God’s wonders – Job 26:8-14

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8 He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.

The word for cloud describes an envelope that contains water. It is reasonable to ask why it does not rend and drop what it contains?

Take a cumulus cloud with a volume of about one cubic kilometer located about two kilometer above the ground. It is a cube about one kilometer on each side. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provide some estimates of air and cloud density and weight. In the final calculations, the 1 cubic kilometer cumulus cloud weighs 1.003 billion kilograms. However, the air also has mass, so the cloud floats because the weight of the same volume of dry air is about 1.007 billion kilograms. So, it is the lesser density of the cloud that allows it to float on the dryer and more-dense air.

Certain conditions must occur for the vapor to condense and fall as rain. It is a finely balanced course. You are at liberty to ask how Job knows about it, and the answer is God told him, how else would he know, by scientific measurement?

9 He holdeth back the face of his throne, [and] spreadeth his cloud upon it.

God’s throne is above the clouds. So the face of his throne or what we see of the place is, or was unknown to us. Everything above holds its position and the cloud is like a carpet. It does say something of the highness of God, and suggests to man that he ought to reverence one who is so high.

10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.

He has set bounds on the water, and they will stay there until day and night finish, for they are appointed. The water in the cloud is contained and controlled, and the water of the sea is contained and controlled. We take these things for granted, but we need to think about what it means, before we start telling God what ought to be. These bounds define the limits of the habitable.

11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.

Something holds the heaven in place. The idea that it is held with pillars, as invisible as they are, is something we would not consider. But everything holds its position because it has been told to hold its position by God. They would not dare leave their appointed place. These are great forces we are talking about here. The effect of these observations is to put man in his place.

12 He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.

Take the sea as an example. God divides the sea and by this means controls the sea. The sea in the parable is described as the proud. It is described this way because nobody can tell it what to do. It does as it pleases. This is what the proud do. And there is no greater power than the sea. Yet God has subdued it by smiting. As proud as it is, it is humbled before the God of the earth.

13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

To garnish the heavens is to make it appear glorious and breathtaking. This crooked serpent is in the northern sky where the axis of the North Pole points to Draco, or the crooked serpent. In the days of Job the point of the axis would have pointed to Thuban one of the stars of Draco. It now points to Polaris. Our world has developed a decided wobble over time. The constellation is not part of our world, and yet it is, and we do not even know of the effects of the change.

14 Lo, these [are] parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

This seems to be out of balance. We have the evidence of God’s power in the works of creation. But little is said about him and the reasons he created them, and the basis of his dealings with man, and yet, he still gets angry, and his people do not know why. We know these things and marvel, but what we need to know is not told to us. This is a complaint Job feels is justified. God needs to account to us with more information, or he can be accused of unreasonableness.

Job answers Bildad – Job 26:1-7

North Pole The empty place

  1. BUT WHERE CAN WISDOM BE FOUND

Job held a view close to the view of his friends. It is just that he discovered it does not make sense in his case. And when he examined the facts it ignored the obvious.

Often our pet theories ignore the obvious. We can spend our lives in the truth without recognizing what is true. It is not always our fault, because we have picked up a false impression from the way things have always been done and said. The control is always truth. If it is not true, it is not the truth. If one lesson emerges from this book it must be that if you want to find the truth you will need to always be true. That may sound trite, but it is what saved Job from being condemned by God, as his friends were.

God will persevere with a person who makes a commitment to truth. He will not persevere with a person who is true when it suits him. We need to be true all the time.

We will briefly put the view of the three friends. We said it is a miserable idea, because it makes out that you can do what God asks you to do, if you grit your teeth, and pull up your socks, and get your act together. It claims that when you manage to do this God will help you move on to perfection. So if Job were to admit his fault and start again on the right track, God will rejoin him and life will be rosy again.

The problem with this idea is it is not true. This is not the way God deals with us. This is the way men deal with one another but it is not godly. It is open to all forms of manipulation and lying and hypocrisy. The friends claimed as proof that God was pleased with them, that they were not suffering. If they were suffering they would have to look at themselves, but since they were happy and contented, they could assume God did not have any issues with them. They lied to themselves about what they were doing, and they lied to one another about their standing before God, and it was shameful. Their definition of sin involved large and obvious crimes against God and men.

Sin is more than that. It involves commission and omission. It involves right dealing in all forms, especially being true to God and man. It involves sharing the objectives God has for his world, and not just living your life in a selfish way. What goes on in your brain is a good example of what we are talking about here. We are not talking about the things other people can see and arrest you for getting wrong, we are talking about envy, spite, greed, jealousy, deceit, and all the things we manage to hide. We need to be true about sin.

Job has shown in the debate that all the arguments his friends have used to convince him, are lies. The wicked do not suffer anything more than is common to man, and under the influence of prosperity and adversity that come in almost equal portions, as well as time and chance. And the suffering of the righteous is the result of the same influences. God is not usually directly involved. In Job’s case he was, and we will come to the reason he was as we progress.

Job had no idea of the reason, and he assumed God was wrong to do it, and wrong for failing to give him some relief. However he was willing to listen to the reason, he waited to hear from God about it. Meanwhile he wanted to complain. This next chapter is a classic example of his complaint. He asks “But where can wisdom be found?”

Chapter 26

1 But Job answered and said,

2 How hast thou helped [him that is] without power? [how] savest thou the arm [that hath] no strength?

Job is having a shot at Bildad. It is the last word, and Bildad is the last to speak. Job says; what contribution have you made to understand this matter? It might be just as well if you keep quiet and do not say any more.

3 How hast thou counselled [him that hath] no wisdom? and [how] hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?

You are obliged to tell the opponent where he is wrong, and then tell him what to do about it. It is important that what you say is obviously true, or your words will be rejected. If you are exposed, you sit down and shut up.

4 To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?

Where does all this wisdom come from? But he is finished with the sarcasm and turns to meaningful things, because Bildad has introduced a theme worth exploring. God has performed some marvelous things that we can watch.

5 Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.

Life-forms exist under water and creatures live down there, sometimes at great depth. And that is marvelous and wonderful and suggests there is more to life on earth than man and his concerns. There is something else going on here. Man is not the center of the Universe he is just part of it.

6 Hell [is] naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

Hell is not the place where the devil lives. It is just the covered place or the grave. What goes on down there is one of the mysteries. It is just that God knows who is down there, and who is going there soon. So it is reasonable to say he knows more than we do.

7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, [and] hangeth the earth upon nothing.

The northernmost point on the earth’s surface is the geographic North Pole, also known as true north. It is located at 90° North latitude and all lines of longitude converge at the pole. The earth’s axis connects the north and south poles, as it is the line around which the earth rotates.

The North Pole is about seven hundred and twenty five kilometers north of Greenland in the middle of the Arctic Ocean – the sea there has a depth of four thousand and eighty seven meters. Most of the time sea ice covers the North Pole but recently, water has been sighted at the exact location of the pole. If you are standing at the North Pole, all points are south of you (east and west have no bearing). Since the earth’s rotation takes place once every twenty four hours, if you are at the North Pole your speed of rotation is slow. It is almost no speed at all, compared to the speed at the equator at about one thousand and thirty eight miles per hour.

Robert Peary, his partner Matthew Henson, and four Inuit are credited with the first to reach the North Pole on April 9th 1909. Many people suspect they missed the pole by a few miles. In 1958, the United States Nuclear Submarine Nautilus was the first vessel to cross the North Pole. Other attempts to reach the North Pole have been interesting. Today, dozens of planes fly over the North Pole using great circle routes between continents.

It is of recent time that men have been there. It is just ice over water. It is nowhere. It is an empty place. This information could only be known by God.

Take the words “He hangs the earth on nothing.” Imagine a weight of six thousand trillion tons, hanging in space with its surface revolving at the rate of eleven hundred miles per hour. The earth is moving through space around the sun at one hundred and sixty miles per second, making a circuit in one year of five hundred million miles.

Ask a scientist what it is that holds the earth in place and he will answer: “It is gravity that holds the earth in place. Ask a scientist what gravity is, and he will say “gravity is what holds the earth in place.” He gives the same answer as Job. He hangs the earth on nothing. Why would a statement like this be made, if it were not to challenge man about what he knows? Clearly God knows more than man.

Job could not know this. We cannot explain it even now. So it is reasonable to claim scripture was written by God. We need to get our minds around what we can observe, and explain it, if we imagine we are going to make it all do what we want.

Then answered Bildad – Job 25:1-6

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Chapter 25

1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

2 Dominion and fear [are] with him, he maketh peace in his high places.

Bildad recites something useful, but he is at the end of his tether. He has nothing much to offer. But it is his turn, and he must say something, so he says that God does not have to answer these questions. You cannot call God in question like this, because he is only concerned with high things.

3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?

 Do you imagine you can barge into the presence of a king and interrogate him, as one to whom he must account. It is impertinence.

4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean [that is] born of a woman?

 He avoids the logic of Job’s argument. You play above your station. Get things in perspective.

5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.

The moon is a reflector of light, and it has no light of its own. If God does not shine light on it, then it has no presence at all. There is no appeal. Stars do not even get into God’s presence.

6 How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a worm?

Man must blindly presume God is right no matter what, and he must not challenge him.

The debate has reached the stage where Job denied the proposition of exact retribution and raised some matters that bring that view into question. He has shown that Gods dealings with man cannot possibly be based on “the punishment fits the crime.” If it were, then God would be aiding the lawbreakers, because the wicked enjoy life and prosper with the just. But to find exactly how God does deal with humanity, we must wait until later in the book.

It is a wicked argument. We know why Job is suffering, and it has nothing to do with any sin he has committed. It is so God can teach the adversary a powerful lesson. Righteousness is right. And we will serve God because we love the truth, and even though we are deprived of life itself, we will not let go of the truth, because in the end that is all we have.

He is swift as the waters – Job 24:18-25

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18 He [is] swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.

These people get nothing from God. He will ignore them and leave them alone, because they are not worth worrying about. They experience prosperity and distress just like everybody else. They live and they die without hope of deliverance from death.

19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: [so doth] the grave [those which] have sinned.

Heat turns the snow, into water without character. The grave turns people without character into nothing.

20 The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.

The woman who has born the child cannot forget. But for this one, she will not want to remember. There is nothing there to want. The worms are the only ones who want him.

21 He evil entreateth the barren [that] beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.

This is the person he is, and no one wants to know him. There must be some empathy, there has to be feelings, or the question is; who are you?

22 He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no [man] is sure of life.

The subject has now turned to God, not the wicked one. This is an interesting observation. Job suggests the success of the wicked, and oppressing the innocent, infers God is in league with them, if this theory is correct. God’s power prolongs the life of the guilty ones, making it possible for them to continue their wrongdoing.

23 [Though] it be given him [to be] in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes [are] upon their ways.

How many innocent victims does it take before God acts against them? It may appear they are not caught, but God knows. And eventually it all catches up on them in a most inconvenient way, and God deals with them.

24 They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all [other], and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.

Ears of corn are always cut-off before they die on the stalk. There is the challenge for you, says Job. You answer that, and I will listen.

25 And if [it be] not [so] now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?

We know they are wicked, and we know they are cut-off before their time, but how do the innocent get redress? They are wasted by these evil men who eventually get what is coming. But in what way are the innocent rewarded?

Yet God does not lay folly to them – Job 24:12-17

Cobra

12 Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly [to them].

These men who groan, are the ones who suffer at the hands of the oppressor. If you have the wicked, then you have those who suffer at their hands. But God does not pay any attention to those poor souls. How do you answer that?

If the system works there would be no victims. The wicked would be stopped and would be afraid to start up again. The city would find deliverance. There would be no reason to groan.

13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.

There are whole communities who ignore the existence of God, and nothing happens to them. This cannot be, if the theory is true.

14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.

Job is on the attack. He is poking holes in the argument at will. It is a fantasy. No one should use it, because it does not work that way. And if you insist it does work that way, you are obliged to explain how these things happen.

15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth [his] face.

He does it in secret, and does not account, because no one knows. God knows of course but he leaves him alone. The husband is the victim, and he has no redress.

16 In the dark they dig through houses, [which] they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.

These measures work well, and this is why they do it that way. Darkness is their shield. If it were not, they would stop. But they will not stop.

17 For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if [one] know [them, they are in] the terrors of the shadow of death.

Light is the enemy and they scurry away so as not to be seen. As long as they are in the darkness they are safe. Should one identify them they are terrified of the outcomes. The keepers of secrets are cowardly people.

It is not hidden from God – Job 24:1-11

Scene from Calero County Park

Chapter 24

1 Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?

He can see our days, why cannot we see his days. It might help if we understood what things are affecting him. It sometimes depends on what is happening at the time.

2 [Some] remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed [thereof].

This is something that affects a man and his possessions, and he takes steps to make it right. It involves complicated processes. So the circumstances affect the path you take.

3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.

These are matters where the complainant cannot protect themselves. They involve secrecy and dishonesty by the perpetrator, and must be attended to by legal counsel that the victim cannot afford.

4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.

You get complications where society does not function properly because of the issues. And those who are working the system, have all their bases covered.

5 Behold, [as] wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness [yieldeth] food for them [and] for [their

children.

There are those who behave like ass’s of the desert, untamed unsociable, concerned for what they want and how they can get it. They are predators looking to take someone down to provide for themselves and their own.

6 They reap [every one] his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.

They assault the community in a planned and systematic way. They choose their time and strike when they get maximum return for their effort. They plunder the years work of the farmer, and leave him destitute.

7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that [they have] no covering in the cold.

The effect is they lose all their living and take shelter in the hills, with only the clothes they have on their back.

8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.

They are in isolated pockets and keep to themselves. These people have nothing left to mount a legal challenge to the perpetrator, and the guilty know it.

9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.

They do everything in their own interest, and ignore all the limits placed on them by God. And the innocent are the last to find out and have no redress. They are not even known or reported about, because it is all done in secret.

10 They cause [him] to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf [from] the hungry;

They have no moral constraints, and no one prevents them. How then does this theory account for these people? It would appear they are the forgotten.

11 [Which] make oil within their walls, [and] tread [their] winepresses, and suffer thirst.

They make wine and oil in a fortress situation so they cannot be harmed. In a fortress you always have a problem with water. The fortress is built on the top of the hill to which water must be brought. Living in that world is not easy. But there is no way the poor can touch them.

My foot has held his steps – Job 23:11-17

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11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

I have not changed so much that God would be disappointed in me. Therefore I am confident he will listen.

12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].

The adversary, whoever he might have been, said he would abandon God because he was a shallow man. He would curse God to his face. But here is why Job did not do that. He was not so shallow. He looked to God for everything, and God knew it. His necessary food was important, but God was more important. God is not going to abandon a servant as devoted as that.

13 But he [is] in one [mind], and who can turn him? and [what] his soul desireth, even [that] he doeth.

But once God sets out on a course it is hard to divert him away. And what he started to do he has done well.

14 For he performeth [the thing that is] appointed for me: and many such [things are] with him.

I accept he is doing it, but I just need to know why. We need to recognize here that at no point in the argument has Job, or any of his friends suggested that anyone other than God has done this to him. So we can dismiss all those who say it was the hand of a supernatural being called “the devil” and “the satan.” We will have more to say about “satan” later but all those people are wrong, and since this is an argument about getting things right, those people should join the gallery and just listen.

15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.

I have good reason to be afraid of what might happen in the end for God does things for a reason, and all the signs are that I have offended him in some way.

16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:

I am not used to being on the other side of God, and it does not suit me. I have nowhere to turn.

17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, [neither] hath he covered the darkness from my face.

When things went wrong in the past I referred it to God. He removed the darkness, and I would change course. But when God is the one who is covering my face, I do not know what to do.

Job answers Eliphaz a third time – Job 23:1-10

Serious female judge holding the gavel and books. Shallow DOF

Chapter 23

That was a heavy session. I am sure Eliphaz was pleased with his efforts. But Job, all but ignores what he said.

1 Then Job answered and said, 2 Even to day [is] my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.

My suffering outweighs my complaint about it. I groan, and have said a great deal in sorrow about my suffering, but the stroke that is on me is heavier then all my groans.

According to the theory this should not be. The suffering is exact. If it is out of proportion, then it is unjust.

3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! [that] I might come [even] to his seat!

This convinces Job the theory is false. Job is careful not to offend God. He does not presume in the presence of God. If I had the opportunity to come before God, and stand before him I would do it with reverence. There would not be anything confronting, I would plead my cause and let him reply.

4 I would order [my] cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

This is a rebuke to Eliphaz, because he is saying God is the only one who will give him a proper hearing. But I would fill my mouth with arguments, and he will listen and answer directly.

5 I would know the words [which] he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.

I would listen to his reasons. I would hear his view. I know what he says will make sense to me. But I do not know where to go to get this interview.

6 Will he plead against me with [his] great power? No; but he would put [strength] in me.

He will recognize my sincerity and answer about my state. Whatever he will say will encourage me to be who I am, and do what I do. He would not want to squash me like you are trying to do.

7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

He admits if he were lying he would not have a leg to stand on. But he knows there must be a place where God will hear his complaint. The gallery was meant to assume he had no illusions of getting a fair trial from them.

8 Behold, I go forward, but he [is] not [there]; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:

But I have nowhere to go. I cannot find him. He will not present himself, so I am defeated.

9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold [him]: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see [him]:

God is not visible to man so he must present himself in some way. He knows this, and has chosen to remain unseen.

10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I may not find him, but he has found me, and knows all of my ways. Whatever happens I will come out of this a better person. He had no idea in what way he would be better, but it made sense there was a purpose behind these events. All these thoughts go to make up a renewed Job who could move forward, more rational, less emotional.

 

Is not God in the height of heaven – Job 22:11-30

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11 Or darkness, [that] thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.

He is throwing Job’s complaint back at him. He feels obliged to come up with a reason, and this line of inquiry has encouraged him to revisit his former thesis.

12 [Is] not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

He loves to delve into the unknowable, into the mysteries, you can hide much nonsense in the mysteries. This is not what an honest man would do. Winning becomes more important than truth. So you invoke the stars and clouds, the high things to add to your tale.

13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?

Job did not say this. It sounds like something someone as distraught as Job might say, but I challenge anyone to find where he said it. It is just part of the hocus-pocus of the black frocked priests. I am not accusing Eliphaz of being a bogus priest, just of using the arguments they use.

14 Thick clouds [are] a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

He suggests Job has deceived himself as one would who claims God cannot see through the cloud. He accuses Job of deceiving himself into believing he slipped a few questionable judgments past God and got away with them.

15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

If you read your scriptures you get to know all about these things. Now I know the writing of Job was probably done by Moses under inspiration of God, and Moses is much later than this. The events appear to be between Abraham and Moses in time. So there were no scriptures to read, but they had their oral traditions, and they were effective records. So Eliphaz invites Job to refer to these.

16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:

Just look back to the flood and you will find there is evidence for the theory there. This is the story of Genesis. This is the flood of Noah. Eliphaz was aware of it, and it is an example of a violent death because of the judgments of God. Do not tell me that mortality is the result of sin. No, it is a physical violent cutting-off, as a direct result of the judgment of God. This is the punishment for the wicked, and the flood confirms it.

17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

They ignored God and he cut them off without a word. That is how it happened, with no promise to account. He forgot to say they were warned. It would happen over at least one hundred years while Noah built the ark. Nor did he mention the rainbow after the flood, where God declared he would not do it again.

18 Yet he filled their houses with good [things]: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

Yet God gave them everything they could desire as inducements. They took these inducements for granted, until God called a halt. I need to publish this event, because it exposes the way of the wicked, and what happens to them.

19 The righteous see [it], and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.

There were eight who survived in two or three million people on the earth in the year two thousand five hundred BC. The survivors were a bit apprehensive of the future themselves. The message was clear. Comply or perish. The choice is yours.

20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.

They laughed because their substance was in-tact. If you read the account you find they started again from scratch. And there is no record of the wicked survivors, consumed by fire afterwards. Eliphaz just invents his story as he goes along.

