Showing posts with label Job. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Job. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Closing Remarks on Job



Here are few closing remarks on the Book of Job, based on few questions received.

God rebuked Eliphaz because he was the eldest and held him responsible.

God asked Job to pray on behalf of his friends while they were offering sacrifices. At that time, his body was healed and he became clean.

Job was a humble servant and God saw it. Therefore, God doubled his wealth. However, God did not give him fourteen children. Job had earlier 7 sons and 3 daughters. When they died, their sould went to heaven. Then God gave him the same 7 sons and 3 daughters.

Of courses, Job's daughters were extremely beautiful. Their names mean it as well
Jemima means 'dove'
Keiza means 'cinnamon'
Keren-Happuch means 'cosmetic box'

When God doubled everything Job had, his life was given another 140 years. The events mentioned here in the Bible may have taken place when Job was 70 years of age.

The lesson from the book of Job is that God has a purpose why people suffer. Nobody can thwart that purpose. If we try to understand God, we may understand the reason for that suffering. Also note that even Satan has to bow down to God and report to Him.

And no - not everyone who endures sufferings will find their wealth doubled!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Job 42

Job restored to prosperity

After listening to God, and seeing part of his glory, Job humbled himself and repented all his sins, including the curse he placed upon the day he was born.

Epilogue
God was angry with Job's friends who gave wrong counsel to Job. He asked them to make sacrifices and Job would pray on behalf of them. They did as God asked them to do.

God then blessed Job with twice the portion of his possessions he used to have. He now had
- 14,000 sheep,
- 6,000 camels,
- 1,000 oxen,
- 1,000 donkeys.

He was also blessed with another 10 children including 7 sons and 3 daughters.
Job 42:14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
Notice that in this passage, the names of his daughters are mentioned and not his sons. This is an exception made in the scripture. He also gave his daughters an inheritance - unusual in those days. He treated his daughters equally as his sons - no wonder they call Job righteous.

Job lived another 140 years and he saw his great-grandchildren up to the 4th generation

A happy ending for a depressing story.
:-)


Job 41


In this chapter, God is talking about Leviathan.

Many believe Leviathan is a sea monster, or as Prophet Isaiah presents it - a twisted serpent that lives in the sea.

Here God is making a statement that men do not know how to subdue a Leviathan, but he certainly does.

Then God explains Leviathan as a strong creature who is equipped with strong defense -
Job 41:12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,
    its strength and its graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its outer coat?
    Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
We learn that Leviathan is not not sympathetic, threatening, and prideful.
Job 41:21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,
    and flames dart from its mouth.
Maybe we have not heard about it, or it could be that ones who have seen it choose to remain tight lipped. It seems sailors in earlier days were so frightened at the sight of Leviathan, that they cursed their day of birth - like how Job did.    

Job 40


Once God starts speaking, nobody can utter a word. Job, who challenged God, has now opted to stay quiet.
Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD:
4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
    I put my hand over my mouth.
5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—
    twice, but I will say no more.”
He felt guilty of speaking against God earlier.

In a series of questions, God reminded Job that the two of them are not at the same level to have a conversation. If you pay close attention to what God is saying, we can (attempt to) understand His mind.

God attacked Job's integrity quite harshly. Job was reminded about his inability to perform any of those tasks which God can perform. Two creatures were mentioned by God - Behemoth and Leviathan.

Quite honestly, any accurate information related to Behemoth and Levithan is debated. Who knows, it might take us a while to understand what God meant. Many think Behemoth is same as hippopotamus.

Job 39


God then reduced the complexity of His questions. He asked questions that were applicable in Job's life.

- Whether Job knew when those mountain goats and deer gave birth,
- Who let those donkeys move around freely in the wilderness,
- If the wild ox gave consent to stay in the manger during night,
- Whether Job knew about the behavior of the ostrich,
- If Job understood the mindset of a horse,
- Whether the mystery of a hawk was known to Job.


Job 38



The LORD Speaks

Dear Readers, this is one of the powerful sections in the Bible. The questions which God asks, see if you can answer any.

God spoke out from a storm to Job, and asked him to answer like a man. The first question itself was a blow:


Job found himself unfit to answer those questions. He was overwhelmed by those mysteries and paradoxes to which he was speechless.

God asked a series of questions to Job, such as:

- Where he was, when God created the sky and sea,
- If he was able to call morning over the whole world,
- Whether he knew the abode of either light or darkness,
- If he was aware of the storehouse of snow, hail, lightning, or east wind,
- How God brought the constellation together to it's seasons,
- If Job had any authority over those clouds, rain, or lightening,
- Whether Job knew how god provided food for wild animals and birds.



Note: Once in a lifetime, it is worth reading those original questions which God asked Job.

My Thoughts
OMG - These ARE some questions! And they do have answers!

But ho really can answer any of them? This is just one part - the next chapter is the continuation of these questions.

Someone out there knows the answers to all these - and that someone is whom we should entrust our lives to. He knows the past, present and the future.

Can we be on best-friend terms with Him? You think it is possible?




Job 37


While Job and his friends were listening, Elihu continued his speech describing the majesty of God - how he created lightning, rain, shower, snow etc. Then he goes on to explain the greatness of God's works - the one who created everything with perfect knowledge.

Here Elihu explains why God is so far away from us - due to His magnanimity and Holiness. He is pointing this out because Job requested an audience with God to explain his innocence.
Job 37:23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
    in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.





My Thoughts
All of Job's friends seem to be speaking eloquently about God. The area in which all of them consistently fail is when it comes to application to Job's case. They are unable to see why Job is facing this calamity. Their words are beaming with love and respect for God.

Something I discovered recently is that I get bored easily by reading fiction, watching movies, etc. Whatever I see, there is that 'little something' which is missing. The movie which I saw seems to be lacking something, the book which I read appears to be missing some ingredient. That emptiness gets carried into other aspects of relationships as well - something seems to be missing somewhere.

When it comes to matters related to God, it is an awesome world, filled with excitement and I am always eager to learn and experience more. It is quite fulfilling and there exists this brilliance which radiates brightness with dazzling luminosity which attracts one magically towards it.

.  

Job 36


In this chapter, Elihu is teaching Job about the righteousness and justice of God. At this point, the audience was probably impatient, and Elihu is therefore requesting Job and his friends to listen to him.

Talking about God,
Job 36:7 He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
    he enthrones them with kings
    and exalts them forever.
This is a wonderful chapter which explains the awesomeness of our God. Elihu is loquacious in narrating those positive attributes of God.

11 If they obey and serve him,
    they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
    and their years in contentment.

Those who are obedient will be rightly rewarded and the ones who lead a sinful life are bound to be punished accordingly .

When people refused to confess their sins to God and repent, they were attracting the wrath of God. Elihu hinted that Job was talking righteously and maintaining his integrity, therefore he was a good candidate in receiving God's wrath. If Job repented, there was a good chance of God restoring him.

Elihu seems to be a non-stop chatter and somehow he maintained his silence all this while. Given a chance, he is making the best use of it. He drew everyone's attention towards God's majesty and His greatness.
Job 36:26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.
Then Elihu narrates what an awesome creator God is, providing for all his creation.





My Thoughts
Elihu seems to be a brave young man. His love for God is evident in his eloquent speech. I am not singling him out - all of Job's friends seem to be godly men. What a blessing it is, to surround ourselves with truly god-fearing people; those who see the magnanimity of the LORD, those who share their awesome and positive experiences with the creator.

Don't we encounter people like these (rarely) in our lives too - those who can speak on and on and on. If we are lucky to have their time and availability, shortly into the conversation, they will turn into wonderful musical instruments. Words come gushing out of their mouths and we can hear their excitement in their tone. Aren't such words music to our ears?

Don't such people serve as a beacon in our lives?


