Let’s turn to the book of Job, beginning tonight with chapter four. Job is the story of a man who had everything, wealth, a good family, good relationship with God. A man who, the scripture declares was perfect, straight, upright. A man who loved good, hated evil. The Bible gives us an interesting background to the book of Job that Job and his friends are not aware of.
There has been in heaven, a controversy between God and Satan, concerning Job. As God brags upon him, Satan suggests to God that Job is a mercenary, only serving God for the benefits that he gets. He asked permission to take away Job’s blessings, he predicts that the result would be Job would curse God to His face. The Lord granted Satan the right to strip Job of his possessions, which he did.
Upon hearing news that all of his possessions were either stolen or destroyed, even his children were wiped out, as a wind destroyed the house in which they were feasting. Job fell on his face, worshiped God. He said, “The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Naked I came into the world, naked I’m going out. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” And in all of these things Job would not curse God, nor charge God foolishly.
Satan then suggested that, skin for skin, a man would give everything he has for his life. “If you take away his health, then he will curse you”. God said, “Alright take away his health, but you don’t touch his life”. That is, “let him live, don’t kill him”. So Satan afflicted Job with these horrible loathsome sores all over his body. Lying there in the dirt, the sores running, the dirt would cake on the sores. He would take a piece of pottery and scrape himself. Miserable, miserable, miserable. Smelly, horrible, loathsome.
His wife seeing his sad, horrible condition, said, “Why don’t you just get it over with Job. Why don’t you just curse God and die?”, yet Job said, “Does not a man receive good things from the Lord, and also evil?”. As Job was sitting there in the midst of his pain and his suffering, the things that had happened to Job were broadcast around, and three of his friends came to comfort him in his misery and sorrow. But when they saw Job, they weren’t prepared for what they were going to see. They weren’t prepared for how bad it really was. They were shocked. They sat there in silence for seven days, without uttering any words, as they saw the suffering of their friend.
Finally, Job spoke to them, in which he bore his soul. “Why was I ever born? Why didn’t God just let me die in the womb? Why wasn’t’ there a stillbirth? Why did God allow me to come into life?”. In these things Job was sort of maintaining the fact that he didn’t know why he was experiencing such suffering. He didn’t know why God would allow him to go through such affliction and such pain. He did not know what was going on behind the scenes, and neither did his friends. When Job had finished his complaint, his first friend,
Eliphaz, [probably the eldest of the three, verse four], answered and said, If we assay to commune with thee, will you be grieved? [“Or will you be angry? Look Job, you’ve made some serious charges. Now if I am presumptuous to talk, and to perhaps answer some of these things, will you be angry?”] but who can but withhold himself from speaking? [In other words, “You’ve made some very serious charges Job, it may be that you’re gonna be angry at some of my suggestions, but after the things that you said, they have to be answered. You just can’t let it go.] Behold, you have instructed many, you have strengthened weak hands. Your words have upheld those who were falling, you have strengthened feeble knees. But now it’s come upon you, and you faint; it touches you, and you’re troubled (4:1-5).
In other words, “Job you knew how to dish out advice to others, when they were going through problems, you’ve been a counselor to others. You’ve had answers for others when they were going through misery and pain, and now it happens to you, and you don’t have any answers. It’s a different thing when it strikes home! It’s one thing to be able to have a good analysis of why other people are going through problems, one thing to be able to comfort them in the midst of their sorrows, but when it hits you, it’s a different matter.
Is not this thy fear, [And this should get the sense of this verse six. It is, “Is not your fear of God”] your confidence, and you hope, and the uprightness of your ways (4:6)?
“Isn’t your fear of God your place of confidence? The fact that you trust God, you reverence God, that should be a place of confidence, a place of hope, a place of uprightness”. Now he makes this suggestion, in which he is suddenly intimating something that he will declare very plainly later, that is that Job must be guilty of some horrible heinous sin, to be going through all of this misery. Notice this suggestion.
Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? [ In other words, he’s saying, “Job, you’re not innocent man.” I wonder what about Abel. Surely he knew the story of Cain and Abel, how that Abel was innocent, but his brother killed him. Of course I think of Jesus Christ. The innocent do perish. The innocent do suffer. My being innocent, or my being pure, does not give to me a immunity from suffering, or sorrows or problems. We make a very serious mistake in following the philosophy of Job’s friends, and it is a natural philosophy of the world. In other words, if something is going wrong in our life, seriously wrong, the thought is that somehow it is punishment from God. We always look at the problems, as somehow God is punishing me for something. Now with us, we usually can figure out something that it’s probably for. Ha, ha! We, we feel that we know why this is happening to us, because, and, and… But, Job here, was a good man! He protests of his innocence. But he said, “Hey Job, you know innocent people don’t have these kind of problems”.] where were the righteous ever cut off? Even as I have seen, that those who plow iniquity, and so wickedness, reap the same (4:7-8).
“Job, you’re only reaping what you have sown. If you plow to iniquity, if you sow wickedness, that ‘s what you’re going to reap.” Thus the suggestion that Job is not innocent as he proclaims himself to be, but there is something seriously wrong in Job’s heart and life, that has brought all of this misery, and all of this problem to him.
There is a dangerous doctrine that has manifested itself in the Pentecostal churches for some time. Embraced by many of them, and especially by those healing evangelists. That it is God’s will, that everyone be strong and healthy, and prosperous. “If you’re going through troubles, if you’re going through sicknesses, or whatever, then there is something wrong with your faith. There’s something wrong with your relationship with God. Because if you only acted on faith, if you only had enough faith, then you should never need to be sick!”
It is interesting to me how many of these men who are publically advocating this heresy, have become so sick themselves. I wouldn’t say that it is a judgement of God, but I would think that it is a demonstration of God, that the righteous often suffer. The righteous often get sick. The righteous die. To suggest that you can be cured of any malady, just by your following a prescribed pattern of faith, or whatever, is making man sovereign, not God. That’s a serious heresy. Those that have been so strong in proclaiming that, and who have led so many people into a false hope, and have destroyed the faith of many. Because the tragedy of it is, when a person does everything, makes all of the positive confessions, refuses to acknowledge that they’re sick, and they have a friend who is, who is dying, and yet they go through all of the mechanisms of these men, and then when the person dies, they’re utterly wiped out, they’re destroyed.
Then they begin to, and then of course, there are always those “Job’s comforters”, that come around and say, “Well if you had just hung on in faith! You see, it’s your fault they died, because you…”, you know. Goodness, at a time you need comfort, and you need strength, and you need, you know that comfort of, of the sense of loss that you feel. Instead of comforting, they come around and they heap guilt upon you! We’ve had to deal with so many people that have come in with this sense of guilt. “Oh you know, I killed him! I killed him! And I loved him so much, but I killed him, because I let go. I didn’t trust God, I didn’t…”, you know and make you feel guilty. That’s such rot!
By the blast of God [The word “blast” there in the Hebrew, is “breath”. “By the breath of God,] they perish, [Man is so frail! The unrighteous, so frail! By the breath of God, he perishes.] by the breath of his nostrils they are consumed. The roaring of a lion, the voice of the fierce lion, the teeth of the young lions are broken. The old lion perishes for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad (4:9-11).
Now he talks about a vision that he had, and it’s interesting to me. It gets sort of into the mystic you know. I’m a very practical person. I do believe in visions, I do believe in dreams that can be inspired by God. I do believe in spirits, but I’m not heavily preoccupied with these things. I have never seen an angel. I do believe that they exist. I’ve never been in a trance. It’s not that I’m not willing, you know. If I can learn or gain anything, I’d go into a trance, but I’ve never been in one. I don’t know that I have ever had a dream that has any spiritual significance to it. Yet I’m open to it. So he, but, there are those people that are always living in these mystical experiences. But I’ve noticed sort of like uh, line backers, there’s a weird look in their eyes! Like they’re not quite living in reality. ! So Eliphaz now takes off into the mystic realm. He said…
Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up straight: [“Had this terrifying experience in the middle of the night, when in a deep sleep. This spirit passed before my face, and my hair stood on end!”] It stood still, but I could not discern [That is, the spirit that came stood still. “But I could not discern”,] the form thereof: [“I knew it was there, but I couldn’t see the form. It was just this formless spirit.”] an image was before my eyes, and there was silence, and then I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his [Angels, or,] servants; [Which would be angels.] and his angels he charged with folly: [“That is, he doesn’t really trust His angels. They are created beings.”] How much less those that dwell in houses of clay, [Or man. “If He doesn’t put full confidence in His angels, how much less would He put confidence in men who dwell in these houses of clay?” The idea of your body being out of dust,] whose foundation [or whose origin] is in the dust, which are crushed like a moth? [That is man’s life is so frail, he can be crushed just like a moth.] They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellence which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom (4:12-21).
