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JOB 26:5-14

Our God is so great that should we learn of Him the rest of our earthly lives, we would have only broached "Parts of His Ways!" So says Job in this thrilling Text!


 A Preacher in his Study



"Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?" Job 26:5-14



A Passage in the Old Testament Book of Job beautifully describes the greatness of God, superbly so!

In fact, only God Himself could have revealed such information! And He has there done so through the great act of Bible Inspiration!

The Text, Job 26:5-14, really has few parallels in all the Word of God!

Further, it proves what a godly man Job really was, to have such Spirit-ordained insight!

Look how the Paragraph opens: "Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering." Job 26:5-6

The facts presented here about Hell are really astounding!

That God is the Subject almost goes without saying. Truthfully, in this chapter Job does not say so! But the previous chapter certainly does! Here's a verse that serves as part of the prelude to our Text: "How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" Job 25:4

Something within me wants to stop and answer that great question! Only Jesus and His shed Blood can cleanse and justify a man in the eyes of God!

But focusing on our verse for today, we must discuss that difficult opening clause, "Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof."

The term "dead things" is derived from one Hebrew word, "rapha." The textbooks say it means "ghosts of the dead." But its root word is that standard Hebrew expression that means "to mend." It then comes to be identified with healing and physicians and being made whole! Could it be telling us that the afterlife, Heaven or Hell, will both "fit things together," explaining and tying up loose ends concerning life's major issues?

Once we're dead, folks, Heaven will make us glad we trusted Jesus to save our lost souls, thus "mending" every area of life!

And even for those who died and go to Hell, still life's greatest questions will have been answered! Every soul there right now knows what issues he did not properly face, where he or she failed to see the Divine Physician!

And let's study the verb "formed." Again our Text, "Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof."

Yes, "chul" means "formed" five times in the King James Bible. But also, in the very same Bible, it means "pain or pained" eight times and "tremble" four times and even "dance" twice. This pictures someone after death in a state of torture I believe! Here's the lexicon definition for "chul." It is important, "to writhe, to tremble, to be in anguish, to twist or whirl, to fear or to be in travail!"

Here's an Old Testament description of Hell that is perfectly compatible with that which Jesus gave thousands of years later! "And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:50 as well as many other verses use this terminology.

The "waters" perhaps locate Hell! I believe it's in the heart of the earth. Underneath all the pressure and weight of the oceans and all the bulk of the earth's rock formations and mountain chains and flat fertile plains ... the final act of history's drama is being fulfilled. Only it's not make-believe! And it's eternal! By the way, that's exactly where the thousands of demons who had inhabited the man named Legion, in Mark 5, were cast by Jesus! Into a herd of swine ... who then ran over a nearby cliff and fell into the Sea. There they are, under the waters of the Galilee!

The noun "inhabitants" is interesting. "Shakan" verbally means "to abide, to dwell permanently, to settle down or to reside!" These folks, having apparently rejected God, will spend eternity there "under the waters," but without a drop to drink!

Listen to me today. We had better take Jesus' warnings about Hell seriously! "If it were not so, He would have told us!"

That's His Way, always truthful!

There is a Way to avoid eternal judgment, to keep from perishing! And it has been right in front of us all our lives! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16


                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Theological liberals tell us again and again that the Bible doctrine of retribution, in other words a literal Hell, is not taught in Scripture. And if it was, they continue, it certainly would not be in the Old Testament!

But they are wrong!

And of the many places we could visit today, the numerous "proof" texts we could cite, perhaps Job 26:6 is one of the best.

God is being commended there, glorified and praised by his suffering servant Job. In fact, the whole paragraph, Job 26:5-14, exalts God magnificently. Summarily it says: God is so wise He can never be fully understood! He created the Heavens, including the constellations! He is the Author of all the seas and oceans too! And He is the Regulator of things like day and night and rain and draught! He invented the very laws of gravity and magnetism, and is the very Moral Authority of His universe!

But in the midst of all these beautiful facts, prominently listed at the very first, is this little nugget: "Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering." Job 26:6

God is aware of all the activities of Hell, right now!

Nothing is hidden from His sight!

His knowledge and presence, then, reaches from the highest heavens to the lowest hell! The Psalmist knew this too! "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." Psalm 139:7-12

Job uses the word "hell" without hesitation. It is spelled "sheol" in Hebrew. In the King James Bible it means "hell" 31 times and "grave" 31 times and the "pit" 3 times, 62 total appearances in Scripture.

