d. The persistence of Job’s friends.
Job 22:1-10 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment? Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite? For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing. Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry. But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it. Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken. Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;
Rumours were believed, false accusations were made –
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. “evil stories find eager listeners”
Job 25:1-3 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places. Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?
Note that he rebuked Job for trying to vindicate himself.
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Job 20:1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said –
Repeated false accusations –
Job 20:18-19 That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein. Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;
Job 20:27-29 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him. The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.
Note that they did not believe evil of Job as they arranged to meet and comfort him!
e. The poignant grief of Job.
1). His despair.
a). His prayers were not answered.
b). He, being righteous, was in affliction.
c). The wicked seemingly prosper.
Job 21:7-16 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
This emotion is not unique to Job See also –
Psalms 73:2-3 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
2). His determination.
Job 27:1-6 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul; All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live
He was not being self-righteous!
3). His defense.
Job 31:1-6 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.
a). He was compelled to defend himself which put him in a difficult position.
Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Proverbs 25:27 …so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
2 Corinthians 10:18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
b). He should have been commended.
(1). Note Paul’s defense –
2 Corinthians 12:11-13 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
He ministerd to them and received ridicule instead of respect!
(2). Note especially Jesus’ and the accusers.
Mark 15:2-14 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
(a). The priest did not care whether He was innocent or not.
(b). The people were willing to believe a lie.
Pilate stated that Jesus was innocent of all accusations brought against Him, that He truly was a righteous man. Instead of standing for the truth, the people sided with the crowd. No one stood up for Him with Pilate and agreed that He was innocent. No one said, “he healed my son, he gave me sight…”
Matthew 27:24-25 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Likewise, not one person came forward in defense of Job. This really shows us the power of community. Job was suffering alone –
4). His desire – to plead his case before the Lord.
Job 23:3-12 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me. There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
5). His disappointment. He had no ‘daysman’ to arbitrate his cause.
Job 9:33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
Job 16:21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!
The believer is so blessed in that we know these truths and we have these promises
John 14:9 “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…”
John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.”
We have a ‘Daysman’, One able to arbitrate for us. “Tempted in all points like as we…”
Next week we will see that Job learns that God was with him through the entire trial. God had not forgotten him God had not stopped loving him.
As a believer when in affliction, remember the relationship and the promises of God.
God has not forgotten you. God has not stopped loving you.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As a believer in service –
A. Remember the warning of God –
Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
B. Remember the promises of God –
Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.