“What Is Life?”
Shall we turn to the book of Job. The fascinating story of a man who, for causes unknown to him, suffered the loss of everything. A man who was stripped to just the bare consciousness of his being. “Naked I’ve come into the world, naked I’m going out. Just the bare essence of existence is about what he has been brought to. The loss of all of his possessions, the loss of his family, even the loss of his friends, alone.
Now, when you are stripped of all of these things that we usually consider sort of necessary for life, when you’ve lost your health, you don’t know if you’re gonna live another day or not. Everything is gone. What are the questions that you’re concerned with at that point? Surely not, “What shall I wear to church tonight?”. That doesn’t fit into the issues any more. The basic questions become questions about, “What is life? Why am I here? What does the future hold? Is there life after death? Or, is this all it is? Is life just this misery, this suffering, this sorrow, this pain? And is that then, the end?”
Next week we’ll be considering a fascinating question that was born out of Job’s grief and sorrow. “If a man dies, does he go on living?” But Job stripped of these things, coming down to the bare essence of existence, even having lost, finally, this sense of the greatness of his own personality. Wishing that he were dead! Cursing the day of his birth.
His friends, who first came to comfort him, when they hear his complaint, sort of turn against him. They don’t really understand fully, the things that he is going through. It’s awfully hard to fully understand what’s going on in another person’s life, unless you’ve been there yourself.
Paul the apostle talked about his going through all kinds of afflictions, and yet being comforted by the Lord, in these afflictions, in order that he might be able to comfort others who were going through similar afflictions. But having gone through the experiences, you then know what the other person is feeling, and you can empathize with them. But Job’s friends really didn’t understand him. Job himself, didn’t understand his circumstances. So Job is just crying out for some answers, but they don’t have the answers he needs.
So we find that the first friend, Eliphaz, declared to Job that, “A man doesn’t suffer, unless he’s really done something wrong”, and the intimation is that Job has to be some kind of a sinner to have suffered, as much as he did. Surely this is God’s stroke of judgement upon him. Job protests his innocence, and so the second of these friends, whose name was Bildad, speaks up. Chapter eight, verse one.
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and he said, How long will you speak these things? how long shall the words of your mouth be like a strong wind (8:1-2).
Now Job had accused Eliphaz of being a wind bag, not helping him any with his counsel. So Bildad now turns that around on Job. “And how long will your speech be like a bag of wind?”
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? [“Is not God fair?” Now the truth is, God is fair, God is just. It is a question that Abraham asked God, when God spoke of the fact that they were on their way down to destroy the city of Sodom, because of its wickedness. Abraham said to the Lord, “Shall not the Lord of the earth be just? Would you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Would that be fair? What if there are fifty righteous people in that city?” The Lord said, “If there are fifty righteous, I will spare the city”.
But the issue is, “Shall not the Lord of the earth be fair?” It is something that Satan is constantly challenging in our own minds, as we try to understand the circumstances of life. Many times as things happen to us, that we do not understand, Satan makes the subtle suggestion that God isn’t really being fair with you. He is constantly challenging the justice or the fairness of God.
It goes back to the garden of Eden, when God had said to Adam, “Of all of the trees of the garden, you may freely eat, except the tree in the middle of the garden; and, you shall not eat of it, for in the day that you do eat of it, you will surely die. So, Satan came to Eve and said, “Hath God said that you can eat of all the trees? She said, “Yes all but the one in the midst of the garden. God told us if we ate of that, we would die”. Satan said, “Oh no. You wouldn’t die, but God isn’t’ really fair. He knows, that if you should eat of that tree, you will be wise as God, you’re gonna be like God. So He’s trying to withhold from you, something that is good”.
This so often is the subtle insinuation of Satan, as we look at the law of God. A law that God established for our good, and more and more we realize how good, is the law of God. The things that God was seeking to protect us from. But yet, Satan so often points at that very law that God established for your benefit, and for your welfare, and he’s saying, “Look God isn’t really fair, He’s trying to keep you from a good time. God’s trying to hold back from you something that is desirable. Something that would really enrich, and enhance your life!” The idea is that, by God putting the restriction there, He’s really holding you away from something that you really need, or should have. And, “He’s not really fair in doing that, because He’s keeping you from a good time”.
