Let’s turn to the book of Job, chapter twenty two, as we look at the third and final discourse of…
Eliphaz the Temanite [who is responding] he answers him, and he says, Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous? or is it gain to him, that you make your ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? or will he enter with thee into judgement (22:1-4)?
The view that Eliphaz has of God, is that He is quite remote from man. That He is perfect, and entire within Himself, and that there is nothing that you can do to add to God. No benefit, or gain for God if you are good. That God is just sort of rather remote from us all. “So how could you be profitable unto God?”
Now in a sense, I can see where that would be very true. That God, who created the universe, who am I, that I could add anything to Him? He’s total, He’s complete. “Who am I that I could be profitable unto God?” I could only be profitable to God, as He considers me to be profitable. In reality, I can’t add anything to God, I can’t do anything for God.
It’s sort of an interesting thing that we talk about serving the Lord, but we know, that even in sharing the gospel, that unless the Spirit of God is working in that person’s heart, all of our words in the world, aren’t gonna do any good. I can present a very clear case for the gospel. I can argue, and present a strong apologetic. I can prove that Jesus is the Messiah, and yet unless God’s Spirit is working in that person’s heart, they’re not gonna respond. They’ll just shrug it all off. So, a person cannot really come, unless God calls them, God is working in their heart. God is sovereign, and the thing is, I can really do no true work for God, except God has already done that work. What can I add to it?
The amazing thing to me, is though, is even though God is the one that does the work, and God is going to do, and accomplish His purposes, because how could you really stop the purposes of God? How could man hinder the purposes of God? It’s like Mordecai sent the message to Esther, and said, “If you fail, God will bring deliverance from another quarter”. God has put you in a strategic place where you can be the instrument of God. You’re in a strategic place, if you fail, God will work out their deliverance from another quarter, but you will suffer for it. God’s purposes shall be accomplished.
The amazing thing is that God allows me the privilege of being the instrument, though which He accomplishes His purposes. That’s exciting for me! I have the opportunity. I have the chance of being the instrument, through which God does His work. Now it is the work of God that is being done, I can do nothing. But God will use me as His instrument, to do His work.
But then He turns around and rewards me, as though I had done something! For the reward, of the blessing of the work accomplished, His work! He accomplishes it through me, but then He rewards me for it. Now that to me, is just, you know, outstanding! That I have the privilege of being God’s instrument. I can present my body to God, to be an instrument, to accomplish His purposes, His will. He does the work, He accomplishes the task, and then He says, “Good job!”, and rewards me for it.
So, and, if I fail, as I say, God will fulfill His purposes. God, God’s whole purpose doesn’t rest upon me. I thought it did for awhile, and it just was killing me. You know, you try to carry that burden, and that kind of a load, and it’s just too heavy. You can’t do it. God will accomplish His purposes, in spite of me. That is why it is so manifestly wrong, for any preacher, Tele-evangelist, or whatever, to try and put you on a guilt trip, to make you think that God’s whole work is dependant upon you, sending in that sacrificial offering this week. “If you don’t get that offering in, the work of God will fail, and you will bear the responsibility of God having to go to bankruptcy court!” I really wouldn’t want to serve that kind of a God.
Truth of the matter is, God is supreme, God is sovereign, and what Eliphaz is saying, there is a ring, and a note of truth, but it doesn’t tell all the truth, and that, many times is dangerous. It’s truth, yes, but it isn’t all the truth. The truth is, you know, who am I that I could bring profit to God, or could bring any gain, or add anything to God, that is very true, there’s nothing I can add to God. There’s nothing really that I can do to bring gain to God, He’s complete, He’s total. There is that totality in Himself, and yet, the whole truth is that God has called me, and chosen me and ordained, that I should be His disciple, and that I should bring forth fruit, abiding fruit.
So, the fact that God has chosen to use me. The fact that God has chosen to use you. The fact that God calls you to these different things, it’s just a blessed thing! He doesn’t need you, and He doesn’t need me. That’s basically what Eliphaz is saying to Job. “Hey, God doesn’t need you man! You can’t add anything to God. You can’t really be profitable to God!”. Yet, God has chosen to place the responsibilities of His work upon me, that I might do His work, and be rewarded accordingly. So having said this, he then gets into his real thing with Job. He said…
Isn’t your wickedness great? for your iniquities are infinite (22:5)?
Oh man, what a charge! Now I will admit to, my wickedness is great, and yes, there are many iniquities, but not infinite!. Now he declares several charges that he imagines against Job. Unproven accusations. There is no indication at all. In fact, Job denies these charges, when he responds to Eliphaz. Charges of things that were considered wrong, bad, even before the law of God was given to Moses. For this is what he is supposed Job, to be guilty of.
You have taken a pledge from your brother for nothing, and have stripped the naked of their clothing (22:6).
Now when a person would borrow money, there was always the collateral. In those days, they would sometimes even give their clothes for collateral. Anything of value, to give as a collateral for the loan. So, he is accused, accusing Job, of taking collateral, but giving the person nothing really for it. In other words taking, say a diamond ring worth a thousand dollars, and loaning them five dollars, for that kind of collateral. “You extorted from people, and you’ve taken their clothing. You’ve stripped them!” Now under the law, interestingly enough, if you took a man’s cloak, for a collateral on a loan, you had to give it back to him before nightfall. Because the robes that they wore, were also the blankets for them at night. So you were required to give it back to them before nightfall, lest they spend a sleepless night, being so cold. So, “You’ve stripped the naked of their clothing. You’ve taken the clothes for collateral.”
You have not given water to the weary to drink, [One of the most important graces in those days, was giving water to a traveler, to a weary person. There are many instances of graves, which extolled the person who died, and in the extolling of the person, there is that phrase, “And he gave the strangers water to drink”. In an arid area, a desert area, water is so vital for life, that the giving of water was just considered a very important grace. Jesus, you remember, said, “If you give a cup of cold water unto a prophet, then you will receive a prophet’s reward”. The importance of, of the giving of water. But he is saying, “You’ve not been giving water to the weary.”] you have withheld bread from the hungry (22:7).
Again, and under the law, and in the writings of the Old Testament, it speaks of God’s concern for the poor. There’s an interesting scripture that says that, “He that giveth unto the poor, lendeth unto the Lord”, and that the Lord takes up the cause of the poor. So they’re accusing Job of not having any concern for the poor. We must be careful ourselves, living in this kind of affluent society, where we do have the poor around us, that we not ignore the poor, the needs of the poor. So the accusation is that, “You’ve withheld bread from the hungry.”
But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; [Now in the Hebrew, the mighty man is the man with a big arm. What he’s accusing, Job of strong arm tactics. This is the accusation here, that Job is guilty of strong arm tactics. He uses these strong powerful men, “that you might have your own luxuries”.] You have sent widows away empty, and you’ve broken the arms of the fatherless. [The orphans. I mean, he’s really accusing Job of some pretty nasty things! And because of this,] Snares [traps] are round about thee, [Now Job was complaining about the snares. “And this is”, he said, “why the snares are there, this is why you feel trapped”.] and sudden fear has troubled you; Or the darkness, [And Job was complaining about he could not see the ways of God, he could not understand the things of God, and, “This is why you can’t understand the darkness”.] and the abundance of waters [the floods] have overwhelmed you. Is not God in the height of heaven? behold the height of the stars, how high they are (22:8-12)!
Now it was considered, and thought that God lived on the outside of the canopy of stars, outside of the universe. “Notice how high”, he said, “the stars are”. “God is in the heights of the heavens.”
And you say, How does God know? can he judge through a dark cloud? [The idea is, God dwelling out there, if it’s a cloudy day, He can’t see you. “You think you can get by? You think, that how does God know what I’m doing, He’s so far away, He’s so remote, how can He possibly know what I am doing?”] The thick clouds [he said] are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walks in the circuit [That is, outside.] of the heavens. [This canopy, this circle of heaven, it covers, as it surrounds the earth.] Hast thou marked the old way [with] which wicked men have trodden? Which were cut down out of time, [That is, in an untimely kind of death. “Haven’t you noticed how the wicked die untimely deaths?”] whose foundation was overflown with a flood: Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for us? And yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked [he said] is far from me. The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn (22:13-19).
That is, when the wicked are brought down, it makes the righteous glad.
Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth. [Then his advice to Job. “Job, just”,] Acquaint yourself with God, and be at peace: [“Just get right with God Job, and you will be at peace.] and thereby good will come to you (22:20-21).
So again, the whole subtle accusation, is that Job, and it’s not just a subtle accusation, it’s an open accusation. “Job is a wicked man, his iniquities are infinite, that he his only reaping the bitter fruit of his own wickedness. He has done these horrible things. He’s no doubt guilty of these heinous crimes, and that is why all of the calamity has come. That’s why he’s lost everything! Now the answer and the solution Job, is just get right with God! Acquaint now, yourself with Him, and be at peace: and good will come to thee.”
Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart (22:22).
Now, though Job is very early in the history of man, as we have mentioned, it is possible that he was a contemporary to Abraham. Very early in the history of mankind. Already there were those writings that were recognized to be of God. There were those thoughts, ideas, laws, though the law of Moses was yet some four hundred years away. Yet, there were those laws that they understood to be of God, which of course, later became codified, many of them in the law of Moses. But, a certain recognition of what is right, and what is wrong. Of what is good, and what is bad.
The philosophy of existentialism would try to take away any true right, or true wrong, absolute good, or absolute evil. They would make everything relative, so that there are no real absolutes of good or of evil.
Now the professor that declares that to you in your class in University, I would like to see a student some day, just go up, after the professor has declared that, turn his desk upside down, set a fire to his papers, pop him in the jaw, get a stranglehold on him, and as the professor begins to call the police or something, “Wait a minute! Nothing wrong with this! I’m just relating to you. This is how I feel like relating. Makes me feel good!”.
You would find that he does have a code of ethics, of things that he feels are right, and things that he feels are wrong. Though he declares that there is no right or wrong, you’ll find that he is snowing you. Because, he would say, “Wait a minute! That’s not right!”. “Well who said? By whose authority? By what determination?” They say, you see, there is no determinate factor for rights or wrongs, because of the denial of God.
But even here, there was that understanding of what was right before God, and what was wrong in the sight of God. This, this is something that is innate within man. We know what is good, and what is evil. “He hath shown thee, o man, what is good.” So, Eliphaz is just giving good advice to Job at this point, except that it didn’t apply to Job’s case. He is coming from a totally false premise of the reason for Job’s problems. He said…
If you will return to the Almighty, you will be built up, and you shall put iniquity far from your tent. Then you shall lay up gold as dust, the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. [“Man, you just start serving God, and you’re gonna be prosperous. I mean, you’re gonna be wealthy. You’ll have gold like the dust around your house. Nuggets of gold, like rocks!”] Yea, the Almighty shall be your defense, you’ll have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have your delight in the Almighty, and you shall lift up your face to God (22:23-26).
So the friends of Job carry the same philosophy that Reverend Ike, and Kenneth Copeland, and Kenneth Hagan have today, and Price, and some of the others. That if you just walk right with God, and learn how to manipulate Him, you can drive expensive cars. Cadillac, Mercedes, whatever. “You can wear diamonds on every finger. God wants you to.”
Thou shalt make thy prayer to him, and he will hear you, [Job was complaining that God didn’t seem to be hearing his prayers. The reason why is iniquity, he is saying.] You will pay your vows. You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: [Job was complaining that he called to his servants, they wouldn’t listen. “Just get right with God Job, acquaint yourself with God, and be at peace, and your servants will start listening again. You will decree a thing, and it shall be established.” I am surprised that those name it, claim it guys haven’t latched onto this verse. Seems to prove their point doesn’t it? “The scripture says, ‘Ye shall declare a thing, and it shall be established’, what you say, you have”. Only that happens to come from the false advice of Eliphaz.] the light shall shine upon your ways. When men are cast down, then you will say, There is a lifting up; [“You’ve gone through it Job, you can be an encouragement to those that are cast down. You can say, ‘Hey, there’s a lifting up’,”] and you will be able to save the humble person. He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of your hands (22:27-30).
So goes Eliphaz.
Then Job answered [These charges of being exceedingly wicked, infinite iniquity.] he said, Even today my complaint is bitter: but my stroke is heavier than my groaning. [“I have bitterly complained, but really I haven’t, I haven’t complained as, as much as I could. The stroke is even greater. You don’t understand all that I’m going through.” Then in response to, “Just find God and it’ll be alright”, he said, “Oh I knew,”] Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his throne! [“Oh that I could, oh if I could just come to that awesome throne of God.”] I would order my cause before him, I would fill my mouth with arguments (23:1-4).