So he had this vision, this spirit came and spoke to him in the night. So he relates now, this vision to Job. Job will respond to that when we get to chapter seven.
Chapter five, Eliphaz continues his discourse to Job. He says…
Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; to which of the saints will you turn? For wrath kills the foolish man, and envy slays the silly one. I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his house. His children are far from safety, they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them (5:1-4).
Now he is beginning to make aversions to Job’s problems. Remember all of his children were killed. His animals were stolen by the Sabeans, and by the Chaldeans. So he begins to make inferences to these calamities that Job has been going through. He is accusing Job of folly. “I’ve seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly his habitation is cursed. His children are far from safety. They are crushed in the gate, none to deliver them”.
Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance. [This “taketh it out of the thorns” is interesting. They used to plant prickly pears all around their farms. Formed a fence, or a barrier to keep the burglars out. So they’d have these fences of cactus all around. So he’s talking about how the hungry eateth it up, they taketh even, they even take it out from the thorns. In other words, they sneak through the thorns to get it. “The robber swallows up their substance.”] Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither does trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward (5:5-7).
Trouble is just a natural thing for man, as it is natural for sparks. You see the fire, and of course, they, they’re close nature. Sitting around fires, they watch the logs pop, and the sparks go upward. So man is just born with trouble. It’s just one of the natural things of life. Now his recommendation to Job.
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: God which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number (5:8-9):
“Man I would just really seek God if I were you Job! I would just commit my cause to God!” Good advise really, nothing wrong with this. I think that in fact, this is probably the best thing to do in the time of calamity and trouble, is just seek the Lord, and commit the cause to God. I find that this is my place of rest, when turmoil, trouble is surrounding me, my place of rest is just committing to God, “Well Lord it’s in your hands, you work it out. My life is in your hands Lord, I just commit it to you!” Rather than worry over things, and fret over things, I’ve learned to just commit things to God. So it’s really excellent advise that Eliphaz is giving to Job in these things. “For God does great things, unsearchable things, marvelous things without number”.
He gives rain to the earth, and sends the waters upon the fields: [And he’s listing the things, the marvelous things, and the wonderful things that God does. Of course, living in this desert area, rain was such an important thing, it’s the first of the blessings that they think about, in that arid area.] He sets on high those that be low; and those which mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappoints the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprises (5:10-12).
So now, he’s beginning to subtly indicate that Job is a crafty character. “And he disappoints the devices of the crafty.”
He takes the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and they grope in the noonday as in the night. But he saves the poor from the sword, and their mouth, from the hand of the mighty. So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. Behold, [“Job”] happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise thou not the chastening of the Almighty (5:13-17):
Now of course, this is picked up from the Proverbs. Solomon probably picked it up from the book of Job, which he no doubt had access to, for the book of Job was in existence long before Solomon. It’s also picked up in the book of Hebrews. It is again, the counsel of Eliphaz, was good. “Seek God, commit your ways to God, and despise not the chastening processes of the Almighty. Happy is the man whom God corrects.” Happy because, the fact that God is correcting me, is a indication, and proof that I am a child of God, that God does love me.
As we mentioned this morning, correction, discipline is an act of love. Your child is doing things that are self-destructive, or can be destructive, hurtful, harmful to your child, for you to just allow you child to go on doing those things, is not demonstrating love. Demonstration of love is that of disciplining your child, training your child, turning your child away from those things that are harmful and destructive.
