last turn that God would do that. Lots of doom thinkers make people frightened. Often they try to get the people of their congregation in their ban with cursings to the outer world and with “If you had more faith”. We should recognise the false teachers at the words and actions they take. Teachers or preachers their sayings we always do have to compare them with the Words of God which we can find in the Book of Books, the Bible. Compare where the Holy Scriptures disagrees. In a time when so many people are striving for an explanation of why their lives turn out a certain way, or why things (good or bad) happen to them, the expressions “it’s all part of God’s plan,” “everything happens for the best,” or “it just wasn’t meant to be,” and so on, have became a little tiresome. In “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” perhaps Rabbi Harold S. Kushner can offer you a refreshing point of view that differs from those who think everything occurs on earth because God wants it that way, and at the same time provides a surprising comfort in the fact that events actually can, and do, take place for no reason at all. Rabbi Kushner tries to reconcile a common Judeo-Christian view of God and causality with a perspective of life that holds a place for randomness and happenstance. He tries to proof that things happen in life that God has nothing to do with, and there is a way to find peace in accepting this. Also for him as for us not everything that takes place in the world has a purpose or comes from God. God, in Kushner’s view, created the world and provides the foundation of moral principle. But according some thoughts God would not quite be in control of the world He created. He hopes for our good and He sympathizes, as it were, with us in our pain, but He is powerless to do anything about it according this Jewish writer. But the One who created is in control but allows people a lot of freedom. Aish.com, a division of Aish HaTorah, an apolitical network of Jewish educational centres in 35 branches on five continents remarks: “As to why a God Who had the power to create the entire universe in the first place would create one that He is powerless to control, Kushner basically shrugs his shoulders and contents himself with noting that the world is relatively good for most people most of the time. We might designate this theory as “randomness plus God.”" (Why Harold Kushner is wrong) Fro them Harold Kushner’s approach to suffering is profoundly un-Jewish and provides no solace to those in pain. Unable to understand why a good God would allow individuals to suffer, Kushner ends by neatly defining the question away. He cannot even conceive of the possibility of any understanding, and so concludes that we have no answers because there are no answers. But God has provided those who want to listen and who want to find insight and wisdom, the possibilities to find the answers in the Holy Scriptures. “By arguing that much of what happens is beyond God’s control, Kushner effectively severs the connection between God and the world and thereby empties physical existence of all meaning.” dixit Aish.
When bad things happen to good people who do you blame? What, if anything, keeps you from accepting painful situations or losses in your life?
A lot of people do not see that the Book of Job also gives a picture of who God is and of what He wants from us. They also quote a lot from the friends their words but forget how in Job and Elihu’s replies we get a rectification and the solution to the whole problem in the answer of the Elohim, Jehovah God.
In chapters 29-31 of the Book of Job (Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31) Job also present us a picture of some of the commandments to which we better keep to live in conformity with the Will of God or Gods Law. Those Commandments of God or Mitzvah (Hebrew: מצוה “commandment”, [mitsˈva], Biblical: Miṣwah; plural mitzvot [mitsˈvot]; Biblical: Miṣwoth from צוה ṣiwwah “command”) were brought to humankind through the ages that God ministered His People. In Judaism they refer to the 613 Mitzvot (Hebrew: תרי”ג מצוות: Taryag Mitzvot, “613 commandments”; Biblical Hebrew: Miṣwoth) or 613 commandments given in the Torah. Job brought some statements and principles of law, ethics, and spiritual practice contained in the Torah or Five Books of Moses forwards to proof that he tried honestly to fullfill Gods wishes.
When the friendship of God was with Job, he argued, (Job 29:4) that the Almighty was yet with him. He had the idea that God had deserted him, like Jesus also asked God why He had abandoned him. Strangely Job does not see that God was all the time with him. No matter what happens, when we stay with God, He shall always stay around us. Though we do not hear Him, He shall keep an eye onto us. God is often seemingly hidden, but His silence, His deafness, His blindness is all part of His plan to strengthen our relationship with Him. It can be hard when God does not reveal Himself in visible proofs. But it makes stronger faith. We have to be careful that we do not project our human limitation upon God so that we could better understand our problems. We have limits, but the Only One God has no limits as a spirit. “The God is Pneuma, and those worshipping Him must of necessity worship spiritually and in harmony with Truth.”” (John 4:24 MHM)
Sometimes we are too busy to attend to all the details in our life, but Jehovah God never loses track of the details.
