This is Episode #158 and today we’ll read Job chapters 21-23 together. Here they go again…Round Three.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #158 and today we’ll read Job chapters 21-23 together. Here they go again…Round Three.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Job Chapter 21
Job’s Reply to Zophar
Then Job answered:
Pay close attention to my words;
let this be the consolation you offer.
Bear with me while I speak;
then after I have spoken, you may continue mocking.
As for me, is my complaint against a human being?
Then why shouldn’t I be impatient?
Look at me and shudder;
put your hand over your mouth.
When I think about it, I am terrified
and my body trembles in horror.
Why do the wicked continue to live,
growing old and becoming powerful?
Their children are established while they are still alive,
and their descendants, before their eyes.
Their homes are secure and free of fear;
no rod from God strikes them.
Their bulls breed without fail;
their cows calve and do not miscarry.
They let their little ones run around like lambs;
their children skip about,
singing to the tambourine and lyre
and rejoicing at the sound of the flute.
They spend their days in prosperity
and go down to Sheol in peace.
Yet they say to God, “Leave us alone!
We don’t want to know your ways.
Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him,
and what will we gain by pleading with him?”
But their prosperity is not of their own doing.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
Does disaster come on them?
Does he apportion destruction in his anger?
Are they like straw before the wind,
like chaff a storm sweeps away?
God reserves a person’s punishment for his children.
Let God repay the person himself, so that he may know it.
Let his own eyes see his demise;
let him drink from the Almighty’s wrath!
Such Futile Comfort
For what does he care about his family once he is dead,
when the number of his months has run out?
Can anyone teach God knowledge,
since he judges the exalted ones?
One person dies in excellent health,
completely secure and at ease.
His body is well fed,
and his bones are full of marrow.
Yet another person dies with a bitter soul,
having never tasted prosperity.
But they both lie in the dust,
and worms cover them.
I know your thoughts very well,
the schemes by which you would wrong me.
For you say, “Where now is the nobleman’s house?”
and “Where are the tents the wicked lived in?”
Have you never consulted those who travel the roads?
Don’t you accept their reports?
Indeed, the evil person is spared from the day of disaster,
rescued from the day of wrath.
Who would denounce his behavior to his face?
Who would repay him for what he has done?
He is carried to the grave,
and someone keeps watch over his tomb.
The dirt on his grave is sweet to him.
Everyone follows behind him,
and those who go before him are without number.
So how can you offer me such futile comfort?
Your answers are deceptive.
Third Series of Speeches
Job Chapter 22
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
Can a man be of any use to God?
Can even a wise man be of use to him?
Does it delight the Almighty if you are righteous?
Does he profit if you perfect your behavior?
Does he correct you and take you to court
because of your piety?
Isn’t your wickedness abundant
and aren’t your iniquities endless?
For you took collateral from your brothers without cause,
stripping off their clothes and leaving them naked.
You gave no water to the thirsty
and withheld food from the famished,
while the land belonged to a powerful man
and an influential man lived on it.
You sent widows away empty-handed,
and the strength of the fatherless was crushed.
Therefore snares surround you,
and sudden dread terrifies you,
or darkness, so you cannot see,
and a flood of water covers you.
Isn’t God as high as the heavens?
And look at the highest stars — how lofty they are!
Yet you say, “What does God know?
Can he judge through total darkness?
Clouds veil him so that he cannot see,
as he walks on the circle of the sky.”
Will you continue on the ancient path
that wicked men have walked?
They were snatched away before their time,
and their foundations were washed away by a river.
They were the ones who said to God, “Leave us alone!”
and “What can the Almighty do to us?”
But it was he who filled their houses with good things.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me!
The righteous see this and rejoice;
the innocent mock them, saying,
“Surely our opponents are destroyed,
and fire has consumed what they left behind.”
God Will Save the Humble
Come to terms with God and be at peace;
in this way good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth,
and place his sayings in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty, you will be renewed.
If you banish injustice from your tent
and consign your gold to the dust,
the gold of Ophir to the stones in the wadis,
the Almighty will be your gold
and your finest silver.
Then you will delight in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows.
When you make a decision, it will be carried out,
and light will shine on your ways.
When others are humiliated and you say, “Lift them up,”
God will save the humble.
He will even rescue the guilty one,
who will be rescued by the purity of your hands.
Job Chapter 23
Job’s Reply to Eliphaz
Then Job answered:
Today also my complaint is bitter.
His hand is heavy despite my groaning.
If only I knew how to find him,
so that I could go to his throne.
I would plead my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn how he would answer me;
and understand what he would say to me.
Would he prosecute me forcefully?
No, he would certainly pay attention to me.
Then an upright man could reason with him,
and I would escape from my Judge forever.
If I go east, he is not there,
and if I go west, I cannot perceive him.
When he is at work to the north, I cannot see him;
when he turns south, I cannot find him.
Yet he knows the way I have taken;
when he has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.
My feet have followed in his tracks;
I have kept to his way and not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commands from his lips;
I have treasured the words from his mouth
more than my daily food.
But he is unchangeable; who can oppose him?
He does what he desires.
He will certainly accomplish what he has decreed for me,
and he has many more things like these in mind.
Therefore I am terrified in his presence;
when I consider this, I am afraid of him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.
Yet I am not destroyed by the darkness,
by the thick darkness that covers my face.
Well, bless his heart…Job has gone a little sideways in this one. Of course, the wicked person does indeed reap what he sows, exactly the same as everyone else. We know this because Acts 10:34 tells us that God is no respecter of persons. No one gets special treatment or a special pass. Sin is sin. As a matter of fact, Matthew 5:45 tells us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Just because it looks like someone is getting away with something. We’ve all heard Romans 12:19: Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, – in Deuteronomy 32:35 to be precise – Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.
Job is kind of hard to figure out in this session. I don’t think he’s trying to be disrespectful to God. Almost just the opposite. He’s convinced that if he could present his case directly, God would relent. He’s that confident. Oh, and you may have noticed a heading in your Bible at the end of the chapter 21. Yep, two of those sessions with friends just weren’t quite enough. Round Three. I would love to hear your impressions of this round-robin at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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