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Job 27-29

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Job Chapter 27

Despite his terrible physical and psychological suffering, Job was getting stronger from his Trials and Tribulations. His arguments were now beginning to overpower those of his three friends. Why? How? Because "the spirit of God is in my nostrils" - Job was inspired, in-spirit-ed (see Inspired Speakers) by the Word of God (see the Fact Finder question below to understand the relation between "breath" and "spirit").

Creation

"And Job again took up his discourse, and said: "As God lives, who has taken away my right, and the Almighty, who has made my soul [see Where Is Your Soul?] bitter; as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. Far be it from me to say that you are right; till I die [see What Happens When You Die?] I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

Let my enemy be as the wicked, and let him that rises up against me be as the unrighteous. For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life? [see Why Does God Allow Evil? and Baptism Of Fire] Will God hear his cry, when trouble comes upon him? Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times?

I will teach you concerning the hand of God; what is with the Almighty I will not conceal. Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves; why then have you become altogether vain?

This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage which oppressors receive from the Almighty [see God Didn't Create Evil; God Created Freedom]: If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; and his offspring have not enough to eat. Those who survive him the pestilence buries, and their widows make no lamentation. Though he heap up silver like dust, and pile up clothing like Clay; he may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. The house which he builds is like a spider's web, like a booth which a watchman makes. He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more; he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone. Terrors overtake him like a flood; in the night a whirlwind carries him off. The east wind lifts him up and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place. It hurls at him without pity; he flees from its power in headlong flight. It claps its hands at him, and hisses at him from its place." (Job 27:1-23 RSV)

Job Chapter 28

From his own horrendous ordeal, Job was beginning to emerge from the deepest darkness into a far brighter light. His analogy of mining for gold is appropriate because gold is also used as a symbol of God's truth and the refining of those who find it e.g. "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7 RSV).

Light triumphs over darkness

"Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine. Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore. Men put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness [see Dividing Light From Darkness]. They open shafts in a valley away from where men live; they are forgotten by travelers, they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro. As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire. Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it. The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. Man puts his hand to the flinty rock, and overturns mountains by the roots. He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing. He binds up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hid he brings forth to light.

But where shall wisdom be found? [see God's Wisdom] And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, 'It is not in me,' and the sea says, 'It is not with me.' It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. The topaz of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.

Whence then comes wisdom? And where is the place of understanding? It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. Abaddon and Death [see Death's Obituary] say, 'We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.' God understands the way to it [see The Way To Salvation], and He knows its place. For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens. When He gave to the wind its weight, and meted out the waters by measure; when He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder; then He saw it and declared it; He established it [see The First Scientist], and searched it out. And He said to man, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'" (Job 28:1-28 RSV)

Job Chapter 29

Job then reflected upon all that he once had, while realizing that it was nothing compared to what is to come for those who repent, a Timeless truth often reiterated by The Messiah centuries later e.g. "For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come [see Could Christ Return Tonight?] with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay [see When Will You Be Judged?] every man for what he has done" (Matthew 16:25-27 RSV)

Blessings

"And Job again took up his discourse, and said: "Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; when His lamp shone upon my head, and by His light I walked through darkness [see The Light Of Life]; as I was in my autumn days, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!

When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square, the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood; the princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth; the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. When the ear heard, it called me blessed [see Blessings], and when the eye saw, it approved; because I delivered the poor who cried, and the fatherless who had none to help him. The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know. I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made him drop his prey from his teeth.

Then I thought, 'I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand, my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches, my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.' Men listened to me, and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them. They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not cast down. I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I dwelt like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners" (Job 29:1-25 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) In what ways are "breath" and "spirit" the same? How was "breathing" a "spirit" used to create life? (b) What "spirit" departs the body when someone dies?
(a) See The Spirit Of God; also Christ The Creator
(b) See Giving Up The Ghost and What Happens When You Die?


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