He makes sore, and bindeth up: he wounds, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. [Now this is a, a method of their, their poetry. We get this quite a bit in the Proverbs, “Six things doth God hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto Him. In two things, and yea, in three…”, and so it is really referring to sort of an indefinite number.] In famine he will redeem you from death: in war from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it comes. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: [And these words here are different from those above. “Destruction, and famine”, is dirt here. “Thou shalt laugh.”] neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. [“God delivers.”] Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. And thou shalt know that your tabernacle shall be in peace; [Or your dwelling place.] and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shall not sin. Thou shall know also that your seed shall be great, and your offspring as the grass of the earth. [The grass of the earth being a phrase like the, sands of the sea. It’s sort of the blades of grass, innumerable number.] Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age, like a shock of corn cometh in his season. Lo this, we have searched it, and so it is; hear it, and know it for you good (5:18-27).
“Okay Job just listen to this now.”
But Job answered and said, [Now Job is responding to Eliphaz. This is his response.] Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamities were laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up (6:1-3).
“If you would weigh, if you’d put in the balances, on the one side, my grief and my sorrow, and on the other side of the balances, you would put all of the sand of the sea, my grief and sorrows are so great, they would outweigh all of the sand of the sea.” I mean this guy’s calamities are pretty tough!
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, [“God has smitten me.” He’s blaming God for the calamities that he is experiencing. “The arrows of the Almighty are within me.”] and the poison whereof drinks up my spirit: [Now in those days, poison arrows were sort of like gas warfare today. They were outlawed by the league of nations convention in Geneva, but not all of the nations abided by the ban. It uh, in the time of Job, the Sidonians were known to use poison arrows in their warfare. So he says, “The poison of these arrows, the arrows of the Almighty, drinks up my spirit”,] and the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. Doth a wild ass bray when he has grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder (6:4-5)?
In other words, when the ox is, is out there you know, lowing, mooing, it’s because he’s wanting food. Go out in the evening before the farmer feeds them, and you hear them as they’re just lowing. Once the farmer throws the food in, then they’re too busy eating to complain, or to uh, let out with their noises, and the same with the donkey. If he’s got in a grassy field, he’s busy eating, he’s not braying out there in the grassy fields. So a man doesn’t really cry out unless there’s a problem, unless there’s something to cry over. “Man, I’ve got problems, I have a right to make a noise!” And then he says…
Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? is there any taste in the white of an egg? [Just how this fits in, I really can’t tell you. I do know, that every once in awhile, my mom used to forget to put the salt in the oats in the morning, and they really tasted flat.] The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. O that I might have my request; that God would grant me the thing I long for (6:6-8)!
“Oh if God would just do this for me, the thing that I’m longing for! If God would just give me my request!” What is your request Job?
Even that it would please God to destroy me; [“I just wish God would just take my life!” There comes a time when living becomes more miserable than death. You get so low, you’re afraid you’re not going to die. It’s interesting that there have been others who have really called for death. Elijah despaired of his life, he wanted the Lord to slay him. Jonah, when he went to Ninevah, and the Ninevites repented, he was angry with God, he went out and sat under a tree. God said, “Do you, are you right being so angry?”, he said, “you bet!”. He said, “Just kill me. Just get it over with. Just kill me!”, you know. Here is Job, desiring death. “Oh if it would please God just to destroy me.” I am certain that many times when a person says, “Oh I wish I were dead”, they don’t truly mean it. I think that sometimes the cry for death is, is not sincere. I heard about the fellow who was carrying this heavy load, just weary and burdened. Came to a river, and he took the load off and laid it beside him, and took off his shoes, and put his hot, swollen feet, in that cold water. He began to cry, “Oh death, death! Please come, death, please come!”. He felt a tap on his shoulder, and he looked behind him, and there was death standing. He said, “Did you call for me?”, he said, “Yes! Would you mind helping me get my load on my back so I can get going again?”. Ha, ha, ha! Sometimes we say, “Oh I wish I were dead”, but it’s just a phrase that we use. But I think that Job was serious. “I wish that God would just grant me the thing I long for. That he would just destroy me!”] that he would loose his hand, and cut me off (6:9)!
