SEER

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false-prophet

FORTUNE TELLER

Young Elihu has been railing against Job for a while.  Now he would read Job’s mind, and challenge his motives.  When our friends venture inside our thoughts they are attempting to claim prophesy, which can be dangerous.

Elihu spake moreover, and said,  Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s?  For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?  I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.  Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.  Job 35:1-5

So Elihu suggests that Job considers himself more moral than God.  He further (falsely) claims that Job has rejected correction from sin.

If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?  If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?  Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.  By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty  Job 35:6-9

If you sin or obey how does it hurt or help God?  Elihu accuses Job of causing harm to others, which he has not done.  Job already searched his heart for the sin that his friends assume that he must have.

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;  Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?  There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.  Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.  Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.  Job 35:10-14

Elihu says that God doesn’t answer because of the evil in Job’s heart.  He tells Job to trust God, even while he is taking God’s judgment role on himself.

But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity: Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.  Job 35:15-16

Now Elihu says that because Job does not trust God he is talking foolishness.  Have you ever endured a sermon like this?  You know where you are with God, and it is tiring to hear a rant about a sin that is not part of your life.  There are times when God can give a target for prayer, but it should not sound like the lying rant of Elihu.  A false prophet is a curse to the church.

Warnings about sin that is in your life leaves you a time and place to repent.  Some warnings may be a premonition of bad things like a death or other hurt.  But those at least offer you knowledge that God joined you for your comfort and let you know that you are not alone.  A bad message from a good messenger offers you the courage of God walking with you in your trial.  A bad message from a bad messenger is marked by disobedience and evident sin.

I remember when two televangelists began exchanging accusations of sin on their television shows.  They both appeared on television with their lawyers, and that is why I knew that they were both guilty.  As a baby Christian I had read the instructions that tell us not to take a brother to court:

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. 1 Corinthians 6: 1-7

If either of these “leaders” were obedient to Christ, they would not need a lawyer to protect their interests.  In fact they would be working to restore the fallen brother quietly out of the public eye if possible.  I left following these fools immediately, and I was not surprised to see them both fall in disgrace.  You need not be a giant of theology to discern sin.

So the public ridicule of Job has all the earmarks of a lynch mob, not a godly comforting.  Elihu is not done yet, but he will begin to show signs of his pending failure soon.

TWO EDGED TONGUE

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GALLOWS

BACKFIRE

Job is still being called a liar and a sinner, now by this young Elihu.  If you have endured being branded by a snap judgment you may be chafing at reading this endless ordeal.  God trusted Job to pass the worst that Satan has to deliver.  Insult may actually be worse than injury.  if our words turn around to condemn us instead of our target we may be hanged on our own gallows as our old foe Haman above.

Furthermore Elihu answered and said,  Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.  For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.  Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.  For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.  Job 34:1-5

Furthermore…and more and more and more.  Elihu is still teaching his elders wisdom.  He invites his friends to become judges and make their own choices about what is good.  That seems to be a trait of evil, to invite others to fall into the same punishment.  Satan is destined to fall into the lake of fire, and he wants to pull god’s precious humans in with him.

Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.  What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?  Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.  For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.  Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.  Job 34: 6-10

Elihu asks if he should contradict what is true and thus wound himself with a lie.  He asks who could compare to Job for accepting criticism for living as an evil man.  Elihu claims that Job scorns God and suggests that Job is blaming God for his trials.

For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.  Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.  Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?  If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;  All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.  Job 34: 11-15

There is a partial truth that God will not do evil, but Elihu is the one who claims this affliction is from God.  Job doesn’t understand it, but he doesn’t point at God for blame.  As Elihu says, God is able to destroy us all if he wishes, but this is not God’s work here.

If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.  Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?  Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?  How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.  In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.Job 34: 16-20

So Elihu says it is unwise to allow evil to rule, and that God will not allow evil to prosper either.  Of course this is true, but God is the only one able to discern the heart of man and only he can judge.  God does punish, but he is patient while Elihu is rushing to judgment.

For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.  There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.  For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.  He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.  Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.  Job 34: 21-25

Yes, Elihu, God does see the secrets of evil men.  You however do not see inside the heart of Job, and God does see the evil in your heart!  Elihu does see the opportunity to listen to his own voice though, and he goes on…and on…and on.

He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;  Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:  So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.  When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:  That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.  Job 34: 26-30

It is true that god will deliver vengeance it comes in his time, which is not always in the sight of others as Elihu claims.  He paints God in a good light, but he cannot be cautious about painting his fellow man in an evil light.

Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:  That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.  Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.  Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.  Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.  Job 34: 31-35

Elihu sees wisdom in changing our ways when we are punished.  If men do ask to be taught they might respond by turning around to do good.  If we do what is right in our own eyes we may expect punishment.  Elihu is claiming that Job would not take correction from his affliction, that he is in sin.