When, in reality, God is protecting you from destroying yourself. For so many who have taken that path, found that it led to destruction. Once on that path, there was no turning back for them. Many have found the path of sin has such a hold, once you get involved in it, it’s like going downhill, you can’t stop.
So, he makes the assertion, which of course, is a correct assertion. God does not pervert judgement, He does not pervert justice. God is absolutely just. Absolutely fair. I rest in that! Because you see, a lot of times people ask me, “Well what about those people that are living in Africa, who have never heard about Jesus Christ? Would it be fair if God should condemn them for ever to punishment in hell, in as much as they have never heard of salvation, through Jesus Christ?” I really don’t know what God is gonna do with those people. But I do know, whatever God does, it will be absolutely fair.
Really though, you ought to be concerned for yourself. You do know, you have heard, therefore there is laid upon you that responsibility of having had the light, and if you reject it, then you are condemned. What God will do in all of these cases I don’t know. But I do know that in the book of Revelation, as the judgement of God is coming forth upon the earth, there are voices from the throne of God that say, “Holy and true are thy judgements O Lord!” Does God pervert justice? No. Does He pervert judgement? No. Absolutely fair. In fact, far more fair than we ever dreamed of being. A lot of times a person imagines himself more fair, more just, more pure than God, but that’s a presumption that I wouldn’t want to touch!
Now he intimates that Job’s children were judged by God, because of sin. Remember all ten of them were killed, when a strong wind out of the east, collapsed the house in which they were feasting. So, saying, “Isn’t God fair? Does God pervert judgement or justice?”
If your children have sinned against him, and he has cast them away for their transgression; [Intimating, “Job your kids weren’t innocent. God’s wiped them out because of their transgressions”. Then he gives him a bit of advice, he said,] If you would just seek God, and pray to the Almighty; If you were just pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous (8:4-6).
“If you would just seek God and pray to the Almighty, and if you would just be pure and upright, then God would awake.” Now this is an, forget it, it’s a long word. It is a word that means referring to God in man-like terms, an amporphormism, let that one go. The fact of God awaking for you. That’s, that’s you see, the problem with us trying to talk about God, or talk about the characteristics of God, all we have to talk with are, is, is human language. Human language comes far short when you try to describe God or the characteristics of God, the nature of God, but all we have is human language. We don’t have divine language. There’s a vocabulary that we’re not familiar with. You would have to have a, a much vaster vocabulary than just human vocabulary if you want to talk about God, and so we’re bound by human terms, and thus we speak of God with human terms. “God would awake for you.”
Now it isn’t inferring that God is asleep. For the Bible says that God never slumbers nor sleeps, “He that watcheth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” But, several times, David, in writing the Psalms, would say, “Awake O Lord!”, and there are times when we are going through a problem, that it, and we’ve been praying, and seeking God, and you know really searching for the answers, and it seems like God is maybe asleep. In that, we don’t seem to get any answers. We don’t seem to get any response from God. David in going through those kind of experiences would cry, “Awake O Lord. Wake up God! I’m, you know, I’m in trouble!”, and we sometimes think of God as, as not being aware, or conscious of the experiences that we are, of the difficulties that we’re going through.
So, “If you were just pure and upright, then God would awake for you, and make the habitation of your righteousness prosperous. But Job, there’s something wrong!”. You see, the whole intimation is, “Hey if you were, if you were alright, if you were pure, then you wouldn’t be going through all this stuff”.
Though your beginnings were small, yet your latter end should greatly increase. For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, [“Take a look at history Job, learn from history.”] prepare thyself to search concerning the fathers: (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon the earth are a shadow (8:7-9):)
In other words, we’re here too short a time to really learn anything. To really learn, you have to look at history. These forefathers. Now Job didn’t live too long after the flood, and so very aware of the longevity of those people who lived before the flood. How much can you really learn in a hundred years? Well, about one eighth of what you could learn in eight hundred years, I suppose. Of course, prior to the flood, those fellows lived almost a millennium! Methuselah, nine hundred and sixty nine years. That’s, you know, so you evidently learn quite a bit in that length of time! You have a lot more time for experience. So, “Listen to the fathers. Go back and study them, and learn from history”.
