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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' for 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 29: Job looks back almost nostalgically

 

[Preliminary Comments: Job picks up the thread of the point he had been making in chapter 27 about the presence of enemies or those who demean him now. He isn't coming to them until chapter 30 but to contrast what is now happening with them, He starts by remembering how it had once been before all this came about [v.1-6] and how he had had such a good reputation [v.7-17, 21-25] and how he had had such an optimistic outlook on life [v.18-20]. All that had now changed as we'll see in the next chapter.]

 

 

v.1-6 Job looks back to the days of blessing before all this happened

v.1  Job continued his discourse

v.2  “How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, 

v.3 when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness! 

v.4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God's intimate friendship blessed my house, 

v.5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, 

v.6 when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil. 

  

v.7-17 He remembers the reputation he had had and things he did

v.7  “When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square, 

v.8 the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet; 

v.9 the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands; 

v.10 the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 

v.11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, 

v.12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them. 

v.13  The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing.  

v.14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. 

v.15  I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 

v.16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. 

v.17  I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth. 

 

v.18-20 He had only had an optimistic outlook

v.18  “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 

v.19  My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches. 

v.20  My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.' 

 

v.21-25 People almost revered him with the reputation & standing he had

v.21 “People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. 

v.22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. 

v.23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. 

v.24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. 

v.25  I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners.

 

 

[Concluding Comments: The lesson perhaps should be that we should never take for granted the good that we have today for we can never know what might happen tomorrow.

 

To summarise, what are the things Job has been saying in this chapter? He

•  reflects back to ‘the good old days' [v.1-6],

•  remembers how he had been known, his good reputation [v.7-17],

•  remembers how he used to have such a positive outlook on life [v.18-20],

•  and how people has almost revered him [v.21-25].

 

It is a nostalgic chapter that thinks back to very different days, days when he had not dreamt such suffering could come on him.]

 

     

CONTINUE to Chapter 30