My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.  For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God. Job 34: 36-37

Elihu wishes that Job will be punished even to death for being a rebel against God.  If he had our New Testament he might have better guidance in his decision making.  This young man joined a public attack on his friend.  His desire was to expose and punish Job, not to comfort or restore him.  Yeshua taught Matthew a three step path to correction:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: Matthew 18:15-17

This path allows one to investigate and get facts as a friend trying to protect one from sin and punishment.  The subject is always present in every step of the investigation; no one is talking about him when he is absent.  This is a path for the honest and kind person to follow.  We should remember though that Elihu still has a day in which to be educated.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  1 Peter 3:18-20

As Yeshua died for us, he also preached to the Old Testament dead in (hell) prison.  Some of those disobedient souls were able to accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah and they were redeemed from their sins.  So Elihu got his chance for redemption later, while we have no such future redemption.  We have this lesson to encourage us to take care before bringing any accusation to life.  Get it right the first time.

DERAILED

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train-wreck-1919

THE TONGUE SPEAKS

Elihu is taking the lead in speaking ill of Job, who is already ill enough.  Elihu is young and disrespectful of his elders, including those who share his views.  His mouth is open to accuse Job now.  The tongue is like the rudder of a ship, or the little switch that moves trains to the wrong track.

Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words.  Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth.  My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.  The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.  If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up.  Job 33:1-5

Elihu reveals that his tongue is flapping and his words carry knowledge in his own eyes.  He challenges Job to stand up and answer his words of challenge.

Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay.  Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.  Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying,  I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.  Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy, He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths.  Job 33: 6-11

Young Elihu admits to being formed of the clay as Job too was.  He offers to be gentle in his criticism.  He heard how Job claimed to be guiltless and wondered why God had left him so beaten.  He is setting Job up for the kill now.  Formed from the same clay but ready to sling some mud too!

Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.  Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.  For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.  Job 33: 12-15

Elihu calls Job unjust, and challenges his cries of innocence.  He points out a way that God might communicate with man in dreams. 

In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;  Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,  That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.  He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.  He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:  So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.  Job 33: 16-20

God may come in a dream to deliver instructions to man Elihu says.  Then there is no excuse of ignorance so God can punish the guilty freely.  Elihu suggests torment like what Job has already endured.

His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.  Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.  If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.  His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:  Job 33: 21-25

However if there is a messenger who will ransom the guilty man Elihu suggests that God will restore him.  Does Elihu think that he is the messiah?  He goes on about how such a man cold deliver the sinner.

He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.  He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;  He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.  Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,  To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.  Job 33: 26-30

So if a man will repent to this intercessor he will find mercy and he can be redeemed from the pit.  Now Elihu might be prophesying a type of the coming Messiah, but he keeps on going beyond that point.

Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.  If thou hast anything to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.  If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.  Job 33: 31-33

Elihu announces that he wants to justify Job.  Oh yes, listen to Elihu and he will teach you wisdom.  Modest fellow isn’t he?  But then how many have led the lost sheep of God to their own personal promises and agendas even today? 

By now Elihu is adding to Job’s misery and he is also offending his other misguided friends as well.  It is interesting that much of what he says about God may be true, perhaps even prophetic, but he is wrong about Job.  This is the danger of judgment, that we do not see what God sees.  Elihu will rant on like a derailed train until the wreckage of his errors will finally come to a smoking pile up.

INVERTED SERVANT

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warrior youth

FRESH BLOOD

This has gone on long enough.  Job has been harangued by his so-called friends until he has begun to question himself.  He has suffered death in the family, financial loss, and extreme physical illness.  His friends have become his judges to condemn him as a sinner.  But one young man is angry because the others have not managed to shut Job up.

So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.  Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.  Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.  When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.  Job 32:1-5

The chief critics have failed to put Job down, and he still defends himself.  They assign this to self righteousness, but only God can testify against him.  The young man is impatient with the elders who could not corner their prey.  He takes up the hunt in their place.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.  I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.  But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.  Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.  Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.  Job 32:6-10

So Elihu has the humility to admit that his elders intimidated him a bit.  But he goes on to note that not all seniors possess wisdom.  (Perhaps not all young men do either?)  So he is ready to express his humble opinion too now.

Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.  Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:  Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.  Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.  They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.  Job 32:11-15

None of these experienced men found words to force Job to admit that he was a sinner.  In this time Job didn’t attack Elihu, so now Elihu decides to earn a little of Job’s anger.  His senior friends are shocked speechless at his brashness.  I wonder if that would work to silence the foolishness in congress?

