Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” Job 38:1-3 NKJV
Throughout Job’s trial the Lord was silent. Job claimed righteousness and accused God of injustice. His friends accused him of sin. Elihu declared God is just. He scolded Job for self-righteousness and judging God. The Lord breaks His silence and speaks to Job.
Did God actually speak to Job out of a whirlwind? Or are these verses using symbolism to explain God speaking to Job through the circumstances of his life?
God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind similar to the way He spoke to Moses from a burning bush. He also spoke to Job through the circumstances of life. God prepared Job for this very moment!
How would you react if you heard the voice of God from out of a whirlwind? Does God speak to you through the circumstances of your life?
God answered everything Job said during His time of testing with a question. He asked Job, who are you to question My wisdom with your limited knowledge?
Job never understood what was happening to him. He was not being punished. God was using him. The Lord called Job “My servant”. He said, “there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil.”
How would Job have reacted if he knew His loss and pain was the cost of serving God? Would you serve God if it cost you as much as it cost Job?
God called Job a servant before his heartbreaking loss and painful illness. From our perspective those words were prophetic. From God’s they were reality!
The Lord told Job to get ready so He could question him. He expected Job to answer Him. Think about that for a minute. God did not bark out commands at Job. He asked Job a series of questions then He gave Job an opportunity to answer!
This reminds me of Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”
Job accused God of afflicting him unjustly. That is blasphemy. The Lord didn’t punish Job. He reasoned with Him, why? Because He loved Job!
Jesus knows every sin you have every committed. He does not want to punish you. He loves you. Jesus wants to reason with you.
Keep your ears open. Jesus speaks through the storms and circumstances of life. Jesus can even speak to you from out of a whirlwind!
“Teach us what we should say to Him, For we can prepare nothing because of the darkness.
Should He be told that I want to speak? If a man were to speak, surely he would be swallowed up.
Even now men cannot look at the light when it is bright in the skies, When the wind has passed and cleared them.
He comes from the north as golden splendor; With God is awesome majesty.
As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, In judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress.
Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart.”
Job 37:19-24 NKJV
Elihu listened to Job and his friends. When they were done he spoke up. Those discussions were pointless and unfruitful. Elihu did not camp there. He moved on to declare the goodness and the majesty of Almighty God!
God’s ways are so much higher than ours no one can teach us what to say to Him. The darkness of our hearts separates us from the holiness of God. We have no grounds or standing to demand an audience with the Lord.
No one can see God and live. He could destroy us with the breath of His nostrils for the sin of arrogance and the pride of our hearts if we were think He should stand before us and explain Himself the way Job wanted!
Almighty God rides the wind as no creature can. He is surrounded by majesty and glory. The light of His perfection is stunning. Our bodies cannot contain His holiness!
The excellence of the Lord’s truth and power, judgment and justice defy description. Only a heavenly language could convey His perfection. The fear of God belongs to the wise in heart. Even the godly tremble before His justice!
If I had the words to declare the goodness of God I would. If I could do justice to a description of His majesty I would do it now. I cannot. If everything written in this chapter is true, and it is, how can we live in relationship with God?
Jesus came to give us life and to give it to us more abundantly! He is the light that has appeared to all people so we can follow Him to our Heavenly Father. In His presence we can experience the joy of perfection throughout eternity, how?
Call out to Jesus today. Confess the sinfulness of your heart. Ask Jesus to forgive you. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior!
Bow your heart before the Lord. Fall to your knees and worship Him. Follow Jesus all the days of your life. He can remove the darkness from your heart. He can teach you what to say to the Father. Jesus can give you what no one else can. Intimacy with God!
Do it today!
“Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him? Who has assigned Him His way, or who has said, “You have done wrong?” Job 36:22-23 NKJV
Elihu gives us six characteristics of God.
God’s infinite power sets Him above creation. He is unique. He is not a created being. He is the Creator. All living things, the cosmos itself could not exist apart from Him. Nothing in the heavens above or on the earth below can prosper in opposition to Him.
The Lord knows everything about all things past present and future. He personifies wisdom. She was with Him at the dawn of creation. Anyone who lacks wisdom can call out to Him. He wants us to trust and believe Him to answer when we pray for wisdom.
God is, was and will always be the Great I am, the only being who is self existent. He depends on no one or anything. The Lord is ever present throughout His creation. God has no beginning. He will have no end.
“Remember to magnify His work, Of which men have sung. Everyone has seen it; Man looks on it from afar. Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; Nor can the number of His years be discovered.” Job 36:24-26 NKJV
Jesus deserves worship praise and honor just because of who He is. People have sung about Him throughout history. The question before us today is, do we sing to Him in our hearts?
