Reading through the Bible together

Saturday, July 27, 2013

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Job wishes to deal with his innocence.  He had made a “covenant” with his eyes. “Why should I gaze upon a virgin?” (verse 1). Translations of this text are always secondary sources of the Word of God.  But if you want to be fundamentally correct it is better to stick to the literal text unchanged and unchallenged.

 

Job is asking, if how one acts in this world, what supernatural consequence does it have? What is the reaction of God when we keep or not keep His commandments (verse 2). “Is there not an end to the unjust and to the workers of iniquity?” (verse 3). Job asked if there is not a time of reckoning, a time of investigative judgment of our deeds. He wants to know if God does or does not see everyone’s ways and whether He counts all our steps (verse 4).

 

From verse 5 on, nearly fifteen times, Job uses a formula that we can describe as: If there is bad behavior, then a curse will follow. If I walked with falsehood and my foot hastened upon deceit (verse 5), then God will weigh me with a just scale and know my integrity (verse 6).

 

Job continues: If my foot has turned from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes and wrong clung to my palms of my hands, then the curse will follow: I may sow and another eat and my produce may be uprooted. If my heart was enticed by a woman, and if I lurked upon the door of my neighbor, then the curse will follow: my wife will grind grain for another, and others may kneel over her.

 

In verse 11, Job wants to emphasize that he is fully aware that evil actions need proper punishment. He argues that the punishment should fit the crime “for a lustful crime is an iniquity and deserving punishment” (verse 11). For “it is a fire unto destruction and it consumes” (verse 12). “If I rejected the cause of my male and female slave in their dispute with me, then the curse is: what will I do when God stands up (after completing the Investigative Judgment) and when He visits (at His Second Coming) what will I answer Him? (verse 14). Both employer and employee are made by the Creator (verse 15). If I ignored the poor and caused the eyes of a widow to fail (verse 16); ate alone and did not share what I had with an orphan, (verse 17) God will notice.

 

 In the next verse Job stopped to reflect about his childhood education and his home-schooling by his mother. Moses also received his home schooling from his mother before he had to go the court of Hatshepsut. And so did Jesus from his mother. Job emphasized that he had a very good and proper education from his home-school.

 

He continues: If a person was without clothes and a needy person was not covered; but I was blessed and with the fleece of my lambs warmed myself; if I raised my hand against an orphan (verse 21), then may my shoulder be severed and my arm broken (verse 22). Job then provides the reason for his innocence. God is awesome to me and I cannot bear its weight” (verse 23). If Job placed his hope in gold and jewelry and those economic stocks were his confidence; if he rejoiced because he was a millionaire; if he looked at celestial beauty like the light of the moon and his heart was secretly impressed to the point of kissing his hand (a sign of respect to the moon and idolatry), then he bears punishment since it is iniquity and he denied the God above (verses 24-28).

 

If Job rejoiced over the misfortune and harm of his enemies, and sinned by taking an oath and pronounced a curse for their death; if the people of my tent were not satisfied with my meat; and if I let strangers in the streets stay, and did not open my doors and practice hospitality to strangers (verses 29-32); which his friends claimed he did and secretly sinned. Job addresses the issue: if I covered up my transgressions like humans tend to do, and concealed my iniquity and crookedness because I feared the great multitude or was frightened by the noble families, I would have remained silent and not even stepped outside of my house (verses 33-34).

 

From verses 35 to 37 Job outlines that he is in need of a Heavenly Advocate for the Investigative Judgment of himself. “Who will give to me Someone who will listen to me?” “Oh, that He would answer for me [Christ our Advocate in the Investigative Judgment] and speak to what is written in a book (verse 35). One cannot sever Moses and Job’s understanding of the Investigative Judgment scenes of Daniel 7 from each other. Moses was also a prophet and knew Christ as an Advocate (Hebrews 11:26). Job says that he will carry the book on his shoulder, tell the Almighty the number of his steps, and “I will draw near to Him as does Christ the Prince (verses 36-37; see Daniel 9:24-27).

 

After this Job goes back to the conditions and curses: if my soil complains about me and the furrows weep about me (verse 38); if I consumed its strength without money [paid to the one from whom one rents the land], and I caused pain to its owner, then the curse is: instead of wheat, thistles shall emerge, and instead of barley, stink weed. Thus all the words of Job are ended.

 

Dear God,

The Advocate in Heaven should be also our Prince of Peace. We also need to approach near the Trinity. Count also our steps and write it in our books and know our ways, we pray. We want nothing between us and our Advocate. Nothing between. Amen.

 

 

Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea