Class 8, Chapters 28-31
Chapter 28, Job
28:1-2—Think about how gold and silver are mined out of the earth
28:3-4—man uses lamps to go into deep, dark places to find precious metals which are mined out of the ground. Far from where anyone is, they hang from ropes and swing to and fro as they go about their work.
28:5—the earth provides bread (food) but far beneath the dirt comes things formed as by fire
28:6—deep in the earth is where precious stones and metals are found
28:7—birds of prey haven’t seen these places where these precious things are found. (some birds have exceptional eyesight so this is impressive).
28:8—the powerful and renounced beasts don’t go to those places. Not even the lion.
28:9-11—Man goes to great lengths and is able to do impressive things to find those precious things deep underground. Tough rock, overturning mountains, stuff that isn’t easy even with today’s technology. (completing core drills is tough work with modern tools). Digging holes, working with rock, etc. Man is able to bring hidden things into the light because of these efforts.
28:12—but…where is the place wisdom and understanding are found??
28:13—it’s so valuable, people don’t even know what it’s worth. It is priceless. (remember the commercials that would list a few of the costs of things and the last item would be…priceless)
28:14—the oceans and seas (which are deep and dark and we have no way of getting to or even seeing the bottom of), they openly admit it’s not there with them.
28:15-19—gold and silver, gold of Ophir, stones, (don’t even try mentioning coral or crystal, they don’t stand a chance), topaz of Ethiopia—NONE of it can buy wisdom.
28:20—I’ll ask again, where do you find wisdom?
28:21—hidden more than precious metals (from the eyes of all living)
28:22—Abaddon and death (things humans can’t see at all) have only caught a rumor of it.
28:23—God knows where it is
28:24-26—when God looks everywhere and sees everything and made the earth with its measurements…
28:27—God established it. Wisdom is with him.
28:28—the fear of the Lord is wisdom and turning from evil is understanding. (Proverbs 1:7) turn from evil, which is understanding. This comes first. Wisdom comes later and takes more time and effort since it involves STAYING AWAY from evil. It’s a progression. It may not be easy but you can instantly repent and turn away from evil. Wisdom is built up as fearing God becomes a PRACTICE, a habit, a lifestyle. God has revealed the source of understanding and wisdom. It can’t be searched out by man or found on his own apart from God. It comes from God.
***A point Job may be making is that we can’t find the wisdom (of which God is the source) by using man’s methods. Our best ways of finding hard to reach things deep in the earth will never allow us to find the wisdom of God. It simply can’t be obtained by any method of man. The part man has in finding wisdom is knowing where it truly comes from, God, and going to God for it. Have you ever thought you wanted to get in shape and then start frequenting the gym? Maybe you would feel bad being out of shape with some of those fit people working out. You know a personal trainer would make things happen in a way you couldn’t yourself but we still want to do it ourselves. Another way of looking at it is the desire to become pure and right with God and THEN go back to attending services. It’s putting the cart ahead of the horse.***
Chapter 29, Job
29:1—again, it’s possible some time passed between chapters 28 and 29
29:2-5—Job reminisces fondly of the good ‘ol days that he wishes would come back.
29:2-5—each verse Job mentions being connected to God in different ways. God watched over him, guided him through troubles, and was his friend. He remembers his children.
29:6—the rock poured out streams of oil, which would seem like the description of something very rare or difficult. Maybe Job is talking about things going well despite difficulties or odds being against him. Psalm 78:15-16, God made waters come out of the rocks.
29:7—Job has a seat in the square. He is important
29:8-10—people made way for Job, they stood up, refrained from speaking, showed respect regardless of position or age.
***People who would normally address others to pass on laws or important things are silent before Job. Contrast with how Job’s friends have no respect for him and accuse him.***
29:11—people approved of the things Job did and said
29:12—people approved of Job for defending the poor and helpless
29:13—people who couldn’t help themselves blessed Job for helping them
29:14—righteousness and justice were continually with Job. They were identifiers of his ways.
29:15—Job supplied what was lacking and equipped people with what they needed but didn’t have.
29:16—Job is impartial. He helps people he doesn’t even know, people whose success couldn’t benefit him at all. This is far from the oppression his friends accuse him of.
29:17—Job delivered justice by protecting the people from the unrighteous
29:18-20—things were really good. It looked to Job like he would continue to prosper and live out his days in the midst of what God had blessed him with. He wasn’t merely living for himself as we can see in the previous verses. He was continually renewed and strengthened.
29:21—contrast how men treated Job before with how his friends are now.
29:22—Job’s word was final
29:23—They were so eager for Job to do what he did
29:24—Job was encouraging
29:25—Job was on top of the world
Point to consider
Job’s reminiscing tells us that being in a position of power, being wealthy and seemingly on top of the world doesn’t have to be selfish and evil like it’s portrayed in our culture of today. Our cultural attitudes toward wealth and power are much like Job’s friends’ attitudes. Money doesn’t have morals. It isn’t good or bad by itself. It doesn’t make someone good or bad. It makes them more of what they already are. You CAN be wealthy and upright. There are plenty of examples in scripture of God blessing people with wealth.
Chapter 30, Job
30:1—things are bad now. People younger than me laugh at me. Normally I wouldn’t even let their fathers hang around the dogs that watch after my sheep.
30:2—people who don’t add value anywhere are worthless
30:3-8—Job describes these worthless people. They wander about in search of food. They find the lowliest forms of food to eat: leaves, roots of a broom tree, saltwort, wild greens, salt marsh herbs. Nobody wants them around. If they come near other humans people shout at them and drive them away. Their shelter is bushes and nettles.
30:9—AND NOW…they are all laughing at ME! I’m what they joke and sing about in their mocking.
30:10—They keep away from me. They spit at the mere sight of me.
30:11—God has allowed the tragedy to strike me and people no longer have any respect for me. Job has lost respect along with everything else. A big deal considering what he described in chapter 29.
30:12—where I should find my most trusted people, the riff-raff are found, insulting me.
30:13—these people are in full support of my calamity. They don’t need any help with you guys around.
30:14—they come by the hoards
30:15—my honor is pursued as by the wind. There’s no stopping everyone who wants to cut me down.
30:16—my life is poured out because of my situation. Days of affliction.
30:17—my pain is unceasing (referring to physical pain). From sores probably.
30:18—Job’s probably lost weight. His clothes don’t fit him anymore.
30:23—it seems like the only logical end to all of this is Job’s death. His friends keep saying to turn back to the Lord. Job doesn’t feel he’s in the wrong so he probably thinks it wouldn’t help. It’s bad advice, it doesn’t apply to him.
30:24—what can I do but cry out for help? It’s the only thing I can do
30:25-26—I comforted people who were suffering, but where is my comfort now?
30:27—I have no rest. I only have days of trouble
30:29—I can only be away from people in the wilderness areas with wild animals
30:30—more of the troubles of Job’s sores
30:31—there is no cheer left. All is sadness
Chapter 31, Job
31:1—Job’s integrity is such that he won’t even look lustfully at a woman.
31:2—Job cares most about his standing with God and lives in such a way to please him.
31:4—doesn’t God know I’ve lived pure and righteously? How can he bring the calamity of the unrighteous on me?
31:5-8—If I have been in the wrong and turned aside and been impure in any way, then I’ll work and let someone else reap the rewards.
31:9-10—I haven’t been enticed nor planned to commit adultery. If I have let my wife labor in vain.
31:12—that kind of sin would consume all of my riches and send me to destruction.
31:13-14—Job knows he answers to God. He is not a liar. He doesn’t have some excuse prepared should God call him to account for being “unjust”. He knows he is righteous and has defended his servants.
31:15—after all, God made all of us
31:16—I helped the poor and widows
31:17—I shared my food with the fatherless
31:18—since I was a kid I helped people without fathers and widows. It’s been a way of life for me since the beginning.
31:19-20—I gave clothes to people who needed it.
31:21—Job knows he has influence to a degree that an unrighteous person could have used unjustly to their advantage. Job has not done this. Injustice and oppression, the two things his friends continually charge him with.
31:22-23—Let my arm be broken if I was guilty of this stuff. I feared God so I remained pure. I couldn’t face God with those impurities in my hands.
Job knows he can’t stand before God with these sins on his hands
31:24-25—Job had great wealth but didn’t put it before God
31:26-27—Job wasn’t an idolater. He didn’t follow after man-made religions
31:29-30—Job didn’t rejoice at the downfall of his enemies
31:31—Job fed everyone
31:32—travelers stayed with Job, not out in the street
31:33-34—I didn’t hide my transgressions for fear of what people would say. Job feared God rather than men.
31:35—I stand fully behind all of my words
31:36-37—I am fully confident to deliver an account of my life to God
***This is the confidence we strive to obtain and keep as we examine our lives, knowing at any moment we could give an account of it to God.***
31:38-40—if I have been unjust or self-serving, let weeds and thorns replace the crops I’ve planted.
***This chapter is Job’s final appeal and declaration of innocence. He refutes the accusations his friends have put against him with examples of how he lived his life. It was Job’s actions which speak for themselves, not any words he might use to try to convince anyone. Job didn’t just turn over a new leaf either (although there is much good in doing that). He has continually lived a life of righteousness for as long as he can remember. He has made it a point to help those who aren’t able to help themselves or don’t have a voice or influence. He has protected and encouraged the weak. Many examples of his righteous living are given in this chapter. He is also ready to give an account of his life before God, something we should have on our minds each day.***