Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Job 27-37; Lesson 4

Job and his friends were not privy to the discussion in the throne room. No one knew the reason or meaning of the trials Job was going through. Job’s friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar contend that righteousness is always rewarded and sin is always punished, therefore Job has sinned.
As a school teacher I would use acronyms and shortcuts for my students. Saying “MYOB” to a student was a constant tattle tale meant “Mind your own business.”My grandsons hear that occasionally. Surely Job has reached his limit with these friends. Perhaps Job was ready to suggest his friends worry about their own righteousness.
Ch.10-Job told his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble.” But somewhere along the way, Job’s resilience is weakened. Let’s ponder the phrase the “patience of Job.” After the first three friends have exhausted their arguments to prove the sin in Job’s life caused his suffering, now Job spends five chapters on self justification. His overuse of the pronoun “I” in Ch. 29-31 is shown by the red letters on this slide. Job complains that he has lost not only his family and wealth, but also his place of honor in society. Like the prodigal son who had plenty of friends when he was rich and none when he ended in the pig sty, Job is no longer revered or sought out for advice. Job has forgotten he does not need the praise of man God is greater than man.
 Book of Job Lesson 4
• Job cries out (27-31).
• Elihu steps in (32).
• Elihu speaks up (33-37).
Ch.28 Job asks Where is Wisdom? WISDOM 211 times in bible, 20 times in Job.
“Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine.

Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit

 the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.

Wisdom is compared to precious metals, gold, silver, copper, and precious stones; hidden deep in the earth where no bird of prey has seen it. Man continually searches for the wisdom of God.
 Proverbs 2:if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

As a public school teacher every year we would take fourth grade classes to search for hidden treasure. In the mountains of NC we would put our hands in ice cold water to sift through buckets of dirt to find semi precious stones. Every child could bring home bags of amethyst, quartz, even garnet. What a joy. If we as Christians would search in our Bibles and dig for those nuggets of wisdom, how much more satisfied we would be. Remember God is greater than man
Later as we traveled to Linville Caverns we went so far underground that the catfish in the stream were blind from the lack of light. In fact when the guide turned off the lights you could not see you hand in front of your face.  Ladies I am talking about the absence of light so profound you are fearful of being lost in the dark.

Just like the blind catfish who lived in the darkness of Linville Caverns
Isaiah 42:6-7
 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Are you up for the challenge? Do you know someone so deep in their own depression that they are lost and groping in the darkness? Will you help lead them to the LORD?

 “Jesus is the light of the world.”  Let’s stand and sing
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

 Our Memory Verse for this week. Job 28:28 say it with me. “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

Though Job knows this, he is not content. He longs for the past.
29- when God watched over me,,when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness,as I was in my prime, when the  friendship of God was upon my tent,when the Almighty was yet with me,
Who wouldn’t yearn for a life that was blessed by God, riches beyond compare and a seat of honor in the gates of the city?
15 “I live in terror now. They hold me in contempt, and my prosperity has vanished as a cloud before a strong wind. 16 My heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. 
20 “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer me. I stand before you and you don’t bother to look. 21 You have become cruel toward me and persecute me with great power and effect. 
If Job would only realize God is greater than man, He does not answer to us.
Isaiah 55:6 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Chapter 32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Elihu Steps Up
 Elihu the son of Bar a shell the Buzz-ite was silent until it appeared the older men had nothing more to say. His youth has prompted him to wait for his turn to speak, but now boldly Elihu takes the floor.
He was angry at Job because Job justified himself rather than God. But he was also angry with Job’s friends. v.12 “I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, but not one of them has convinced Job that he is a sinner or has proved that he is.” 
8-9  it is not mere age that makes men wise. Rather, it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty that makes him intelligent.10 So listen to me awhile and let me express my opinion.
18-20 I am full of words and the spirit compels me to speak. “I am about to burst like new wine skins.” In other words, he has been biting his tongue and now he MUST speak.
21 I will not show partiality to any man or use flattery toward any person.
33-3 My words come from an upright heart, I speak sincerely what I know.
Elihu takes issue with Job trying to justify himself instead of God. Instead of humbly approaching God, Job arrogantly insisted that he was righteous.
9You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;  I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
 12 Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man.
Romans 3:10 kjv “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

In South America, the llama is viewed as arrogance. To keep a herd of llamas corralled, all you need is one rope circling around the herd. Just by placing the rope at a height beneath the head and base of the neck, the llamas are secured in this makeshift pen. Rather than stooping beneath the rope to escape, the proud llamas stand tall, and remain captive.
Job was so busy justifying himself he was unable to see that he could escape his cage of torment simply by bending low in humility.
Elihu states three ways that God may speak to man. 33:14 “For God speaks again and again, 15 in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on men as they lie on their beds.
·        Dreams and visions vv.15-18
Remember Eliphaz had an unforgettable night vision. Job also had terrifying dream. God can send dreams and visions to “open the ears of men” and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deeds and hear God’s word. Other character in the Bible had dreams.
·        Suffering v.19 A man may be chastened on a bed of pain. Elihu rightly instructed that God can use suffering to save a person from eternal damnation. Some of us can attest to the fact the LORD can put you on your back to slow you down.

C.S. Lewis “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
·        A mediating angel vv. 23- one of the thousand, to that God has guarding his people. ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom;
God  brings back his soul from the pit, so that he may live in the light of the living.
NIV 34:10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.
    Far be it from God to do evil,
    from the Almighty to do wrong.
11 He repays everyone for what they have done;
    he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
    that the Almighty would pervert justice.
34 31-32 “So why don’t you simply confess to God? Say, ‘I sinned, but I’ll sin no more.
Teach me to see what I still don’t see. Whatever evil I’ve done, I’ll do it no more.’ MSG
Job, are speaking like a fool. 36 You should be given the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked about God. 37 For now you have added rebellion, arrogance, and blasphemy to your other sins.”TLB
36:5-7“Behold, God is mighty, he is mighty in strength of understanding, he does not take his eyes of the righteous.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.
37 14 “Hear this, O Job;  stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
15 Do you know how God lays his command upon them
    and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16 Do you know the balancing of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?
Like Job most of us lack HUMILITY: It means not thinking of yourself at all.

Andrew Murray says  “It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised.”

The Almighty God,
 great in power; 37: 24 No wonder men everywhere fear him! For he is not impressed by the world’s wisest men!
When we compare our lives to others we may feel blameless even superior. But our measuring rod of righteousness is not our unbelieving neighbors or even our Christian friends. We must hold ourselves up to the light of Jesus to realize how far we are from perfection.
A minister had a small white Highland terrier that he kept spotlessly clean by frequent washing, brushing, and powdering. One night a winter storm dropped a fresh blanket of snow on the countryside, and the next morning the whole world seemed to glisten under the splendor of the morning sun. As the clergyman stood gazing out his window, he saw a drab-looking dog walk across the snow. He wondered whose it was—then suddenly realized it was his own well-groomed terrier! It was as clean as always, but against that dazzling background it did not looks spotless.  
Who are you using for a standard of righteousness?

Will you choose to
discontinue justifying yourself and realize God is greater than man?