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Posted By Nan

Job’s true heart comes out as, over the next three chapters, he summarises his case. In this part he speaks of his longing for the days when God watched over him and he walked by God’s light. When everything around him was darkness but he was in God’s light. This was a wonderful time and he was happy and delighted in God.
He longs for the time when he was aware of God’s intimate friendship and the blessings God gave him in his house and his children whom he loved. Life was wonderful then and there was no hardship. He has lost so much and is still hurting, bewildered and grieving.
Back in those wonderful days when God was his intimate friend he was righteous and accepted as that. He sought justice for others and his future seemed assured as one of long life and comfort.
When he spoke back then people did not argue with him. They respected his word and accepted it.
He was innocent and he was delighted to walk with God.
How different his current reality is.

Posted By Nan

Job continues with a beautiful passage that is a delight to read. He describes how humans search for precious minerals everywhere, even in the deepest pits underground.
Humans may be able to tunnel underground and reach places all over the earth but wisdom cannot be found in the places precious minerals are found. Wisdom is more precious than anything else on earth, and understanding, an aspect of wisdom is also precious. Their worth is beyond comprehension. They cannot be bought. They cannot be found in all the places on earth that people dwell. Only God knows where wisdom is. Only God knows where understanding is.
This passage concludes with the answer to the question of where wisdom and understanding can be found:
“The fear of the Lord … is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding” v28.
This man, commended by God for his righteousness, challenges his friends and anyone who will listen with wisdom and understanding. True wisdom and understanding.
In this world there is a search for wisdom and understanding and people search in many places. Sadly, they are loathe to search in the one place wisdom and understanding can be found. In God.

Posted By Nan

It is not only Job’s friends who are repeating themselves – Job is doing this as well. He is back on the theme of God denying him justice and tasting the bitterness of his suffering. Underlying everything he says is that sense of injustice and the belief that God should not be causing this to him. However, he does have a great sense of how great God is. He follows his complaint of denied justice with a pronouncement of his intention to never speak wickedness or deceit. This is aimed at his friends. He will not agree with their presumption of his guilt because he will not deny his integrity. He will consider himself righteous and not feel he has lied in proclaiming this.
Job is determined to point out here that he is not wicked, although he is certainly implying his friends are.
He acknowledges that the godless have no hope in his type of situation and in death. He speaks of how the godless will not know the comfort of God, or be able to delight in Him or call on Him. This is a good description of hell. What could be worse for a person than to die, meet God for the first time (after having ignored Him in life), realise who He is (a joyful thing) and then, just as the desire to be with Him forever is awakened, spend eternity separated from Him. I can think of nothing worse.

Posted By Nan

This response of Job is for Bildad alone. The ‘you’ used here in the original Hebrew is singular. Job criticises Bildad’s patronising advice offered as though to one who is ignorant and does not know God.
Job speaks of God’s vast power, just as Bildad did in his short words. But Job’s vision of God is quite different. Bildad visualises a God who is a battle commander that rules over the unruliness of heaven and earth, and who holds man in great contempt. In contrast, Job speaks of God’s spirit assisting man’s insights. He uses beautiful language to describe the anguish of the dead and God’s power in creating the skies and the earth. He wraps the water in the clouds, but they do not burst. He controls the clouds that cover the moon and sets a horizon for us to see. He has power over the natural and supernatural world. But that is nothing of the depth of God’s greatness. God’s greatness is impossible for human minds to comprehend. In 11:7-9 Zophar accused Job of being unable to understand the mysteries of God. Here Job is contending his knowledge of God is as great as that of his friends. It is not possible for us to fully understand God’s power.
I find it interesting that Job’s friends speak patronisingly to Job, as though he is their inferior. Job, on the other hand, speaks to them as though they are equals. He does not try to say he knows more about God (although I suspect he does) but instead speaks as though they have equal knowledge. He shows them the respect they do not show him.
The beautiful language of this section is a delight to read. Job speaks correctly. Our ability to understand and comprehend God’s power is limited. We can never grasp His true magnificence. Especially not this side of heaven.

Posted By Nan

Bildad replies to Job. Well, he says something, but it is not a response to Job’s words. It is merely a restating of the stance he has taken all along, except he leaves out the specific accusation about Job’s imagined evil and instead holds that no one is righteous before God. He is right, but Job does not disagree with him. How often, in our pursuit of a dispute with another person, we shut ours ears and refuse to listen to the other person. If we listen, we may hear something that may convict us of wrong thoughts. This behaviour is particularly prevalent when it is an argument about doctrine. It is as if the one listening is terrified of finding out he or she has been wrong in his belief about God and is determined not to discover this.
It is assumed by commentators that Eliphaz and Zophar have stopped arguing with Job because they have run out of arguments. So Bildad now stands alone, trying to continue the argument. From these verses, it would appear he has also run out of arguments.



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