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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Job

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FRAMEWORKS: Job 12: Job's fourth speech [Part 1 of 3]

 

[Preliminary 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.]

 

v.1-3 Job replies, rather defensively, he has a right to an opinion

v.1  Then Job replied: 

v.2 “Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you! 

v.3 But I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know all these things? 

 

v.4 His friends just laugh at him, even though he's innocent

v.4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called on God and he answered— a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless! 

 

v.5 The affluent care little for people such as him

v.5 Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping. 

 

v.6. Bandits & robbers care little about such things

v.6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure— those God has in his hand. 

 

v.7-9 You have to turn to nature to find those who acknowledge God

v.7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 

v.8  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 

v.9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 

 

v.10-12 God has ordained life and how it works

v.10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. 

v.11 Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food? 

v.12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? 

 

v.13-16 His wisdom & power cannot be withstood

v.13 “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. 

v.14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; those he imprisons cannot be released. 

v.15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. 

v.16 To him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are his. 

 

v.17-25 He intervenes in the affairs of mankind

v.17 He leads rulers away stripped and makes fools of judges. 

v.18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist. 

v.19 He leads priests away stripped and overthrows officials long established. 

v.20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders. 

v.21 He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty. 

v.22 He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light. 

v.23 He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them. 

v.24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste. 

v.25 They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.

 

 

[Concluding 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].

 

For 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.]

 

CONTINUE to Chapter 13