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JOB - Chapters 22-28


& Job's Concluding Remarks and Wisdom Discourse

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ELIPHAZ (ch. 22)

  1. (22:1-3) Nothing a man does can fulfill some "need" in God, and thus obligate him to pay back the man with special favors. Even the best ways of men cannot affect God's actions. [God is impartial in his judgments.]
  2. (22:4-11)
    1. You did not reap God's judgment because of righteousness, but because of wickedness.
    2. What you now experience is evidence that you have committed many wicked deeds. (Your riches surely came from exploitation of your fellow God has placed you under severe judgment.)
  3. (22:12-18)
    1. God IS exalted above the stars. And you think that because of his distance, his understanding of what happens on earth is obscured.
    2. If you insist on following the ways of evil men - who were openly defiant against God - you should remember that they were destroyed in judgment (= "by a flood") by God. (It will happen to you also, if you don't repent.) [Note: Perhaps Eliphaz is referring to those who were destroyed by the flood in Noah's day.]
    3. They followed after wickedness, even though God was the source of their blessings.
    4. I am the one who is not like them (the wicked). I chose to remain faithful to God. [He echoes Job's claim (in 21:16), perhaps implying that he, rather than Job, is avoiding the ways of the wicked.]
  4. (22:19-20) The righteous live to see the destruction of the wicked, and they rejoice!
  5. (22:21-30)
    1. So, please repent! Then you will reap the benefits of repentance!
    2. Get rid of your wickedness and the things you treasure (ill-gotten gain).
    3. You will once again have intimate fellowship with God. He will hear and answer your requests even when you are interceding in behalf of other men! [It seems implied that, although man's deeds cannot benefit (or influence) God, God will "benefit" man (in a good sense) if man repents.]
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JOB'S REPLY TO ELIPHAZ (ch. 23 - 24)

[Job seems to agree that God can "benefit" man (in a good sense), but believes that in his case it will be due to his purity, rather than through repentance.]

  1. (23:1-7)
    1. My words have been heavily influenced by my agony.
    2. If I could find God, I could defend myself, and would expect a favorable decision.
  2. (23:8-12)
    1. I've looked for him and cannot find him anywhere.
    2. But he knows my ways. Sooner or later I will be shown to be pure (because I am pure).
  3. (23:13-17) [Job agrees with Eliphaz that God is not influenced by man's actions.]
    1. God is one, and complete in himself.
    2. He does as he pleases, and nothing external to him influences his decisions.
    3. My troubles are a good illustration of this fact (that he does as he pleases), and it terrifies me.
    4. Yet in all my darkness - though I am dying - I am not silenced [by your false reasoning].
  4. (24:1-12) Something I don't understand...
    1. Why doesn't the God of judgment appoint (on a regular basis) special times of judgment, so that the "wrongs" in the world could be judged and made "right"? (...and so that those who know him could see it happen now!)
    2. Look at the horrible things that the oppressed must endure! (v.2+) They suffer without relief.. and nothing happens to the evildoer.
  5. (24:13-17) On the other hand, those who do this wickedness love their darkness, and expect no retribution.
  6. (24:18-24)
    1. God lets them go on...
    2. But in the end (although they presently get away with much) they will be destroyed. [Alternate view: oh that they would be judged now, rather than waiting for later.]
  7. (24:25) Who can disprove this - the fact that the way things presently are (filled with much injustice) is not the way they will be in the future (when all is made right)?
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BILDAD (ch. 25)

  1. Can't you understand that even now God is in sovereign control, that even now man should fear his judgments? [Perhaps suggesting that we don't have to wait until the future arrives, in order to get "justice" - contrary to what Job has just said.]
  2. Can't you understand that it just isn't possible for a man to be perfect in God's sight?
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  1. (26:1-4) What help you are! Where did you get such intelligence? [sarcasm]
  2. (26:5-14) God indeed is great.
    1. On one extreme, He fully knows what is going on in Sheol - with the dead who are in a wretched state of existence.
    2. On the other extreme - for the living - He has created the heavens and has displayed His amazing wonders in them.
    3. And He is so great that we can comprehend only the fringes of his power!

(No Response by Zophar; Hence, no reply by Job.)

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  1. (27:1-6)
    1. As surely as God lives (who is both the source of my life and the source of my bitterness)...
    2. I will never deny my integrity. I plan to ALWAYS remain righteous, regardless of what may happen.
  2. (27:7-10)
    1. May my enemies [Job's friends with their bad counsel?] get what the wicked deserve.
    2. The wicked man will have no hope when God takes his life...God won't even hear his cry for help. (After all, he has no interest in God at other times.)
  3. (27:11-12) I will explain to you the way God does things. (You yourself know this his true, so you should not have given me such worthless advice.)
  4. (27:13-23) This is what will eventually happen to the wicked [even though it does not happen now]:
    1. His offspring will suffer in many ways, and no one will care.
    2. His possessions will eventually be owned by the righteous. [He probably stole them from the righteous, in the first place!]
    3. Where he lives will become uninhabited ruins.
    4. The hour of death will overtake him and he will suddenly lose all.
  5. [(Ch.28) The wisdom of God's ways is difficult or impossible for man to comprehend. It can be developed only in a proper relationship with God.] See next section:
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WISDOM (ch. 28 - a continuation of Job's concluding remarks)

  1. (28:1-11) Man is able, by human ingenuity, to probe the deepest recesses of the earth, in areas far beyond the reach of all other living creatures. There he is able to discover all kinds of treasures.
  2. (28:12-19) But man cannot comprehend the value of wisdom. It is more elusive than any of the rarest, most valuable treasures he can find; it cannot be purchased with the greatest of his treasures; and nothing he has attained can even compare to it.
  3. (28:20-28)
    1. It evades man's search for it in every direction - both in the land of the living and in the place of the dead.
    2. God alone knows the way to wisdom, for it resides with Him alone. Even at the very beginning of creation, He knew and understood it. He could fully appraise and comprehend its value. It was with Him at creation and permeates all of it. (See Job 38-41.)
    3. Yet man cannot find it through investigation of the unknown elements of creation; but only through the development of a relationship with God - through fearing Him and (as a result) turning away from evil.
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Dennis Hinks © 1989