“That He wouldn’t sustain my life any longer, He’d let me go, just cut me off.”
Then I would have comfort; and, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should hope? [“I don’t have any strength! Why should I hope in, in life?” Hope was gone.] what is my end, that I should prolong my life? [“What have I got to look forward to? Why should I live any longer? There seems to be nothing at all to look forward to in life!”] Is my strength the strength of stones, is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? and is not wisdom driven from me (6:10-13)?
Now, in rebuke to Eliphaz, and his speech, he said to him…
To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. [“You don’t even have the fear of God man! You really should be showing me pity, if you’re a friend of mine!”] But my bretheren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as a stream of brooks they pass away; [“As some of these little streams that flow in the winter time, and in the spring, but soon dry up. That’s what you guys are like!”] You’re blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time it waxes warm, you’ll vanish: [“In pressure, when there’s a need, then you’re not there.”] when it’s hot, they are consumed out of their place. The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish. The troops of Tema looked, and the companies of Sheba waited for them. And they were confounded because they had hoped; and they came thither, and were ashamed. For now you are nothing; you see my casting down, and you’re afraid (6:14-21).
“You see my condition, and…”, you know.
Did I say, Come unto me? [“Did I call you? Did, who, who called this meeting! I didn’t call you guys to come! Did I ask you for anything? Have I asked you to give me something of your substance?”] give me a reward of your substance? Did I ask you to deliver me from my enemy’s hands? to redeem me from the hand of the mighty? [“Look guys! Why are you here? I haven’t asked you to come! And if that’s all you’ve got to offer”,] O Teach me, [he said. “Teach me something. Tell me something worthwhile, and I’ll hold my peace!] cause me to understand where I’ve erred. [“Don’t just call me a sinner! Tell me where, show me where I’ve gone wrong! Give me something worthwhile, give some true instruction!” Then he said,] How forcible are right words! but what does your arguing reprove (6:22-25)?
In other words, “Man! Yes, right words are very forcible, they’re powerful, they’re strong, but you’re just a bag of wind man!”, is basically what he’s saying. Read on, verse twenty six.
Do you imagine to reprove words, and speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? [“I mean your words are just as empty as wind! You’re just a wind bag!”] Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless, and you dig a pit for your friend. Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie. Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yes, return again, my righteousness is in it. Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern the perverse things (6:26-30)?
“Hey I understand what you’re saying! I know what you’re accusing me of! I’m no child!” Then in verse seven, or, chapter seven.
Is there not an appointed time to man upon the earth? [Remember Ecclesiastes, “There’s a time and a place for everything. A time to cry, a time to be merry. A time to be born, a time to die”? “Is there not an appointed time to man upon the earth?” Yes there is. The bible tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die.] are not his days also like the days of a hireling (7:1)?
You hire a man to serve for a period of time.
As a servant earnestly desiring the shadow, and as a hireling looketh for the reward of his work (7:2):
Talking about life. Living as sort of a hireling, you wait for the end of the day, for the reward for your work. The looking at the shadow, of course he’s talking about the sundial. The shadow going over on the sundial. The guy who’s working, watching the clock, is what he is saying. “Waiting for the end of the day, so that I can get paid for my work.” In those days, they all got paid at the end of the day’s labor.
