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 JOB 39:19-25

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting." Job 39:19-25

 

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

It is quite amazing that a Christian can hear a Sermon, perhaps not even an outstanding one either, and the Bible Text that Sermon emphasizes  becomes part of one's memory!

It's as if the dear Holy Spirit "branded" or "engraved" those particular Verses into the listener's heart!

Well, that's the case with the Verses I'd like us to study next. I've head this Text preached only once, once that I can recall anyway. And that single occasion was probably thirty-seven years ago, at least!

I can't remember one detail of the Message, except the words "pawing in the valley!"

I remember the Preacher's name, a rather well-known evangelist of his time. I can recollect the Church name too, way up north. And I can remember some of the folks who were with us that evening!

But nothing, not one detail, about the Sermon itself!

That is, nothing except the Text!

Well, this past week I met these words again! In a little article I read that was attached to some Philemon notes! Almost as if it was "accidentally" placed there!

But we all know better than that!

Anyway, soon as I saw that little Piece about the Old Testament Book of Job, I was interested.

In its paragraphs of wisdom, there it was again! The old "pawing in the valley" Passage.

Let me share it with you now. That's as far as we will get with it today, just reading it. Truthfully, as I type these words this Sunday morning, I have no idea the direction this Text will take us!

Only the Holy Spirit knows that, so far!

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting." Job 39:19-25

I can hear someone now, "Goodness, Brother Bagwell, this Text is all about a horse! What spiritual truth can it possible contain?"

My answer, "It's the Word of God!"

Furthermore, when the exact place this Text occupies is studied, one immediate realizes that the Speaker is None Other than God Himself! Literally, this Text records part of God's Conversation with Job! It's God's Word to that extent, in that sense!

Wow!

And God is talking about a horse?

He is.

"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said ...." Job 38:1 and many verses following! In fact, God talks for four whole chapters, Job 39-42, a total of 129 Verses!

And the horse is not the only animal God mentions in His Discourse to Job, not at all!

Come back tomorrow, let's begin!

What is God saying in these Verses?

I can hardly wait to see!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, JOB WONDERS AND JESUS ANSWERS:

We are going to study a paragraph in the book of Job, Lord willing. But first, I came across a thought yesterday that's too good to ignore.

Dealing with Job still, and this Material is actually a prelude to our Text as well. Oh, I forgot to tell you, we are headed for Job 39:19-25.

There are in Job's 42 chapters some questions the Patriarch asks. Or some things he wonders, deeply desiring further information.

And, believe it or not, Jesus seems to take up Job's questions, answering several of them! Either Himself directly doing so, or having one of the New Testament writers comment on the issue at hand.

You may have noticed these matters before now, but to me they are quite amazing.

Let me show you what I mean.

Job comments, in his sufferings, "Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." Job 9:33, where the noun "daysman" means "one who can plead" for another! A go-between! An advocate, much like a lawyer today!

Now Scripture responds, through the Apostle Paul. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1st Timothy 2:5, where "mediator" means the same thing as "daysman!"

Thank God, we do have a Lawyer, in Heaven! We have a Saviour Who is our Mediator, our Daysman, our Arbitrator! In Greek "mediator" is the noun "mesites," from "mesos," meaning "in the midst!" Jesus gets right in the "middle," between God the Father and you or me ... uniting us and representing us and pleading for us!

Wow!

Here's another example. Job asks, "If a man die, shall he live again?"

And Jesus answers Job 14:14 with John 11:25. "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

There it is, Job! Yes, in Christ Jesus man can live again! Being "born again" is the idea!

The next one is not a question, but a glorious comment Job makes. "Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." Job 16:19, here is one of the "high water marks" of Job's faith. What great trust this expresses!

The New Testament responds, too. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Hebrews 9:24

Yes, Job, you were right! Your Witness, your Lord, is in Heaven, on High! And since we are washed in His precious Blood, He is our Record, too! In Hebrew "record" means something like "testimony!" Jesus is my Testimony, He speaks up for me!

Mercy!

And let's not forget this one. Go ahead, Job, tell us. "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." Job 19:25, one of the greatest statements of faith in the entire Old Testament!

