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THE BOOK OF JOB

A FEW SHORT SNIPPETS OF TRUTH!

Let's familiarize ourselves with this great 42 chapter Masterpiece, the Book of Job.

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

LESSON 1:

The Book of Job has always seemed "too big to tackle," at least in my eyes. But for a few days I would like us to at least look at some of its mountain peaks! I might just call these next few Lessons "Snippets from Job."

There's a verse in the Book, spoken by some kind of "spirit," that says of God: "Behold, God puts no trust in his servants." Job 4:18

However, that "spirit" was wrong! He was wrong in several others areas too. He is not the Holy Spirit, obviously.

God did trust Job!

Yes, He did.

Listen to the Lord talk to the Devil about His Servant Job. "And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Job 1:8

Look at these words of commendation!

"None like him in the earth," meaning that Job at that time was the most godly man alive!

"Perfect" means "complete, whole, mature," not two-faced or double-minded or lukewarm!

"Upright" translates "yashar," and that means "straight" in God's eyes. Nothing "crooked" about the man.

"Fearing God" indicates a very high level of reverence and respect for the Almighty.

And to "eschew" evil means "to avoid" it or "to detour" around it! He hates iniquity. He shuns it. The etymology of the word suggests its original meaning was "shy." That's right, he was so unaccustomed to sin that he would have been shy around it!

Now that's high praise, folks!

God trusted Job very much.

Question is, does God trust me?

Or you?

Do we live day by day faithfully enough to be so commended of the Lord?

I wonder.

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

It's just a snippet, this little article.

It's a little different than our normal running commentary or exposition of a paragraph of Scripture.

Someone let me know what you think.

 

 

LESSON 2:

The Old Testament Book of Job is a narrative.

It tells a story.

About a very godly man.

At issue is the fact of Job's godliness.

God is pleased with Job's righteousness.

The Devil questions it.

God believes that Job will never "curse" the Almighty!

The Devil is equally sure that Job will, that he will "curse" God.

Listen to Satan, talking to God. "But put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy face." Job 1:11

So the whole 42 chapter episode, all of the Book, hinges on whether Job curses God!

Or not!

After loosing all his livestock, all his possessions, does Job curse God?

After burying all ten of his children, does Job curse God?

After his health fails, does Job curse God?

After his wife turns against him and denies her faith, does Job curse God?

Then after three men appear at his doorstep and relentlessly accuse him of being a sinner or a hypocrite or a fake, does Job finally give up and curse God? Their reasoning was that only hypocrites experience the kinds of things Job was having to endure.

Well, Preacher Bagwell, did Job indeed "curse" God?

No!

No!

No!

Thank God, no!

But he did come close a time or two!

He did say some unwise things, as we would have too, but he never cursed God!

Here's an example. "After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day." Job 3:1

The "day" Job just cursed was the day he was born!

He wishes he had never seen daylight!

Yes, he is cursing.

But he is NOT cursing God!

Let me stop right now and thank the Lord for a man with this kind of faith. Who will not question God's righteousness, no matter the circumstances of life!

When our lives fall apart, how do we respond?

Do we blame God?

Or would we like Job, say: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

What faith!

Even to this point, God's testimony of the man Job. "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job 1:22

Lord, increase our faith!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

I'm going to show you one of the greatest examples of humility in all Scripture. From the Book of Job.

The suffering patriarch, Job himself, says these words: "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred." Job 6:24

Job is talking to Eliphaz, one of his acquaintances who had come to visit him a while. But this same attitude transfers to the Lord as well.

"Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred." 

The verb "teach" is "yarah" in Hebrew, meaning "to throw, to shoot, to cast, to hurl" something! It is believed by linguists that the word picture here is that of an instructor "throwing" arrows of truth around the room! Trying to lodge bits of wisdom and understanding in the hearts of her students!

The verb "hold" here means "to be silent," at least as a hiphil verb it does. The hiphil stem in Hebrew is causative. There is some deliberate "reason" behind the action.

The verb "to understand" deals with discernment. Seeing "levels of meaning" in every life situation! Seeing life from God's point of view too!

And "to err," spelled "shagah" in Hebrew, means "to go astray, to swerve, to meander all around."

Our text Verse again: "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred." Job 6:24

Job wants to know, "Where did I go wrong?"

Truth be told, he had done nothing wrong! Nothing major anyway.

Satan was fighting this dear old saint of God! That's why his troubles came!

And God was watching too, knowing that Job would win the victory!

Still, what a lovely approach to life.

Teach me!

I am eager to learn!

I don't know it all!

Help me please.

No wonder the Book of Job holds such high esteem wherever it's studied.

Now here's the Psalmist, with the same attitude. This time directly toward God. "Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day." Psalm 25:5

Here it is expressed differently yet. "For Thou God  art my rock and my fortress; therefore for Thy name's sake lead me, and guide me." Psalm 31:3

How "teachable" are we?

Are we ever willing to admit when we're wrong?

Do we ever act like we know all the answers?

Even Jesus somehow learned. "Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered."

So must we.

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Again, it's that important.

"Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred." Job 6:24

 

 

LESSON 4:

"I just can't sleep!"

Or "I just didn't sleep well last night, not at all."

We have all probably experienced nights like this, sleepless or nearly so. Medicine has a name for such an ailment, "insomnia."

I've heard Preachers label such restless nights as results of some kind of sin in our lives. Maybe unconfessed deeds. Or good things omitted. Or some tinge of hypocrisy deep down within.

Well, I'd like to show you a godly man, perhaps the most righteous person alive in his day, and how well he slept at night.

Our protagonist is Job, the Bible character.

Listen to him now. "So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day." Job 7:3-4

The nights seem long to him, very long! "When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone?"

He tosses and turns all night long, no rest at all. "I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day."

The noun "tossings" translates "nadud," a word used only here in all the Bible and meaning something like "rolling back and forth." It's really from a root word that means "to flee, to be chased, to flutter!" No stillness! Have you ever dreamed someone was chasing you? Job did apparently.

And how long did Job's condition last?

For months!

How many months or years, we do not know. The Bible just does not tell us.

His nights are "wearisome," meaning "troubling, miserable," even "painful." Like hard labor for hours without end!

And that little word "vanity?" As in: "So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me." The noun "shav" means "emptiness, nothingness," all real meaning in life had gone!

Had Job lived today someone would have recommended a psychiatrist! Abnormal, dysfunctional!

Yet please get this.

This man who slept so little was not a sinner!

He was righteous, very much so!

So godly that the Lord actually said no one else like him was on earth, anywhere!

"So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day." This is Job 7:3-4, word for word.

Why have I discussed this today, sleeplessness?

Because someone is reading here this morning, a lady or man who slept little last night. And the night before too. Maybe for weeks or months.

Someone who has not flagrantly sinned.

Someone who loves Jesus.

And someone who just needed to be aware that other godly people, Old and New Testament, often had trouble sleeping too.

Paul in both Second Corinthians 6:5 and Second Corinthians 11:27 mentions "watchings," which are "long seasons without rest!" The Greek noun actually means "no sleep."

Put your nights into God's hands!

Remember that He can, if He chooses, do what Job later mentions here. "God my Maker, Who giveth songs in the night." Oh, yes! Job 35:10 is the reference I've used here.

Now itís "Songs in the night!"

Only God can do that.

And He may do such a thing for you anytime!

Also God can "give" us sleep, like it's a blessing from Heaven! "So our God giveth His beloved sleep." Psalm 127:2

Here's my point today.

Get rid of that guilt.

Your sleeplessness may be some strange test God is letting you experience. If so, be patient. And eventually, by His Grace, one night soon you may hear something!

Or is that Something?

The Presence of Almighty God!

He came to Paul one night, at midnight even! That's how Paul knew where to go on that great second missionary journey of his! A message from God, during a restless night! Acts 16:9 tells us so.

I'll close with this. It's so true. "I'd rather have God by my side and be sleepless, than not have God and be snoring!"

If godly people have these nervous, sleepless symptoms, maybe they are not so bad after all.

Turn those sleepless hours into Bible Study time! Or prayer time! Or fellowship with your Saviour time! Or time to talk to your husband or wife. After all, if you can't sleep surely he or she will help you cope.

At least that's what we are supposed to do.

Is this a crazy Bible Study?