So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. [“Been going through this affliction for a long time. Months of this emptiness. The nights are weary.”] When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? I’m full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. [“My life is one miserable existence. There’s no rest, even at night. I toss to and fro and I think, oh when will it be light? When will it be day?”] My flesh [And he begins to describe his horrible, loathsome condition. “My flesh”,] is clothed with worms and clods of dust; [This stuff would just ooze out, and it would just cake, these clods, the dirt would stick to it, clods of dirt.] my skin is broken, and become loathsome. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is just wind: [What is life? The bible says, “It’s but a vapor that appears for a moment”. Or, “This, this wind that just passes by”. Life is so short. The older you live, the more you realize that. The longer you live. I, I, you know, when your children are growing up, it seems like they’re forever with you. Ha, ha! But, how quickly they are gone! How quickly my grandchildren are growing up. You realize the shortness of life, the brevity of the time that we have here. “My life is just as a wind passing by.”] mine eyes shall no more see good. The eye of him that hath (7:3-8),
This is a, this is a statement of real hopelessness. “I’ll never see good again.” Now again this is a, this is a cry of desperation that uh, is uttered because he can’t see ahead. He doesn’t really know what lies ahead. So many times when we get in these places of deep depression, we are convinced that, “I’ll never have another good day as long as I live”. You know, you get in this thing where you think, “I wonder what it would be like to ever feel good again”, and just a couple of weeks of having a problem man, and you think, “This is, this is the lot for the rest of my life. You know this is come to stay”. And, and we are so prone to just, just get into this period of uh, this, this thing of deep dependency, that leads to despair.
It’s because you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know what lies ahead. You don’t know what God has in store! Job didn’t know that the best days of his life were still ahead. I mean when we get to the final chapter, when we read the final chapter of the book we say, “Oh man!”, you know, as the whole cycle is fulfilled, then we see the final outcome of this. We, we realize that Job is just crying out of desperation, and out of deep depression, because of the problems that he’s been facing. We are prone at that time to make wrong judgements.
Isn’t it interesting they talk about the relativity of time, and I’m, I’m certain that time is relative. It goes so fast when you’re having fun, and it drags when you’re suffering. I mean, it just torturous how slow time can go when you’re, got to practice the piano for an hour. Or, do something you don’t like you know. Time just drags. But then you’re into something, you’re very excited, then boop! there’s the whistle. “Can’t believe it! Time flies!” The relativity of time. Here is Job, time is dragging. It seems like it’s been forever. It seems like there’s no let up, there’s no end. “I don’t see any hope. I don’t see any light. This darkness has embellished my life, and there’s no way out.”
He doesn’t know the whole story. He is making false judgement because he is coming to conclusions without all of the evidence. Don’t judge your situation until you have all of the facts, and then make your conclusion. That’s the problem though. We’re in the midst of a problem, we’re in the midst of the trial, and we’re prone to make judgements concerning God. That’s sad. Because we haven’t yet seen the final outcome.
The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away: [The clouds just sort of disappear.] so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more (7:8-9).
In the desert areas, in these arid areas, it’s interesting how that the clouds moving in will just actually dissipate in the dry air. We used to live in Tucson, and we used to watch these clouds come blowing in, but the clouds, the air is so dry, it just sucks up the clouds. The clouds just disappear. So, Job is talking about this phenomena of an arid area where he lived, in the desert. He talks about how life is just like these clouds, they just sort of disappear, “so they that goeth down to the grave disappear, they will come up no more”.
He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. [“You know, I’m soon gonna be gone, and so I’m gonna let my grief and all be known while I’m here.”] Am I a sea or a whale, that you set a watch over me? When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; Then you scare me with your dreams, and you terrify me with your visions (7:10-14):
So Job didn’t appreciate this vision with the guy’s hair standing on end, when the spirit was you know, giving him this mystifying message. “Terrify me with your dreams.”
So that my soul chooses strangling, and death rather than [“I’d rather just strangle, I’d rather just strangle in my own spittle really, I…”] I loathe life; I would not live for ever: let me alone; for my days are emptiness. [Then out of the desperation, this man stripped of everything, the deep issue and question of life.] What is man, that God should magnify him? [He’s really turning now to God. He’s finished his discourse to Eliphaz. “You know you scare me with your dreams, you terrify me through your visions. I would rather be dead than to have to listen to you anymore. I hate life, and I’m not gonna live forever. Just, just let me alone man! Let me die in peace!” Then turning to God, he says, “What is man, that you should magnify him? Why should you keep man alive God? What is man, that you should magnify him?”] and that you should set your heart upon him (7:15- 17)?