Also the friendship in the community is being questioned. You can compare the situation of Job and his friends as to what you expect of your “brethren”. How do we react when something goes wrong with somebody of the ecclesia? And when one of the brothers or sisters is taken in any wrongdoing, how do you want to put such a one right in a spirit of love; keeping watch on yourself, for fear that you yourself may be tested. Are you also willing to take on yourselves one another’s troubles, and so keep the law of Christ. “Brothers, if anyone is overcome by some mistake those who are spiritual should gently and meekly readjust such a person. However, watch yourselves so you are never tempted. Continue to carry the heavy burdens of one another and in this manner fulfil Christ’s Law.” (Galatians 6:1-2 MHM)
Job had moments of doubt and we also can feel that we are standing alone in the turbulent storm. All the thorns from the problems can hurt us deep and cause anger against the others and worse, against God for His seeming abandonment in His hiddenness. But from the next chapters and other Books from the Old and New Testament we shall see that God does not turn a deaf ear and a blind eye. God does see and hear in the camps of the evil ones, and not only that, but He assures us that He is there in the middle of the evil. He does not forsake those sons and daughters of His as it seems, for He sets the joy before them, and will send an accompanying angel to bear them up in the extreme. He wants us to “Look up”, but if we are so deep in the pit in the evil camp with our eyes permanently cast down, alas we find, miraculously, and mercifully that He is there with us. He is not hidden, and He whispers, “Look up, look up for I am here with you”. When Job refused to give up on God, despite the pleadings of all his accusers, he won the contest with them, and was privileged to see what he would have missed had he succumbed to their suggestions. How do you look up to God. Can you keep trusting God and have a positive perspective? What might you think in a similar situation? Where do you place God in your life and where was God for you when it hurt the most?
Job demanded an audience with God in which he was sure he would be vindicated. Enter Elihu on the scene who sets Job straight before the entrance of God himself. When Job finally gets his audience with God it doesn’t go like he planned at all. He comes away humbled and repentant for his selfish behaviour. He is accepted by God still however, which speaks to eternal security of the believer. His three friends are a different matter however. It says God’s anger burned toward them. (see Jot’s writing on Job)
Job, who consciously lived his life as if it were open before and in service to the God of heaven and earth and kept to the regulation of community, (one of the Laws or Deuteronomic code) brought forwards all the good deeds he had done. We also have to do such good things. Delivering or taking care of the poor and the fatherless (Job 31:16–23); giving widows heart to sing for joy; no stealing or coveting; putting on righteousness; helping the blind, the lame and the needy; even helping animals, providing them with food (Job 31:31) searching out causes; putting the unrighteous on their place; giving counsel or advice; not having looked at the elements of the earth to worship them (Job 31:24-28) because we have to abstain from any pagan worship and our worship of God must remain pure. Not erecting sacred stones or adoring the richness of the earth (gold, silver, money, wealth), not making for yourself an idol. Keeping to purity and respecting rules which regulate marriage.
We should try to get to know the regulations of the Most High, but just keeping to them because we are afraid He might harm us is not the good reason to hold vast to the commandments. God wants from us that we do come out of our own free will, and that we love Him for what He really is. It is not by the disasters in the world or the many problems on earth that the greatness of the Creator is shown.
