TODAY’S READING: JOB 29-33
Job’s recollection of days gone by; Job’s proclamation of his righteousness and integrity; Elihu’s accusations.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As we enter Job 29, we find Job looking back over his shoulder, reflecting on how good life used to be. We call them “the good ole days.” (For most of us, it’s not really that “the good ole days” were really that good, it’s just that our memory is so bad, and/or so selective, that we don’t remember all of the things that made life difficult during those times!) Job’s case, however, is different. He really did have a better life in days gone by.
Job 29:1 reminds us that this is the continuation of a parable. Biblically, a parable is something that is used to give instruction to believers, but hide truth from the skeptic (See Matt. 13:11).
After walking back through “the good ole days” in chapter 29, in chapter 30, Job is brought back to the reality of his present condition. He describes the misery of his terrible state. While they tell the tale of Job’s horror historically, they once again, paint an unbelievable picture of Christ’s plight on the cross, the Jew in the Tribulation, and the lost man in hell. Job 30 gives the same “feel” as Isaiah 53.
In chapter 31, the tone changes rather abruptly. Job somehow digs himself up out of the depths of despair mentally, and causes us to stand in awe of this incredible man’s ability to hold tenaciously to his integrity after being pulverized relentlessly both physically (from the devil), and psychologically (from his friends). Beginning in verse 5 of chapter 31, Job fires off a series of questions regarding his personal testimony. Each is marked by the word “if,” which is found 20 times in the passage. (Gives new meaning to “playing 20 questions” :>) In effect, Job is saying, “If I’m guilty of any of the things you guys have accused me of, I’m ready to receive the judgment of God for it.” Job ends his argument in 31:40, and no one has won. Job, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar have all simply become more entrenched in their own position. It teaches us a great lesson about debating “spiritual” matters. No one really wins. Everybody simply holds firm to their own convictions!
, while no communication is really taking place, because no one is listening. The next person is just waiting for their turn to talk.
As chapter 32 begins, all four men have run out of steam, and now, no one is talking. But there has been one other person present throughout this whole episode with Job and his three friends. He has listened intently to everything that has been said. Because he was younger than the other men, he’s kept his mouth shut out of respect. But he’s been brought to his boiling point. He feels he’s got to open his mouth and “defend God.” Elihu is his name. Like Job’s three friends, he thinks he is speaking for God, out of a pure heart and pure motives. Once again, you would never be able to convince him otherwise. What he says proves that he is very knowledgeable. Knowing what we know about why Job has encountered these trials, reveals that while Elihu has knowledge, he lacks wisdom and understanding. Everything Elihu says in chapter 32 and 33 is completely accurate in terms of truthfulness, and is right smack dab on the bull’s eye. The only problem is, the bull’s eye is !
on the wrong target! As we have said throughout our overview of Job, we must allow the Lord to teach us through the negative examples of Job’s friends, lest we demoralize, discourage, and defeat our brothers and sisters with knowledge, but no wisdom and understanding.
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Through Job’s compassion for others – Job 29:15-17, 21-25 (Matt. 4:14; 15:30-39).
Through the ridicule and affliction which Job endured – Job 30:10-11 (Mark 15:15-20; Isa. 50:6; 53:2-5; Matt. 27:26-30; John 19:1-3)