When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)  I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.  For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.  Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.  I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.  Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.  For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.  Job 32:16-22

Elihu waits out this silence briefly and continues.  He is bursting to vent his own opinion without patronizing anyone.  Elihu is an equal opportunity offender.  Remember, that we are now instructed to war against spirits and not against flesh.  These friends of Job have opened their minds to suggestion from the accuser of the brethren, Satan.  This voice is disappointed when his point men have failed to destroy his target Job.  He will recruit and promote a willing new volunteer when it suits him.  Elihu is enlisted and ready to serve.

SELF EXAMINATION

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storm3

SEEK THE LEAK

We know that an often repeated lie may cause us to consider it to be possibly true.  Our enemy uses people to drag us down.  Job has heard his friends challenge his righteousness until he too may be looking for the sin in his life.  He seeks something that he might be able to fix, he indulges some self examination.  Who wants to face the perfect storm in a leaky boat?

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.   Job 31: 1-6

Job has no plans to leave his wife, even if she suggested that he curse God and die.  He made one commitment and will not admire the other girls.  The covenant is with her and with God, so the judgment is of God.  Job is willing to have his trespass revealed to him.

If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.  If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;  Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.  Job 31: 7-10

If he pursued what his eyes desired he is willing to surrender his rewards.  If he has considered adultery then he will allow his wife the same release.  He knows how bad this crime would be.

For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.  For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.  If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;  What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?  Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb? Job 31: 11-15

Job knows that if he defrauds his wife or servants his own prosperity will be gone in judgment.  The same God who created Job and his neighbors will hold him accountable.

If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;  Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;  (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;)  If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;  If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:  Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.  Job 31: 16-22

Job considers the needs of the poor as if they were family.  If he had deprived them of their needs.  He will accept painful judgment for any such sins.

For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.  If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;  Job 31: 23-25

The fear of God has motivated Job and he could not live out of the will of God.  He cannot replace righteousness with the love of gold.  He changes gears from talking about God, and now he talks to God.  He is seeing the light with the eyes of faith again.

If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;  And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:  This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.  If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him.  Job 26-30

Job is not seeing the lights in the heaven as being gods though.  Nor has he fallen in love with his own person or works as one who loves himself above God.  He knows that only God is above, and that only God can judge his enemy.

If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.  The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.  If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:  Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?  Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.  Job 31-35

The people of the community would not say that they were denied meat for their needs by Job, they were not left hungry.  Job welcomed visitors into this house, and kept any bad thoughts to himself.  Peer pressure would not drive him to avoid truth or to hide from his responsibilities.  Job would welcome God’s answer to the book of charges made against him.

Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.  I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.  If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:  Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.  Job 31:36-40

If Job’s enemies had written a book of accusations, Job would wear them as a badge of honor.  The earth will not reveal blood that Job has spilled, or report that he has withheld its fruit from the poor.  He boldly dares fate to ruin the produce of his life if he is found guilty.  He rests his case.

I feel really good after cleaning my house and catching up on my personal grooming.  New clothes and fresh paint on the house lift my spirits.  How much better would I feel if I had Job’s confidence about my righteousness?  The car seems to run better when it is waxed, but I have a good many bugs splattered on the finish of my flesh.  We are fortunate to have the daily washing of repentance available.

MARATHON MAN

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ENDURANCE

Job complains about the insults coming from a generation that should have been taught more courtesy and respect for their elders.

But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.  Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?  For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.  Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.  They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.  Job 30: 1-6

Job is come down to derision from a younger generation of lower station in life.  They are vegetarians due to poverty rather than not preferring meat.  So those who are outcast are now emboldened to oppose Job in his hour of weakness.

Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.  They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.  And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.  They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.  Job 30: 7-10

These who brayed like donkeys were foolish, and now are even more so to spit on the man of God in his hour of weakness.  These were dumber than dirt!

Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.  Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.  They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.  They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.  Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.  Job 30: 11-15

As we keep a dog on a leash for safety, Job is loosened to wander into harm’s way.  The irreverent young men set on him like tormentors on a dog.  They hound him with insults, torment, and false accusations.

And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.  My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.  By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.  He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.  I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.  Job 30: 16-20

For Job everything hurts.    Bones, tendons, joints, and his dignity.  Clothing irritates his boils and clings to the soil and infection.  Job feels abandoned by his God, ignored and forgotten.

Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.  Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.  For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.  Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.  Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?  Job 30: 21-25

To God Job directs a complaint against his cruelty.  God would esteem him as dust and ashes to be tossed in the wind.  God makes the appointment of death but Job does not yet totally expect his time has come.  He honestly has tried to be a friend to the poor and oppressed.

When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.  My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.  I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.  I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.  My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.  My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep. Job 30: 26-31

If it weren’t for bad news Job would have no news at all…it sounds like a country music lament doesn’t it?  His internal organs are in agony and he has no strength to rise.  He is feeling like an alien to the human race, burning up in a spiritual drought.