Shall they not teach thee, and tell thee, and utter the words out of their heart? Can a rush grow up without mire? [Or mud. Now the rush is the Egyptian papyrus, growing on the banks of the Nile river, it requires that mud. Now during the flood time, the river overflowing, there would be pools that would be formed by the flood. Many times the rushes would grow up in these pools. But as soon as the pools died, the rushes would wither. So he’s, he’s saying, “Look you were green, you know you looked good, but man now you’re withered. You’re cut down, because you know you lack the true experience and relationship with God”.] can the flag [Another form of river grass actually.] grow without water? While it is yet in its greenness, and not cut down, and withereth it before any other herb (8:10-12).
When these reeds would grow up in these ponds, they would be the first to wither. As soon as the water receded, and the ponds were dry, they would be the first thing to wither away. The other grass that was natural to the uh, desert, you know it would continue to flourish. But he’s using this as a, it’s a proverb and it’s being used against Job. Just saying, “Look if things were alright, you would’ve remained green and strong”. Then he accuses Job really of being a hypocrite.
So are the paths of all of those that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish: [Man! That’s a neat kind of a friend isn’t it? You’re, you’re miserable, you don’t know why you’re having all these problems, and these guys come along and they intimate that you were some kind of a horrible sinner! “You’re a hypocrite, you’re hiding it, you know, and you’re cut down man, and there’s a reason for it!”] Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web (8:13- 14).
Now it’s a reference to these sort of spiders, you’ve seen them make these webs. They sort of come down, and they come inside just sort of a web, and the window sills were sort of a little tunnel. The spider goes back in the tunnel and sort of hides back in there and waits for a tugging on the web out there, where the fly or the moth or whatever. But he’s, he’s, but the web, though it covers the spider, it’s not, it’s a very weak thing. I mean you can just put your thumb down and squish the spider. So it’s nothing that you can really rely upon for safety, or for strength. So, “You’re trusting in something that is empty, something that won’t really protect you”.
He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it will not endure. He is green before the sun, and his branch shoots forth in his garden. His roots are wrapped about at the heap, and he sees the place of stones. If he destroys him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee (8:15-18).
So, “Job, you’re, you’re trusting in vain hopes. You’re gonna get wiped out, and people will even forget that you ever existed”.
Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow. Behold, [he said] God will not cast away a perfect man, but neither will he help evildoers (8:19-20):
“Job, you’re declaring that you’re innocent. If you were, God wouldn’t cast you away, and obviously God has cast you away. You’re seeking God’s help, but He won’t help evildoers.”
Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing. They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to naught (8:21-22).
That is, “If you just get right with God Job, things are gonna be okay. God won’t cast you away. He will fill your mouth with laughing, your lips with rejoicing, and those that hate you will be ashamed”.
Then Job said, I know that it is true: [That is that man needs to get right with God, that a right relationship with God is the most important thing in any of our lives. A right relationship with God is a relationship of complete trust, complete commitment. Now the mistake that Job’s friends were making, and Job himself made, was they felt that if a man had a right relationship with God, he wouldn’t have any problems, or he wouldn’t have any trouble. Life would be a bed of roses. But that is not so. That is a false impression, that many times people get. Many times we seek to sort of promote that kind of a concept. “Just get right with God man, and everything’s gonna be okay you know.” Well, that isn’t so. I know a lot of people who when they got right with God, they lost their jobs, and they lost their homes, and a lot of things happened to them. God doesn’t promise that you’re not gonna have any problems. He promises He’ll be with you, and see you through every problem. We are not immune from troubles, but we have a helper, one who is with us in trouble. Nothing happens to me, but what God has allowed to happen, and if God has allowed it to happen, there is a reason and a purpose, why He has allowed it. So I learn to commit my ways unto the Lord. To commit my circumstances, my life. I learned to just turn it over, and say, “Well Lord, it’s in your hands. You do what you deem best!”. That’s the only place where you can rest, when it comes to a full commitment. “I know it’s true”, Job said.] but how can a man plead his case before God so as to justify himself [That’s a interpretation of what the Hebrew says. It is not a literal translation, but an interpretation, where he is using the term of, of the court. “How should a man be just”, is literally “how can a man plead his cause, so as to justify himself?”] with God? If he should contend with God, he cannot answer him one question out of a thousand (9:1-3).