The New Testament responds. Yes, He lives all right! Jesus ever liveth! "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25

Now Job gets a little bit feisty in this one. "Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!" He just accused God of being "absent" as he suffers so, Job 23:3

Well Job, He has been found! He came to earth! He died for you and me. His Name is Jesus! He is God the Son! "Jesus saith, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." John 14:9

God the Father is found ... in Jesus! Through Jesus! Because of Jesus! Job's search has now ended!

Next, listen to Job longing and craving! "Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me." Job 31:35

Job, Someone is listening! He does hear us! He can answer! Jesus said so! "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 7:7-11

He hears! He answers!

Lastly, another of Job's brilliant statements! One to which the New Testament gives assent. "But He, the Lord, knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10

James agrees, nearly using the same metaphor! "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12

These parallel statements, something Job said compared to something the Lord reveals in the New Testament, are too numerous to be accidental!

They also prove how great a Christian, though obviously not sinless, Job really was!

And they help show us all that the Bible is, in reality, a very accurate commentary on itself! When we compare Scripture with Scripture, we sure can learn a lot of things!

By the way, God is fully capable of answering your questions, too!

In fact, He probably already has, somewhere in the 1,189 chapters we call the Bible!

The Holy Bible!

Job, that great Old Testament Believer, might be more important a person than we've ever realized!

The New Testament sure caters to His questions, anyway!

To me this makes our upcoming Text, Job 39:19-25, all the more glorious!

Lord willing, we shall study more tomorrow.

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

lesson 3, bible poetry:

We've all memorized the names of the Old Testament Books of Poetry. The list goes like this, "Job and Psalms and Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and then the Song of Solomon."

But those Books do not look like poetry!

Not in the King James Version of the Bible!

Neither do they sound like poetry!

Then why are they categorized as poetry?

To answer this question we must, of necessity, consider the Text we're studying in its Hebrew setting.

Job 39:19-25 is poetry, though it does not look like it or, certainly in English, sound like it either.

Get this. Hebrew poetry does not necessarily rhyme. It may at times have certain phonetic similarities, words or phrases that are somewhat harmonious, but these are not essential to its being poetry.

In the Old Testament, still God's infallible and inspired Word, poetry is expressed in orderly, progressive, pre-arranged thoughts!

Not line structure.

Not by rhyming.

But by thought patterns.

Now, with this in mind, let's again look at our Text.

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting."

Again, that's Job 39:19-25.

You may think it a strange paragraph of Scripture, it being totally about a horse!

But it's a special horse. A special kind of horse anyway. It's a war horse! And a good one, an excellent one really! The best of his kind.

And I already know how I am going to apply this beautiful animal, in our studies this week.

I've also looked at some of the ways the commentators have applied it, some of which are quite strange!

One even sees the Battle of Armageddon here! That's something I would have never imagined. And it may be stretching the point a bit too much.

Still, tomorrow and the few days following, we will wade into this piece of Bible Poetry and watch the Holy Spirit develop its thought patterns!

One Bible Teacher calls our Text "the most brilliant of all Job's poems!"

Wow!

In it a poetic device called parallelism runs wild, beautifully so!

Let me explain.

Look at its first two lines, both in verse 19. "Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?"

Its first half, about the horse's strength, is equally balanced by the thought of the animal's neck being clothed with thunder, a synonym of strength also!

The "strength" part I can see.

The "thunder" I can hear!

One part of the verse adds to the other.

And I am using this word purposely, the lines blend poetically! Smoothly, artfully, beautifully, gently!

This is a fierce animal, totally dedicated to his job! Loyal to his training! Determined to join the battle as soon as possible!

In this part of the Book of Job it's God Who is the Speaker. And He uses several animals to exemplify His great act of creation, the horse being one of them.

And God speaks poetically!

One thought building upon another. One word picture illustrating another! One sentence explaining another!

It's quite like Isaiah 28, though in a much different context, depicts. "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little."

So is Bible exposition.

We will better understand our "horse" paragraph if we see it as poetry, rather than prose.

Let me now tell you where I think our passage is leading us.

This majestic animal is going to typify the attitude a militant Christian should have, especially in these last days, as we face apostasy and decline and faithlessness.

As the devil fights harder and harder!

As aggressive atheism and several very active forms of immorality flood our once godly land! Not even counting the multitudes of other sins!

The Lord needs soldiers to withstand such evil!