However, the rest of our verse today, Job 26:6, will help specify which definition of hell best fits here! No doubt about that. "Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering."

The adjective "naked" or "arom" in Hebrew means bare! It is used 16 times in the Old Testament, all being translated just like here, "naked." The first is in Genesis 2:25 concerning the married heterosexual couple Adam and Eve. One interesting fact about the "radical" or the "root" of "arom" is this: "arum" means "subtle" or "crafty." For example, "Now the serpent was more SUBTIL than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made." This is Genesis 3:1. There must be some correlation  between nakedness and deceit! The devil sure uses that tool, doesn't he?

Hell cannot hide before Almighty God! He knows and sees into the grave and into the pit and into hell-fire itself!

I will Biblically prove this point from another angle in a minute.

Now let's shift to the word "destruction." In Hebrew "abaddon" appears six times the textbooks say, but I can only find five of them myself. In each case it is rendered "destruction," just like here. But did you notice the spelling? That very word, transliterated from Hebrew, appears in Revelation 9:11. Watch. Speaking of a coming demon invasion upon earth, John writes: "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is ABADDON, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."


These fallen angelic monstrosities crawled out of the New Testament's "bottomless pit," Hell-fire for sure!

And to parallel "naked" in the first clause, "no covering" qualifies the second clause.

"Covering" is "kesuth" and means clothing or raiment or vesture. It is used only eight times in the Bible. Here's one of them. God is talking. "I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering." Isaiah 50:3 says so! Look at the night sky sometime!

Yes, God sees into Hell!

He even knows what's happening there! He can this very second quote the words of Judas or Herod or the rich man of Luke 16 ... or vast multitudes of others!

Using  our two key words, identical both in English and Hebrew, Proverbs 15:11 boldly states: "Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?"

Then Isaiah the Prophet, apparently describing conditions during or after the Millennium. says that: "It shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." Many of these words are later quoted by Jesus ... as He preached on Hell! People in that coming day will "look" into Hell as they go to or return from worshipping God! This is an astounding statement!

Apparently without grief too!

That's how great our God is!


                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




God created the heaven and the earth, in the beginning!

This truth is so essential to a right view of God ... that the Holy Bible begins with it!

Job 26:7 teaches it also, just using different words. "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."


That opening verb, "stretcheth out," is spelled "natah" in Hebrew and means "to extend" or "to spread out!" Recent scientific evidence, which can't always be trusted of course, does suggest that the whole universe is "expanding!" I've used their word too, "expanding."

Job earlier has taught this same truth, "Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea." Job 9:8 has "natah" for "spreadeth out" too. (Jesus, God the Son, did some of that "wave-treading" centuries after Job lived too!)

So does the Psalmist echo out Text today: "Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain." Psalm 104:2

And the Prophet Isaiah adds some beautiful word pictures: "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." Isaiah 40:22

Again, "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself." Isaiah 44:24

Zechariah too: "The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him." Zechariah 12:1

The Holy Spirit is using the same verb here again and again, "natah." In each of these cases the verb is what we might call in English a present participle. This pictures on-going action. The created realm of God may still be stretching outward!

The noun "north" is a word that originally meant "covered, hidden or dark." In Hebrew "tzsaphon" is used of the north due to its unknown and empty connotations. It would not surprise me to some day discover that Heaven Itself, the very Abode of God, is situated in the northern sector of the universe! When Lucifer initially rebelled against God, he sought to overthrow God's Throne! "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." Notice the geography lessons here in Isaiah 14:14.

Our verse today, Job 26:7, also qualifies the north as the "empty place." What an expression! "Tohu," used first in Genesis 1:1, means formless or wasteful or even confused. Twice in the King James Bible it's "wilderness." Some astronomers still say that certain sections of the northern universe, in relation to our solar system, are rather empty, relatively speaking.

"He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."  Job 26:7

The verb "hangeth" is "talah" and means just what it says, "to suspend." Of its 28 appearances in Scripture, all are translated as "hang or hanged or hanging" or some close variation. Here in our Text it, just like "stretcheth out" before it, is a simple active participle. The action continues!

The Hebrew word for earth is "eretzs" and is thought to be derived from a word that means "firm."

"Upon" translates "al," meaning "upon or over or above or against."

