In Job 10.1-22 Job still blames God for all his troubles, and his friends say it is because of Job’s sins that God is judging him. He wants Yehovah to show him what he can do to please him and stop his afflictions. Job complains that God oppresses the innocent, despises the work of his own hands and that God blesses the wicked. He is going too far here (v 1-3).
He wants to know if God is like man now, who is unfair. But God knows he is innocent, so why all the trouble? He is not wicked like his friends say he is, and God can stop this any time he wants. Job is sure that he is innocent, and God is fair, but he hasn’t found out that it is Satan causing all this yet, and as far as we know, he never will. He is close, and he is questioning God, but he has not cursed him (v 4-7).
Job was formed “round about” by God like a potter works clay, is he going to turn him into dust again (v 8-11)? God has always blessed Job and all he has known is success. Now, he has trouble and he doesn’t know why. But Yehovah knows why and is he trying to keep him off guard (v 12-13)? Job is confused about this whole affair (v 14-15).
If Job holds his head up, God comes along and puts him down he thinks. God renews witnesses (afflictions) against him. Job 10.17 carries the idea of warfare. One “hardship” (Hebrew “tzava”=war) after “hardship” (war). Believers can take authority over Satan and his army and order him out of our lives like Yeshua did. We can get the things that make us unhappy out of our lives and set our hearts on God (Luke 10.18-19). But Job is sick of life and wishes he was never born. He is feeling sorry for himself, as we would be, too, over a lot less. Job has a dark view of death here (v 16-22). This can happen to us as well. If we don’t keep our minds on Yehovah, we will listen to evil spirits and be consumed with a dark view of life also.
In Job 11.1-20 we now have Zophar (sparrow) giving his opinions. He will be like a sparrow who goes about his business, and everybody else’s business too. Then when trouble comes, they disappear. He will attack Job very severely and says Job deserves worse. He stood by and listened to his two other friends, and to what Job said in reply. He says right off that a multitude of words should be answered, but many words does not make him (Job) right (v 1-2).
Zophar says shall a person talk nonsense and nobody confront you about how you talk to the Lord? Well, Zophar is now coming forward to set Job straight. He says Job has claimed to be innocent before God, but he tells Job that he better hope that God doesn’t “open his lips” and speak against Job about what he has said up to now, and convince Job of his sins. He will show Job “the secrets of wisdom” and Job will know why all this is happening (v 3-6).
Can Job understand God or stop him when he comes to bring him to judgment? Can anyone hinder him (v 7-12)? He tells Job to repent and turn to God. He wants Job to root out all wickedness, but Zophar does not know that God is not doing this, either. Job was blameless in God’s eyes, and Job knows that he has not sinned. He wants Job to confess his sins and repent because he could then “lift up his face” without moral defect and he would be steadfast and not fear (v 15). But, in truth, it would not matter how many times Job repented because he hasn’t done anything. Also, Satan is the one causing Jobs afflictions and he won’t listen to what Job says, he wants Job to curse God. Satan knows what Job is going through and knows that he is in distress about the cause, and probably thinks it is funny. Zophar says that because Job wants to die, it proves that he is wicked (v 13-20).
In Job 12.1-25 Job finally responds to his three friends, and he is going to get sarcastic in saying that his friends act as if they have all the wisdom, and when they die, wisdom dies with them (v 1-2). But Job understood more that his friends give him credit for. They mock him and don’t understand. Job knows what his life was like and he could call on God and get an answer. Job wasn’t a “lamp” ready to slip because things were going well. The tents of the destroyers prosper and those who provoke the Lord are safe, so now he thinks his former understandings of God might be wrong (v 3-6), but the solution to this is Psa 73.
Job says that all creation knows the power of God and Job says if you want to know the Lord, look at how God governs the world (v 7-12). Then in Job 12.13-25 Job describes the power of God and rebukes Zophar’s speech. Zophar does not know God and Job is not stupid, so don’t bring that up again (as in 11.12). He then describes the power and wisdom of God. Whatever God wants to do with a person, he does it. He can tear down a person and build him back up again. He can cause a drought that causes a famine, or cause it to rain and bring a flood. The misled and the misleader was created by God. Eschatologically, even Satan will go to destruction, along with the False Messiah, the False Prophet and those who follow them.
He can take counselors and mix up their thoughts to where their words are foolish (v 17). He can make a king’s edict disappear, and “binds their loins with a girdle” (can make those kings a servant). Priests can be demoted and can bring down the mighty in the land. He will make those who are trusted and in positions of leadership and cause them to say dumb things (v 18-20). He controls those in charge and causes their decisions to be weak (v 21).
There are many “mysteries” (Hebrew “sowd” meaning “hidden, secret) in God’s plan and he can reveal them to whoever he wants, or hide them from whoever he wants. He also can make a nation great, then destroys them. Everything that happens in a nation comes from Yehovah. He can cause nations to have treaties one minute, and then have them go to war with each other the next minute. He can cause presidents, kings and rulers of all nations (“chiefs of the earth”) to become confused and not be able to tell good from evil. They will make good decisions, then have them make bad decisions. God can cause them to be blinded about important things and focus on foolish things. When we see all the confusion in a nation, they are likened to drunks who stagger around in the darkness. News today is nothing but a bunch of fools speaking their minds, so keep this in mind when we see the politics in the land.