“If I should try to plead my case with God, and God starts to cross examine me, I would be dead! I couldn’t answer Him one question in a thousand!”
For God is wise in heart, he is mighty in strength: and who has hardened himself against him, and hath prospered (9:4)?
No one! Let me tell you this. If you have hardened your heart against God, and many people have, but no one has hardened their heart against God and prosper. “Woe unto him who strives with his maker.” If you’re fighting with God, you’re fighting a losing battle, because if you win, then you’ve really lost!
You know if you’re fighting the Holy Spirit that is seeking to draw you to Jesus Christ, and you’re fighting this battle against the Spirit speaking to your heart, you’re resisting God, if you win that fight, then you are lost. “Woe to him that strives with his maker!” God is right. You cannot harden your heart against God and prosper. Then he speaks of his observations of God’s power.
He removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. He shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. [The tremendous earthquakes that were so common over there in the Middle East.] He commands the sun, and it riseth not; and he seals up the stars. [That is, takes them into a black nebula.] Which alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea. Which makes Arcturus, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south (9:5-9).
So, the God who created the universe, the God who reigns over His creation.
Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, wonders without number. But yet, he goes by me, and I can’t see him: [“The problem is, God is invisible. I see His works, I see His power manifested in nature, and yet I can’t see Him.” Then he goes on to say,] he passes on also, but I perceive him not (9:10-11).
This is probably a throw back at this first guy that was telling Job about his vision in the night. He, deep sleep, and fear and trembling, “the spirit passed before my face, and it stood still, it spoke to me”, and so forth, “and shall mortal man be more just than God?” So it’s probably a throw back to this speech that Eliphaz made, and that is, “I can’t see Him, and I don’t perceive Him”.
Behold, he takes away, and who can stop him? [Here is the declaration of this awesome sovereignty of God, over His creation. You have to just give this to God, He can to do what He pleases. Who am I to stop Him? God is sovereign. Now that would be terrifying to me, except I know that God is love. To just say, “Well God is sovereign, He rules, He does what He wants”. Man, that could, that could just scare me. But, to know that He loves me, then I can handle it. I can submit to love. “If he takes away who can hinder him?”] and who will say unto him, What doest thou (9:12)?
Paul, in, in talking of this sovereignty of God, gives us the picture of the potter working with a bit of clay. He said, “Hath not the potter the power over that clay, to make whatever kind of vessel that he wants? Who is the clay to say unto the powder, to, to the potter, ‘What are you doing? Why are you doing that?’”. The potter has that power over the clay. The sovereignty of God over my life. Really, I have no real right to question what God might be doing. “What are you doing God?”, yet I do. I don’t have any right to, but I do.
If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him. [In other words, “The strongest of men cannot withstand God!”] How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? [“Who am I?” The strongest fall before Him! “Who am I?”] Whom, though I were righteous, yet I would not answer, but would just make my plea unto the judge (9:13-15).
I wouldn’t try and justify myself before God, even if I were righteous, I wouldn’t try to declare that. I’d just make my plea, “God have mercy!” That’s the best plea you can make anyhow. Don’t when you come to God, try to come to God on the basis of, “Well, Lord, I’ve been doing this, and I’ve been doing that wonderful thing, and Lord you know, I’ve been handling myself pretty well of late. So,”, like the Pharisee that Jesus spoke about, “Lord, I thank you I’m not like these other people out here. I pay my tithes, I do all the right things, I’m not an extortioner”, or whatever. The poor publican wouldn’t even lift his head towards heaven, but just smote on his breast, “Oh God be merciful to me, a sinner”. He said, “He went away justified”. Job is saying, “That’s, that’s the position I’d take. I wouldn’t try and claim my righteousness before God, I’d just make my plea. Guilty, have mercy your Honor”.