Men and women with resolve!

With determination!

With an eagerness to see Satan defeated!

Not with the spirit of cowardice or abject resignation!

But one that says, in harmony with the horse we're about to analyze, "Charge!"

Much like the old hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers!"

Paul, in 2nd Timothy chapter 2, compares us exactly to this, "soldiers" in the battle! "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

Now, like I've said every day this week, Lord willing, more tomorrow!

Stay with me.

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THE ANIMALS:

We have been toying with a Text in Job chapter 39, verses 19-25. It seems to be describing, of all things, a horse!

But more specifically, a war horse!

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting."

What a graphic description. And, as we saw yesterday, beautifully set in poetic form too!

But here's the question.

Why?

Why a section about a horse in a Book about suffering? Or at least it is most often thought to be about suffering.

And the answer to that question is rather difficult!

Add to the mix this thought, God is the Speaker in this part of Job, from chapter 38 onward!

God, talking about a horse, one conditioned for battle at that!

Then I noticed something. The horse is not the only animal God mentions to Job!

There are seven of them in just two chapters, with more coming!

Look with me.

"Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? Or fill the appetite of the young lions, when they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat." Job 38:39-41 here implies that God feeds the lions, too!

Here's animal group number two. "Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve? Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?" The goats and deer! Here God, in the background, is a mighty Veterinarian, overseeing the births of these magnificent creatures! From Job 39:1-4.

And Who provides pasture for the wild asses? "Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing." Job 39:5-8, where God is the Provider again!

Then the "unicorn," or wild ox.

Then the peacocks and ostriches!

Then, our Text, the war horse!

Lastly the hawks and eagles!

Wow, but again "Why?"

In each case here, directly to Job, God presents himself as the Sustainer and Nourishing Protector! Over all creation!

He is here depicted as God "El Shaddai!" The God Who, like a Mother nursing her young baby, loves and cherishes and cuddles and protects that child!

See it?

God is saying to Job, "No matter how things look, the same God, El Shaddai, is nursing you, too! Or maybe even right now He is weaning you, Job!"

Either way, God is present!

And Job, if he chooses, can lean back on God's breast and trust the Almighty Creator with utmost confidence!

The God Who cares for the lions and goats and donkeys and ostriches and eagles and horses and, by implication, all the others ... can take care of His Own people, too!

It's just like Jesus asked in Matthew 6:26. "Are ye not much better than they, the fowls of the air?"

Yes!

That is why God mentions the animals, including the horse we are studying!

They are object lessons in God's great classroom!

Job 12:7-10 this time. "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."

Wow!

What does this horse have to teach us?

Plenty!

Starting tomorrow, the Lord willing.

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

By the way ...

Many linguists tell us that God's Name "El Shaddai" is derived from the Hebrew noun "shad," meaning "breast!" God is the One Who nourishes and sustains His children!

 

 

LESSON 5:

Job chapter 38 has an amazing description of a horse, a war horse really. A horse that has such a fierce spirit that he loves the battle!

Here's how our Text begins, the first two verses anyway. "Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible." Job 39:19-20

Today our task at hand is to study the "afraid as a grasshopper" metaphor and talk a little about the horse's nostrils too! In other words, verse 20.

Obviously this animal cannot be made afraid! He cannot be frightened at all. "Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper?" The answer is no!

The noun "grasshopper" translates "arbeh," meaning "great or large," but here in numbers! Multitudes of grasshoppers! A whole "swarm" of them! These animals usually come in droves, thousands upon thousands at a time!

Yet they are easily scattered! Very easily frightened! The word "afraid" means "shaking  or quivering," trembling really!

Now contrast with these feeble grasshoppers the mighty horse! He does not fear! He, even if alone, no others in his group present, still will charge and fight the enemy!

The idea here is boldness!

And since we're all pretty sure God does not want me to preach a sermon just about a mere horse, this animal must represent something or someone else.

And it does.

It's typical of us Christians who are spiritually at war!

And the question is, "Will we be bold 'under fire' as this horse has been? Or will we retreat and run?"

Will we be like the frightful grasshoppers, fleeing at any little sound that comes?

Listen to Proverbs 28:1. "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion."

Yes!

The next time "trouble" comes at Church, will I stay and fight? Or will I run and hide?

When the devil shows up to tempt and harass me, will I have a panic spell and flee? Or will I put on the whole armour of God and stand!

We know what grasshoppers do.

We know what the horse did.

But what am I resolved to do?

Fight!

Also verse 20 adds of the horse, "The glory of his nostrils is terrible."

What's that about?

The noun "nostrils" means that part of a person that "snorts" or even "snores."

The horse, when agitated and ready to fight, makes that kind of sound, an angry sound, breathing hard through his nostrils!

Use "glory" here to mean "strength."

And "terrible," spelled "eyman," means "filled with dread or horror!"

Visibly involved, audibly excited for the coming battle, so is this majestic war horse!

Again, a picture of the attitude we Christians need to cultivate against our enemy, against Satan and his cohorts.

This "horse" verse means, if allegorized, "When the battle is joined, when hard times come, when your world is falling apart, fight!"

Fight hard!

Fight with all your heart!

Don't run!

Engage the enemy!

Instead of the enemy making us afraid, let's reverse that situation!

Let's scare Satan to death!

Fearless servants of God!

"Lord, give us victory today we pray."

Old veteran soldiers of bygone wars got so accustomed to battle that they actually longed for further conflict!

Some of them did anyway, some of the better ones!

One word as I close.

Children of God ... charge!

God has already promised us the ultimate victory!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Preacher Bagwell, it's about a horse!

This Paragraph over which you have been so excited!

Job 39:19-25.

Yes, a horse, a war horse, trained for battle. But more than that, a horse so disciplined that he now loves battle! One that would never run, never retreat! Not an inch!

In fact, he is eager to engage the battle!

That's what today's verse implies. "He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men." Job 39:21

But like we've seen for two days now, the Text talks about a horse, but looks beyond that strong animal!

Here's no doubt encouragement for us Christians, too!

We also are to become battle hardened, ready to fight!

Not fight each other, no!

Rather, this is fighting the enemy.

Resisting the devil!

Overcoming in the Name of Jesus!

Look where the horse is today, "in the valley."

But in that valley, he is "strong!"

And "strong" translates "koach," from a root word meaning "firm!" In the Bible, "strength and power and force and ability." Once in its 126 Bible appearances it is rendered as "wealth!" That is, "rich" in strength!

Many, I mean people as well as horses, do not remain "strong" in the valley! And we all know what that "valley" typifies, the "hard times and low times and discouraging times" of life!

When in that depressed condition, the horse delights in the coming battle! This is amazing!

"He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men."

The verb "rejoiceth" is "sus," meaning "to run with excitement, to be glad, to be filled with mirth!"

Over coming opposition?

Yes.

This animal, or the person it represents, is obeying James 1:2, very literally! "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." Be happy when the trials come, when you are "in the valley!"

Be strong then too, especially then, "in the valley."

This creature "goeth on to meet" the enemy! No retreat! No hesitancy! And the verb "to go on to meet" is "yatzsa," but as a "imperfect," the action then becoming an on-going thing, a habit, a continuing lifestyle!

And true too, the Christian life is constant battle!

Paul wrote Timothy to "fight the good fight of faith," using the Greek equivalent of an "imperfect," the "present" tense. Fight and fight and fight, the devil never quits! I've just referred to 1st Timothy 6:12.

That's what this horse is doing, as an example to us Christian soldiers no doubt!

"He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men."

"Armed men," that noun is unusual in Scripture. Occurring only 10 times overall, "nesheq" means "heavily armed." It's from a verb meaning "to be equipped."

God sure does equip us for battle, doesn't He? With the "whole armour of God," with the divine "panoply!" The word means "all the weapons or tools necessary!"

But one more thing about the horse, from today's Text.

"He paweth in the valley."

While in the valley, the animal "paweth," a word only found once in the King James Bible.

"Paweth" or "chaphar" means "to dig." Time-wise again, it's "to keep on digging and digging!"

He is not content to leave the valley in the same shape he found it. He's "pawing" around down there!

Digging away!

Probably to the naturalist this just means the animal is "anxious, determined, resolved," more than that, even "eager" to begin combat!

Yet to one with a keener eye, this digging perhaps represents "improving the valley" while one is there!

Digging some ditches to hold future rain!

Plowing rows for future crops, the verb can mean that.

Or even, "chaphar" again, "searching" for something of value!

The horse is leaving the valley to go fight for his master! But not until he has improved his holding area!

Not until he has, maybe, dug a well in that dry and barren place!

Or mined for blessings in a rather unlikely location!

Like Psalm 84:6 tells of its hero, "Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well." That's the idea!

Pawing in the ground, digging in the desert!

Turing worthless land into an oasis!

Why can't I do that?

Why can't you?

On the way to war, strew a little "goodness and mercy" behind you!

Wow!

Find something "good" in every "bad" or "dry" or "hard" situation you find!

Pawing in the valley!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

He seems not to know any fear.

The horse, the war horse, in Job 39:22. "He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword."

The noun "sword" represents impending battle, "chereb" in Hebrew. The verb "charab" means "to lay waste, make desolate, or slay."

The verb "turneth back" is "shub," found 1066 times in the Old Testament! This animal will not relent!

He also is not "affrighted!" Spelled "chathath," it means "dismayed," but to the point of being "broken."

And "mocketh" is "sachaq," that is "to laugh or play or deride or make sport" of something! "Fear" being the object, "pachad" or "terror or dread," to the point of trembling.

Later in the Book of Job, with God then talking about "leviathan," "sachaq" reappears. "He laugheth at the shaking of a spear."

Wow!

But today I want to return to that last clause. This mighty steed "turneth not back" from anything dangerous! Word for word, "Neither turneth he back from the sword."

He will nor swerve to the right or left, he is drawn into the battle, by prior training and conditioning apparently!

Well, what this horse, obviously a good role model here in Job 39:19-25, will not do, "turn back," many a so-called Christian has done through the years!

"Turing back," in Hebrew "shub," is translated "to withdraw" five times in the King James Bible.

This horse will not, you might say, "chicken out!"

He will not act the part of a coward.

He is determined to fight!

Here are a few examples of "shub," again that's "turning back," which can be used in both good and bad senses.

In Numbers 8:25 we are taught that the Old Testament "Levites" could "retire" at age fifty. Here's how the Scripture words it. "And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more." The expression "shall cease" is "shub."

They "turned back" from their work!

While these servants of the Lord did so with His approval, many a preacher or missionary or evangelist has "turned back" from his calling without the Lord's permission!

But not this horse! He teaches us all to "not be afraid!"

Now here's "shub" in another sense. Noah, still in the ark, "And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth." Going "to and fro," Genesis 8:7. The horse of our Text is not like that. No "to and fro" business with him. It's all "to" or "toward" or "straight at" the battle ahead!

Again, unlike many of us Christians!

We are "up and down," maybe "on and off" or "in and out" way too much! The horse "turneth not back" from the danger ahead!

Oh, to be faithful to Jesus!

Using virtually the same "word picture," though not the same vocabulary word itself, some New Testament characters turned away from their battles!

John Mark did, from Paul and Barnabas. "Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem." Acts 13:13, where John Mark nearly ruined his ministry.

Preachers, let's not turn back from our duty!

Everybody, let's be faithful!

Demas "turned" also. He loved "this present world" too much. He did not "charge" into battle, as the war horse would have done.

And pitifully, here is Paul in Roman prison, shortly before he was executed it seems. "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me." 2nd Timothy 4:16, where his first "answer" means his first court appearance, likely before Nero himself.

Could this horse of Job 39 have been personified, he certainly would not have "forsaken" Paul.

The war horse just won't turn!

By God's Grace, Brother Bagwell wants the same testimony!

Unswerving.

First Corinthians 15:58 like! "Stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

Wow!

And I full well know that you who read and study here day after day fit into the same category too.

"Not turning back!"

Aren't we glad Jesus did not turn back?

How about all this today?

A moral lesson, encouragement to be faithful, from a horse!

Only God can do things like that!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Once I saw this at a Church.

Their current emphasis was on being faithful to the Lord. Two prepositions, "Onward 'til upward!"

Press onward, even into the conflict ahead!

Be steady, until Jesus calls us upward! Either in the Rapture, hopefully, or else when we die.

Onward until upward!

Grant it, Lord.

Amen.