21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

You need to work within the system of justice and judgment, and turn yourself around, and all will be well again. Fighting against it is like defying gravity.

22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.

Listen to God and stop arguing with him. It is a simple formula, and it works every time.

23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.

Reform is essential. Just surrender, and you will find it easy. Everything will be restored, and as long as you do not falter you will make it.

24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.

You will not only recover, your position will improve with the finest gold appearing like stones in a brook. You will receive wealth you could not imagine.

I must remind you here, the adversary claimed God hedged Job about so no one could touch him, and gave him everything he wanted so he was always content. This theory of the way of God had universal appeal. Think about it, and you will discover it is the way most people would like it to be. This way they have complete control over what happens to them.

25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.

It may not be gold in your case, but I can guarantee you plenty of silver, more than you could want. God will probably make a difference between one who has fallen spectacularly as you have done, and those who have not fallen at all.

26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.

And it gets easier and easier. You get into the swing of it, and things improve exponentially. It will take time to get back to your rightful place, but it will be worthwhile.

27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.

You begin to enjoy doing it again. It is a game we play, but it works. Follow the formula and you will find it works in your favor.

28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.

You only have to ask and it is given to you by God. He wants you to succeed because you are one of his. He knows everyone is watching to see what happens to you. You get your reputation back.

29 When [men] are cast down, then thou shalt say, [There is] lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

You will become an adviser to the reformers. They will respect you because of your experience. You will be a better person than you were before. They will consult you about what you did wrong, and how you fixed it.

30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.

You will be able to help many find their way. That is what this is all about.

Eliphaz speaks in the third round – Job 22:1-10

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Chapter 22

1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,

We are going to have another round in the debate, and you must admit this is high drama. They come out fighting, but with little left to say. Eliphaz felt the sting of reproach, but he was not going to allow it to interrupt the flow of his thoughts.

2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?

Do you think God assesses a man’s value the way a man assesses it? It is rhetorical, and the expected answer is: certainly not, it cannot be. So how can you expect God to answer you with words you can even understand?

That is a stab in the dark, for God has done everything to communicate his message to man, as we will discover. So it is just so much huff and puff. Having run out of rational argument, he is keen to try irrational argument.

3 [Is it] any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or [is it] gain [to him], that thou makest thy ways perfect?

Do you think it even matters to God that you are righteous as you claim? It would not matter to him if you were perfect. He will not answer your charge, and he should not be expected to answer.

4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?

Do you think he is afraid you might kick up a fuss or make a big noise if he does not grant your request? Do you imagine you might damage his reputation if people find out what happened? Again the answer unsaid is: I think not.

Having set the groundwork, Eliphaz launches into his speech;

5 [Is] not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?

He makes these accusations without any evidence. These are not so much sins of commission, the major sins of evil, such as murder and stealing and adultery and the like, these are more the acts of omission. The things Job has failed to do. This involves his caring for the widows and fatherless. This covers caring for those who are hungry and out-of-the-way. They have equal weight, and ought to have, because this is who God is, and we should be like him.

6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.

This is a harsh accusation, as if he was in the loan-shark business where you lend on usury and take a pledge. In Israel, if you did this you were obligated to return the coat at even, for it was the man’s warmth in the night. You did not allow him to freeze for the sake of money. This is a huge offense according to the ways of God.

7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.

It is easy to accuse like this, and hard to defend. But this suggests he was aware of the individual’s plight and ignored it, allowing him to starve, when there was plenty of food in his house. These would be serious offenses if he were guilty. But he was not guilty.

8 But [as for] the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.

You were blessed by God, but were indifferent to those who struggled. You closeted yourself in your ivory tower, and ignored your duties to those in need.

9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.

Widows were everyone’s responsibility in the days before Social Security. The breadwinner was gone, so you looked after them. The fatherless needed a leg up, so you help get them on their feet. It was as if Job assaulted them, when they came to him for help.

10 Therefore snares [are] round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;

This is the answer to your question, “why me?” You forgot about those people, but God does not forget. This is the reason he set a trap for you to fall into. This explains what has happened.