Does not God and His son gave to those who came with a request? We all can use this earth in loan from the Creator but so we want to share of it with others? do some of us not keep their property from him who would for a time make use of it. You have knowledge that it was said, “Have love for your neighbour, and hate for him who is against you”. But Jesus said to us: “Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you; So that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven; for his sun gives light to the evil and to the good, and he sends rain on the upright man and on the sinner. For if you have love for those who have love for you, what credit is it to you? do not the tax-farmers the same? And if you say, Good day, to your brothers only, what do you do more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same?” (Matthew 5:42-47 BBE). “Instead, all of you continue to show loving concern for your enemies. And continue doing good-continue lending money without expecting anything to be paid back. If you do your reward will be considerable, for you will become the Most High’s offspring, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35 MHM)
We should know that “Jehovah is good to all; And his tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalms 145:9 ASV)
We can also notice that Job recited a blessing for each enjoyment, but also blessings and curses for those who keep and break the law (Deuteronomic code in Deuteronomy Chapters 12-26).
Job preferred to curse the day he was born rather than God.
If we read in between the lines we can see that it is with profound courage and compassion that sufferers survive the inhuman dignities placed upon them by captors, and torturers and they need to remember that it is easier to receive the pain and moan with it, than it is to be the source of the inhuman behaviour, for there is no escaping the human consciousness that makes inhumanity possible. So, in that sense, human captors or persecutors and torturers are always worse off than their prisoners, or those who they torment. In a way we can’t escape that not such liked events intrude with such force that we are compelled to deal with our faith in the context of what is taking place in our lives. Suffering is one such event. It challenges us to confront the ultimate questions of who we are and what is the significance of our lives. Suffering is a painful invitation to deepen our faith and make it a real part of our lives.
Now we have heard the speeches of Jobs friends and his replies. Does the hair-rising, mystical spiritual experience of Eliphaz sound reliable to you? (Job 4:12-16) Can we be righteous as against God and be blameless against our Maker?
When we hear what happens in some churches and see how preachers rage on television do you not question if “correct” theology (all the right words) and/or quoting just some phrases out of context can ever be “bad” theology?
Today we listen to Elius or Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite who was young in years. He had kept silent all the time because the others were older and therefore he did not dare to speak up against them. He was fearful, not daring to tell them what he knew. (Job 32:6). There is a great lesson for us all here. It is not necessarily the case that old age brings wisdom. Wisdom is a result of experience. We should not keep to our pride and think because we have a certain age we also would have the wisdom. If we want to listen to advice or hear wisdom we should look for a trustworthy man person, who has had many testings in his or her life and stuck to his or her faith throughout, rather than one who has reached a great age or got a lot of wealth. It is clear from this book that old age does not always bring wisdom and understanding, but in this latter part of the book we are brought to our senses by this younger man who has the answers and who is able to help Job see his life in perspective. Let us not ignore the potential for wisdom to come from our younger members. And the wisdom does not always come from the most popular nor from the most liked one. The wisdom does not always flatter. We must recognise that there are certain preachers who want to be popular and even get huge churches full of people, because they know how to present their “show”. they know exactly what the people want to hear and give it to them in such a way that the people are pleased to hear such talking. But Elihu made it clear that what he had to say would not be emotional, or spoken with prejudice. He would not flatter, nor would he show respect to persons. He knew that God would condemn those who did. Though he also could find his thoughts “darkened”, and that is also what we all have to be aware of, certain things we can know for sure, others not, in certain things we can have wisdom, in others not. At certain point we even can find some haughtiness in his speaking. With a certain arrogance he boast that he has so much to say he can’t keep him straight. (Job 32: 18-22) Do we notice a taste of a braggart? In case we know something more then an other we should be pleased that we can be blessed as such. Let us therefore always be humble enough and listen in first instance to the One and Only God Almighty.
1851 by Lancelot Brenton
Job Chapter 32
Job 32:1 And his three friends also ceased any longer to answer Job: for Job was righteous before them.
Job 32:2 Then Elius the son of Barachiel, the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram, of the country of Ausis, was angered: and he was very angry with Job, because he justified himself before the Lord.
Job 32:3 And he was also very angry with [his] three friends, because they were not able to return answers to Job, yet set him down for an ungodly man.
Job 32:4 But Elius had forborne to give an answer to Job, because they were older than he.
Job 32:5 And Elius saw that there was no answer in the mouth of the three men; and he was angered in his wrath.