 

 

LESSON 8:

Today's verse is short. It concerns that horse again, the war horse we've been noticing the past few days. The subject of what is perhaps the most well known poem in all of Job's 42 chapters. At least that's what one writer called it.

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting." Job 39:19-25

Today verse 23. "The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield."

A "quiver" is the "holder" a soldier possesses for collecting his arrows. It's usually shaped like an elongated cylinder, sized for about 10 or 12 missiles. Usually it's somehow tied to the fighter's back. The verb "rattleth" is unique, used only here in all the Bible. But it's closely related to a verb that means "to ring noisily" or "to cry out loud."

But that's not all that is against the horse, in the battle he faces. The "spear" is too. "Chaniyth" is translated "javelin" 6 times in the Bible also. This weapon "glitters" as well, with "lahab" usually meaning "to flame or shine brightly." Often such reflection will frighten an animal. Almost anything can "spook" some horses.

But not this one!

He is an extremely prized possession for any soldier, for any master!

The noun "shield" is spelled "kiydon." And this is a good example of our King James Bible not only translating a word, but interpreting it too. Bibles must do that when bringing matter from one culture into another. "Kiydon" means, elsewhere in the King James Text, "spear" 5 times and "lance" 1 time and "target" 1 time. It is only rendered as "shield" 2 times. It's "root" idea is "ruin, destruction," coming from a verb that means "to strike, to smite."

There they are, three things against the war horse, in one short verse. Three weapons trained on this animal, to instantly stop him and his rider!

The horse could have moaned "Everything is against me!"

Humans do that all the time!

Jacob, in Genesis 42:36 did. "Their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me."

But these things do not phase this mighty war horse, not at all! Not one little bit!

In fact, looks like they just make him more resolved for the fight! More determined to enter the battle!

It's as if the horse, had he been more human, could have reasoned much like Paul generations later: "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Circumstances just do not diminish this animal's drive, his stamina, his prior training!

Even if ... "The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield."

Take some of us so-called Christians and let a thing or two wrong happen, somebody down at Church criticize us a little, or the car begins to give trouble or the roof starts leaking ... and we are so shaken that the "fight" is no longer an issue!

Our own well-being must take precedence!

We are shaken out of our militancy.

Forget the fight!

My feelings have been hurt!

Someone did not speak to me Wednesday night!

Or the Preacher did not call!

Mercy, folks!

We need more Christian soldiers like this glorious horse in our Text.

Ready for whatever comes!

Loyal to the cause!

In fact, eager to face the enemy.

Hungry for victory!

And not shaken by rattling quivers, obviously half empty, that's the only kind that can "rattle!" Or disturbed by glittering spears, aimed at the horse's heart no doubt! Javelins too!

The animal himself being their "target."

Still ... no running away!

He certainly plans to "keep on the firing line," as the beautiful old song used to say!

I do not know any word picture, any poem, any illustration in all Scripture that better portrays what should be our determination to live for Jesus, no matter what the devil lobs our way!

This is an amazing creature!

Here I sit in a motel room, 2:00 in the morning where I am but 5:00 in the east, leaning lessons about faithfulness ... from a horse!

Wow!

Hey everyone, let us too be faithful in the war!

"Faithful unto death."

After all, Jesus was that for us!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

The verse we are about to study contains a grammatical difficulty. Most scholars solve it by "stretching" the meaning of  one of the verbs. Or downright changing it.

Still talking about the indomitable war horse, Scripture continues: "He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet." Job 39:24, where we will think about the easy clause first!

Sounds like the animal is in a hurry! "He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage."

The verb for "swallow" is intense, a piel stem in Hebrew, meaning "to drink" something down! And "ground" is the normal noun here, "eretzs," the earth. He is, I think, charging into battle! Eagerly! "Gobbling" the ground between himself and the enemy!

The two objects of the preposition "with" are indicative of this intensity too. "Fierceness" is "raash," literally "quaking, rattling, shaking, commotion," even "rushing!" And "rage" is "rogez," probably something like "excitement, agitation."

In a hurry ... to do battle!

Fulfilling his reason for being!

Running from nothing!

Offense, rather than defense!

Advancing, not retreating!

Reminds me of Jesus in Isaiah 50:8-9, talking about the coming Cross on which He was to die, about the devil He must engage! "Who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."

Jesus, challenging the Devil!

Wow!

Now, to the harder clause.

This charging war horse is further eulogized. "Neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet." Job 39:24b

Here's where most teachers, for what reason I cannot find, change the meaning of the verb "believeth," in Hebrew "aman," to something like "stop or halt." Thus, when the trumpet of war sounds ... this horse is off and running, onward Christian soldiers!

But try as I may, I cannot find that definition for "aman." In fact, twice in the King James Bible it is translated "continuance!" Not "stopping!"

It should read, and does 99% of the time, "believe" or "be faithful" or "be sure and established." To "be steadfast" as well.

Then what does Job 39:24 mean here? What does God mean, since He is the Speaker? "Neither believeth he, the war horse, that it is the sound of the trumpet."

Well, I think this is the answer. Trumpets not only sound when it's time for war to begin. They also sound when the battle is over!

Watch the army retreat, when a trumpet sounds, in this battle. "Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king." 2nd Samuel 20:22

If we use this kind of trumpet sound for Job 39:24, the problem is solved! The horse is so fond of battle, so unafraid, so eager ... that he just can't believe it when the battle is complete!

That the "sound" or "voice," in Hebrew "kol," of the trumpet is heard!

This beautiful animal does not want to stop the fight!

Not until the enemy is certainly crushed!

This is what's sometimes called "the killer instinct!"

Adamancy!

Militancy!

And, truth be told, we Christians must also fight and fight and fight ... until our foe is vanquished too!

And that will not be for a while yet.

Meanwhile, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist stedfast in the faith." 1st Peter 5:9.

Much like the subject of today's verse, the determined war horse, Jesus once spoke to the devil, on the attack now: "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan!"

Fellow Believers, we do not have to run from the devil!

We must not yield already conquered ground!

Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and go on the offense!

And then, when the battle is finally over, when the devil has been banished to the lake of fire and brimstone that burneth for ever and ever ... we, unlike the war horse, will gladly hear the sound of that trumpet!

The trumpet that heralds ... victory!

"And the seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever." Gloriously, Revelation 11:15.

This one example used by God Himself, in His Speech to Job, this horse of all things, has shown us a faithful spirit, a victorious spirit, a never-quit spirit, like perhaps no where else in the Bible!

Christians, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1st John 4:4

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Regret, when it's all over!

That's astounding!

 

 

LESSON 10:

The paragraph is finally ending. I may have taken too long going through these seven verses. Especially when you consider they describe a horse! A special horse, nonetheless, but still a horse, a war horse it seems.

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting." Job 39:19-25

And to top everything else, God is the Speaker here!

That last verse includes these words: "He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting."

The "Ha, ha" expression is exclamatory, no doubt. This animal, even after all the wars and skirmishes he has faced, still gets excited when the battles return!

He is literally "counting it all joy" when those factious event occur! He is groomed for battle! And he lives for that purpose!

He even seems to have an intuitive sense of the coming conflict. "He smelleth the battle afar off!" The verb "ruach" here means of course "to scent" something, but also "to accept" it and at times "to quickly understand" it too!

Wow!

He knows what's next, "thunder" and "shouting," the sounds of military engagement!

But today's verse really reminds me of our Lord. All His earthly life He, I believe, "smelled" the Battle afar off!

His "Hour" of Death was nearly always on His Mind!

And He did not shrink from it!

Luke 12:50 proves that. "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" That "baptism" was Calvary, Death for you and me!

This is Jesus ... saying "Ha, ha!"

This is Jesus ... "Pawing in the Valley!"

Jesus again: "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." John 14:30, the Battle is at hand, the enemy comes! But he, Satan, has lost even before he starts! The Devil had "nothing" in Jesus!

Even in Gethsemane, I'm sure, Jesus was not trying to avoid the Cross! No, no, a hundred times no! He was asking the Father not to let Him die there on the spot, so close to Calvary but not yet there! Remember, He in the Garden was hemorrhaging blood from His sweat pores. Dangerously near death!

He was begging His Father to spare His Life a few more hours, until Calvary! And Hebrews 5:7 proves this scenario. "Who (Jesus) in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears (in the Garden) unto him (God the Father) that was able to save him from death (at that very moment, in Gethsemane), and He was heard in that he feared." He was spared to die on the Cross!