Now earlier, you remember, Job said, “Hey, if I should try and plead my case with God, I wouldn’t have a chance! I couldn’t answer Him one question in a thousand.” He didn’t want to, to you know, stand before the judgement. Now he’s changed his mind. Of course, when a person is in a lot of misery, they have these change, the swings of moods. Job is now having swung, he said, “I would like to come and plead my case with God. I would fill my mouth with arguments”.
I would [then understand, or] know the words that he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. Will he plead against me with his great power? [“Would He use His marvelous, mighty power, against me?”] No; but he would put strength in me. There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge. [“If I could just somehow find God, and plead my cause before God, I’m sure that, that He would exonerate me. He would see that I am not deserving all of this misery, that has been heaped upon me.” But, the difficulty of finding God.] Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him (23:5-9):
Now something interesting here. Just a little side light. In giving of directions, they always thought of themselves as facing east. So the words translated here, “go forward”, literally are the words, “if I go toward the east”. Because they always thought of themselves as facing east. So forward would always be to the east, and thus the word for forward, is toward the east, toward the rising of the sun. “So if I go forward, toward the east,” therefore backward would be west, you westerners! And, to your left then would be to the north, facing east. To your right, would be to the south.
So Job is saying, “If I search for God, if I go to the east, if I go to the west, if I go to the north, to the south, I don’t see Him. I can see that He’s working. I can see the evidences of Him. But I can’t see Him.” And the difficulty of finding God, because, the eternal God is invisible. No man hath seen God at any time. God said to Moses, “You cannot see me and live”. So that difficulty of finding God when you can’t see Him. We see the evidences, we can feel Him. “I go on the left hand where he works, but I do not behold Him. He hides Himself on the right hand, I cannot see Him.”
But he knoweth the way that I take: and when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold (23:10).
This is another one of those remarkable statements of the triumph of faith, in Job. I mean the fellow’s going through absolute misery, and for the most, he is, his words are just discouragement, and despair, and hopelessness, and, and they’re coming out of this not being able to understand. Just the darkness, that seems to surround his life. But every once in awhile, there’s this bright flash of faith, that comes forth in these magnificent statements, such as we were looking at last week. “I know that my redeemer lives, and in the latter days shall stand upon the earth. Though the worms may eat my body, yet in my flesh, I shall see Him, whom I shall see for myself, and not another.” Now, here’s one of those again. “For He knoweth the way that I take: and when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job says, “Hey, when this is over, when this trial is finished, I know I shall come forth as gold.”
It is interesting that in the New Testament, it tells us that, “We should rejoice in tribulations, for the trial of your faith is more precious than gold, though it perished, being tried in the fire”. The idea that God uses the fire as a refining process in our lives, to take away the dross, to develop the purity. So here Job sees that this is a refining process in his life, “Though I cannot understand it. Yet I know that when the trial is over, I’m gonna come forth like gold”. That marvelous declaration of faith!
My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, [“My foot has held his steps”, is the equivalent of, “I have followed in the steps of God”. Now they’ve accused Job of horrible wickedness, forsaking God, and the ways of God, and he is declaring, “I have followed in the steps of God”. And,] his ways have I kept, [Is sort of a redundancy.] and not declined. [And of course, that’s what Hebrew poetry is. This is Hebrew poetry, so it is the repetition of the same thing, and you get that so often.] Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; for I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food (23:11-12).
Now again, there must have been some written revelation, even in that day, concerning God. For Job said that, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth, more than my necessary breath.” Though really, the first of the uh, the books of spiritual cannon that we have, are the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses. Moses came some time after Job. But even in Job’s days, there were those scriptures, those words, that were recognized to be from God, and he esteems them, “more than his necessary food”.
But he is of one mind, and who can change him? whatever he wants, he does (23:13).
Interesting question, and interesting thought, I’m not gonna try and develop it tonight, but the idea is this, “Can you really change the mind of God?” I would like to, with that thought, ask a question. Is that the reason, or the purpose for prayer? Is the, is the thrust of prayer to change the mind of God? If that is your idea and thought concerning prayer, I think that you have the wrong idea concerning prayer. I don’t think that prayer really is to change the mind of God, and yet so many times that is the idea that would be conveyed, as you listen to our prayers. So often we pray as though we are seeking to change the mind of God. But the real thrust of prayer is not changing the mind of God, but accomplishing the purposes of God.