If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice. [Ha, ha! I know people like that! If they pray, and then God answers, they attribute it to something else. “Well, it’s just, you know, it would’ve happened anyhow. It was just a coincidence, and it just so happened that you know, I happened to pray at that time, but uh…”. You know they don’t want to give God anything.] For he breaketh me with a tempest, and he multiplies my wounds without cause (9:16-17).
In other words, Job is saying, “I don’t deserve this. I’m innocent! These wounds!”. It would seem that Job’s physical condition was getting worse. If such a thing be possible! “He’s multiplying it, and without cause!”
He will not allow me to take my breath, but he fills it with bitterness. If I speak of strength, Oh, his is so strong: if I speak of judgement, who will even set the time for me to plead my case? If I justify myself, my own mouth will condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it will prove me to be perverse. And, if I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life (9:18-21).
“If I really thought I was perfect, I don’t know my own heart. I don’t know what’s in my own heart!”
So this one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. [In other words, “God allows the rain to fall on the just, and on the unjust”. Job is protesting that what he is experiencing, he does not really believe that he has done things that deserve this kind of judgement. That, “God destroys the perfect man, and the unjust man, alike”.] If the scourge slays suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent. The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; if not, where, and who is he (9:22-24)?
So, he is speaking about the earth being turned over to the wicked people, and of course, this is so true! The powers of wickedness, and the judges, and the perversion of judgement. It was terrible in the east, the bribery of the judges and all. It’s terrible in the west.
Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. [A post is one of these messengers, he’d ride the horse. You know they carry the messages from the kings. There was a proverb, “There’s nothing swifter than the post”. But Job is saying that, “My life, my days are going by swifter than a post. They flee away and they see no good”.] They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hastens to the prey. And if I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: I am afraid of all my sorrows, and I know that thou will not hold me innocent. If I am wicked, why then labor I in vain? [“Why am I trying so hard if I’m wicked? Why am I trying to do the right thing?”] If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and my own clothes will abhor me (9:25-31).
“If I were just came out sparkling clean, you, friends of mine, would throw me in the mud.”
For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, [You don’t deal with God as you deal with man. He’s not a man. He is God, and you can’t answer Him, as you would a man.] and there’s no way that I can come together with God in judgement. Neither is there any daysman between us, that he might lay his hand upon us both (9:32-33).
So the dilemma that Job sees. The greatness of God, the sovereignty of God, the awesomeness of the eternal, infinite God, and, “Hey, I am nothing. My days are passing away, I’m weak, I’m, I’m nothing! Therefore how can I possibly deal with this infinite, eternal God, and try to justify myself before Him? There’s just nothing I can do! The gulf, or the gap between me and God is so great, that I’m helpless.”
The only solution that Job could see, was for an arbitrary, a daysman. One who could stand between man and God, who could touch them both. That’s exactly what Jesus Christ is! For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He touched God, and yet, He humbled Himself, emptied Himself, and came in the likeness of man, in a body of flesh. So He touched men. “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God, but the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We beheld His glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father. That which was from the beginning which we have seen, which we have gazed upon, which we have handled of the Word of life, for that Word was manifested.” So, Jesus is the answer to the cry of Job, for the daysman. One that could stand between God and man, laying His hand on both, and thus bringing man before God. So Job just cries…
Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is just not so with me (9:34-35).
“I am terrified. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m terrified!”
Now Job, in chapter ten is offering again his complaint to God. Even as he started out, with a complaint, “Why am I born, Why was I born?”, and so forth. Now he turns to God, it says, “Though his friends are not there”, but he just again pours out his soul and his complaint unto God.
My soul [he said] is weary of life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me: shew me wherefore thou contendest with me (10:1-2).
“Show me Lord, what I’ve done! Show me where I’m wrong! Show me what is the reason why all of this calamity has happened to me! Don’t just leave me in the dark, but show me Lord, why you seem to be against me!” Job wanted, well the bible says he was a perfect and upright man. He loved good, he hated evil! Now all of this misery has come upon him, and he doesn’t understand it. So his plea, “Lord just show me where I’ve gone wrong!”.