Raising our voices to Jesus is not enough. He wants us to worship Him in the secret chambers of our hearts and deep recesses of our thoughts. Only Jesus is worthy of such intimate worship!
God is so holy He cannot tolerate sin. There is no darkness in Him. The Name of Jesus alone is enough to send the demons of darkness to flight. The purity of His presence is more than a mere mortal can withstand.
No human can see God and live. And yet His perfect love casts out fear among His people!
A man asked Jesus if they could spend time together in the darkness of night. The Lord came to Him. Not in a way He could see with His eyes, it was in a way that touched His soul. He did not see Jesus. He felt the Lord’s presence. He has never been the same!
We cannot see God with our eyes. We can know Him in our hearts. Call on Jesus to draw you deeper into Him than you have ever gone before. Not by works or sacrifice, by faith!
Jesus is waiting to spend time with you. Worship Him in the secret chambers of your heart and deep recesses of your thoughts!
“Look to the heavens and see; And behold the clouds-They are higher than you. If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man.” Job 35:5-8 NKJV
Elihu condemned self-righteousness. He said God cannot be touched by the godliness or ungodliness of man. It does affect other people!
Elihu scolded Job for having a self-righteous attitude. What an interesting word that is, (self-righteous). It speaks of self reliance, arrogance and pride. It reeks of our greatest sin, the belief that we do not need God. It is the ultimate form of pride!
Who is the humblest person you know? Has that person ever talked about how humble he or she is? People of humble character don’t usually go around bragging about it.
Only God can declare a person righteous. He declares us righteous through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. It is not based on anything we did or could ever do. That isn’t anything to go around bragging about either.
I write these messages to encourage you in your faith. They encourage me. I send them out to exhort you to step out in faith and serve the Lord. Writing is a step of faith for me. I share the things God puts in my heart because they are life to me!
I love Jesus. I want everyone to know it. I want you to know how much Jesus loves you!
When I recall the memories of my sinful past I consider the harm I could cause others. When I am tempted to go back like a dog returning to lick up his vomit I consider the people I love. These messages remind me that my life is not my own!
If I walked off into sin God would not be harmed in anyway. I would. You might be as well. It would certainly hurt me if you walked off into sin!
God loves us. He wants us to love Him. He wants us to live in intimate relationship with Him. He is grieved when we sin. He cannot be harmed by it. It does cause pain and heartache to the people we love.
The entire world is being crushed by the weight of our sin. If you do not believe that walk over to your television set. Turn to the news channel and see for yourself!
Jesus is not looking for us to build Him up or lift Him up any higher. That would be impossible. He wants us to build each other up. He wants us to lift each other up. He created us to love each other. He wants us to live in intimate relationship with each other!
Consider how your actions affect the people you love. Consider how your lifestyle affects the people around you. Your life is not your own. Jesus paid the price for you because He loves you!
So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him; For He hears the cry of the afflicted. When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble? And when He hides His face, who then can see Him, Whether it is against a nation or a man alone? Job 34:28-29 NKJV
Elihu proclaims God’s justice.
God did not fit neatly into Job’s theological box of understanding. He does not fit neatly into a theological box of our understanding today.
The book of Job reminds me that Jesus is a God of awe and wonder. He cannot be moved. His wisdom is unsearchable. He knows what is happening in every corner of creation. His perfect judgment and justice surpasses our understanding.
Because God sees all things and knows all things He cannot be fully understood!
I am reminded of a time years ago when I set my heart on sin. I searched it out. I stood at the doorway waiting to enter in. God stopped me. The plan I devised to satisfy my sinful nature failed. God protected me from the consequences of my sin.
There have been other times when God did not stop me from sinning. He allowed me to suffer the consequences. Why would God intervene on one occasion to prevent heartache and suffering and not another? I do not know.
Jesus hears the cries of the poor in spirit and resources. He punishes the strong and mighty who oppress and afflict them. Sometimes His judgment comes swiftly. Sometimes it is delayed, why? Only He knows.
Sometimes God’s judgment is to leave nations and people to themselves. He hides His face and leaves them to their own evil desires. He cannot be found by people who do not seek Him!
God answers the cries of His people with perfect love. The heart that is stilled by the Lord rests in perfect peace even when surrounded by chaos and turmoil. Sometimes God answers those cries swiftly. Sometimes His answer seems to be delayed. It is not. God is always on time. His love is always perfect!
God gives us what we need when we need it. He can call the storms that roll into our lives or He can calm them. He can answer our cries with deliverance and healing or He can answer, “My grace is sufficient for you.” He will always answer with perfect love that surpasses understanding!
If you seek Jesus you will find Him. If you call out to the Lord He will answer. It may be the answer you seek. It may not be the answer you seek. It will be the perfect answer for you!
Jesus answers His people with perfect love!
“Surely you have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of your words, saying, “I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me. Yet He finds occasions against me, He counts me as His enemy; He puts my feet in the stocks, He watches all my paths.”
Look, in this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man. Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.” Job 33:8-13 NKJV
Elihu repeated Job’s position accurately. He scolded Job for accusing God of injustice and hostility against him. Elihu stood up for the Lord when Job accused Him of evil. Job may not have used that word when He accused God of injustice but injustice is evil.
Accusing God of evil seems like such a shocking act, doesn’t it? And yet people have accused God of evil since Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden.
The serpent convinced Eve God was withholding something good from them. She believed it. When God asked Adam if he had eaten from the forbidden tree Adam acted as if it was God’s fault for giving Eve to him.
When Cain killed Abel the Lord said to him, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain replied, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper” As if God had placed an unfair burden on him. The first family accused God of evil when they were ensnared by sin.
I met a man who was a habitual womanizer. He was married to a Christian. They were active in the church. Their first born child died. He said he could not serve a God who would take his son.
Just as light cannot mix with darkness they could not live under the same roof. They were divorced. Women were attracted to him. He took full advantage to satisfy his lust.
God is not the cause of pain and suffering in the world. It exists because we exist. We gave the devil his position of power and authority over the world.
We have no moral position or legal authority to dispute with the Lord. Only a fool contends with Jesus. He owes us no explanation for what He does or allows!
God is good. He is righteous and holy. He loves you!
Jesus will put an end to all of the pain and suffering that plagues us!
Exercise your faith by trusting the Lord with the triumphs and trials of life. Jesus is greater than the evil in our world!
So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: “I am young in years, and you are very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you. I said, Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.” Job 32:6-7 NKJV
Job stopped speaking. Elihu scolded Job’s friends for condemning but not correcting him.
Elihu listened to Job and his friends. He disagreed when Job declared himself righteous. He disagreed when his friends condemned job. He was angry when they did not rebuke Job for accusing the Lord of treating him unjustly. Elihu had a lot to say. He waited.
In that culture a young man waited for his elders to speak before joining a conversation. Elihu showed more wisdom and patience than his elders.
Elihu scolded Job’s friends for their insensitive condemnation. He scolded them for not reminded Job that the Lord is always merciful and just. He scolded Job for making accusations against the God who is all powerful all-knowing and ever present!
He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. Proverbs 18:13
More and more I see people so quick to speak they answer before others finish talking. I do it. You may as well. A person with wisdom listens to everything that is said before forming an opinion and responding.
I have heard it said we should only speak 10% of what we think. A wise person chooses words very carefully. When we rush to speak we may say things we can never take back.
When I worked in a prison I taught an anger management classes. The best course of action to take when we are angry is to wait on the Lord. Jesus has great rewards in store for people who learn to wait on Him!
I make my living as a salesman. Selling is not about talking people into buying things. It is more about listening and offering solutions.
Not all young people respect their elders. They do not all value the wisdom gained through experience and a long life. Not all elders are wise. A young person who respects elders and values the wisdom that comes from experience is wise.
Elders, do you listen to what the young people in your life say? Youngsters, do you seek the wisdom of your elders? Are you learning to wait on the Lord in all things and for all things?
Bless people by listening when they speak. Listen for what the all-powerful all-knowing ever present God has to say.
Wisdom is available to all who call on the name of Jesus. It is a gift from the Lord!
“But now they mock at me, men younger than I, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.” Job 30:1-2 NKJV
Job has gone from honor among men to scourge, from prosperity to calamity.
Job uses very descriptive words to say men who are so inferior to him that he would not have had time for them before his trial are mocking him.
We don’t know how people treated Job except for the few “friends” quoted in the book. We do get a clear understanding of Job’s attitude. He is hurt and angry. You and I would probably feel the same way. But the language he uses to make his point is very harsh!
Job talks about people mocking him as if their lives are worthless and meaningless. He had such disdain for their fathers he would not put them with his dogs. He calls them sons of fools and vile men who were scourged from the land. He snubs his nose at them for not having nice places to live and good food to eat.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Job believed he was better than other people. He viewed the poor as the refuse of society.
When I was young my mother owned a bakery. She distributed to stores and restaurants. The employees took notice when I walked into the building. I felt important. I wasn’t very nice to some of them. Did I think I was better? I acted like it at times.
Job was double minded at times even though he had a heart for the Lord. He was bitter towards people he thought deserved to suffer. He was resentful when people were insensitive to his suffering. He could be vindictive in his desire to return evil for evil.
Job was haughty arrogant and prideful because he believed righteousness could be earned through religious acts and good deeds.
God revealed how double minded I can be even though I have a heart for Jesus. I have seen how bitter and resentful I can be towards other people. I struggle with the desire to return evil for evil.
When things are fun and easy I can attribute them to good works and deeds. When I am overwhelmed with trials and hardship I wonder what I am doing wrong.
People all around us are suffering. Some of them do not have nice places to live or good food to eat. They are the outcasts of society. We are not better than them. We will be held accountable for our attitudes towards them.
Let the Word of God be a mirror before your eyes. Ask Jesus to open the eyes of your heart so you can see people as He does!
Do not return evil for evil when people mock you. Examine your own heart. Let Jesus be the lifter of your head and the defender of your righteousness!
“Then I said, “I shall die in my nest, And multiply my days as the sand. My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch. My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.” Job 29:18-20 NKJV
Job expresses his discontent as he looks back to the days of prosperity. He is exaggerating his position and standing. Job is a rock star in the theater of his mind.
Job said, “I shall die in my nest.” That is like saying, “I will die in comfort and ease.” Did he really believe his end would be that peaceful and comfortable? I think he did. Job was the richest man in his corner of the world.
Job also said, “And multiply my days as the sand.” Did Job really believe he could increase the length of his life? It seems unlikely but he did speak the words, why? People with resources tend to live longer than people who do not have them.
A young man died of cancer without knowing he had it. He did not have medical insurance. He went to a hospital for help. They patched him up and sent him home. Sometimes poor people die from lack of medical attention.
Job said, “My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch.” He is speaking about the resources so readily available and how he took them for granted. He is also looking back on a life undisturbed, at rest and at ease.
Job says, “My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed within my hand.” Job is glorifying his status and honor among his people before his trial. When he looks back to the good old days he sees himself as young and powerful.
Job was a very wealthy man of high standing among his people. His words clearly show he struggled with pride, arrogance and a haughty attitude.
Sin is not a respecter of persons. Anyone can give in to temptation at any time. Some of us have a particular sin we struggle with. How about you? Is there one particular sin you struggle with?
God did not leave Job to himself. He worked to change Job in the areas where he needed it the most. God allowed him to be afflicted for a reason. His suffering was not in vain. God blessed Job more at the end of his life than He did at the beginning of it.
God will not leave you to yourself. He will work on the areas of your life that need the most work. If you need to be refined in the cauldron of adversity it will not be in vain.
Look at your trials as opportunity for growth. Trust God to use the cauldron of adversity to boil away your imperfections!
“Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. And to man He said, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:27-28 NKJV
This chapter is Job’s discourse on wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God.
The Lord broke my heart today. It needed to be broken. It had been hardened by hardship and trial. It was hardened by pain disappointment and regret. It had already been broken. Like a bone that is not properly set God needed to break it again.
Job’s heart was broken by pain and loss. His heart grew callous and cold. He spoke of wicked people and their destruction as if he wanted them to suffer. God does not want us to be pleased when evil people suffer. He wants it to break our hearts!
Job knew God is wisdom just as much as He is love. He gives it freely to all who seek Him. The ultimate form of wisdom is the fear of God. People who turn their backs on evil have godly understanding.
I spoke to a man who said people practicing a socially acceptable sin are teaching the rest of us something we need to learn. I don’t hate him. I don’t hate people who choose that sinful lifestyle. I love them. It breaks my heart. It breaks God’s heart even more!
I have always been taught God is so holy He cannot tolerate sin. I think it is just as true to say He chooses not to tolerate sin. He does not tolerate sin because of the heartache and destruction it brings to the people He loves!
The same person said some things are neither right nor wrong. That is the same as saying what is true for some people may not be true for others. I do not have the luxury of deciding for myself the difference between right and wrong. Neither do you.
I cannot decide for myself what is true and what is not. Neither should you. Only God has the wisdom and authority to make those decisions!
No being in the heavens above or on the earth below knows creation better than the Creator. Only Jesus has the authority and power to declare truth as it is without distortion or error!
Fear of God keeps us walking in the light of truth. Sin and evil impairs our judgment. Fear the Lord more than you desire the passing pleasures of sin. Walk away from sin so you can be a person of wisdom and understanding!
Sin is progressive. It is often pleasurable for a short season. Our lustful desires become stronger and stronger the more we feed our flesh until a grotesque monster is created. If we do not stop feeding the beast it will devour us!
Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Feed your Spirit. Starve the beast. Trust everything else to Jesus!
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