And "nothing" here, "beliy," is only used this one time in Scripture, exactly as composed here I mean, "beliy-mah" to be precise. It has the idea of failure or destruction too, that which is not eternal! Its parent word, "balah," means "to wear out, to decay, to become old!"

And I sincerely believe that, when all is said and done, after trillions of dollars have been spent trying to "prove" Darwinian evolution, mankind will ultimately have to admit ... "God stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."  Job 26:7

Just like Job said.

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- The "mah" part of "beliymah" ("nothing" in our Text) is an exclamation! It here expresses surprise and adoration and wonder! What!  That's at least part of the exact response Job is anticipating too!




The "mighty acts" of God, by that specific name, are mentioned four times in Scripture.

"Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?" Psalm 106:2 links God's "mighty acts" with His praise!

"One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts." Psalm 145:4 says that God's "mighty acts" are to be taught by the older generation to the younger generation!

"To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom." Psalm 145:12 links our Lord's "mighty acts" with His glory and majesty!

"Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness." And then Psalm 150:2 associates God's "mighty acts" with His greatness!

And our Bible Text for this week, Job 26:5-14, lists these "mighty acts" one after another!

Today we learn one way God controls the weather!

Literally it is so!

"He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them." Job 26:8

Many Believers who love to study the scientific statements of Scripture say this one is a classic!

The verb "bindeth up" is spelled "tzsarar" and means "to confine, to besiege or to put in a narrow place." The "root" verb here means "to cramp." Exodus 12:34 gives us a typical example of "tzsarar" in everyday Jewish life. "And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders." This happened as the people journeyed from Egypt to Canaan.

One more quick note about "tzsarar." It is often in Scripture associated with distress or some type of adversarial situation. Of its 58 occurrences in the Bible, it is rendered "bound up" or something similar less than a dozen times. While it is translated "enemy" 14 times and "distress" 7 times and "vex" 6 times and "afflict" 4 times and "adversary" 3 times and "trouble" twice and then "pangs" two more times!

God could be telling us that the water in those clouds is there temporarily! It yearns to get back to earth! The longer it's there, suspended in the heavens, the greater the likelihood of tension and chaos developing, the common thunderstorm! Talk about positives and negatives clashing!

"Waters" is the regular word for moisture of any kind. "Mayim" here specifically refers to water vapor, tons and tons of it, that God "locks" into the clouds every day.

The term "thick clouds" is just one word in Hebrew, "ab." One source says it means "an envelope!" Think of that! The clouds as a mere envelope, a holding area, for vast reservoirs of atmospheric water! The common definition for "ab" is darkness or extreme density. It almost makes one one wonder if storm clouds are being considered here.

But, according to Job 26:8, not only does God lock the water into the clouds, He does not allow them to escape ... until the proper time, until He says so!

Again, "He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them."

Now the noun "cloud" is a different word altogether! "Anan" means "that which covers." That's exactly what clouds do, obscuring the sky.

The verb "rent" is "baqa" and means "to split, to cleave, to rip, to break or to tear!" Obviously the verb is passive here.

God has created pure water vapor so that it is lighter than air. It remains suspended in those clouds until it gets "dirty," picking up dust and smoke and grime from the environment, thereby getting heavier and heavier ... until finally the cloud can "hold" it no longer and it rains!

We've just had a quick view of the hydrological system of planet earth! Job, likely one of the earliest Books of Scripture, has taught us one more lesson about God the Creator!

To this one meteorological thought, Job 28:8, the Bible adds even further information about the water cycle God built into His creation:

God said: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth." Isaiah 55:10-11

"For He maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly." Job 36:27-28

"He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; He bringeth the wind out of his treasuries." Psalm 135:7

What a God we serve!

The next time you see a cloud, any cloud, think about the God who created it!

But the next time you see storm clouds, open your Bible to Job 26:8 and WORSHIP! No, do not worship the cloud. That's heathenism! Worship the God Who made the cloud and built into it all the working principles that provide us life-giving water!

Now we're back to where we started, with the "mighty acts" of God!

Praise His good Name!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




God is different!

He told us so in Isaiah 55:8-9. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

He, being eternal and all-powerful and the very Essence of perfection, still is able to veil Himself, to hide Himself for some reason!

Yes, the Lord does so, but man can't do that! Man the sinner is by nature a boaster, a "show-off" in all he does!

