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.

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THE AUDIT

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Weighing in

MEASUREMENT

The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. The term most commonly refers to audits in accounting, but similar concepts also exist in project management, quality management, and energy conservation.  Wikipedia;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audit

Ahab has been close to understanding, but prone to weakness in his reign.  His wife offers temptation as did Eve, and Ahab is unable to reign over his own household, let alone the kingdom. 

And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.  And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.  And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.  And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.  1 Kings 21:1-4

Ahab is interested in another man’s possession, as was David.  He does not take it on himself to take the land by force though.  He is sad at not having his way, which suggests he is a bit insensitive to the value of family and heritage.  But he is not intending any harm.  His wife is a different story though.

But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?  And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.  And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.  So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.  And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:  And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.  1 Kings 21:5-10

It would be bad to have a woman who can’t balance the checking account, but how bad to have one who forges your checks?  She sends the King’s word to order false witnesses and an assassination.  The leaders did like any good Nazi, and followed orders. 

And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.  They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.  And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.  Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.  1 Kings 21:11-14

As long as they worshipped Belial they were not breaking any rules.  But why do they accuse Naboth of blaspheming God when they don’t even believe in the God of Abraham?  There is a standard of convenience being used here.  Jezebel is quick to move on the news of this deed.  God is also moving on this deed now too.

And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.  And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.  And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.  And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.  1 Kings 21:15-19

Ahab may not know that he has killed to take possession, as his wife did the deed.  But God has measured him at the value of his whole household, including Jezebel.  Take care who you choose to join your name to; be not unequally yoked.

And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.  Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,  And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.  And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.  Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.  1 Kings 21:20-24

The male heirs of Ahab are doomed, and Jezebel is dog food.  Ahab himself is weighed and comes up short of a full measure.  But his wife earns the wrath of God for further stirring him up.  Still he earned his share of his fate.

But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.  And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.  And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.  And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,  Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.  1 Kings 21:25-29

Ahab recognized his sin, and softened his fate.  He is almost able to turn, and perhaps Messiah will be able to reach him during his visit to hell after his crucifixion.  The balance of this life has come short though, and his sons will lead Israel down the drain.

Another generation will fall under Babylonian captivity, as their king would be a servant of God.  Yet his son too will be found unworthy.  God will measure and take that which does not prosper in his wisdom.  Jew or Gentile, we all need to pass a higher standard in the audit of God.

And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.  This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.  TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.  PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.  Daniel 5:25-28