Is it good unto thee that you should oppress, and that you should despise the work of your hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked? [“Lord, does this please you that you should just turn against me?”] Do you have eyes of flesh? [that is] do you see as man sees? Are your days as the days of man? are your years as man’s days, That you would inquire of my iniquity, and search after my sin? You know that I am not wicked; [Job was not a wicked man, and he is protesting now. His friends keep trying to lay this guilt trip on him. They keep intimating that he is wicked, that he is hiding his sin, that he’s a hypocrite, that somehow he’s covering it. “He make look good on the outside, but God knows man, and he’s got your number!” But Job is protesting his innocence here, before the Lord. “You know that I am not wicked;”] and there is not that can deliver out of your hand. Your hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet you’re destroying me. Remember, I beseech thee, that you have made me as the clay; and will you bring me to the dust again (10:3-9)?
“God, you’ve created me. You’ve made me out of the dust. Are you gonna bring me back into the dust?”
Have you not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? [“Molded me into the cheese”, and so forth. The “curdled like milk”, the idea is, is uh, the seed that was planted, and then within the womb it formed, into the uh, into the child, into the fetus, and into the life.] Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, [“You, you’ve formed me like the cheese, then you put the skin around my flesh.”] and then you fenced me with bones and sinews. [The foundation, the bones and the sinews.] Thou has [grafted me] granted me [rather] life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: and I know that this is with thee (10:10-13).
So, “Lord, I am your creation. You formed me, you made me what I am.”
And if I sin, then you mark me, and you will not acquit me of my iniquity. If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will not lift up my head. For I am full of confusion; therefore look upon my affliction (10:14-15);
So Job is again, it’s pitiful, as he’s pouring out his, his soul, he is confused. He cannot understand the circumstances of his life. He cannot understand why when he has sought to serve the Lord, that he should have all of this misery.
We cannot always understand why God brings certain trials upon us. Why we go through certain experiences. We also have experienced the confusion of Job. But, in those times, we should learn to trust. Just trust God. We don’t understand what’s going on, and what God so often says is, “Just trust me”. I don’t like that advise. I want to know. I want to understand. When the Lord just says, “Trust me”, I get frustrated. I know I should trust Him, I know I have to trust Him, I know I don’t have anything else but to trust Him, and ultimately He brings me to that. Ultimately after all my kicking, and screaming, and complaining, I am brought to the place where, “Lord, I just have to trust. You know what you’re doing. I am yours, you created me”. He said, “If I am wicked, woe unto me! If I am righteous, I’m not gonna lift up my head, because I’m full of confusion. For my affliction”,
It increases. You hunt me as a fierce lion: and again you show yourself marvelous upon me. You renew thy witnesses against me, and you increase your indignation upon me; changes and war are against me. Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? [Now again, remember, “Why was I born? Why didn’t I die”, and so again, “God why did you allow me to be born?”] Oh that I had died, and no eye had seen me! [“Oh that there would’ve been just a stillborn!”] Are not my days few? And Lord just please leave me alone, that I may have just a little comfort, Before I go [where I’m not gonna return] from where I will not return, to the land of darkness to the shadow of death; [“Oh I’d like just a few days of comfort before I die.”] A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and the shadow of death, without any order, where the light is as darkness (10:16-22).
So this gloom of Job. He’s going through this misery, his friends are not really helping him to understand. In fact, they’re only bringing greater confusion in their endeavors to help.
So the third of the fellows picks it up against Job, and in chapter eleven. Zophar’s discourse, and then in the next three chapters, Job’s response to Zophar. In order that we might keep them all together, we’ll take four chapters next week, as we look at Zophar, and then Job’s response unto him. So through chapter fourteen for next week.
In a interesting sort of way, the book of Job brings comfort to many people. Because though we feel that we’ve got it bad, when you read about Job, “Man! I haven’t had it half bad!”. It’s, it’s the story that again, brings us to the very basics. Causes us to look at the basic issues of life. When you get rid of all of the fluff, and whipped cream, and junk, what’s left? You know, where is the real substance to life? What is life all about? Why am I here? Is there any future? Is there any life, after death? And, and uh, you know, “What should I be living for?”. We’ll be looking at these issues, as we move along in Job.
May the Lord bless you, may His hand be upon you, strengthening, guiding, keeping, as you walk in His love, and as you experience His Spirit working in, and through your life this week. May God use you, make you His witness, and prosper you in your way. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7158