June 3, 2007
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- Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
- How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
- Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
- If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;
- If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;
- If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
- Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
- For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:
- (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)
- Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?
- Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?
- Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.
- So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish:
- Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.
- He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.
- He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.
- His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.
- If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.
- Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.
- Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
- 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 nought.
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- Then Job answered and said,
- I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
- If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.
- He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?
- Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger.
- Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
- Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
- Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
- Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.
- Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
- Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not.
- Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?
- If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.
- How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him?
- Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge.
- If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.
- For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause.
- He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.
- If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead?
- If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
- Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.
- This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.
- If the scourge slay 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?
- Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
- They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
- If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself:
- I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.
- If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?
- If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;
- Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
- For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.
- Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
- 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 not so with me.
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- My soul is weary of my 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.
- Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
- Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
- Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days,
- That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
- Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
- Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.
- Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
- Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
- Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
- Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
- And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
- If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
- If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;
- For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.
- Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
- Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!
- I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
- Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,
- Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;
- A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
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Thought for the day:
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After Eliphaz spoke and stated that Job's difficulties must have come as a result of his sinful behavior (chapter 5), Job responds by proclaiming his innocence and complaining about his condition (chapters 6-7). In chapter 8 his second "comforter", Bildad, continues the rebuke, again stating that Job's problems must be a result of his sinful behavior. He appeals to past history to prove his point (8:8-10), as well as illustrations from nature (8:11-12). Thus he arrives at his conclusion in verse 20:
"Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers."
In other words, God would not have allowed this to happen to Job if he were an upright man, and the reason that He does not remove the problem is because Job is an evil doer. Once again we see man's wisdom being applied to God. Isaiah 55:8-9 states,
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Finite man can not understand the workings of an infinite God, and often we do not see the big picture of what God is doing in our lives. Bildad assumed that he could discern the mind of God, but he was wrong in his analysis.
In chapters 9-10 Job responds to this second round of accusations. He recognizes the greatness of God (9:1-12), and understands that he can only cast himself upon the mercy of the Lord (9:15). He considered attempting to forget about the direness of his condition (9:27), but decided instead to once again verbalize his complaint before the Lord because of the unfairness of his situation (10:1-3). He concludes with an admission of his spiritual confusion (10:15), and a stated desire to die (10:18-22). Clearly Job's confusion is clouding his thinking. He is complaining against the God who created him and loved him and had provided him with much prosperity and many blessings. He is struggling to trust the Lord. Here is a lesson for us that is ongoing throughout this entire book: let God be God, and trust him. Proverbs 3:5 is a famous verse that sheds light on this situation:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Job and his friends were attempting to use their own minds to comprehend the eternal plan of God, rather than simply trust that their God indeed had a plan, and that His plan was best.
There is one verse that sticks out to me in this passage. Job 10:12 reads,
"Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit."
These are certainly true and powerful words spoken by Job. God had given him three things, and they are the same three things that He has given to us if we have received His salvation. First, He is the Giver of life. The fact that you and I exist is a testament to the gracious mercy and power of God. He was not obligated to allow me to be born. He gave no guarantees that I would survive infancy, nor that I would make it to adulthood. Certainly there is no promise in the Scripture that I will make it to retirement age. Life is a gift from God, and He should be praised for it. Second, Job acknowledges God as the Giver of favor. Not only am I alive, but I have many wonderful gifts from the Lord. I was born into a Christian home. My parents loved me and loved each other, and my needs (and many of my wants) were provided for. I married a wonderful Christian woman who has been a tremendous helper and friend to me. I have been blessed with children who have a desire to do what's right and have not been a spiritual burden. They have been healthy. My wife and I have been healthy. I have a mind that functions and a body that can do work. I have been given a couple talents. I have always been able to provide for my family's financial needs. I have a nice home and reliable transportation. Paul instructed Timothy to be content with food and clothing (I Tim 6:8), and yet the Lord has favored me with so much more. He must be praised for this. Last, He has visited me spiritually. He sent His Son to die for me. He sent the Word of God to bring me to Himself and instruct me. He sent the Holy Spirit to convict me and guide me. He sent men and women to share the Gospel message with me. The combination of all these things brought me to a point of realization of sin, repentance, and reception of Christ as Savior. These will preserve my soul for all eternity, and His ongoing work in my life will keep my spirit right before Him throughout my life. Praise the Lord!
12. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery