Job 21-22

Job 21-22

Chapter 21: The Wicked Sometimes Prosper in this Life

Job begins his address to Zophar and his friends…

“Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on” (Job 21:3)

                Job goes on to explain that the wicked sometimes prosper in this life, Job’s crisis was fundamentally spiritual in nature, much more than being a medical crisis, an economic crisis, a social crisis, or a family crisis. His struggle was against God, and he wondered were God was in the midst of this very dark time.

Job speaks out about the wicked who prosper in this life; “They spend their days in wealth… Therefore they say unto God; depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? (Job 21:13-15)

                Sometimes the wicked do prosper in this life, but with the judgment that will be waiting for them after this life. Job asks an important question; “Ho oft is the candle of the wicked put out…” (Job 21:17). In Job’s rhetorical question, he would answer “Not often enough.” And it would do Job no satisfaction to hear that the judgment would instead come upon the wicked man’s descendants.

Job acknowledged that wickedness was never ultimately rewarded and was always punished in the end. The problem for Job was that it never seemed soon enough that wicked would drink of the wrath of the Almighty. Job suffered in the now, and many of the wicked did not.

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt this exact way… why, if I am doing good, are those who are not seem to be rewarded? It is difficult to swallow at times, but God knows what is going on and will reward the just in His own time and way.

Chapter 22: Eliphaz Accuses Job of Sinning

This begins a third (and shortened) round of debate between Job and his three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

Eliphaz begins by attacking Job’s character. Eliphaz essentially asks Job, “What good is he to God?” –  “Can a man be profitable unto God…” (Job 22:2)

Eliphaz heard all of Job’s anguished outpourings to God, and seemed to think that Job simply thought too highly of himself. He wondered why Job thought he was so special, so profitable to God and why he thought God owed him so much.

Eliphaz goes on to describe Job’s great wickedness.

“Will he reprove thee for fear of thee?” (Job 22:4) or essentially; “Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you?” Eliphaz pressed the point home to Job. Surely, the catastrophe that came upon Job (which Eliphaz lightly called a “correction”), did not come because Job feared God; it came because Job’s wickedness was great and his iniquity was without end.

Eliphaz goes on to insult Job’s intelligence, by asking him; “Is not God in the height of heaven?” (Job 22:12). Eliphaz instructed Job in the basics of theology, he thought that because Job would not admit his error, he must be fundamentally wrong in his understanding of God. So he begins with the basic idea of the might, majesty, and sovereignty of God.

Eliphaz, after having insulted the very wisdom and knowledge of Job, boldy asks him to; “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace; there good shall come unto thee… If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up…” (Job 22:21-22). This was great advice for Job, assuming that the problem was sin in Job’s life. Yet we know (on the basis of Job 1-2) that this assumption was wrong, and therefore the advice was wrong.

 

Job 3-4

Job 3-4

Chapter 3: Job Curses his Birthday

Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said;

 “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.

The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” (Job 3:3-26)

This chapter is very much a prayer to God from Job, where he asks; Why he couldn’t have died at birth and be spared from the pain and agony of his trial.

Chapter 4: Eliphaz Criticizes Job

This begins a long section in the Book of Job where Job’s friends counsel him and he answers them. His friends speak in more or less three rounds, with each speech followed by a reply from Job. At the end of these speeches, God answers Job and his friends and settles the matter.

Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said;

“If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking? Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled. Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? (Job 3:2-6)

Elpihaz is trying to help Job remember his own council that he had given when things were great for him.

“Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.  The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken. The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.” (Job 3:7-11)

Eliphaz helps Job to understand, what he believes to be the source of Job’s troubles.

“Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying” (Job 3:12-16)

A spirit comes to Eliphaz in the night. Here we can learn about the Holy Ghost, notice how it mentions how his hairs stood up, he couldn’t discern an image, and that the voice was still and silent. This is how the Holy Ghost communicates, not through yelling and screaming.

This is what the spirit said to Eliphaz:

“Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.” (Job 3:17-21)

Simple lesson to learn here, we are not perfect. It is not ok to sin, however you cannot completely avoid all sins. We are imperfect and it is ok to admit to your sins. Ask for forgiveness and move on.