Job 32:6 And Elius the Buzite the son of Barachiel answered and said, I am younger in age, and ye are elder, wherefore I kept silence, fearing to declare to you my own knowledge.
Job 32:7 And I said, It is not time that speaks, though in many years [men] know wisdom:
Job 32:8 but there is a spirit in mortals; and the inspiration of the Almighty is that which teaches.
Job 32:9 The long-lived are not wise [as such]; neither do the aged know judgment.
Job 32:10 Wherefore I said, Hear me, and I will tell you what I know.
Job 32:11 Hearken to my words; for I will speak in your hearing, until ye shall have tried [the matter] with words:
Job 32:12 and I shall understand as far as you; and, behold, there was no one of you that answered Job his words in argument,
Job 32:13 lest ye should say, We have found that we have added wisdom to the Lord.
Job 32:14 And ye have commissioned a man to speak such words.
Job 32:15 They were afraid, they answered no longer; they gave up their speaking.
Job 32:16 I waited, (for I had not spoken,) because they stood still, they answered not.
Job 32:17 And Elius continued, and said, I will again speak,
Job 32:18 for I am full of words, for the spirit of my belly destroys me.
Job 32:19 And my belly is as a skin of sweet wine, bound up [and] ready to burst; or as a brazier’s labouring bellows.
Job 32:20 I will speak, that I may open my lips and relieve myself.
Job 32:21 For truly I will not be awed because of man, nor indeed will I be confounded before a mortal.
Job 32:22 For I know not how to respect persons: and if otherwise, even the moths would eat me.
Job 33:1 Howbeit hear, Job, my words, and hearken to my speech.
Job 33:2 For behold, I have opened my mouth, and my tongue has spoken.
Job 33:3 My heart [shall be found] pure by [my] words; and the understanding of my lips shall meditate purity.
Job 33:4 The Divine Spirit is that which formed me, and the breath of the Almighty that which teaches me.
Job 33:5 If thou canst, give me an answer: wait therefore; stand against me, and I [will stand] against thee.
Job 33:6 Thou art formed out of the clay as also I: we have been formed out of the same [substance].
Job 33:7 My fear shall not terrify thee, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.
Job 33:8 But thou hast said in mine ears, (I have heard the voice of thy words;) because thou sayest, I am pure, not having sinned;
Job 33:9 I am blameless, for I have not transgressed.
Job 33:10 Yet he has discovered a charge against me, and he has reckoned me as an adversary.
Job 33:11 And he has put my foot in the stocks, and has watched all my ways.
Job 33:12 For how sayest thou, I am righteous, yet he has not hearkened to me? for he that is above mortals is eternal.
Job 33:13 But thou sayest, Why has he not heard every word of my cause?
Job 33:14 For when the Lord speaks once, or a second time,
Job 33:15 [sending] a dream, or in the meditation of the night; (as when a dreadful alarm happens to fall upon men, in slumberings on the bed:)
Job 33:16 then opens he the understanding of men: he scares them with such fearful visions:
Job 33:17 to turn a man from unrighteousness, and he delivers his body from a fall.
Job 33:18 He spares also his soul from death, and [suffers] him not to fall in war.
Job 33:19 And again, he chastens him with sickness on his bed, and the multitude of his bones is benumbed.
Job 33:20 And he shall not be able to take any food, though his soul shall desire meat;
Job 33:21 until his flesh shall be consumed, and he shall shew his bones bare.
Job 33:22 His soul also draws nigh to death, and his life is in Hades (the grave).
Job 33:23 Though there should be a thousand messengers of death, not one of them shall wound him: if he should purpose in his heart to turn to the Lord, and declare to man his fault, and shew his folly;
Job 33:24 he will support him, that he should not perish, and will restore his body as [fresh] plaster upon a wall; and he will fill his bones with morrow.
Job 33:25 And he will make his flesh tender as that of a babe, and he will restore him among men in [his] full strength.
Job 33:26 And he shall pray to the Lord, and his prayer shall be accepted of him; he shall enter with a cheerful countenance, with a full expression [of praise]: for he will render to men [their] due.
