Reading through the Bible together
Job’s continues his response to his friends with this basic point: A sanctified life for the sake of God, is too precious to trade in for second best. Job took a slight break and his friends were probably all silent for a moment. That is why Job “spoke up again and continued his discourse” (v. 1). He says, “God lives, the One who has taken away justice from me and the Almighty who has brought bitterness to my soul” (v. 2). We know that God did not do it directly but by permitting Satan, the destroyer of this universe to test Job since God had full confidence in His faithful servant. Job is determined that “all the while my breath is in me and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils my lips will not speak evil and my tongue will not utter deceit.” Be it far from me to say that you are right. I will not do so as long as I live (vv. 3-5).
He says, “I will hold fast to my righteousness and will not let go, nor will my heart rebuke me all my days” (v. 6). Job has no regret the way he lived. However, what is known about the destiny of the wicked, will also come to the enemies of Job who treat him unjustly (v. 7). The person who plays with religion but lies and robs, what hope will there be for such a person when God “throws down his soul?” and takes his life (v. 8). “When trouble comes over him will God hear his cry?” (v. 9). “Will the God be his delight and will he call on Him? (v. 10).
Job wants to know whether this fake believer will have a faith that endures at “all times.” Is his religion just a put on and take off one? Job explains to his secular and humanistic friends: “I will instruct you and tell you about God and not conceal the actions of the Almighty” (v. 11). God is actively involved with His Creation even after the Fall. So Job will instruct them and remind them what they need to know. God has no secrets. Job says, “You know the plan of God, so why do you talk such nonsense (v. 12). That is the problem with Job’s friends, making statements about the last days and ignoring the role of Satan in the Great Controversy. They saw the explanations of Job as totally vain and hypocritical.
Some scholars think that Zophar interrupts Job at this point and talks about the portion a wicked man will receive from God, and the inheritance of the powerful which they will receive from the Almighty” (v. 13): a. If their sons increase, they are for the sword (v. 14); b. so are his grandsons; c. those who survive him will die and be buried (v. 15); d. his widow will not weep (v. 15); e. if he gathers money like dust and lots of clothing, the righteous will wear them and the innocent will inherit the silver (vv. 16-17); f. with all measures of security he builds his mansions, villas, and estates, but they are no more secure than “what a moth builds or as the temporary shelter of a watchman” (v. 18); g. he sleeps or lies down rich and what he has gathered will go to someone other than himself (v. 19); h. he opens his eyes [after sleeping] and what he has is not there [as if it were stolen] (v. 19); i. terrors of the night overtake him (v. 20); j. a tempest snatches away [his wealth] (v. 20); k. and the east wind sweeps him away from his place (v. 21). The Egyptians believed that the dead go to the West with the sungod, but here the terror comes from the east. (l) The east wind [symbolizing God’s actions] will cast upon him and not will not spare (v. 22); (m) from His [God’s] hand he shall surely flee (v. 22); (n) men will clap their hands and will hiss out of his place (v. 23).
We are asked to stand firm regardless of the tempest of Satan knowing that You are holding us firmly by the hand. The way of the wicked is not our way but You we want to follow. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Sangju, South Korea