Now I would like to say that I really am not concerned in changing the mind of God. If I could, which I don’t think I can. I don’t believe that there is any way at all that I can change the mind of God. I would think that it would be rather audacious on my part, to think that I could change the mind of God. And, I think it’s more than audacious, it would be rather stupid to try to change the mind of God. Because, who am I? What ideas or thoughts could I possibly have, that would be superior to His? What way could I devise that would be better than God’s way. So, as you pray, don’t think of prayer as changing the mind of God. But, opening the door for God to accomplish what is in His mind, and in His heart. “He is of one mind, and who can turn Him? what his soul desires, even that He does.” God is sovereign. Who can, who can stay the hand of God?
For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him. [“He, He’s determined to do it, and I can’t change Him.”] Therefore I’m troubled at his presence: [“It bothers me, because I don’t understand why He’s doing these things, why He’s allowing these things.” That often is a problem for us. If I believe that God is sovereign, if I believe that God is in control of the circumstances of my life, then those circumstances that seem to be so difficult, those trials that are so heavy, they trouble me! Why would God who loves me, allow me to experience these things that are painful, that hurt? So, “I’m troubled at His presence”,] and when I consider these things, I am afraid of him. [Job said.] For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubles me: Because I was not cut off before the darkness, [“Because I didn’t die at birth, I wasn’t stillborn.] neither hath he covered the darkness from my face (23:14-17).
“I don’t know why he hasn’t cut me off. If that’s His purpose, why does He allow me to linger, why does He allow me this painful existence? Why does He allow all of this to happen to me?” It becomes a real problem for Job.
Why, seeing the times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days (24:1)?
“Now there are some that do these things that you accuse me of doing Eliphaz. You accused me of all kinds of crookedness.”
There are some men who do remove landmarks; [Now the landmarks were usually little piles of stone at the corners of the property, by which they marked the borders of their property. Over in Israel today, you can still see these little stone, uh piles of stone, that are the landmarks. Now unscrupulous people would sneak out in the night and they would move those piles of stones, over away into your neighbor’s property. Thus you would claim more property for yourself. The Jews have a legend, concerning the reason for the placement of the city of Jerusalem. According to their story, there were two brothers, one of them had many children, and a small parcel of ground. The other did not have any children, but had a very large parcel of ground. Their property was side by side, because of the family. So one night, the brother with all of the children, as he had settled down in the house with his family, and was warm and comfortable thinking, “How blessed I am to have all of these precious children, my heritage. My brother, my poor brother doesn’t have any children. All he has is land. Thus he’s missing out on all of this richness and blessing of having children”. As he thought about it, he got up at midnight, and he went out into the field, and he moved the stones, to give his brother even more property. “Because that’s all my brother has, is just his property. So he should even have more, because he doesn’t’ have the blessing of children.” However his brother that night was thinking, “I have all this property, more than I really need. My brother with his large family and so many children, could really use more property.” So he got up about one o’clock in the morning, and went out and moved the stones of the landmark on back, from where his brother had moved them. In the morning when they went out to work, and they greeted each other, they were both surprised to see the landmark in the same spot. Ha, ha! So that night again, as the brother was lying there with all of his children, and thinking of the plight of his brother without any children, decided again to go out into the field, and move again, the landmark, the pile of stones. As he was moving the pile of stones, his brother came out to move them also, and they realized what had happened. God, in seeing this said, “In a place where there is so much love, is the place where I want to dwell”. So God made Jerusalem the capital of His people. A beautiful legend, that explains why Jerusalem is the capital of the people of God. It has to do with landmarks, the moving of landmarks. But as a general rule, the moving of landmarks was for nefarious purposes. So Job said, “Hey, now I know there are those that remove landmarks”.] and they violently take away the flocks, and feed on them (24:2).
“There are those people who live off of others.”
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless, and they take the widow’s ox for a pledge. [“That by which he is able to plow and all. But then take that away from a widow. They’re mean, they’re cruel! I know these people exist!”] They turn the needy out of the way: and the poor of the earth hide themselves together. Behold, they are like wild donkeys in the desert, they go forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yields food for them and for their children (24:3-5).
“There are those who just go out looking for someone to rob. These marauding bands of evil men, that go forth like wild donkeys just looking for the prey.”