Job 33:27 Even then a man shall blame himself, saying, What kind of things have I done? and he has not punished me according to the full amount of my sins.
Job 33:28 Deliver my soul, that it may not go to destruction, and my life shall see the light.
Job 33:29 Behold, all these things, the Mighty One works in a threefold manner with a man.
Job 33:30 And he has delivered my soul from death, that my life may praise him in the light.
Job 33:31 Hearken, Job, and hear me: be silent, and I will speak.
Job 33:32 If thou hast words, answer me: speak, for I desire thee to be justified.
Job 33:33 If not, do thou hear me: be silent, and I will teach thee.
Job 34:1 And Elius continued, and said,
Job 34:2 Hear me, ye wise men; hearken, ye that have knowledge.
Job 34:3 For the ear tries words, and the mouth tastes meat.
Job 34:4 Let us choose judgment to ourselves: let us know amount ourselves what is right.
Job 34:5 For Job has said, I am righteous: the Lord has removed my judgment.
Job 34:6 And he has erred in my judgment: my wound is severe without unrighteousness [of mine].
Job 34:7 What man is as Job, drinking scorning like water?
Job 34:8 [saying], I have not sinned, nor committed ungodliness, nor had fellowship with workers of iniquity, to go with the ungodly.
Job 34:9 For thou shouldest not say, There shall be no visitation of a man, whereas [there is] a visitation on him from the Lord.
Job 34:10 Wherefore hear me, ye that are wise in heart: far be it from me to sin before the Lord, and to pervert righteousness before the almighty.
Job 34:11 Yea, he renders to a man accordingly as each of them does, and in a man’s path he will find him.
Job 34:12 And thinkest thou that the Lord will do wrong, or will the Almighty who made the earth wrest judgment?
Job 34:13 And who is he that made [the whole world] under heaven, and all things therein?
Job 34:14 For if he would confine, and restrain his spirit with himself;
Job 34:15 all flesh would die together, and every mortal would return to the earth, whence also he was formed.
Job 34:16 Take heed lest he rebuke [thee]: hear this, hearken to the voice of words.
Job 34:17 Behold then the one that hates iniquities, and that destroys the wicked, who is for ever just.
Job 34:18 [He is] ungodly that says to a king, Thou art a transgressor, [that says] to princes, O most ungodly one.
Job 34:19 [Such a one] as would not reverence the face of an honourable man, neither knows how to give honour to the great, so as that their persons should be respected.
Job 34:20 But it shall turn out vanity to them, to cry and beseech a man; for they dealt unlawfully, the poor being turned aside [from their right].
Job 34:21 For he surveys the works of men, and nothing of what they do has escaped him.
Job 34:22 Neither shall there be a place for the workers of iniquity to hide themselves.
Job 34:23 For he will not lay upon a man more [than right].
Job 34:24 For the Lord looks down upon all men, who comprehends unsearchable things, glorious also and excellent things without number.
Job 34:25 Who discovers their works, and will bring night about [upon them], and they shall be brought low.
Job 34:26 And he quite destroys the ungodly, for they are seen before him.
Job 34:27 Because they turned aside from the law of God, and did not regard his ordinances,
Job 34:28 so as to bring before him the cry of the needy; for he will hear the cry of the poor.
Job 34:29 And he will give quiet, and who will condemn? and he will hide his face, and who shall see him? whether [it be done] against a nation, or against a man also:
Job 34:30 causing a hypocrite to be king, because of the waywardness of the people.
Job 34:31 For [there is] one that says to the Mighty One, I have received [blessings]; I will not take a pledge:
Job 34:32 I will see apart from myself: do thou shew me if I have done unrighteousness; I will not do [so] any more.
Job 34:33 Will he take vengeance for it on thee, whereas thou wilt put [it] far [from thee]? for thou shalt choose, and not I; and what thou knowest, speak thou.
Job 34:34 Because the wise in heart shall say this, and a wise man listens to my word.