Is it worthwhile?

You folks must decide that issue.

I know this too, when I sleep or when I can't sleep. the Lord is watching over me! Here's proof! "The Lord that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:3-4

Wow!

He never sleeps!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

If you are never bothered like this.

Never bothered with sleeplessness or such restless tossing and turning, just praise the Lord. And quote Psalm 4:8 every night. "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."

Amen!

 

 

LESSON 5:

It's one of the better known verses in Job.

Perhaps it's one of the strongest statements of faith in all the Bible.

Job 13:15 is resolute.

Listen to this godly man. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him."

The "He" of our verse is God, of course.

Job is imagining a worst case scenario.

If he loses more than his ten children. Should he even lose more than his livestock and income. Should he lose his very health, which he did. In fact, if his very life is ended by the tragedies that have come his way ... no matter, Job will continue to trust in the Lord His God!

Wow!

He is that determined!

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him."

The verb "slay" is "qatal," really meaning "to kill."  But surprisingly it's only used three times in the Bible.

"Even if God turns completely against me and kills me ... I will keep on loving Him! He's been that good to me, previously!" So Job seems to be reasoning here.

The verb "trust" translates "yachal," literally meaning "to wait, to hope, to tarry," to trust in an expectant sense.

Love "believeth all things" Paul said. Job "believed" that his God in Heaven knew best. He would leave everything in His Lord's Hands! Even including his life.

Yet Job clings to one fact.

He has done no major wrong!

He will not admit to sins he has not committed!

Therefore our verse for today continues: "But I will maintain mine own ways before Him."

"I will not change my argument, my reasoning, my defense, before Almighty God!"

That verb "will maintain" is "yakach," quite often meaning "to prove." It's important to Job that all the world knows he is godly, righteous, and in harmony with God in Heaven.

"Derek," here rendered as "ways," means one's life goals, the paths we travel day after day. Our manner of living, our behavior!

God is watching.

He knows how Job has conducted himself for years, no cheating, no lying, no open sin of any kind.

Lots of folks today are nominal Christians, largely because God has been so good to them. "He's good to me. I'll be good to Him!"

That's easy Christianity, if Christianity at all!

It's when things get bad, go wrong, burdens mount, finances melt away, health deteriorates, relationships crumble ... that's when faith is put to the test! Really this is true.

And even with all those problems, Job is faithful!

Let's admire him today. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him."

Still righteous.

Still faithful.

But still suffering.

Amazing.

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Yes, Job had three "friends." That's what they are called anyway, in Job 2:11. One is named Eliphaz, meaning "My God is fine gold." Another is Bildad, meaning "Confusion!" And the third is Zophar, meaning "sparrow," like the little bird. Quite a mixture!

But these three friends did not help Job much. In fact, they added to his sorrow and grief!

Listen to Job describe them, to their very faces! "Miserable comforters are ye all." Job 16:2, where "miserable" means "troublesome, painful," in Hebrew "amal." In the Old Testament the noun "comforter" is the same as the name of the Prophet "Nahum." It's spelled "nacham."

These three men failed with their words! They did not lighten Job's burdens one ounce!

Job was willing, at that specific time anyway, to give these men some of their "own medicine." This is so human! "I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you." Job 16:4

"Heap up words against you!" Where "heap up" means "to glue together," injurious words in this case! 

"Shake my head at you," in derision and mockery!

Words that bring no comfort!

On the other hand, Paul teaches us to speak words that do help, that uplift and edify and encourage!

Here's an example. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29

To "edify" means "to build up" a person. To help him or her grow spiritually! To bring them to maturity!

Jesus learned to do this too. Early in His earthly life apparently. Isaiah tells us about a daily habit our Lord had. Jesus is talking now: "The Lord God hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary." Yes, Jesus knew how to speak comforting words, all right! Isaiah 50:4, and our Lord had a new lesson every morning it seems. "The Father wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."

Goodness!

Words to help, not hurt!

One more verse maybe. "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6

Let's ask the Lord to help us say things that help others, things that He approves! "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14, a worthy prayer!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

Talk about one's wishes coming true!

Today's Text will give us a beautiful example.