They reap every one his corn in the field: [That is, when they come to the cultivated areas, they will steal the corn out of the field.] and they gather the grapes out of the vineyards. [“They steal, they, they live off of stolen goods.”] They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, [That is, they take clothes for a pledge.] so that they have no covering in the cold. They are wet with the showers of the mountains, [They live, they lived out in the open. They don’t have permanent houses, they just wander around as, as pirates, or,] they embrace the rock for the want of shelter. [They just live in caves. They won’t work, they just live off of others.] They pluck the fatherless from the breast, [That is, they’ll take a child away from a mother, they will steal a child, and sell it actually, into slavery just to get the money.] and take pledge of the poor. They cause him to go naked without clothing, they take away the sheaf from the hungry (24:6-10);
These are the things basically, that they’re accusing Job of doing. He says, “Now I know that there are people that do these things”.
Which make oil within their walls, and tread their wine presses, and suffer thirst. [“They allow people to go thirsty. They have an abundance themselves, but they won’t help others. I know that those kind of people exist.”] That men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: and yet God layeth not folly to them. They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof (24:11-13).
“They love darkness. Men who live in darkness.” As Jesus said, “This is the condemnation that light has come into the world, but men will not come to the light, because their deeds are evil”. “And I know”, Job said, “these people exist”.
The murderer rises at dusk to go out and kill the poor and the needy, and in the night is as a thief. The eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and he disguises his face. [That is, they put on a disguise, they cover their face. So the evil men at night, faces disguised, go out to rob, to steal, to do their wickedness.] In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: for they do not know the light (24:14-16).
In those days, that was generally the way of breaking into a house. The houses were made of mud, mud bricks, sort of adobe type. The doors would be heavily barred, the windows were high and narrow. You couldn’t climb in a window, the doors were heavily barred. So they’d dig through the wall, to break into a house. Breaking and entering, and he comes through the wall. Ha, ha! They, they pick out the house during the day, and then at night they go and they dig a hole in the wall, and sneak in.
For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: and if one should discover them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death. [They, they love the night, they love the darkness. Their deeds and works are darkness, and are done in darkness. They hate the light, it’s like death to them.] He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholds not the way of the vineyards. Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those that have sinned (24:17-19).
Even as these wicked men doing these things, ultimately they are going to die, even as the drought, uh, the snow waters are, are dried up in the summer, so their lives will be taken. The graves cover those that sin, they’ll disappear to the grave.
The womb shall forget him; [That is their mothers that bore them will disown them, will not want to have anything to do with them. And when they die,] the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; the wicked shall be broken as a tree. [So, Job says, “I’m aware of this”.] He has evil entreated the barren that beareth not: he doesn’t do good to the widow (24:20- 21).
Mocking the woman who can’t bear a child. Evil intrigues them. That was a curse, cultural curse not to be able to bear children, in that culture. The wicked make an issue of that. They, they heap unto the person already whose going through grief.
He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life. And though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways. They are exalted for a little while, [That is the wicked.] but then they’re gone, they are brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn. [This is interesting because in ancient Egypt, the way they would harvest their corn, was to go through and flop off the top, just under the ears of corn. Then they would throw the whole thing in the basket. That’s the way they cultivated. Here, of course, same practice no doubt in the area where Job lived, as was practiced in Egypt, as far as the harvesting of corn.] And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, make my speech nothing worth (24:22-25)?
“Prove me, things that I have said. Where have I, where is there a fallacy in my logic here? Show me where I’m wrong!” Job is challenging them.
Bildad who is a man of few words, then responds to Job, in the shortest response of all. I mean, Job has just about worn these guys down. Now the interesting thing is that the shortest response to Job evokes the longest response from Job. I mean, when Job starts to answer Bildad, he gets on a kick, and he doesn’t quit. He goes on, and on, and on, for several chapters.
So next week we’ll take four chapters. We won’t have the total response of Job to Bildad, but we’ll see how he really gets carried away now, and has a hard time stopping, as he responds to Bildad in our next lesson. So go on for four chapters, they are rather short chapters, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty with them. We’ll continue our journey through Job. Shall we stand.
May the Lord bless and help you, strengthen you, guide you in His love, and in His purposes. May this week be a week that is devoted not just to thanksgiving, but to living our lives according to His purpose. May we seek to know and to follow the will of God. As Job declared, “May we follow in His steps”. “For the ways of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his ways.” May God delight in your ways this week, as you walk in fellowship with Him.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7162