Job 12: Job's
fourth speech [Part 1 of 3]
Comments: In response to Zophar's treatise on how God
works, Job replies rather plaintively that although his friends
have opinions, so does he [v.1-3], even if they laugh at him [v.4]
and others just don't care about such things [v.5,6]. It seems
sometimes as if only ‘Nature' acknowledges God [v.7-9]. God has
decreed how life works [v.10-12] and His wisdom and power cannot
be withstood [v.13-16] and it is clear that He intervenes in the
affairs of mankind expressing His will [v.17-25]; He is sovereign
Lord of all things.]
Job replies, rather defensively, he has a right to an opinion
you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!
have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does
not know all these things?
His friends just laugh at him, even though he's innocent
become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called on God and
he answered— a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
The affluent care little for people such as him
who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those
whose feet are slipping.
Bandits & robbers care little about such things
of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure—
those God has in his hand.
You have to turn to nature to find those who acknowledge God
ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the
sky, and they will tell you;
speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in
the sea inform you.
of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done
God has ordained life and how it works
hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom
found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
His wisdom & power cannot be withstood
belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.
he tears down cannot be rebuilt; those he imprisons cannot be
holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose,
they devastate the land.
To him belong
strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are his.
He intervenes in the affairs of mankind
leads rulers away stripped and makes fools of judges.
off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around
priests away stripped and overthrows officials long established.
the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of
contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty.
the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the
nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses
the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander
in a trackless waste.
grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.
Comments: To recap, Job
declares he has a right to an opinion [v.1-3],
even if they laugh at him [v.4] and others just don't care about
such things [v.5,6].
It seems as if only nature acknowledges God [v.7-9], yet He has
decreed how life works [v.10-12] and his wisdom and power cannot
be withstood [v.13-16].
It is clear that He intervenes in the affairs of mankind expressing
His will [v.17-25].
one in deep physical & emotional anguish, this chapter comes
with remarkable clarity. The ultimate message: God is the Lord
of all things. Again, note, Job in no way disparages the Lord.]