Reading through the Bible together
Job is answering his friends wishing for a fair trial. He wishes his positive joys and negative turns could be placed in the scale together, one on this side and the other on the opposite side. Job says that because there is a lack of a proper “judgment” of his life (bad deeds and good deeds) the result is that “my grief is heavier than the sand of the sea.” That is why Job is in a combat mood and sees that God’s arrows are against him (vv. 3,4).
Job asked if a donkey and ox is taken care of, will it call out to be fed? Can one eat flavorless food without salt? Job’s situation is so bad that he together with the homeless is almost ready to eat living things and even pigs, but refuses to even touch them (vv. 6,7).
He has a firm view of God’s ability to help him (vv. 8-9). He studied well the Word of God and practiced it in his daily life (v.10). Is there a better day for him? Is the answer within him? (vv. 11-13). Is there no kindness to be brought to him from a friend (v. 14) even if such a friend has lost the fear of the Almighty? Job’s brothers were deceitful and like a river flowed away (v. 15). They are like a ground covered with snow and when it melts, they turn aside and vanish. Travelers expect directions from them but they are gone (vv. 17-19). They see terror and themselves are afraid (v. 21).
Job never asked possessions from friends or help against an enemy or an oppressor (vv. 22-23). But he implores his friends to tell him how he has erred (v. 24). They thought their words were needed discipline for their wicked friend, and that his words were a typical response of one who suffers for his wickedness (v. 26). His friends do not have a good reputation (v. 27). With a smile on their faces, they finish off a friend and are pleased when he bows low (v. 28).
But Job wants his friends to come back and listen to him. He will not lie to their face (v. 28). Since there is no wrong in him (v. 29), he is able to discern crafty devices (v. 30). Even though Job is in financial straights, he is determined to keep his lifestyle proper and mirror his ability to discern right from wrong in other aspects of life as well (v. 30).
Dear God, provide us also with a life of discernment and a quest for righteousness and right doing as Job. Knowing enough about Satan’s role, we are secure for You are in full control of our lives. Amen
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea