Confidence is a good thing to have. Confidence is defined in The Mirriam/Webster Dictionary as, “Trust, reliance”; 2. SELF ASSURANCE, BOLDNESS; 3. a state of trust or intimacy”. Job had confidence that he was in the right with God, and no one was going to change his mind. Not his three friends. Not the young man who comes on the scene later [Elihu]; and it would almost sound as though, even God would have a hard time convincing Job of any wrong doing on his part.
Today’s reading consisted of Job 24 – 37. There are only three characters who speak in these 14 chapters. Job’s speech following Eliphaz’s final address continues in chapter 24. In chapter 25 Bildad gives us a final speech of short duration. The friends have run out of steam it seems. The remaining chapters are taken by Job (26-31), and we see some words of wisdom and knowledge from his words; such as involving science;
“He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” 26:7 (KJV)
I include this to show that his faith in God has not wavered, and that it was known at that time that the earth was not suspended by some guy holding the earth on his shoulders, standing on a turtle, swimming in some cosmic sea. Job even goes into some details about the clouds and rain in chapter 26; and the oceans of the world, and their boundaries. He attributes these things all to the hands of God. “But the thunder of His power who can understand?” (26:14b).
Job knows from whence all things come. He even attributes wisdom and knowledge as coming from God, the LORD. That wisdom is greater than “rubies” (28:18). He assures the reader that the fear of the Lord is wisdom,
“And unto man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'” 28:28
Chapters 32 – 37 are given to a young man who has evidently been standing by listening to the words of all four of these elder men; keeping silent himself, and waiting for an opportunity to speak. His name is Elihu; and he does seem wise for his younger years, yet he is probably ignorant of Job’s life and works.
Elihu seems a bit arrogant in some of his talk. Of course you can see an arrogance in the four elder men and their responses as well. It is amazing how when men get together, myself included, that talk keeps on getting louder, bolder, and more braggadocios. Often when stories are being shared and told, the next one has to be even better. It can be that way with the spiritual matters as well; if we are not cautious.
Were Elihu’s words helpful? In his words he does magnify the LORD. He shows us the difficulty of knowing God, especially in our own ways in 37:23,
“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: He will not afflict.” 37:23
By the word of God we are told that no man can see God and live. If we were to turn our opened eyes toward the glowing, glaring noon day sun we would be blinded by its rays. How can we see God?
Job was confident that he would one day see God, through a mediator, and dear reader our Mediator is Christ Jesus.
Job had confidence in God. His faith was in God. There is yet one character in this story of Job to speak; His name is the name that is above every name. He is GOD. The Lord willing we will hear those words next time.
Be careful to listen as He speaks to you today; hear Him and do His will.
-Tim A. Blankenship