He, in the consciousness of the, of the greatness of God, he became consciousness of the insignificance of himself. As the psalmist who said, “When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man, that you are mindful of him?”. He realized his own insignificance in the light of the magnitude of the eternal God. “I’m nothing! I’m made out of the dust. I’m one of five billion people that inhabits this planet called the earth, which is just really a little speck of dust in space.”
The earth is so small when you talk about stellar bodies. The sun is one million, two hundred thousand times larger than the earth. Here we are, eight thousand miles in diameter, it’s some eight hundred and sixty five thousand miles in diameter. If you hollowed out the center of it, leaving a crust a hundred thousand miles thick, you could put the earth in the center of the sun, and let the moon rotate around it, and you’d still have a hundred thousand miles to spare! “This little speck of dust, and here’s me, just this tiny little speck of dust, on this speck of dust, that’s revolving around the sun. And here’s the God that is so great, that the universe cannot contain Him. The heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, who measured out the heavens with His span, and yet, God is mindful of this little speck of dust down here, me! And God thinks about me!
What is man? Here I am in the order of creation, above the animals, below the angels. But what am I that God should think about me?” Job’s question is, “What is man that God should magnify him?”, that is that God should take such interest in him, and seek his welfare and his benefit. “Who am I that I could ask God for some favor, or some benefit? What is man that God should magnify him?” Oh my, help us Lord! I think of these people going around demanding that God do things. What is man, that God should magnify him? Or, that God should set His heart upon him? “Who am I that God should love me?”, and yet the revelation of the bible is that God does love me.
Oh the wonder of it all! That the eternal God, the creator of the heaven and earth, loves me! Even though I am one among many, the E. Pluribus Unum. Yet God loves me! I am special, I am unique. God made me special and unique, and God loves me, and God loves you. But what is man that God should love him, set his heart upon him?
That he should visit him every morning, [In the Psalms it declared, “What is man that God is mindful of him, or the son of man, that God should visit him? He is made a little lower than the angels, but he’s crowned with glory and honor”. What is man that God should magnify him, crown him with glory and honor? What is man that God should set His heart upon him? What is man that God should visit him, commune with him?] that God should try him every moment? How long will you not depart from me, nor let me alone until I choke on my own spit? I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O preserver of men? why have you set me as a mark against thee, so I am a burden to myself (7:18-20)?
“Why have you made me a target?” He’s complaining to God. “Why am I your target Lord? Why have you set me as a mark, until I become really a burden to myself”.
Why do you not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, and I shall not be (7:21).
So Job has come to that place of just hopelessness, despair. It seems like God has turned against him. God, it seems, has set His arrows against Job, made him a target. Job is just saying, “Lord why don’t you just let me die? Why not let’s just get this over with. Why do I go on? Why do you preserve my life?” These statements of Job provoke Bildad, the second fellow, to speak up. We’ll get Bildad’s evaluation of the whole scene, as he accuses Job of hypocrisy. Then, we’ll find Job answering Bildad, in chapters nine and ten, next week, as we continue in the saga of Job.
“What is man that God should magnify him, crown him with glory and honor, redeem his soul from destruction, make him a child of God? What is man, that God should love him, set His heart upon him? Yet, God has set His heart upon you, and God loves you tonight. How marvelous! How excellent are His ways in all the earth! May the Lord bless you, may His hand be upon your life to guide, and to strengthen!
It may be that some of you can identify with Job. It could be that you, at the present time, are going through deep water that you don’t understand. Sorrows, situations that beg for solutions, and beg for answers. It could be that as Job cries out of his distress, as he complains of his situation, you say, “Wow Job, I know, I know. I’ve been going through it”. But I pray that even as Job, in the end discovered the purposes, well he didn’t really discover the purposes of God, he just came into the, into the place of, of blessing, and strength, and abundance. So that God will bring you into that place of blessing, strength and abundance.
We don’t always understand, and I don’t know that we are supposed to. We’re just supposed to trust God. Follow the advice of Eliphaz, just commit your ways to the Lord. Don’t seek to understand it. Just commit your ways to the Lord. “Lord it’s in your hands, Lord, my life is in your hands.” Let God be in control. Rest in Him.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7157