He wanted to do that!

He smelled the Purpose for which He had come!

He wanted to defeat Death, Hell and the Grave, Satan too!

And He did!

Ultimately this war horse just might picture our dear Lord!

And why not?

He, Jesus, is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah!

And the precious Lamb of God!

Can He not also be a Man of War? The Great Conqueror?

Let's let Exodus 15:3 answer this one. "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name."

Amen!

I am so thankful He entered the Battle!

He is Victor today, more so that any war horse or human general or weapon of war can ever properly resemble!

Once the prophet Isaiah even called Jesus God's "polished arrow!"

That's war talk again!

Isaiah 49:2.

The Prince of Peace, yes He is.

But only after, only because, He has won the greatest Battle of all!

Tell us Yourself, Jesus, from the Cross please.

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:30

"Ha, ha!"

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

LESSON 11, CONCLUSION:

While I was at Church last night, just before preaching, the Lord finalized these thoughts. And, I promise, this will be the concluding Lesson about the "war horse" of Job 39:19-25.

Obviously, the Lord appreciates this animal. He is the One Who brought the horse into the conversation anyway! God, at least to some degree, admires the spirit and determination and drive of this creature.

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting."

This horse will not run from the battle!

In fact, nearly to the extreme, he longs for the fight!

Craves it!

Nearly lives for it!

At least that's a sentence summary of the Text, as I see it.

Now, back to last night's thoughts, seems like the Holy Spirit was saying this. "Many characters in Scripture, to varying degrees, are comparable to this majestic beast!"

Some Bible people ran into the fight!

And some ran away from it!

So, here goes.

Negatively, I mention just a few.

Demas, for sure. Paul told us, sadly: "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica." 2nd Timothy 4:10, very much unlike the war horse we've studied.

And remember Urijah? In Jeremiah 26:20-21? "And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah. And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt." He ran away from the danger, from the confrontation!

And a third example, just in a smaller sense of cowardice. These folks did not run away from the war. They just would not fight in it! And such behavior sure did upset the Lord! "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty." Meroz is the name of a whole city full of people, Judges 5:23. This kind of pacifism could have never been observed in the restless war horse!

But enough negativity!

Now, who did not retreat?

Who stood tall?

Who refused to run?

Who was "pawing" in the valley, thinking about the enemy, yelling "Bring him on! My God is far greater than the foe at hand!"

Micaiah, that little known Old Testament Prophet, refused to compromise God's Word, even in the face of wicked King Ahab! He joined the battle fearlessly! Take time to read this account. "And Ahab the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat King of Judah, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah. And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria. And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak." 1st Kings 22:8-14, in part. This great Prophet, at the risk of his own life, did not run, but stood true to God's Word! He ran toward the battle!

And what about young David, in the face of Goliath the Philistine giant? David certainly did not flee! "And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."

Wow!

"And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth." Notice the underlined words, please! David ran toward the battle!

That's the spirit of the war horse!

Amen!

And Paul never ran away either!

Even at the riot in Ephesus! "And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not." Acts 19:30, running toward the confrontation!

Paul at Lystra, too, where they stoned him! "And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came back into the city." He did not run away, Acts 14:19-20, right back into the city where he was just stoned!

Even in the hour of his death. Practically his last words: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day." I hear the old "war horse," clamoring for the battle, 2nd Timothy 4:6-8.

And most heroic of all, of course, is Jesus! He literally invites the Devil to the battlefield! To meet Him at Calvary! "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me?" Isaiah 50:6-9, what a bold Saviour we have!

He certainly did not run!

He attacked Death, Hell and the Grave!

And defeated them all!

So, in conclusion, how are we Christians going to behave in the face of our battles?

Turn tail and run?

Or charge ahead, in the glorious Name of the Lord our God?

Paul again, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Ephesians 6:12, Need I remind you that his "sword" is an offensive weapon?

Or some more of the Apostle's advice. "Neither give place to the devil." In other words, don't run away! Ephesians 4:27

Let's plan to fight!

Let's not forsake the One Who died for us on Calvary!

And some day for sure it will be said, victoriously: "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Revelation 11:15

Hallelujah!

                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

What thoughts can be aroused!

By a restless war horse!

 

 

 

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