Job 34:35 But Job has not spoken with understanding, his words are not [uttered] with knowledge.
Job 34:36 Howbeit do thou learn, Job: no longer make answer as the foolish:
Job 34:37 that we add not to our sins: for iniquity will be reckoned against us, if [we] speak many words before the Lord.
Job 35:1 And Elius resumed and said,
Job 35:2 What is this that thou thinkest to be according to right? who art thou that thou hast said, I am righteous before the Lord?
Job 35:3 I will answer thee, and thy three friends.
Job 35:4 Look up to the sky and see; and consider the clouds, how high [they are] above thee.
Job 35:5 If thou hast sinned, what wilt thou do?
Job 35:6 and if too thou hast transgressed much, what canst thou perform?
Job 35:7 And suppose thou art righteous, what wilt thou give him? or what shall he receive of thy hand?
Job 35:8 Thy ungodliness [may affect] a man who is like to thee; or thy righteousness a son of man.
Job 35:9 They that are oppressed of a multitude will be ready to cry out; they will call for help because of the arm of many.
Job 35:10 But none said, Where is God that made me, who appoints the night-watches;
Job 35:11 who makes me to differ from the four-footed beasts of the earth, and from the birds of the sky?
Job 35:12 There they shall cry, and none shall hearken, even because of the insolence of wicked men.
Job 35:13 For the Lord desires not to look on error, for he is the Almighty One.
Job 36:1 And Elius further continued, and said,
Job 36:2 Wait form me yet a little while, that I may teach thee: for there is yet speech in me.
Job 36:3 Having fetched my knowledge from afar, and according to my works,
Job 36:4 I will speak just things truly, and thou shalt not unjustly receive unjust words.
Job 36:5 But know that the Lord will not cast off an innocent man: being mighty in strength of wisdom,
Job 36:6 he will not by any means save alive the ungodly: and he will grant the judgment of the poor.
Job 36:7 He will not turn away his eyes from the righteous, but [they shall be] with kings on the throne: and he will establish them in triumph, and they shall be exalted.
Job 36:8 But they that are bound in fetters shall be holden in cords of poverty.
Job 36:9 And he shall recount to them their works, and their transgressions, for such will act with violence.
Job 36:10 But he will hearken to the righteous: and he has said that they shall turn from unrighteousness.
Job 36:11 If they should hear and serve [him], they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in honour.
Job 36:12 But he preserves not the ungodly; because they are not willing to know the Lord, and because when reproved they were disobedient.
Job 36:13 And the hypocrites in heart will array wrath [against themselves]; they will not cry, because he has bound them.
Job 36:14 Therefore let their soul die in youth, and their life be wounded by messengers [of death].
Job 36:15 Because they afflicted the weak and helpless: and he will vindicate the judgment of the meek.
Job 36:16 And he has also enticed thee out of the mouth of the enemy:
Job 36:17 [there is] a deep gulf [and] a rushing stream beneath it, and thy table came down full of fatness. Judgment shall not fail from the righteous;
Job 36:18 but there shall be wrath upon the ungodly, by reason of the ungodliness of the bribes which they received for iniquities.
Job 36:19 Let not [thy] mind willingly turn thee aside from the petition of the feeble that are in distress.
Job 36:20 And draw not forth all the mighty [men] by night, so that the people should go up instead of them.
Job 36:21 But take heed lest thou do that which is wrong: for of this thou has made choice because of poverty.
Job 36:22 Behold, the Mighty One shall prevail by his strength: for who is powerful as he is?
Job 36:23 And who is he that examines his works? or who can say, he has wrought injustice?
Job 36:24 Remember that his works are great [beyond] those which men have attempted.
Job 36:25 Every man has seen in himself, how many mortals are wounded.
Job 36:26 Behold, the Mighty One is great, and we shall not know [him]: the number of his years is even infinite.
Job 36:27 And the drops of rain are numbered by him, and shall be poured out in rain to form a cloud.