Job 35


In continuation, Elihu confronted the idea that Job presented - which said the wicked have a safe harbor and God blessed them. He attacked the premise that Job was blameless and God punished him for no cause.

In these, Elihu pointed out that God was superior and he wanted Job to realize it. God was not going to benefit regardless of a person was wicked or righteous.
Job 35:7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
    or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
    and your righteousness only other people.
He wanted Job to show some fear and respect to God. He pronounced that God was least interested in listening to Job's empty pleas.



Job 34

Elihu continued talking and now he aimed at Jobs self justification. He accused Job's company.
Job 34:8 He keeps company with evildoers;
    he associates with the wicked.
God, in His righteousness will reward us according to our deeds.
Job 34:12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
    that the Almighty would pervert justice.
Elihu praised God's judgement as fair and He knew everything. He shows no partiality to anyone regardless of their social or financial status, as they are all His creation. God is watching everything humans are doing.
Job 34:21 His eyes are on the ways of mortals;
    he sees their every step.
22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,
    where evildoers can hide.
Further, God can do what He likes to do, and no humans can challenge it.

Elihu went on to say that Job was speaking without knowledge. To him, Job was answering like a wicked man. He implied that if Job had further sufferings, he probably would speak in a humble manner.




My Thoughts
Elihu blamed Job for the company he kept - evildoers and wicked. In today's world, majority of whom we meet are under the influence of evil deeds. Very few even think of walking a straight path. If you belong to that minority who wishes to live righteously, be prepared to be secluded from the society. It is quite a challenge to find individuals who uphold justice and walk upright. How fashionable it is today, to belong to the society and walk in their ways - pleasing other humans, while ignoring and denouncing God. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Job 33


Here in this chapter, Elihu asked Job to pay attention to his words as they were sincere, spiritual and wise:
- He said he won't be harsh like Job's other three friends,
- He then re-iterated those points which Job listed,
- Went on to rebuke Job for complaining to the all powerful God,
- Pointed out the necessity of a mediator between God and humans to educate the right path for humans,
- Said that God will keep on punishing people until they turn towards Him,
- He then encouraged Job to speak up, and if he did not have anything to say, Elihu wanted Job to listen to him.



Job 32


Elihu, a fourth counselor who was younger than the rest of them remained silent so far - respecting his elders. He now spoke up.

- He had been listening to the entire conversation,
- He was angry that Job justified himself, before God,
- Elihu was angry at Job's three friends as they could not get Job to confess and repent his sins,
- He hoped that his words would not show any partiality.

Elihu's conversation is bit lengthy and stretches 6 chapters long.


Job 31



This chapter lists Job's innocence he presented before his friends as part of his final argument.

Job said that he had made a covenant with his eyes not to lust over other girls except his wife. He had kept that covenant and God knew about this.

He was willing to let God check whether he walked in falsehood. If so, he was okay with others eating his crops.

As far as his faithfulness to his wife goes, Job said he was faithful to her. If God saw him not to be faithful, Job was ready to receive the punishment - may God take her and give her to a different person. He was willing to face the consequence if his heart was enticed towards another woman.

Job never denied justice to his male or female servants.

He was always generous and kind to those in need.

He was willing to accept punishment if he confided in riches or wealth. Further, he never worshiped any idols and was always loyal to God.

Job never delighted in the failures of his enemies, or never even cursed them. Whenever Job knew about his own sins, he confessed them rather than hiding them.

Job was ready to face any accusations against him and was willing to account every detail of such accusations. He wished he had a chance to present his case in front of the God, so that he could be vindicated.

He concluded his words by testifying his own integrity and righteousness. He then pronounced curses upon himself if he had sinned. He called his land as his witness.



My Thoughts
Take a look at Job's faith and his integrity. How confident he is, to face the Lord. No doubt he had been arguing so strongly with his friends saying, "I did not sin."

Where we meet men like this today?



