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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Job

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

Context:

Because the final speech of Job covers six chapters, we provide the following structure to help the reader follow it:

26. Job (9) Part 1: Attack - Rebuke of the ‘friends' - only God knows the truth

27. Job (9) Part 2: Defence - Job's Personal Integrity & the fate of his enemies

28. Job (9) Part 3: Interlude: Where Wisdom is Found

29. Job (9) Part 4: The Past - Job looks back almost nostalgically

30. Job (9) Part 5: The Present - Roles Reversed & a Resultant Wreck

31. Job (9) Part 6: Final Defence - Job's Final Words of Self-Vindication

 

FRAMEWORKS: Job 27: Job (9) Part 2: Integrity Integrity & the  fate of his enemies

 

[Preliminary Comments: The start of this chapter sees Job continuing by strongly maintaining his innocence [v.1-6]. Clearly – and we'll see it later – he is aware of those who speak against him and these he considers his enemies. It is on them that the rest of the chapter is focused. Distress will come on them [v.7-10]. Indeed it is so clear to him that he declares he will lay it out to the friends [v.11,12]. The truth, he maintains, is that God DOES deal with the wicked and destroy them and he spells out the form that that will take [v.13-19]. He closes with the warning of how these things will come so hastily like a flood or a tempest that comes at night [v.20-23]. Perhaps behind all this we might suggest he is implying that because this is how it works, he has not been destroyed and thus cannot apply to him, i.e. he IS innocent, he is righteous.]

 

 

PART 1: v.1-6: Job's Integrity

 

v.1-6 Job declares he will maintain his integrity, whatever happens

v.1 And Job continued his discourse

v.2  “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter, 

v.3 as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, 

v.4 my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies. 

v.5 I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity

v.6  I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. 

 

PART 2: v.7-23: The fate of Job's enemies, the wicked

 

v.7-10 His enemies or adversaries will suffer at God's hands

v.7  “May my enemy be like the wicked, my adversary like the unjust! 

v.8  For what hope have the godless when they are cut off, when God takes away their life? 

v.9  Does God listen to their cry when distress comes upon them? 

v.10 Will they find delight in the Almighty? Will they call on God at all times? 

 

v.11,12 The ways of God in this respect are obvious

v.11  “I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal. 

v.12  You have all seen this yourselves. Why then this meaningless talk? 

 

v.13-19 Destruction IS the fate of the wicked

v.13 Here is the fate God allots to the wicked, the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty: 

v.14  [i] However many his children, their fate is the sword; his offspring will never have enough to eat. 

v.15  [ii] The plague will bury those who survive him, and their widows will not weep for them. 

v.16  [iii] Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay, 

v.17  what he lays up the righteous will wear, and the innocent will divide his silver. 

v.18  [iv] The house he builds is like a moth's cocoon, like a hut made by a watchman. 

v.19  [v] He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more; when he opens his eyes, all is gone. 

 

v.20-23 These things will come suddenly and without warning

v.20  Terrors overtake him like a flood; a tempest snatches him away in the night. 

v.21 The east wind carries him off, and he is gone; it sweeps him out of his place. 

v.22  It hurls itself against him without mercy as he flees headlong from its power. 

v.23 It claps its hands in derision and hisses him out of his place.”

 

 

[Concluding Comments: Commentators often ponder over chapter 28 that follows, suggesting it is by the author of the whole book because it continues directly on without any description of who speaks, yet this is also true of chapter 24 that we simply take as a continuation of Job speaking. The following chapter may be the expression of what he says in v.11 above.]

   

To summarise, what have we seen Job saying in this chapter? He

•  maintains his integrity & innocence [v.1-6],

•  declares that God will deal with Job's enemies [v.7-10],

•  and maintains this should be obvious [v.11,12],

•  for God has decreed curses for evil [v.13-19],

•  and such things WILL come speedily on such people [v.20-23].

 

While he strongly maintains his own innocence, Job is clear that God IS a God who holds sinners accountable [the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy show this was true of Israel and Jesus likewise warned against such things – see Lk 13:5.] It takes someone firm in their faith to be able to declare the things of this chapter.]

 

   

CONTINUE to Chapter 28