Job 36:28 The ancient [heavens] shall flow, and the clouds overshadow innumerable mortals: (36:28A) he has fixed a time to cattle, and they know the order of rest. (36:28B) [Yet] by all these things thy understanding is not astonished, neither is thy mind disturbed in [thy] body.
Job 36:29 And though one should understand the outspreadings of the clouds, [or] the measure of his tabernacle;
Job 36:30 behold he will stretch his bow against him, and he covers the bottom of the sea.
Job 36:31 For by them he will judge the nations: he will give food to him that has strength.
Job 36:32 He has hidden the light in [his] hands, and given charge concerning it to the interposing [cloud].
Job 36:33 The Lord will declare concerning this [to] his friend: [but there is] a portion also for unrighteousness.
Job 37:1 At this also my heart is troubled, and moved out of its place.
Job 37:2 Hear thou a report by the anger of the Lord’s wrath, and a discourse shall come out of his mouth.
Job 37:3 His dominion is under the whole heaven, and his light is at the extremities of the earth.
Job 37:4 After him shall be a cry with a [loud] voice; he shall thunder with the voice of his excellency, yet he shall not cause men to pass away, for one shall hear his voice.
Job 37:5 The Mighty One shall thunder wonderfully with his voice: for he has done great things which we knew not;
Job 37:6 commanding the snow, Be thou upon the earth, and the stormy rain, and the storm of the showers of his might.
Job 37:7 He seals up the hand of every man, that every man may know his own weakness.
Job 37:8 And the wild beasts come in under the covert, and rest in [their] lair.
Job 37:9 Troubles come on out of the secret chambers, and cold from the mountain-tops.
Job 37:10 And from the breath of the Mighty One he will send frost; and he guides the water in whatever way he pleases.
Job 37:11 And [if] a cloud obscures [what is] precious [to him], his light will disperse the cloud.
Job 37:12 And he will carry round the encircling [clouds] by his governance, to [perform] their works: whatsoever he shall command them,
Job 37:13 this has been appointed by him on the earth, whether for correction, [or] for his land, or if he shall find him [an object] for mercy.
Job 37:14 Hearken to this, O Job: stand still, and be admonished of the power of the Lord.
Job 37:15 We know that god has disposed his works, having made light out of darkness.
Job 37:16 And he knows the divisions of the clouds, and the signal overthrows of the ungodly.
Job 37:17 But thy robe is warm, and there is quiet upon the land.
Job 37:18 Wilt thou establish with him [foundations] for the ancient [heavens? they are] strong as a molten mirror.
Job 37:19 Wherefore teach me, what shall we say to him? and let us cease from saying much.
Job 37:20 Have I a book or a scribe my me, that I may stand and put man to silence?
Job 37:21 But the light is not visible to all: it shines afar off in the heavens, as that which is from him in the clouds.
Job 37:22 From the [north] come the clouds shining like gold: in these great are the glory and honour of the Almighty;
Job 37:23 and we do not find another his equal in strength: [as for] him that judges justly, dost thou not think that he listens?
Job 37:24 Wherefore men shall fear him; and the wise also in heart shall fear him.
- The Role And Character Of Elihu In The Book Of Job
Perhaps no other biblical character has been characterized by scholars in such radically different ways as Elihu. Concerning wisdom, Elihu is described as either an “exceeding wise” man or a “buffoon”; concerning his motivation, he is seen as anything from a divinely-inspired “man of God” to the “person assumed or adopted by Satan” to attack Job; concerning his contribution to the Book of Job, he is considered to be “irrelevant” or “integral.
… many scholars believe that the Elihu speeches as we have them now were not part of the original Book of Job.
reasons for rejecting the authenticity:
- Elihu is mentioned nowhere in the Book of Job outside of his speeches in Job 32-37
- the style of the Elihu speeches is different from the style used in the other parts of the book.
- Job’s challenge in chapter 31 calls for God, not Elihu, to make an appearance.
- Elihu’s speeches supposedly contribute nothing to the Book of Job. (but as you can read Elihu does have something significant to add)
… many scholars reject these arguments as unconvincing and strongly believe the Elihu speeches to be an original part of Job.