Let’s turn to the book of Job, and continue our study in the life and miseries of Job. Bildad is responding to the words of Job in chapter eighteen. Bildad is a man who is sort of short of speech. He is able to put things in a concise way, and it troubles him that Job takes so much time in giving his answers. So in responding to Job, he said…
How long will it be until you make an end of words? mark, and after that then we will speak. [In other words, “You know just close it off. Shut it down, give us a chance to talk.”] Why are we accounted as beasts, and reputed to be vile in your sight (18:2-3)?
Job said that, “They have gaped upon me”. This is a phrase that is used of ravenous beasts. So he said, “Why are you accusing us as being as beasts, or how is it that we’re accounted in your eyes as beasts, and were reputed vile in your sight?”
He tears himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? shall the rock be moved out of his place? [“Shall God change nature to accommodate you?”] Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine (18:4-5).
Now again, attributing wickedness unto Job. “Man your life’s been put out. That’s what happens Job, to the wicked.” He goes on and gives several references here to, to the light and to the darkness. The light of the wicked being put out.
The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, [That is, in his tent.] his candle shall be put out with him. And the steps of his strength shall be straitened, [Or narrowed] and his own counsel shall cast him down (18:6-7).
“You’re condemning yourself with your own words, with your own mouth.” Then he speaks of the wicked being caught in their own traps. He uses about eight different types of traps here, in the original Hebrew language. Traps by nets, traps by pits, traps by lassos, or cords, and that the wicked ultimately end up in traps, and sometimes traps that they have set for others. So he said…
He is cast into a net by his own feet, he walks upon a snare. The gin [or a trap] shall take him by the heel, and a robber shall prevail against him. The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way. And terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet. His strength shall be hunger bitten, and destruction shall be at his side (18:8-12).
Speaking, he speaks first of all about his light being put out, and then about him being ensnared in a trap. Then he goes on to speak of the calamity that shall befall the wicked. “Hungering, he shall be destroyed.”
He shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength. His confidence shall be rooted out of his tent, and shall bring to him the king of terrors. [That is, death.] It shall dwell in his tent, because it is none of his: brimstone [Such as destroyed Sodom, and Gomorrah.] shall be scattered upon his house. His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off (18:13-16).
“I mean the guy is really in bad shape who is wicked. The roots dried up, and the branches cut off. I mean you get it from every direction.”
His remembrance shall perish from the earth, [People will forget all about him.] and he shall have no name in the street, He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. He shall neither have son nor nephew [or grandson] among his people, [That is he will not have posterity.] nor any remaining in his dwellings. They that come after him shall be astonished at his day, as they that went before him were affrightened. Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and the place of him that knoweth not God (18:17-21).
So the intimation again, “Job you have the”, he’s sort of describing some of the calamities that Job is experiencing, those evils that seemingly have befallen Job. Those that are his lot. He’s saying, “Job these are the things that happen to the wicked! To the man who doesn’t really know God.” The intimation, strong intimation, is that Job is a wicked man, that Job really doesn’t know God. “That’s why you’ve been caught in the snare, that’s why your light has gone out, that’s why you are ready to perish, that’s why your children were all destroyed.” Heavy, heavy charges against Job.
So Job answered and said, How long will you vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? [By the words of Bildad, Job is being torn to shreds.] These ten times have you reproached me: and you’re not ashamed that you’ve made yourselves like strangers to me. And be it indeed that I have erred, my error remaineth with myself. If indeed you will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach: Know now that God is the one who has overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net (19:1-6).
Bildad has said, “The wicked get trapped in their own nets. They set the trap and the fall in it themselves”. Job said, “It’s God who has overthrown me. I have been caught in His net”.
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I’m not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgement. [Job still maintains, in spite of all of the accusations of his friends, and insinuations, innuendoes, he declares that, “It is not fair what is happening! I cry out of the wrong that is being done, but no one answers me. I’m not heard. There is no judgement.”] God has fenced my ways [“He’s put the boundaries”,] I cannot pass, he has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory, [That is the glory that Job had, before all of this experience began. He was one of the richest, greatest men in the east.] and has taken the crown of glory from his head. He has destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and my hope hath he removed like a tree. He has also kindled his wrath against me, he has counted me unto him as one of his enemies. And his troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tent (19:7-12).
So, he speaks of what God has done. “These things that have transpired to me, have come to me from God, and I really don’t know why. I cry for judgement, but there doesn’t seem to be any answer.” Then he speaks about how he was forsaken. This was of course, forsaken of God, now how he’s been forsaken by man.
He has put my brethren far from me, [Job had brothers, who probably admired, respected, and came around when he was in wealth and power, but now that he is afflicted, they have forsaken him.] my acquaintances [the fair-weather friends] are estranged from me. My family hath failed, [His children were of course killed.] my close friends have forgotten me. And they that dwell in my house, my maids, count me for a stranger: I’m an alien [or a foreigner] in their sight. I called my servant, and he wouldn’t even answer me; I begged him with my mouth (19:13-16).
So everyone had turned against Job, even his own servant. He pleaded with them and they ignored him.
My breath is strange to my wife, [Back in chapter seventeen, verse one, he said, “My breath is corrupt.” Now, and with his disease, it no doubt had an extremely foul breath. But his wife had forsaken him.] though I entreated her for the children’s sake of my own body. Yea, even the young children despise me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: [That is, “My intimate friends”.] and they whom I loved have turned against me. [“I’m desolate, I’m desperate, I’ve been forsaken.” Then describing his own physical condition. He said,] My bones cleave to my skin [He’s like a skeleton just covered with skin.] and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. [“I’m barely surviving.”] Have pity on me, have pity on me, O ye my friends; for God’s hand has been heavy on me (19:17-21).
So Job now is declaring just how desperate is his situation, from a spiritual standpoint, it seems that God has just forsaken him. From a family and friendship standpoint, he’s been totally bereft of friends, acquaintances. I mean, he’s standing alone, and so he pleads for these men, “Have pity! Don’t be judging me, don’t be turning against me also. Don’t break me in pieces with your words. Man I’ve had enough! Show some pity!”.
Why do you persecute me [he said] as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh (19:22)?
“You ought to just be satisfied with what God has done. You don’t have to add to it, make it worse!” Dark, dark, dark! I mean this guy’s at the bottom. You don’t go any lower than this. You’re being afflicted. You don’t know why, it seems that God has turned against you, you don’t know why. All of your friends have turned against you. No one is standing with you! Job reaches probably the lowest point that a man can come to. Totally forsaken it seems, by God, and by man.
Out of this place, out of this depth, out of this pit, out of this darkness, suddenly Job cries out words of faith. Triumphant words of faith. Probably one of the most triumphant declarations of faith in all of the old testament. It comes out of the darkness, it comes out of the fears, it comes out of the desperation, and yet suddenly there is this cry of triumphant victory and faith! But they are prefaced by the desire that these words might be recorded. That these words might be indelibly recorded for posterity.
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! Oh that they were graven with an iron pen [That is they were chiseled into a rock.] and then lead poured into it, [so that it would, it would remain.] that it would remain for ever! For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God (19:23-26):
Tremendous cry of triumphant faith, out of the darkness of his situation. How faith can triumph over the darkest night! It is turning our eyes from the situation and onto God. Job did this for a moment. He turned away from this desolate condition that he described. His own physical condition of misery. The fact that he was forsaken by his friends.
Now when we go through these experiences, our problem so often stems from the fact that we get so involved in our problem, so involved in our situation, we become so filled with self pity, that all we can think of is, “Oh poor me”. The more you think, “Oh poor me”, the poorer you get, as far as your whole mental attitude. I mean, you just begin to go down lower and lower and lower, as you think of yourself, and as you concentrate upon yourself, it gets worse, the problems always increase.
The secret is turning our eyes away from ourselves, and turning our eyes upon the Lord. Getting a fresh view of Him, and faith looks not at my circumstances, but faith looks to God, who is greater than my circumstances. So Job, out of this dark pit of despair, cries forth, “I know that my redeemer lives”. The Goel or, Goel, “lives, and shall stand in the last days upon the earth.” Tremendous declaration of faith! He had said that he had desired to plead his case before God. “But how can a man plead his case before God, because God is so great, God is infinite, and man is finite. Who is man that he can approach God to plead his case so as to be justified?” He said, “And there is no daysman betwixt us that can lay his hand upon us both.” But here, Job is declaring, “I know that my redeemer lives. The daysman does exist, and one day he shall stand upon the earth, and I’m going to see God. Even though the worms may destroy this body, yet in my resurrected body, I shall see God.”
Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. But you should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? [Job is sort of giving them a warning now. Job is saying to them,] Be afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know that there is judgement (19:27-29).
You need to be fearful of the accusations that you are making, because judgement will proceed one day. God will judge. Of course, these things that Job is warning about did take place, when God finally spoke and intervened, as we will find in a few weeks.
So in chapter twenty, Zophar gave his second discourse, and thus we come to the end of the second triad of these friends, and their discourses with Job, with that of Zophar.
Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, [Naamathite] Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste. [He’s really mad at Job. Mad at the accusations that Job has made concerning them. So he’s hasty to answer he declares.] For I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer. Don’t you know this of old, since man was placed on the earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite is for a moment (20:1-5)?
Again the intimation, “Job you are a wicked man, and you’re a hypocrite. You may have been very prosperous, you may have been very wealthy, you may have been one of the most notable men of the east, but hey, the triumph of the wicked is short, and the prosperity of the hypocrite is but for a moment.”
Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach into the clouds; Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: and they which have seen him shall say, Where is he? [He may be glorious, he may have honor and all, but he’s gonna get cut down and people won’t even know where he, you know, “Where is he? He’s gone!”.] He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night. [It’s just like it didn’t actually happen. An unreality.] The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place [be] any more behold him. His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods. His bones are full of the sin of his youth, [and he shall lie down with him, and,] which shall lie down with him in the dust. Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: Yet his meat is in his bowels it is turned, it is the gall of asps within him (20:6-14).
“You may try to cover it with your words. You may sweet talk, and talk of your innocence and all, but man, inside there it’s rotten! You can’t really destroy it with just the sweet talking of words. So your mouth, you know sweet talks, but hey Job, we know the truth, down inside, you’re rotten.”
He hath swallowed down the riches, and he will vomit them up again: and God shall cast them out of his belly. He shall suck the poison of asps: and the viper’s tongue shall slay him. He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter. That which he labored for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein. [“He’s going to get cut off, he’s gonna lose everything he has. Even Job, as you have been cut off and lost everything.” ] Because [And here are accusations without foundations. “Because”,] he has oppressed and hath forsaken the poor: because he has violently taken away a house which he did not build; Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save that which he desired (20:15-20).
“He’s been covetous, he’s stolen, he’s taken from others.”
There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods. In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in [It’ll, he shall be in,] straits: [That is, he shall be brought to a narrowness.] every hand of the wicked shall come upon him. And when he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is still eating. He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. It is drawn, [That is the bow, it comes out of the body.] yea, the glittering sword comes out of his gall: terrors are upon him (20:21-25).
So he’s really seeking to terrify Job, rather than comforting him, thinks Job you know, God will surely undertake and help and all, he just, “Hey man, you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait!”.
All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tent. The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; the earth shall rise up against him. The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God (20:26-29).
“This is your destiny.” Man! No wonder Job said, “Miserable comforters are ye all!” I mean what kind of comfort can you find, when you’re going through the, and, and here’s his response to Job’s plea for pity. “Pity me man! Pity me!” You know, and not much pity.
So Job answered and said, I want you to hear diligently now my speech, and let this be your consolation. Allow me that I may speak; and after I have spoken, then mock on friends. As for me, is my complaint to man? if it were so, why should not my spirit then be troubled (21:1-4)?
Job is saying, “My problem isn’t really with man. My problem is with God. My complaint is to God. I don’t understand the ways of God! I don’t know why God allows these things to happen to me, for I don’t know the reason or the cause, what evil I have done”. Now he said…
Mark me, [“Listen to my words”,] and be astonished, [“I, you think I’ve said some pretty radical things, just let me speak now for a little bit, and I’ll really shock the socks off of you!” Ha, ha!] and put your hand upon your mouth. [You know when someone says something that just shocks you, “Ooh!”, you know. So he’s saying that. “You know, I’m gonna say something now, and go ahead, put your hand over your mouth, be astonished!”] Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling takes hold of my flesh. [These are the things.] Why [he said] do the wicked live, and become old, yea, are mighty in power (21:5-7)?
“Now you’ve just said that the portion is to be cut off and lose everything, his goods all poured out.” He said, “But now, take a look at reality. Look around, and as you look around, you’ll see that the wicked are prospering. Those that live wickedly become old, yea, they are mighty in power”. This of course, is the real enigma. This is the heart of the problem of Job! “Why do the righteous often times suffer so much, and why is it that the wicked so many times are prosperous?” This is the enigma that Job is facing, it’s the enigma of the book of Job.
Now their philosophy says that, “Hey if you’re righteous, it’s gonna go well. You’ll never have any problems! If you’re righteous, you’re gonna be prosperous, and your prosperity is a sign of your righteousness”. Paul speaks of those who would pervert God’s truth by declaring that, “Godliness was a way of prosperity”, a way to get rich.
There are those today that are espousing that kind of heresy, that godliness is a way to get rich. That you can create your own realities by visualizing those things that you want. “Visualize yourself driving that Mercedes! And, and you can create the reality through visualization!” And it’s, you say, “Oh yeah, that new age”. No, no listen, this junk has invaded at the church! You can hear it on channel forty almost every week! And I know that I’ll get a call from them on this, but I don’t care! Ha, ha!
Godliness is not a way to prosperity, and God doesn’t promise that He’s gonna make us rich. In fact, we are warned against riches, that it can really trip a man up! The Proverb said, “Lord, give me neither poverty nor riches. Poverty that I would be tempted to go out and steal, or riches, that I would forget God and say, ‘Hey who is God?’”. My father had a little thing on his desk that said, “Lord, never prosper me beyond my capacity to maintain my love for you”. James tells us that, “They who will be rich will fall into divers temptations”, or, “diverse temptations, that drown men’s souls in perdition”. God doesn’t promise riches and prosperity to His children. In fact it says, “They who live godly shall suffer persecution”. But we don’t like that promise.
But Job is facing the reality. These guys are dreamers, they are, they are religious philosophers. They, they espouse a, a philosophy, or a, a dogma that doesn’t hold water, even as these people who are you know, advocating that as, exercising of faith, and all, you can create your realities, and you can command God and all of these things. They are not facing reality. “Everybody should be healed, and if you’re not healed, then there’s something wrong with you spiritually, something wrong with your relationship with God, or there’s a lack in your faith, and…” This is not reality, it’s not realism. It’s a falsehood. They come along the scene, and they, they give all of these glowing stories, and, “Everybody I pray for is healed”, and all this kind of stuff. They can last for a week, but they’ve gotta move on, because it isn’t true. It doesn’t happen. They pray for people who die, they pray for people who continue in their maladies, and yet they espouse this thing that everyone is healed. They come on as though they have a hundred percent, you know, but they don’t last long. They can’t last long, because that’s not realistic!
So Job is facing reality, and yet, not quite so either, because you see, when we are tempted to evaluate life, and we begin to look around, and we see the wicked prospering, and we see the righteous sometimes suffering, then we are prone to carry the pendulum to the opposite extreme, and we’re saying, you know, “The rich never have any problems!” You know, “The wicked just seem to have everything given to them! They win the lotteries, and they, you know they just, they blaspheme God, and they’re horribly wicked, and yet, you know everything just seems to fall into their lap”. That’s not realistic either.
What is realism is that everybody has problems. Whether you’re wicked or righteous. That righteousness does not give me immunity. I will have problems. If I’m wicked, I will have problems. It is true that if I’m wicked, Satan doesn’t pick on me so much. If you try to live a righteous life, it’s true that Satan is going to be an adversary to you. But the truth is this, when I walk with God, He walks with me all the way. He is with me in the times of testing, trial, tribulation. If I’m walking without God, I’m walking without God all the way. And I have to go through those testing, and trials, and problems on my own, with no hope of coming out. When God is walking with me, there is always that hope, “God is going to bring me through”. Though there may be affliction for a time, for a season, God is gonna bring me through victorious. Job, in the midst of the darkness cried, “I know that my redeemer lives! He’s gonna bring me out! There’s a day coming in which I am gonna be delivered from my calamities!” That is always the hope of that one who walks with God. That old spiritual they used to sing, “I’m so glad that trouble don’t last always. God’s gonna bring me through”.
That reminds me of, of a story I heard of this lady who lived in Chicago, was extremely poor, had one problem heaped upon another, until it was almost more than anybody could bear. She got up one night in church, and began to testify of how things were just going so bad. She had saved all week, to buy a little hamburger, so she could have meat for dinner. As she was walking home with this little half pound of hamburger that she had saved all week to purchase, her shoestring was untied, and so she sat down on the curb to tie her shoe, and a dog came up and grabbed the meat, and took off with it. That was just about the end, you know. I mean, she didn’t have any more money. It was just, she went home and she was so discouraged, and just thought, “This is, this is it Lord! I can’t take anymore!”. She said, “Lord, you’ve gotta speak to me out of the scriptures, and I opened the bible, and it came open to the gospel of Luke, chapter two, verse one”. She said, “Oh bless God how He ministered to me, and oh what glorious, oh I praise the Lord!”, and she went on praising the Lord for chapter two, verse one, of the gospel of Luke. The pastor said, “Well now wait a minute sister. I don’t quite understand”, because he knew that the verse said, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed”. “How in the world can she get victory and comfort, and rejoicing out of that passage of scripture?” So he said, “Just a minute sister, I’d like to get clarification here. You say, Luke, two, one?” She said, “Oh yes, bless God! Hallelujah!” He said, “But just how did God speak to you out of Luke, two, one?” Said, “Well I just read, ‘And it came to pass’”. She said, “Oh thank God! It didn’t come to stay! It come to pass!” That’s always the hope of the righteous. It hasn’t come to stay, it’s come to pass. God is gonna bring me out. God is gonna bring me through.
But when we get our eyes upon these things, the seeming iniquities of the world, and Satan starts playing mind games with us, we are prone, as I say, to go to the other extreme. Job here, begins to go to the other extreme, as is often the case, as he begins to talk about the wicked. “Why do the wicked live, and become old, and are mighty in power?”
Their [children, their] seed is established in their sight with them, they have their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. [The wicked. “Their houses are safe from fear.” That’s not so. You just drive down through Newport Beach, and notice all of the protected by silent alarms, and by the securities. I mean, they’re fearful. But yet, you know as you start playing with these things, you think, “They don’t have any fears. God’s rod not upon them”.] Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cows calf, and cast not off her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel, the harp, and they rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment they go down to the grave (21:8-13).
“They don’t go through the misery like I’m going through, slow, torturous death. You know, they just live life to the full, and boom, they’re gone and the wicked have it made!”
Therefore they say to God, Depart from us; for we don’t really desire the knowledge of your ways. [“We’re happy the way we are. Happy living after our flesh.” And they say,] What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? [They spend their, let’s see, and then,] Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me (21:14-16).
Now this is the same kind of thing that we find in the seventy third Psalm, the Psalm of Asaph, when he was going through some real trials, personal trials in his own life. He was observing also, the wicked around him. He said, “Now I know that the Lord is good. I know this. God is good, unto Israel, and unto all that seek Him. But as for me, my foot almost slipped. I was well nigh gone, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there seems to be no pangs in their death. They have more than their hearts could desire. They are not in trouble as other men, and yet their eyes bulge out with fatness. They seem to have a full cup rung out unto them, and they blaspheme God. They say, ‘Who is God that we should serve Him’, and here they are blasphemous and all, and yet they seem to be prospering, and, and so happy!” Here, Job says, “Their children are dancing, and it seems like the good life”. So Asaph was observing the same kind of thing from his position of testings, and trials. It led him to a false conclusion.
Of course, this is the purpose of Satan. When he begins to play with your mind, and all, it’s to bring you to a false conclusion. Asaph said that, “When I sought to know this, it was really too painful for me, for I said, ‘I have washed my hands in innocency’”. Basically, “It doesn’t really pay to try and serve God, for I’ve been plagued all day long. It doesn’t really pay to try to live the right kind of a life, to do the right thing. When I sought to understand these things”, he said, “it was just really too painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God, and then, I saw their end”.
It’s getting the long term perspective. It’s seeing things in the light of the eternal. Rather than envying the wicked, when you see them in the light of the eternal, then there is great pity for the wicked. “Surely thou hast set them in sundry places. They go down into the pit in a moment. It’s over, cast off forever. But Lord, you hold me with my right hand”, or, “by my right hand. You guide me with your counsels. Afterwards, you’re gonna receive me into everlasting glory”. When you see the eternal perspective, and that’s what is so important for us. This is what should transpire, every time we come into the house of God. This should be a place of the correcting of perspective.
Sometimes you know, we’ve been battered out there by the world. We’ve looked around, and things are not fair. We try to do the right thing, we get in trouble. The guy who’s lying, stealing, cheating, he gets the promotion, because he faked the reports, and he’s lied about the whole thing, he gets promoted, and we stay at the same level. It’s just not fair! “It doesn’t pay to try and do the right thing. You know, if you’re gonna survive in business, you’ve gotta be a cheat, and dishonest like the rest of them, or else you just aren’t gonna survive. You gotta learn to lie and all this, or you’ll never make it in business!”
I mean, I’ve heard people who have come to this conclusion. That you cannot survive as an honest business man. I’ve heard that conclusion being drawn. When you’re out there mixing it with that lying, stealing, wicked crowd, it does seem that you’re at a definite disadvantage. Sometimes, with Asaph, you become envious, and jealous, when you conclude it doesn’t pay to just be honest, and to do the right thing.
But when you come into the sanctuary of God, then you get the corrective perspective. From the short-sightedness, unto the eternal view. What a change of attitude that makes in my observations, as I observe the wicked. Rather than envying now, I feel sorry for them. “Man you’re about wiped out, and you don’t even know it!” Down to destruction, into the pit.
So Job is, is pretty much making the same kind of observations that Asaph made, concerning the wicked. “They say to God, Depart from us; we don’t desire the knowledge of your ways. Who is God that we should serve him? What profit if we pray unto him?” You’ve heard these things from the wicked around you. But he said, “The counsel of the wicked is far from me. You’ve accused me of wickedness, hey man, I, I, I’m not with that attitude! The wicked say, ‘Who is God that we should pray?’, I know who God is! You’re accusing me of being a wicked man, but I’m far from a wicked man! I don’t espouse these philosophies of the wicked!” But then he said…
How often is the candle of the wicked put out! how often comes their destruction upon them! God distributes sorrows in his anger. And they are as stubble before the wind, and chaff that the storm carrieth away (21:17-18).