Job 13.1-28 continues with Job’s speech to Zophar. Job has extensive knowledge and is not “less knowing” than his friends. He has seen everything that he is speaking about and understands it. Job doesn’t want to argue with his friends, he wants answers from God himself (v 1-2). His friends tell him to repent, but put no true knowledge into Job’s mind (v 3-4). They are like bible teachers today. They tell you what you are doing wrong, but don’t know the plan of God, or refer you to the Torah because they don’t believe it applies because they are not under the Torah. They would be much wiser if they would just be quiet and stop talking (v 5). He wants them to listen to him and he can plead his own case.
Are they going to be like God and judge him? If they do, God is going to put them in their place. Their words are like ashes, easily blown away, and their defenses are like clay, easily broken (v 3-12). He wants them to be quiet so he can speak. When he is speaking truth, he has no fear of reproach. Why should he “take my flesh in my lip” (meaning “bite my lip” or “be quiet”).
Even if God takes his life, he will trust in the Lord and will present his case, and in the end he will be vindicated (and he was). He asks who is going to dispute with him, and if proven wrong he will be silent and die (v 13-19).
He tells the Lord to reveal to him if sin is really the problem. What has he been charged with, arraigned, condemned and punished for? Job likens himself to a leaf that is blown away by the wind. They are falling and trodden under foot. They are worthless, weak and nobody cares. Job knew he was a sinner and was afraid God was holding these things against him now. He feels he has no escape, like his feet are in stocks. He is decaying like a “rotten thing” and a garment that is “moth-eaten” (v 20-28).
Job 14.1-22 tells us about the finality of death. He talks about man who is “born of woman” meaning frail, weak and subject to temptation. Like a flower that comes from the ground (like a womb) that flourishes then withers (v 1-3). He then says, “Who can make the clean out of the unclean?” In other words, there is none born righteous and pure. The only one who can make a person clean is the Lord (v 4).
Job is telling his friends he is not unclean like they were accusing him of being. Spiritually, we can’t call a thing clean if it is unclean by the Lord’s standard and word, the Torah. We can’t call animals that God has declared forbidden to eat acceptable to eat now. But many religions do just that, but this verse negates that view. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
Man’s days are determined by God and the number of his months are also with God (Psa 139.16). God has limited each person to a life. It would be better if God would just “look away” so an afflicted one (Job) could rest (v 5-6).
In Job 14.7-12 is a passage that deals with the resurrection. Job says there is hope for a tree when it is cut down that it will sprout again because the roots will not fail. At the scent of water it will flourish, even if the stump is old in the ground. This is an allusion to Israel, a “cursed tree.” Even that tree has hope (Mic 7.1-2; Mark 11.12-14; Jer 31.15-31; Hos 6.1-3, 14.1-9; Song 2.13; Job 19.25-26). Israel as a nation will rise (Joel 2.28; Ezek 39.22; Rom 11.26; Isa 66.7-9; Amos 9.15).
But Job is also talking about two aspects of man, flesh and spirit. He is talking about the mortal body in v 10-12. It dies and lies prostrate. Man is cut down and will not rise (Ecc 12.7). The body stays in the ground and the body will not “wake up” or be aroused out of his sleep by others.
Job 14.13-17 then tells us that Job wants God to tell him how long his life will be, don’t keep me in the dark. He asks the question, “If a man dies will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait, until my change comes” (v 15). Job is looking for that change when he dies and it will at least give him a rest from all his afflictions. God will call, and Job will answer because then God will receive the work of his hands (his body-v 15).
Yehovah has numbered Job’s steps and Job’s sins, transgressions and iniquities are “sealed in a bag” (v 17). Sin is an unintentional violation, a transgression is rebellion and iniquities are intentional due to a weakness. Job doesn’t even know what these are in his case. He is puzzled as to why all of this is happening to him. He doesn’t know it is Satan doing this, not Yehovah punishing him for any sins, transgressions or iniquities.
We know that when a believer dies his mortal body returns to the dust and his spirit lives and goes to the Lord (Ecc 12.7). God will call and we will answer (Isa 13.2, 18.3, 26.19; Eph 5.14; 1 Cor 15.50-53; 1 John 3.2; Phil 3.21; Psa 17.15; Rev 4.1).
Job 14. 18-22 tells us that Job returns to similes about the fallen state of man. Job hoped for a restoration of his relationship with God after he died. He erroneously thinks that relationship has been broken, but it wasn’t. God’s power is limitless and if he sets himself against a man, group or nation, God will take away any hope that he will live again in the world after he dies, and he will prevail. There is nothing he can do. He doesn’t know what happens to his family after he is gone, or what happens in the world for that matter. His body will corrupt in the grave, and his soul regrets that he was ever born.
We will pick up in Job 15.1-35 in Part 5.