Of God we are told: "He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it." Job 26:9 is today's study verse.

The noun "throne" is "kisse" in Hebrew and means a "seat of honor!" It is a synonym for dignity and authority and power. Presumably if one could "see" God's Throne, the Lord Himself would visibly be sitting upon it. At least in the sense that He is King! In this way Isaiah saw the Lord in the sixth chapter of his great prophecy. "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up." But Isaiah's experience was exceptional!

Later Jesus teaches us that God is "Spirit." John 4:24

Paul adds in Colossians 1:15 that He is "invisible."

Yet again even later still John the Apostle from Patmos the Island "saw" the Lord! "And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald." Revelation 4:3 is not describing Jesus either! He soon appears as the Lamb, the living Lamb that once had been slain!

The noun "face" is spelled "panaiym," and is literally the presence or countenance or face of someone or something. Except here it is plural! God is so awesome that it takes more than one "face" to properly describe Him. Relate that statement to the four living creatures or beasts gathered around His Throne in Revelation chapter four. Or think of the four Gospels needed to present God the Son!

But God "holdeth back" the face of His Throne! "Achaz" means "to seize or grasp," firmly taking possession of something! This is a piel participle, indicating intensive action which continues on and on! The first time "achaz" is used in Scripture, Abraham's sacrificial ram is "caught" in the thicket, being a substitute for Isaac in Genesis 22:13.

As a piel verb "holdeth back" adds the dimension of "enclosed." And in that context, even "throne" the noun has reference to its parent word which verbally implies "clothed" or "covered," perhaps for secrecy!

The next verb is "spreadeth" and is "parshez," meaning "to separate" or "to place on both sides" of an object. This is the only time this precise verb occurs in the whole Bible.

"Cloud" is "anan," which is "cloud" or "cloudy" all 87 times it appears in Scripture. Likely this cloud is the Shekinah Glory Cloud, indicating the very Presence of Almighty God! It too originally and literally means "to cover." Again secrecy is apparently involved.

Strangely this word in Scripture, "anan" I mean, is occasionally (10 times) used for an "observer of times" or a "soothsayer" or a "sorceress" or even an "enchanter." Probably this is so because the devil tries to mimic or copy God's Ways. And when the Evil One seeks to break through God's clouds of modesty and restraint ... these wicked deeds result!

Our great God, for some reason, has chosen not to fully reveal Himself! Not yet! But He will!

Even through the various Old Testament theophanies, or appearances of the Lord or the Angel of the Lord, God is not fully revealed!

He once told Moses, "Thou canst not see My Face: for there shall no man see Me, and live." Exodus 33:20

And even in the New Testament, with Jesus having come and died and been brought to life again, Jesus Who is "the fulness of the Godhead bodily" and "the express image of God's Person," still God has not completely shown us His Being, in ALL His Glory!

He will some day!

But apparently not yet.

"He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it." Job 26:9

Today still "eye hath nor seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man" some things which we are yet to see and experience! And that's a quote from the New Testament too, 1st Corinthians 2:9.

Isaiah 64:4 tells us more fully: "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."

Here's my theory as to why God so conceals Himself. If He revealed His Glory and Essence and Being  in all its fullness ... then faith would no longer be an issue in man's salvation!

Faith would have been consumed by sight, what a sight too!

No atheists!

No unbelievers!

No skeptics!

No doubters even!

God's Existence and Person and Glory and Power could not be doubted!

But you see, God has chosen a better way! That is ... to send His Son, give us the Gospel, and require belief in His Name ... for eternal life! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Here's the heart of it. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 says this.

How can you by faith believe God "is," if you've already seen Him in all His Beauty and Essence?

The God Who is not yet fully manifest wants mankind to "seek" Him through Jesus His Son, His Death and Blood as shed on Calvary's Cross! Therefore, so far, He has ... "held back the face of His Throne and spread His Cloud upon it!"

That's what the Lord led me to tell you early this Tuesday morning in May, 2007!


                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



Few of us would associate the Book of Job with the topic of science, but that great Book of Scripture says a lot about God the Creator! Of course it mentions God the Redeemer too!

And the paragraph we're studying, Job 26:5-14, especially highlights Creation!

For example, verse 10 says of the Lord: "He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end."

