JOB STUDY, PART 4/CONCLUSION: GOD RESPONDS TO JOB, 28.10.19

 

NOTE: 

SELECTED PASSAGES FROM CHAPTERS 38-42 WILL BE QUOTED FOR THIS STUDY; IT WOULD BE USEFUL TO STUDY THOSE CHAPTERS BEFOREHAND.

The previous section of this STUDY TOPIC looked at how Job responded to his three friends. It became noticeable towards the end that Job was increasingly addressing God Himself, rather than his friends, as he attempted to sort through and make some sense of what had just happened/was happening to him.

As we move forward into the conclusion of the STUDY it is not only interesting but essential to zero in how the interaction between Job and Yahweh Himself. 

First Job does a lot of rationalizing, justifying, and defending of himself, while lashing out at his friends (for which none of us could fairly fault him). He shortly thereafter begins to criticize, complain and lash out a bit at God Himself, although there is always a certain amount of caution and restraint when he does so; and at no point does Job ever renounce his faith, or turn his back on God, or even express such sentiments or thoughts of giving in and giving up. He always retains a degree of hope as he cries out and complains to God. 

In the following passages our goal here is to focus in on that interaction, and see where it leads.

 

JOB, CHAPTER 38:

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom

    with such ignorant words?

3 Brace yourself like a man,

    because I have some questions for you,

    and you must answer them.

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?

    Tell me, if you know so much.

5 Who determined its dimensions

    and stretched out the surveying line?

6 What supports its foundations,

    and who laid its cornerstone

7 as the morning stars sang together

    and all the angels shouted for joy?

8 “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries

    as it burst from the womb,

9 and as I clothed it with clouds

    and wrapped it in thick darkness?

10 For I locked it behind barred gates,

    limiting its shores.

11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.

    Here your proud waves must stop!’

12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear

    and caused the dawn to rise in the east?

13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,

    to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?

14 As the light approaches,

    the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;

    it is robed in brilliant colours.

15 The light disturbs the wicked

    and stops the arm that is raised in violence.

16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?

    Have you explored their depths?

17 Do you know where the gates of death are located?

    Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?

18 Do you realize the extent of the earth?

    Tell me about it if you know!

19 “Where does light come from,

JOB 38:19
“Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go?”

    and where does darkness go?

20 Can you take each to its home?

    Do you know how to get there?

21 But of course you know all this!

For you were born before it was all created,

    and you are so very experienced!

22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow

    or seen the storehouses of hail?

23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,

    for the day of battle and war.)

24 Where is the path to the source of light?

    Where is the home of the east wind?

25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?

    Who laid out the path for the lightning?

26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,

    in a desert where no one lives?

27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground

    and make the tender grass spring up?

28 “Does the rain have a father?

    Who gives birth to the dew?

29 Who is the mother of the ice?

    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?

30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,

    and the surface of the water freezes.

31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—

    binding the cluster of the Pleiades

    or loosening the cords of Orion?

32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons

    or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?

33 Do you know the laws of the universe?

    Can you use them to regulate the earth?

34 “Can you shout to the clouds

    and make it rain?

35 Can you make lightning appear

    and cause it to strike as you direct?

36 Who gives intuition to the heart

    and instinct to the mind?

37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?

    Who can tilt the water jars of heaven

38 when the parched ground is dry

    and the soil has hardened into clods?

39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness

    and satisfy the young lions’ appetites

40 as they lie in their dens

    or crouch in the thicket?

41 Who provides food for the ravens

    when their young cry out to God

    and wander about in hunger?

 

Prepare for the questions in STUDY GUIDE, that will call you to identify incredible information in the words spoken by God to Job. Look beyond the basic information that God provides about what He has done in regards to His creation. Look beyond that for principles.

Notice the strategy God uses with Job, for it is useful for ourselves to incorporate in many social situations where we are being called to defend ourselves and/or our positions in regards to our beliefs.

 

JOB, CHAPTER 39:

5 “Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?

    Who untied its ropes?

6 I have placed it in the wilderness;

    its home is the wasteland.

7 It hates the noise of the city

    and has no driver to shout at it.

8 The mountains are its pastureland,

    where it searches for every blade of grass.

9 “Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?

    Will it spend the night in your stall?

10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?

    Will it plow a field for you?

11 Given its strength, can you trust it?

    Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?

12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain

    and deliver it to your threshing floor?

13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,

    but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.

14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,

    letting them be warmed in the dust.

15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them

    or a wild animal might destroy them.

16 She is harsh toward her young,

    as if they were not her own.

    She doesn’t care if they die.

17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.

    He has given her no understanding.

18 But whenever she jumps up to run,

    she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

 

Yahweh has not only put Job in his place; He has given him information loaded with knowledge about Who He is, what He has done, and the principles upon which His creation has been formed. 

 

JOB, CHAPTER 40:

2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?

    You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”

Job Responds to the Lord

3 Then Job replied to the Lord,

4 “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers?

    I will cover my mouth with my hand.

5 I have said too much already.

    I have nothing more to say.”

6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

7 “Brace yourself like a man,

    because I have some questions for you,

    and you must answer them.

8 “Will you discredit my justice

    and condemn me just to prove you are right?

9 Are you as strong as God?

    Can you thunder with a voice like his?

 

15 “Take a look at Behemoth,

    which I made, just as I made you.

    It eats grass like an ox.

 

19 It is a prime example of God’s handiwork,

    and only its Creator can threaten it.

20 The mountains offer it their best food,

 

Pay attention to what has transpired since Job’s last verbiage. What is the difference? What has changed? 

Notice the response from the Almighty. What is He underscoring here?

 

JOB, CHAPTER 41:

1 Can you catch Leviathan with a hook

    or put a noose around its jaw?

 

9 No, it is useless to try to capture it.

    The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down.

10 And since no one dares to disturb it,

    who then can stand up to me?

11 Who has given me anything that I need to pay back?

    Everything under heaven is mine.

 

JOB, CHAPTER 42:

Then Job replied to the Lord:

2 “I know that you can do anything,

    and no one can stop you.

3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’

    It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,

    things far too wonderful for me.

4 You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!

    I have some questions for you,

    and you must answer them.’

5 I had only heard about you before,

    but now I have seen you with my own eyes.

6 I take back everything I said,

    and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

Conclusion: The Lord Blesses Job

7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. 

8 So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.”

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! 

11 Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.

12 So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 

13 He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 

14 He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 

15 In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.

16 Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. 

17 Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.

 

Needless to say, the final chapter is wrapping up and packs a punch. Yahweh pulls a switch on Job’s friends, puts some role reversal into place. There are also a few tidbits of unexpected moves that Yahweh includes in the midst of what He does for/with Job that tell you something about the Father’s Heart. Please look for them.

References:

Job, Chapters 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

NLT   

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