As you read through Job, which of course antedates the Psalms by many centuries, you find that many of the things that are in the book of Job are picked up in the book of Psalms. “The wicked are as the stubble before the wind, and the chaff that the storm carrieth away.” Remember Psalm one? “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord. And in His law doth he meditate day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth his fruit in his season. His leaf also shall not wither. Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper; but the wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” So that, that comes right out of Job here. “The wicked, like chaff driven by the wind.”
In those days, in the threshing of their wheat, they would put it out on this stone, usually on the top of the hill, a flat stone. They would put out their wheat, and then they would walk on it and all, to separate the little hull from the kernel of wheat. As they would work the thing over, separating this, this hull, which is unpalatable, it won’t cook. Even after you boil it, it’s still hard, and will choke you. So they’ve gotta get rid of that husk. So they take and rub the wheat well upon the rock, and then as the wind is blowing, they’ll take and just throw the wheat up into the air. All of the hull, which is very light, blows away, and the wheat falls back down on the rock itself. So after this process of throwing the wheat in the air, the chaff is driven away by the wind. That’s what they’re talking about. “The wicked are like chaff, it’s driven away.”
God lays up his iniquity for his children: [“The sins of the parents, visited upon the children.” Oh my, how we see this today! One in sixty children, born in New York city today, are born with AIDS. One in sixty! Shocking! “He lays up his iniquity for His children”:] he rewards him, and he shall know it. His eyes shall see the destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty. [Don’t envy the wicked, they are going to drink of the wrath of the Almighty.] For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off in the midst? Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judges those that are on high (21:19-22).
Now there are those that presume to teach God knowledge. I find great difficulty in the concept of God that is being espoused by some of the well known ministers of this day and age. In Paul Youngie Cho’s book, “The Fourth Dimension”, I have great difficulty with his prayer for a bicycle, and after continued prayer, for over a prolonged period of time, and no bicycle was forth coming, when he questioned God, and said, “Why haven’t you answered my prayer and given me a bicycle?”. God said, “Well, I didn’t know what kind you wanted. You didn’t tell me what kind”. I have a little problem with that. A God who is so impotent, that He doesn’t know what kind of a bicycle to give me, and can’t give me a bicycle until I specify, “A Schwinn Cruiser”. Then still, after no bicycle, and another question, “You didn’t say what color!”, poor God! “Shall any teach God knowledge?” Does God need my advice, or my direction? No. I need His advice, and His directions. “Seeing that He judges those on high.”
One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, his bones are moistened with marrow. Another dies in bitterness of his soul, and never eats with pleasure. [And we see it. This is life, this is reality! Job is facing reality. Some people die, and you know, full strength and all, right up until death, and others, just slowly fade out.] But they both shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall devour both of them. Now, behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which you wrongfully imagine against me (21:23-27).
“Your thoughts concerning me are wrong. You’re making a wrong analysis.”
For you say, Where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked? Have you not asked them that go by the way? do you not know their tokens, That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. And who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him for what he has done? Yet shall he be brought down to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb. And the clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as there innumerable before him. How then do you comfort me in vain, seeing that in your answers there’s the [“Inconsistencies, there’s the fallacies, there are the,”] falsehoods (21:28-34)?
“How do hope to comfort me with these vain philosophies, that are not real? You’re not facing reality fellas!” So Job can’t be comforted by the words of these men. But these guys are stubborn. They don’t give up easily!
Next week we’ll find Eliphaz laying the same kind of trip on Job again. He’s gonna go at it for the third time, and sort of give Job the same treatment. So we’ll look at that next week, as we move along in the book of Job.
May the Lord be with you and give you a blessed week. As you live and walk in fellowship with God, may you be strengthened by His Spirit, in your inner man, so that you might be more than a conqueror through His love. Through the difficulties, the trials, may we keep the perspective, of God working out His eternal plans in our life, for our eternal good. May you come to that place of strength, and power, through the ministry of the Spirit to your heart, as He works in your life effectually. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7161