The verb "hath compassed" is spelled "chug." It means "to draw a circle, to encircle or to encompass." God has drawn a line for the Oceans, past which they cannot go! The noun "bounds" is "choq" and means "a decree, a law, a statute, a prescription!" The vast areas of earth's water supply exist under the authority of Almighty God! They do nothing without His knowledge and will!

By the way, that "drawing a circle" clause sure sounds like a "round earth" philosophy, doesn't it? While so-called "science" wondered and argued for centuries that it was flat!

And the noun "waters" is actually represented in the Hebrew Text as "paniym maiym," the "faces of the waters!" Looks like the seas are being personified, meekly looking to their Creator for daily counsel!

And how did the man Job, thousands of years ago, know that there were several Oceans on earth, all of which held vast reservoirs of water? All of which obeyed God's limitations?

Job didn't.

The Holy Spirit, Who wrote the Book of Job, did!

After all folks, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Next, "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:1 and 9-10

The expression "day and night," those three words and in that precise order, occurs 28 times in the Bible. Here's the first one, Genesis 8:22. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." And now the last one: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10

Therefore, since day and night will continue just as God says ... the Seas will behave according to the Will of that very same God!

"He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end."

"Day" is a word that basically means "light," in Hebrew "or." And "night" is "chosek" and implies "obscurity or darkness." God is the Maker of both! Somehow God makes light and darkness ... both in a literal sense and in a spiritual one too! "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Of a God that great, it must be said: "That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else." And before you get upset about that "evil" business, read the next beautiful verse too: "Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it." Isaiah 45:6-8

He is Almighty!

To "come to an end" translates "takliyth" which means the place of "perfection or completion." God has built some great "object lesson" into day and night, and class will be in session until God dismisses it! Surely, perhaps among many other things too, day and night visibly illustrate the principle of right and wrong! Righteousness and Iniquity!

The world, its very being, is not merely a statement of scientific fact! It's a sermon loaded with spiritual implications and Bible truths!

And modern atheistic science is dedicated to stripping us of every bit of that beautiful spirituality!

I say along with Paul: "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." Romans 3:4


                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




God is mighty in what He DOES. As Psalm 106:2 asks, "Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?"

But God is also mighty in what He IS. "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Psalm 86:15

Yet again, the very Character of God, "Who He is," can be awesome too!

Today we study Job 26:11. "The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof."

The noun "reproof" is the key to this verse. It is spelled "gearah" and means "rebuke." That's an old French word the dictionary says, "rebuke." It is built upon their root word "buschier," meaning "to strike, to chop wood!" The "re" prefix just means "back." To beat back! In Hebrew "gaar" means "to chide." And chide is derived from an old English term that means "to scold" or even "to rain" upon a person!

God is the One Who hates sin!

His Holiness demands anger at that which is unrighteous!

He "reproves" iniquity!

Here is our exact word "rebuke" as used by the Prophet Isaiah. "For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." Isaiah 66:15

In all its forms "gearah" is found fifteen times in Scripture. Twice it's translated "reproof" and the other thirteen times it is "rebuke." David sang in both 2nd Samuel 22:16 and Psalm 18:15 these words: "And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils." Psalm 76:7 tells us: "At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep." And Psalm 80:16 adds: "They perish at the rebuke of Thy countenance."

Look what God's "rebuke" can do to earth: "At My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst." Isaiah 50:2

And at His Second Coming, what rebuke is in store! "For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." Isaiah 66:15

With these verses in mind, one can't help but wonder when he or she sees the media reports of great devastation worldwide! Tornados and hurricanes and earthquakes and volcanoes and tsunamis, just to mention a few. Perhaps these are just harbingers of coming cataclysmic events! And what about the world wars and plagues and famines John prophesies in Revelation?

The noun "pillars" is "ammud" and comes from the verb that means "to stand," spelled "amad" in Hebrew. These are the very foundation piles for Heaven itself!

In our Job 26 "context" here, with all the rivers and days and nights and oceans and then the heavens being discussed, these "pillars" just might be the "mountains" of the earth that both have trembled in the past and will do so again in the future ... responding to the reproof of the Lord! Perhaps Job sees these tall peaks, their foundations being far underneath the sea and their spires reaching into the clouds, as great construction "pillars" in God's Hands!

Here God moves the mountains: "He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered? Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble." Job 9:4-6

The verb "tremble" is "ruph," a hapax legomenon here. That means it is only used this one time in all the Bible Corpus, all 66 Books! One lexicon says it means "to triturate!" I found that in the dictionary too! "To grind to powder with an appropriate instrument!"

Finally the verb "astonished" is "tamah" and means "to be in consternation" or "to wonder, to be amazed, to marvel!" To be stunned! To be astounded! Consternation is "an alarming amazement or dread that leads to confusion or dismay!"

Whatever makes God angry ... had best be avoided!

Even for the earth's sake!

Why can't the "green" people learn that, the ultra-environmentalists, the "tree-huggers?"

Instead of worshiping the earth, mankind had better repent and get back to worshiping the God Who made the earth! Who sent His only begotten Son to die on the Cross that we might be saved!

The answer to proper care for our planet is not to quit spraying deodorant! It is to obey Almighty God, thus averting His displeasure!


"The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud." Job 26:11-12

That's why!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Today's Bible Study Verse seems to have two sides. One deals with God's physical creation, and the other with a character trait of the wicked!

"He divideth the sea with his power, and by His understanding He smiteth through the proud." Job 26:12

The verb "divideth" is spelled "raga" in Hebrew. It means "to toss violently and suddenly!"

And get this for logic! The Hebrew word for "sea" is "yam," from a root verb meaning "to roar!"

Then "power" is a basic term meaning "to be stout, to be firm." The noun "koach" also means strength, might, ability, force and even wealth once!

God has in the past certainly divided the sea! In Exodus 14:21 God split the Red Sea into halves so the Nation of Israel could leave Egypt and begin their journey toward Canaan, marching between two walls of water!

Then comes the second half of the verse, which has been capitalized.  "He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud." Job 26:12

"Understanding" here is not the usual word for that concept. "Tabun" can mean discretion as well as understanding. But "tabun" is remotely related to "biyn," to slice a concept into different layers of meaning!

To "smite" is "to dash asunder, to crush, to pierce through or wound." It's "machatzs" in Hebrew and is only used fourteen times in all of Scripture!

The "proud," in Hebrew "rahab," indicate people who are arrogant. Its verbal background means "to urge severely, to importune or to embolden!" One can almost see the assertiveness here, the sheer stubbornness!

Yes, God divides the sea and smites the proud!

But, how did those two radically different concepts get blended in a single short Verse of God's Word?

One ... "He divideth the sea with his power."

Two ... "And by his understanding he smiteth through the proud."

Then it occurred to me that the Bible "links" these two objects, the sea and the proud!

Listen to the great Preacher Isaiah: "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:20-21

The wicked are paralleled to the sea!

Filled with trouble!

Filled with restlessness!

Filled with filth!

Filled with worry!

That may be why Job 26:12 so closely identifies the raging sea with the rebellious heart!

And if that's the case, God's dividing the sea equals His smiting the proud!

God hates some things, pride being at the top of the list! Notice please: "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19


Pride was Satan's sin. It still may be his weakness!

Watch how God judged pride in King Herod's life! "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." Acts 12:23

Yet the God Who divides and smites the wicked ... also loves and forgives and is merciful to His Own Children!

Praise His Good Name!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Lord not only created the earth, but also the heavens! So says the first verse in the Bible! "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1

Many other locations in Scripture verify this fact. "By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." Job 26:13

The Bible presents each Person of The Trinity as being involved in Creation, the Whole Godhead.

God the Father: "The LORD God made the earth and the heavens." Genesis 2:4

And Hebrews 1:2 mentions God the Son: "God's Son, by Whom also He made the worlds."

Then God the Holy Spirit: "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." Psalm 104:30

But Job 26:13, today's verse, goes further than just telling us that the Holy Spirit was involved in creation, under God the Father's supervision it seems. It tells us specifically what the Spirit did!

"By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." Job 26:13

The verb "garnished" is "shiphrah" in Hebrew and is only used here in all the Bible. Its parent word is "shaphar" and means "to glisten brightly!" Perhaps this garnishing the Spirit did involved the radiance of the atmosphere.

"His" Hand is likely a reference to God the Father again. The Antecedent to our pronoun is found way back in Job 25:4, "How then can man be justified with God? "

The verb "formed" is "chul" and means "to twist or whirl." Can't you just see the Lord's great Hand rotating in the pattern of a crooked serpent?

The adjective "crooked" is really a word that means "fleeing!" The root word here means "to bolt, to flee suddenly!" In the King James Text "bariyach" means "piercing" also.

