This is Episode #159 and today we’ll read Job chapters 24-28 together. Job, then Bildad, then Job, and Job again, and finally true wisdom is defined.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #159 and today we’ll read Job chapters 24-28 together. Job, then Bildad, then Job, and Job again, and finally true wisdom is defined.
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 24
Why does the Almighty not reserve times for judgment?
Why do those who know him never see his days?
The wicked displace boundary markers.
They steal a flock and provide pasture for it.
They drive away the donkeys owned by the fatherless
and take the widow’s ox as collateral.
They push the needy off the road;
the poor of the land are forced into hiding.
Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
the poor go out to their task of foraging for food;
the desert provides nourishment for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field
and glean the vineyards of the wicked.
Without clothing, they spend the night naked,
having no covering against the cold.
Drenched by mountain rains,
they huddle against the rocks, shelterless.
The fatherless infant is snatched from the breast;
the nursing child of the poor is seized as collateral.
Without clothing, they wander about naked.
They carry sheaves but go hungry.
They crush olives in their presses;
they tread the winepresses, but go thirsty.
From the city, men groan;
the mortally wounded cry for help,
yet God pays no attention to this crime.
The wicked are those who rebel against the light.
They do not recognize its ways
or stay on its paths.
The murderer rises at dawn
to kill the poor and needy,
and by night he becomes a thief.
The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking, “No eye will see me,”
and he covers his face.
In the dark they break into houses;
by day they lock themselves in,
never experiencing the light.
For the morning is like darkness to them.
Surely they are familiar with the terrors of darkness!
They float on the surface of the water.
Their section of the land is cursed,
so that they never go to their vineyards.
They Are Remembered No More
As dry ground and heat snatch away the melted snow,
so Sheol steals those who have sinned.
The womb forgets them;
worms feed on them;
they are remembered no more.
So injustice is broken like a tree.
They prey on the childless woman who is unable to conceive,
and do not deal kindly with the widow.
Yet God drags away the mighty by his power;
when he rises up, they have no assurance of life.
He gives them a sense of security, so they can rely on it,
but his eyes watch over their ways.
They are exalted for a moment, then gone;
they are brought low and shrivel up like everything else.
They wither like heads of grain.
If this is not true, then who can prove me a liar
and show that my speech is worthless?
Job Chapter 25
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
Dominion and dread belong to him,
the one who establishes harmony in his heights.
Can his troops be numbered?
Does his light not shine on everyone?
How can a human be justified before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon does not shine
and the stars are not pure in his sight,
how much less a human, who is a maggot,
a son of man, who is a worm!
Job Chapter 26
Job’s Reply to Bildad
Then Job answered:
How you have helped the powerless
and delivered the arm that is weak!
How you have counseled the unwise
and abundantly provided insight!
With whom did you speak these words?
Whose breath came out of your mouth?
The departed spirits tremble
beneath the waters and all that inhabit them.
Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches the northern skies over empty space;
he hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps up the water in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst beneath its weight.
He obscures the view of his throne,
spreading his cloud over it.
He laid out the horizon on the surface of the waters
at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars that hold up the sky tremble,
astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stirred the sea,
and by his understanding he crushed Rahab.
By his breath the heavens gained their beauty;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
These are but the fringes of his ways;
how faint is the word we hear of him!
Who can understand his mighty thunder?
Job Chapter 27
Job continued his discourse, saying:
As God lives, who has deprived me of justice,
and the Almighty who has made me bitter,
as long as my breath is still in me
and the breath from God remains in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak unjustly,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
I will never affirm that you are right.
I will maintain my integrity until I die.
I will cling to my righteousness and never let it go.
My conscience will not accuse me as long as I live!
May my enemy be like the wicked
and my opponent like the unjust.
For what hope does the godless person have when he is cut off,
when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry
when distress comes on him?
Will he delight in the Almighty?
Will he call on God at all times?
I will teach you about God’s power.
I will not conceal what the Almighty has planned.
All of you have seen this for yourselves,
why do you keep up this empty talk?
This is a wicked man’s lot from God,
the inheritance the ruthless receive from the Almighty.
Even if his children increase, they are destined for the sword;
his descendants will never have enough food.
Those who survive him will be buried by the plague,
yet their widows will not weep for them.
Though he piles up silver like dust
and heaps up fine clothing like clay —
he may heap it up, but the righteous will wear it,
and the innocent will divide up his silver.
The house he built is like a moth’s cocoon
or a shelter set up by a watchman.
Terrors Overtake Him
He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, it is gone.
Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a storm wind sweeps him away at night.
An east wind picks him up, and he is gone;
it carries him away from his place.
It blasts at him without mercy,
while he flees desperately from its force.
It claps its hands at him
and scoffs at him from its place.
Job Chapter 28:
A Hymn to Wisdom
Surely there is a mine for silver
and a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the ground,
and copper is smelted from ore.
A miner puts an end to the darkness;
he probes the deepest recesses
for ore in the gloomy darkness.
He cuts a shaft far from human habitation,
in places unknown to those who walk above ground.
Suspended far away from people,
the miners swing back and forth.
Food may come from the earth,
but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.
Its rocks are a source of lapis lazuli,
containing flecks of gold.
No bird of prey knows that path;
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
Proud beasts have never walked on it;
no lion has ever prowled over it.
The miner uses a flint tool
and turns up ore from the root of the mountains.
He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eyes spot every treasure.
He dams up the streams from flowing
so that he may bring to light what is hidden.
But where can wisdom be found,
and where is understanding located?
No one can know its value,
since it cannot be found in the land of the living.
The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,”
while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”
Gold cannot be exchanged for it,
and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.
Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
Gold and glass do not compare with it,
and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.
Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning.
The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.
Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it,
and it cannot be valued in pure gold.
Where then does wisdom come from,
and where is understanding located?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing
and concealed from the birds of the sky.
Abaddon and Death say,
“We have heard news of it with our ears.”
But God understands the way to wisdom,
and he knows its location.
For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
When God fixed the weight of the wind
and distributed the water by measure,
when he established a limit for the rain
and a path for the lightning,
he considered wisdom and evaluated it;
he established it and examined it.
He said to mankind,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom.
And to turn from evil is understanding.”
In Bildad’s rush to hyperbole about how humans aren’t worthy of God’s attention, he didn’t even respond to Job’s comments about the wicked prospering. I have been guilty of this before too when attempting to argue a side for God or what I thought was a Godly point of view. I go off half-cocked without Scriptural backup, facts, or logic. Just pure emotion. I have learned to say, “You know, I don’t know that answer to your question. Let me do some research and we’ll come back together.” Or better yet, “Those are interesting questions. Let’s explore the Scriptures together.”
But my greatest sin has been forgetting that God is always more interested in people and relationships. When a person has real questions – especially when that person is a friend or family member and especially when those questions are spiritual in nature – I need to put aside what I’m doing and attend to that seeker. It becomes less about the argument, and much more about finding God in the midst of this messy life. Job was really hurting and was really struggling to figure out how God fit into all his circumstance. Bildad’s forgettable wisdom should have been secondary. Job’s frustration reared its ugly head in response to Bildad and he took snotty to a whole new level. One commentator I listened to said Job, in essence, asked Bildad if he had a speech writer!
Fear of the Lord
And once again, nothing substantive was accomplished. It was all about the argument. Words. Proverbs 10:19 should be our mantra: When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is prudent. But finally, just as on a stormy day when the dark clouds part and let the sun shine brightly through, there is chapter 28. We know intuitively that what Job is proclaiming in this chapter is true. There are things in this life that we just aren’t going to know. We must lay aside our arrogance, trust that God knows what we don’t, and obey. Fear of the Lord is true wisdom. Let me know what you think 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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