Job 30


Job is now looking at his current state and contrasting with the sufferings and dishonor he is enduring. He is speaking out of rage that the younger generation is mocking him. He is not used to this sort of treatment - to be ridiculed by people.

Apart from this, he is also enduring physical pain. Then there is the spiritual pain - he started to feel that God is not listening to his prayers. He accused God of not responding to his pleas.

Job is anticipating that God will not bring any further disaster upon him - who is already devastated. He is unable to comprehend why God is not showing the kindness he exhibited towards those poor and needy. He is seeing everything upside down.
Job 30:26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
    when I looked for light, then came darkness.
 The sensitive soul of Job is reaching out to God for mercy.

Job 29



Continuing with his discourse, Job is getting nostalgic in this chapter. He recalls all those glory days which he enjoyed during his prime time, when God was with him. During the days of intimate friendship with God, the memories of his children remain sweet in his mind.

The community respected him and those in need approved him - they viewed him as a role model. At that time, Job thought he would live a long life and die peacefully. In those days, everyone listened to Job and his word was final.

Those days, Job was the one who comforted those who mourned. Today, tables have turned. He is stuck with calamity, his friends are criticizing him, and he is the one who is mourning.




Job 28


This is a key chapter in the book of Job. Here Job conveys a three part message to his friends:

1. Earth contains numerous precious metals and stones, and humans find them by digging deep into the bowels of earth.
Job 28:10 They tunnel through the rock;
    their eyes see all its treasures.
2. Wisdom, the dearest treasure of all, is not to be found there and cannot be bought with those precious metals or stones dug up from earth. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it true value.
Job 28:21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
    concealed even from the birds in the sky.
3. Wisdom can be attained by fearing God and walking in the ways of God, and living a life that shuns evil. 
Job 28:28 And he said to the human race,
    “The fear of the LORD - that is wisdom,
    and to shun evil is understanding.”

My Thoughts
I like this chapter very much. Though it is summarized in three simple parts, it essentially says it all. Certainly, earth is a treasure-house and majority of people see only those treasures contained in it. Men are willing to endure so much danger to acquire those earthly treasures - which he can take nowhere. Men fail to see the true treasure - it could be that it is hidden from their sight. This is my favorite topic of discussion. The more I think about it, the more it fascinates me :-)




Job 27


In his final words to his friends, Job maintained his integrity.
Job 27:6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
    my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
Job continued his discourse:
- No matter what, he disagreed with his friends who said, all these happened due to his sins,

- His friends charged that Job was acting like a hypocrite,

- So Job narrated the vain hope of a hypocrite,

- He now charged his friends to be hypocrites,

- Prayed to God to punish his friends.

- Agreed that God will punish those who are wicked,

- Job explained the portion of a wicked man with God.

Job 26




Here Job is challenging his friends. He felt as though his friends who are supposed to strengthen him are in fact hurting him. He questioned what spirit is speaking from their mouth.

Then he went on to describe all those wonders God has provided on earth and in the clouds. This was to show how feeble man is, when compared to the all powerful God.

He understood that there was yet lot more that he did not understand about God.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Job 25


A very small chapter with just 6 verses.

Bildad, in his final speech said that God is mighty and has a very large army.

He said that nobody born of a woman is completely righteous - when compared to God.

He said that some of the most glorious creations such as moon and starts fall short; hence man will fall short too.


Job 24


Job is continuing his dialogue by explaining that God is the one who determines the future, and sets a time for judgement at His convenience.

Next, Job went on to explain the conduct of the wicked that they do as they please and seldom get punished.

The wicked neither acknowledge the ways of God nor walk in them. They then go on and oppress the weak.
Job 24:9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast;
    the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;
    they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
It is unclear to Job why God does not punish the wicked. The wicked seem to have security. He then goes on and says what should happen to the wicked. The chapter narrates several examples that Job has seen. He believed that the punishment for the wicked will follow in their afterlife. He argued that nobody can prove him incorrect.
Job 24:25 “If this is not so, who can prove me false
    and reduce my words to nothing?”