A small theology of the serpent can be constructed here! He is defeated, fleeing and fearful! Yet he is dangerous, piercing and vengeful as well! And he was created by God, the serpent himself not being a self-sustaining entity!

The noun "serpent," all 31 times it is used in the Bible, is translated just like this time, "serpent." The word "nachash" means a snake.

But I do notice this, every time a serpent or dragon or any other enemy of God is revealed in the Heavens ... it is defeated by some Type or Figure that obviously must represent Christ Jesus our Lord!

Our great God made the stars and the constellations!

"He made the stars also." Genesis 1:16

Also ... "God telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names." Psalm 147:4 just said that God named the stars, all of them!

I personally believe God has done more "garnishing" in the Heavens than we currently realize!

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." Psalm 19:1

Some day we will understand fully!

Until then, we'll just trust Him Who loved us and died for us on Calvary.

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Having said so many wonderful things about God, His Power and His Character, Job then admits that a full description is impossible!

Here is exactly what the old Patriarch said: "Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him? but the thunder of His power who can understand?" Job 26:14

God's ways can never be completely fathomed, not on this earth!

The opening interjection, "lo," is spelled "hen" in Hebrew and means "behold!" Look at this! Amazing! It is designed to express surprise.

The noun "parts" just means the "edge" of something. "Qatzsah" implies the place of termination. The end, the border, the extremity of something.

Job could be saying one of two things I believe. Both are consonant with the meaning of "qatzsah." All the things that have been mentioned about our great God, Job 26:5-14, just begin to depict Him in His Glory! These are just the starting points!

Or Job could be saying that our God is so great that the end, the outcome of His Doings, His mighty acts, result in such miraculous feats!

Some of the things Job has mentioned are definitely in the past, "creation" for example.

And some yet continue to this hour, His control of the weather specifically, "binding the waters in the clouds."

But then again, some are reserved for the future, at least in their fullest manifestation, "smiting the proud" for sure.

So, both grammatically and theologically, "parts" of God's Ways refer just to the "fringes," the "outskirts" I once heard a missionary say.

Even then, "how little a portion is heard of Him?"

That word "little" is actually the Hebrew word for "whisper," spelled "shemetzs." It means "to emit an inkling of a sound!"

"Portion" is "dabar" again, God's Words, but really it's singular, God's WORD!

"Heard" is "shama," to listen with understanding.

We hear far too little of Him, asserts Job! If a man lived his whole life and studied nothing but God, theology in its purest sense, He still would have barely scratched the surface of the Nature of the Almighty!

Next Job centers on one aspect of God's Essence, His "power." Again, "But the thunder of His power who can understand?""

The noun "power" is "geburah." But it's power in a particular sense, "victorious power!" Its relative "geber" means a valiant warrior, for example. It's a militant word! "Geburah" is the last word in Deuteronomy 3:24, a great summary verse. "O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?"

"Thunder" translates "raam." Its verbal root means "to tumble or to crash or to be violently agitated!" To fret! To roar! Maybe Job here has the weather in mind again! A storm!

To "understand" something is to be able to distinguish its levels of meaning, to mentally separate its implications. "To discern" is a good way of defining "biyn" perhaps.

God's power is ineffable! That's Latin, "not being able to express something in words!"

God's Omnipotence is outside the scope of frail human knowledge.

Thus Job, now having reasoned his way through this litany of mighty acts, the ways of God, still continues to suffer!

That is, until one day God revealed Himself to the battered saint!

Here's how it happened. After what no doubt seemed like an eternity of silence, "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said ...." Job 38:1

See that?

The weather!

The noun "whirlwind," used around two dozen times in the Bible, means a "storm," here a gigantic one!

Talk about an illustration of power!

And that whirlwind, that visible manifestation of the unique God of Scripture, was the beginning of the end of Job's trial! Maybe it's in the "storms" of life that we always best see God!

No wonder the old saint pondered the "thunder" of God's awesome Power!

Christian friend, this Sunday morning, learn all you can of our mighty God! Make it the pursuit of a lifetime! You will enjoy the journey! You will be blessed  by the God you adore! And some day in Glory you will be rewarded with full  knowledge of your Subject!

Until then, we must be satisfied with the exhilarating and delightful "parts of His ways" that are currently available to us!

"Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him? but the thunder of His power who can understand?"


                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





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