Job from the Old Testament once said that even his "fears" came true! "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job 3:25

But today it's not a fear, but a desire, a good one, that God fulfills! Job would be pleased.

Here's what I mean. Go ahead, Job. "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." Job 19:23-26

He wants his words, his testimony, to be recorded. In a book, for others to read! To glorify His great God in Heaven!

And we all know by now that his desire, his prayer, was granted!

What a Book, Job!

It's poetry by literary design.

It's also inspired by the Holy Spirit, giving it inerrancy.

And it is eternal, having helped countless people so far, no doubt with many more to come.

The Book of Job.

Job's words have been written.

They are now printed in a Book.

For ever!

Without a formal prayer, God has granted Job a major request! Reminds me of Psalm 37:4. "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

Wow!

But we're not quite through with our verses today, not just yet. Job continues: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."

What a statement of Faith!

Job has a Kinsman-Redeemer!

Who is alive!

And is coming again to earth!

And can resurrect a dead man too!

This is sheer determination, resolute Belief in Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ!

This one statement may be why Job's words have been preserved for us!

Why this Book was written.

And if so, we should all be thanking the Lord!

I have an idea.

Let's study Job.

More than we have, all of us.

It's one of the most neglected books in all Scripture.

Yet it's a treasure trove of Wisdom!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Notice this too.

Job 28:28 reminds us: "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

Sounds like Proverbs a little!

 

 

LESSON 8:

The Devil is a liar!

Which also means he is "wrong" about 99% of the time.

And he was wrong about Job, fundamentally wrong.

Satan thought Job served God only because of the "blessings" the Lord bestowed on the old patriarch.

"Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nothing? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land." Job 1:9-10

Job loves God because it "pays" to do so!

Satan even suggests a solution to God, a test to prove Job's loyalty to the Almighty!

"Lord, put put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy Face." Job 1:11

But, frustrating to the devil as it might have been, Job kept on loving God, even after he lost all those "blessings!"

Even though Job can't even find God, he still believes. He still trusts. He still has faith! He laments: "Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to His Seat! I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which He would answer me, and understand what He would say unto me." Job 23:3-5

But though God can't be "found," much less His "blessings" enjoyed, Job does not curse the Lord!

He stays true, rewards or not!

Job 21:15 asks a question. Job puts these words in the mouth of a wicked person, nonetheless they still apply well here. "What is the Almighty, what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?"

Well, whether there is "profit" in it or not, we shall still pray to our loving Heavenly Father.

Whether He rewards today or not, or tomorrow or next week, His Word is still True. His Love is still unconditional, and everlasting. And he is still the Same, yesterday and today and tomorrow!

Rewards?

Not necessary!

When you know the Rewarder!

In fact God is the Reward!

It's not always what He does, no, but Who He is that really matters!

Job one more time, "The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

The devil was wrong, again.

Without any visible rewards whatsoever, Job remained faithful to God!

So should we.

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

By the way,

At the end of the Book, the rewards had returned. Twofold! that's the nature of the loving God we serve! "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning." Job 42:12

Wow!

 

 

LESSON 9:

Job is the speaker again.

He has been talking about God the Creator.

And he utters these words. "Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering." Job 26:6, where "Him" is capitalized because it refers to our great God!

Wow!

God sees into Hell?

Into the very pits of destruction?

That's what we are being told here.

The noun Hell is spelled "sheol" in Hebrew, where it's translated "hell" 31 times in the King James Old Testament and "grave" 31 more times, the very same word. It's "pit" 3 times also. It is almost for sure a derivative of the verb "shaal," meaning "to beg, to earnestly request," even "to demand" 4 times!

Hell is a place where begging occurs, intense begging!

Listen to one man in Hell. Hear him "begging" please. "The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Luke 16:23-24, praying in Hell!

But there's more. Talking about his lost brothers, the tormented may cries: "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Luke 16:27-28

"Sheol," a place of "violent crying and dissatisfaction and pleading and begging!" All too late though!

And God sees all that?

Hears all that?

Yes, according to Job 26:6. "Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering."

The word "naked" just means "to be bare," but in this sense, "to be subtle, to be shrewd, to be crafty!" The Hebrew word is "arom," taken from "aram." Hebrew words have interesting backgrounds. Picturesque, nearly.

God can see into Hell!

The noun "destruction" is just a synonym for "Hell." But watch its spelling, "abaddon!" Does this make you think of Revelation 9:11, and its context? "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." An invasion of demons, from the land of destruction! During the tribulation.

The word "covering" translates "kesuth," literally meaning a "coat" or some kind of "raiment."

If this Text is true, and it is, God monitors Hell itself!

He can hear, right now, the cries of the eternally damned!

This very thought ought to jolt us into reality!

About witnessing to sinners!

About lost loved ones!

About our passion for souls!

"Hell is naked before Him, and destruction hath no covering." Job 26:6.

And what kinds of noises does Hell emit?

"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 8:12

"And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:42

"Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 22:13

Are you saved?

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

The book of Job!

How does one categorize it?

It's poetry for sure, in Hebrew anyway.

But more than that, is it about suffering? A theology of hard times?

Or is it about interpersonal relationships and how they can go very wrong? Job and his friends?

Or is it a nature handbook, so many animals and places and natural evants? About God the great Creator?

Or is it about something else entirely?

I guess the answer depends on the person, the teacher, to whom you are talking.

But I am coming to believe that Job is primarily a Book of _____________. But what goes on the line, Brother Bagwell?

I'll tell you in a few seconds.

My reasoning this morning centers on Job chapter twenty-eight. Some scholars believe it's the theological "center" of the Book anyway. Here's how that great pivotal chapter ends.

"And unto man God said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." Job 28:28

There it is!

I think this is the purpose of Job, that great Book of Scripture I mean!

To teach us more about the Wisdom of God!

About living lives that glorify our Lord!

About reverence and worship and respect for the Creator Who is also the Saviour, the Redeemer!

"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

"The fear of the Lord" is a technical term, I would say. The noun "fear" is "yirah," and initially means "terrifying or dreadful." But it also has a secondary meaning, "respect, piety, reverence."

Giving God His proper Place in our lives!

And if that place is First, Wisdom is in control!

But putting God on the throne of one's life always leads to another decision. That is, "departing from evil!"

"To depart," in Hebrew "sur," means "to turn aside, to avoid." It can even be this strong, "to eschew, to hate." Or even "to depose." And in the King James Bible "to remove" 35 times!

"Evil" is the virulent kind of maliciousness we might term "activist," always trying to negatively impact others.

Then the noun "understanding," spelled "biynah," hints at "discernment," being able to see "levels of meaning" or "shades of difference" in many life situations.

The Book of Job just may exist to teach us how to live more godly lives!

How to be wise!

Men and women of understanding!

I think of this verse in regard to Old Testament "wisdom and understanding," from First Chronicles 12:32. "And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do."

This links well with our Text today. "And unto man God said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." Job 28:28

And this too, from the New Testament. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5, which just said we can ask God for Wisdom a thousand times a day! And He will never tire of those requests! He will never "upbraid" us for asking! He will never grow impatient with our search for Wisdom, or yell at us for asking so often, or be unkind in any other fashion, as long as Wisdom is the goal!

The whole Book of Job, all forty-two chapters!

Wisdom Literature!

Yes, I think so.

Read it, and be wise.

Study it, and be even more wise!

Internalize it, and God may say of you, as He did of Job, "My servant Job, there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil." Job 1:8

See it?

He fears God!

He avoids evil!

He is a classic example of His own literature, wisdom literature. "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

Yes, Job in a sentence, the whole Book!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

The young man Elihu said these things, about the older and wiser man named Job. Elihu is not one of Job's original "friends," but nonetheless accompanied them to see the great Patriarch.

The reason I want us to see Elihu's evaluation of Job is twofold. First, it agrees with the conclusions of his three predecessors, Bildad and Eliphaz and Zophar. Second, it is not in agreement with God's assessment of Job.

Our thoughts are not always God's Thoughts! And our ways are certainly not always God's Ways either! Isaiah 55:8-9 thunders: "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."

Now, to what Elihu said. And he said it about the most godly man alive in that day! According to the Lord at least, in Job 1:8.

Elihu: "Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom." Job 34:35

Again: "Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge." Job 35:16

Look at these charges!

Job is not wise!

He talks foolishly!

He never shuts up, either!

He lacks godly knowledge!

But then God said this about Job, talking directly to Elihu and that whole crowd: "Ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job." Job 42:8, Job was right all along!

My point today is this. Things are not always as they appear, as they seem! I had better keep my mouth shut, until I get all the information that's available!

Elihu was wrong, in his words, about Job.

And he was rebuked by the Lord.

Godly men and women may not fit into the generally accepted pattern of contemporary culture.

But they conform to God's Pattern pretty good!

"My servant Job has spoken the thing which is right!"

Two verses to caution us all, both about our words and certainly our premature judgments.

"Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar." Romans 3:4

"For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1st Samuel 16:7

Let's take heed!

                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Be careful about criticizing!

 

 

LESSON 12:

The Lord is talking now!

To Job!

And He has a question for this godly man who had suffered so much. Without doing any apparent wrong.

Listen to our God quiz his man. "Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? Wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?" Job 40:8

Job has so maintained his own righteousness, and he was indeed a godly man, that he was on the verge of questioning God's actions!

Job doubted God's decisions, especially as they regarded the deaths of his ten children and the loss of all his possessions and his apparently incurable disease!

The verb "disannul" translates "parar," meaning "to defeat, to frustrate, to dissolve." Job was about to make God look "bad," thus making Job look all the "better."

I do not think that was Job's intention, but he nearly did so anyway. "Wilt thou also disannul My judgment?"

For Job to be "right," which he really was in that contest with the devil, did God need to look "wrong?"

Job nearly, though accidentally, insinuated that God had made some kind of mistake, in Job's case! "Wilt thou condemn Me?"

The verb "condemn" is "rasha," which means "to act wickedly!"

Mercy!

Job wanted everyone to know, especially in the light of his three friends' false accusations, that he had lived for God, sincerely and fully!

But in his defense of himself, Job nearly implicated God in some rather questionable activities!

God again, "Wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?"

Once Job realized his error, one of ignorance at that, he repented sincerely. Listen to him: "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:6

Job hated sin so much, distanced himself from iniquity so far, that he fought tenaciously for his innocence. He wanted an untarnished reputation!

He fought for himself even to the point of questioning why God allowed him to suffer so much, a man not guilty of any significant sin, for all that time!

Still, God must receive the Glory!

And His Righteousness must reign supremely!

Regardless of Job and his purity!

Job gets it right in the end. Let's read it. "Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth." Job 40:3-4

Now everything is settled.

And Job will resume his godly lifestyle, with God's abundant blessings falling all around him once again!

Through it all, all 42 chapters of the Book, God was right!

And never wrong, not even once!

That's the story of Job.

                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

THE END OF THE STORY:

This is our last meditation from the Book of Job, in this particular series of studies anyway.

Therefore we must notice how the story ends.

The author of the Book words it this way. "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning." Job 42:12

Pretty good!

The "end" was even better than the "beginning!"

New Testament James says this. "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James 5:11

Both words for "end," in Hebrew and Greek, carry the idea of a "goal!" A stated and desired "outcome!" Some proposed "accomplishment!"

In Job 42:12 "achariyth" means "the after part," that which follows a thing. After Job's tenacious godliness, after his living up to his resolve, never cursing God, not even once, certain things followed!

"Goodness and mercy," looks like!

And in James 5:12, "telos" means the "point" for which one started, perhaps a long time ago. The destination of a trip, the culmination of a plan!

God had some things in mind when He allowed Job to endure such terrible suffering. And apparently those things, or many of them anyway, were accomplished!

Job, an example of godly living!

Even when tested!

Job had it right early in his ordeal. "When God hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10

And Job did, too, pure gold!

Then let me add one more thing.

And it's always this way, when God is involved.

Ultimately, things got better!

Hebrews 9:11 uses a phrase I love. I will underline it for you. "But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come ...."

See it?

For the Christian, for the one following Jesus the Great High Priest, there are "good things to come!"

Plenty of them!

Job enjoyed them.

We can too!

And if those good things do not come down here on earth, Heaven awaits!

Jesus, His Presence, forevermore!

That's real good!

This can be your story line, too. "So the Lord blessed the latter end of ____________ more than his or her beginning." Job 42:12

Amen!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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