I have lived long enough to know that growing old isn’t for cowards.  I remember having no grey hair and lots of energy for life.  I remember a young bride and small children.  I had a good job and we could stay ahead of the creditors.  Those days are gone.  I have lost my wife, my health, my career, and the kids are not fully tuned in to God’s view of life yet.  I have more scars than Frankenstein.  I cure my limping by going to the gym…to create pain evenly distributed over all of my body so I favor no one particular pain.

One might wonder how Moses lost his royal home and survived in the wilderness without God.  Then he met a burning bush and a transformation to faith.  But how often did he see a burning bush?  He had that close encounter only one time in this life,, and that was enough.  How many years did he endure the fickle friendship of the children of Abraham?  He had only one big dramatic encounter with God to fuel the flames of his faith through many years of trials.

These patriarchs lived inspired lives without having the epistles and instructions of the New Testament of Yeshua.  Yet they lived as Yeshua with his help even then.  They demonstrated faith during trials when a voice from God was not always available to them.

We may endure a dry place in our walk, and even suffer pain and loss.  Christians don’t have immunity from life.  Indeed we should be able to draw from our faith to go through trials with confidence in our deliverer.  We should be the examples of how God gives us enough to endure until he returns an answer for your need.

BURIED TREASURE

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A PARABLE OF JOB

Job begins to ponder the knowledge of God in a form of parable.

Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.  Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.  He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.  The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.  As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire.  Job 28:1-5

There is a place to find silver, gold, brass, and iron.  God knows where these things are found in the earth, but he also knows where to find gold in the hearts of men.  Miners find their metals but they also find floods in the mines.  The waters come and go, and the earth produces both bread and volcanoes.

The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.  There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:  The lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it.  He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots.  He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing.  Job 28:6-10

That earth has mineral treasures and hidden paths.  Nothing knows those paths, and God changes that earth by re-shaping the mountains.  God carves out new rivers and he sees everything of value.

He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.  But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?  Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.  The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.  It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.  Job 28:11-15

God contains the rivers and exposes hidden things, but man cannot know the hidden things of God.  Wisdom is priceless, and it is not found in the earth, the sea, or in wealth.

It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.  The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.  No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.  The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?  Job 28:16-20

The wisdom of God outweighs the value of precious gems and gold.  Where is it found then?

Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.  Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.  God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.  For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;  To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.  Job 28:21-25

The wisdom of God is hidden and dark places know only the rumors of it?  God knows where it is as he can know and measure all.

When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:  Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.  Job 28:26-28

God created nature to reflect the wisdom of nature and physics, but he revealed another kind of wisdom to man.  To fear God and turn away from evil is wisdom.  Where is the wisdom of man?  It’s not hidden in the rocks and rivers, or in the physics of the universe; it is found in man.  Only God can discern the inner thoughts of the heart and mind, so only he knows which men have found his wisdom.  He knows who has feared God, and who has fled from evil doing.

Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,  Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;  When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;  As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;  When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; Job29:1-5

Now we are reminded that this is a parable of Job.  Indeed Job himself is the parable, and this is his book.  His words reflect on the easy days when life was good for him.  He thinks that his children were alive an well because God had not forsaken him at that time.

When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;  When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!  The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.  The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.  The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. Job29:6-10

In the good old days he had wealth to use butter and oil for washing the steps or other mundane things.  He was wealthy enough to waste material goods, and respected by young and old alike.  Men of power and leaders felt him to be of greater wisdom in leadership.

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:  Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.  The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.  I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.  I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. Job29:11-15

Anyone who heard or saw Job blessed him as a friend of the oppressed.  He helped to feed and clothe others and it became a robe of righteousness to him.  He provided the needs of the needy.

I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.  And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.  Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.  My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.  My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand. Job29:16-20

Job recalls how he had gone looking for ways to be helpful to others.  He prosecuted thieves and cheaters and expected a good life.  He hoped to die in his own home, not in a nursing home, but free for many years.  He was anchored as a tree by the river and in the prime of his life.

Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.  After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.  And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.  If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.  I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners. Job29:21-25

Job recalls that he was accepted by honorable men and credited with wisdom by all.  He was a source of direction to all and a leader of men.  He was their comfort and the final authority of their direction.

Job had lost all of this and been reduced to insults and rejection by his friends.  He had horrible pain and illness that left him with no comfort now.  It was hard to look forward when what he had left behind was so good.  The day he lived in now was all harshness and pain without the evidence of God’s help.

As we look at our modern world we may wonder where the honor and respect of the Christian faith has gone.  Men of God founded this nation to let all worship and live in freedom.  Now we may be looking at a future that steals our children and perverts the values that we have clung to for thousands of years.  We see men of god being slain for their faith around the world.  Our leaders reject our fear of the Lord, and are clearly not found to be the home of godly wisdom.  But you who do hold the secret wisdom will see your hope, even as Job soon will.  God will find your buried treasure.