The vise of love

Job Sees The Light - Twelfth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 11:1-6 NIV As noted in Post 6, Zophar means "rough and hairy" (from Young's concordance) though in some lexicons the word is associated with other meanings.

He begins to rough Job up by calling him a “windbag” and liar, one who mocks God and deserves even worse treatment by God than he has already suffered.

Job 11:7-11 NIV Next, he castigates Job as one who does not have the intelligence to consider the greatness of God, whereas God sees through Job's veneer of pride and vanity to his black heart, and rightfully judges him.

Job 11:12-19 NIV Zophar advises Job on how to emerge from his desolation — Repent and cease from wrongdoing!

Job 11:20 NIV Otherwise, death looms.

Job is the man on death row who has been wrongfully condemned. His friends are the jury who consigned him there and the cruel guards who enforce his isolation.

He cries out that he is innocent; they counter that he is guilty and taunt that if he would confess he could be spared and restored. But he cannot confess to a crime he did not commit. Therefore he must remain in his bitter hold knowing he is innocent and wrongly condemned.

Job is in the grips of a vise. A vise is a device, usually fastened to a workbench, consisting of two jaws which open and close by a screw and lever. It holds firmly in place an object being worked on.

He has not yet been delivered from insults nor enlightened through understanding nor restored from his deep losses. He is hemmed in by verbal assaults, confusion, grief, fear and demonic forces.

But seen from above, the vise Job is in are the hands of God.

Yet, you say, didn't God say that Job was blameless? (Job 1:8; 2:3) So why was he shattered so that he must now be in God's vise for repair? The potter has the right to reshape the clay. (Jer 18:4)

Some objects of affection are destined for God's workbench to become more useful than they were, and some go there to be made more beautiful.

Job feels jilted

Job Sees The Light - Eleventh in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 10:1-3 NIV Why do bad things happen to good people? is one question, but what good people really want to know is: Why do good things happen for bad people?

Why, Job pleads to know, does God smile on the schemes of the wicked — and scowl at his servant?

Comparing ourselves with others is a dangerous exercise. Job was a man of God, therefore, to compare his life with evil men's was unfruitful. We do know what their end will be.

Job 10:4-7 NIV In these questions, we hear Job accuse God of being heavy-handed. This is not cursing God to his face as Satan predicted Job would (Job 1:11, 2:5), but it reveals his anger at God. Job is stating that God has no right to hound him because it is unfair for a superior being to pursue one with limited ability. God cannot understand what it is like to live in the dimension of time and in flesh, and on top of this, he knows that Job is not guilty!

In truth, when we begin to feel justified in deciding what rights God should have, we have put ourselves in his place. That is a dangerous promotion. We will not be found innocent.

Job 10:8-9 NIV This question reveals Job's knowledge of the Creation history given in Genesis: The Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen 2:7) An interesting corroboration of that fact is that every element found in the earth is also found in traces in man's body. Job believed the Genesis account; the Lord did not need to reform his thoughts in this important doctrine.

Job 10:10-13 NIV In the previous passage, Job reflected on his destiny to return to dust, but feared it would occur at an unnatural time. Here, he reflects on the marvelous though hidden beginnings of his life. The Psalmist considers these same mysteries, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made … (Ps 139:14) David’s reflections led him to praise, but Job’s are leading him to despair. The Psalms had not yet been written, so he could not seek their comfort.

Job 10:14-17 NIV Job has been in a tempest and has washed to shore but he cannot seem to make it to dry land. He feels he is still at the mercy of the storm and raging sea; pounded by its angry winds, drowning though on a beach. God will not let up.

He has hung his head in shame, and lifted it up to show courage; but whatever he does is wrong. And from vs. 17 it appears that other friends or acquaintances have arrived on the scene, but are not showing sympathy. It is Job against the world, and Satan would inflame that feeling. Emotional isolation is debilitating.

Job 10:18-22 KJV For the last verses in Job 10, we revert to the King James in which we find the familiar phrase shadow of death, which many will recall from Ps. 23, Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me….

Job was the first in the Bible to coin this phrase, which David used frequently, and we find it in some of the Books of Prophecy and the New Testament.

This valley is the place of deepest gloom. Here, Job regrets ever being born.

An Intercessor is needed

Job Sees The Light - Tenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 9:1-3 NIV Here, Job is not acknowledging that the righteousness of man is as filthy rags to a Holy God. Rather, he is saying that no matter how good a person is or strives to be, he has no standing before God.

God seems oblivious to man’s efforts to please and serve him. It is impossible to communicate or to connect with him. This is what Satan wants us to believe.

Job 9:4-12 NIV God is marvelous and inscrutable. So wonderful, so distant and unapproachable.

Job 9:13-15 NIV Job is thinking of creatures so much more powerful than himself who could not stand before God. Rahab, a legendary sea monster whose name means “storm” or “arrogance,” was destroyed by God, and her cronies then bowed in terrified submission. He seems to feel that if God easily contends with monsters, how then can a mere human dispute with him? One could only plead for mercy, not because he is guilty but because he is at such a disadvantage.

This is illogical. Simply because those whose aim is to defeat God are crushed by him, it does not follow that the righteous servant who would ask God for answers will be banished. For these, the Lord has promised, Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. (Isa 65:24)

Job 9:16-18 NIV Job is angry with God, and no wonder! Look at his property; dead children– dead servants – dead and stolen animals— bitter wife. Look at Him! Diseased skin; surrounded by superior-acting friends.

He believes God hates him and is sick with apprehension because his rightful expectations – yes, rightful – have been disappointed and even mocked. The righteous person has the expectation of God's blessings. True, as God's servant, he has no rights; nevertheless, as a servant, he ought to be able to count on the Master's provision of care. This is not demanding one’s own way; it is a logical expectation, and it is not presumptuous.

When the Lord withholds the support or protection we expected, does it mean he has turned against us? We are led to question.

Job 9:19-22 NIV Analyzing Job's feelings of despair and depression, we see he has concluded that God is not just. Everything black and white has turned to gray. How can one serve a God who makes no distinctions between right and wrong? Why do right? No reason. Why live? No reason. If there is no reward for righteousness, why try?

Job 9:23-31 NIV Job continues on in his perplexity and discouragement. He reflects on the sickening weightlessness of his life. Time is passing. But without his servants to oversee and without his family, there is nothing to focus on. There is only a feeling of seasickness and emptiness. In this predicament, he turns again to address God directly, expressing his deepest inner feelings (Job 9:28). Then he has a divine insight!

Job 9:23-31 NIV In his agony, he longs for an arbitrator. An intercessor. Someone to shield him from God’s wrath. Job is seeking Jesus, but millennia would pass before Jesus Christ would come in the flesh.

Despite the huge difference between then and now, God nevertheless wanted more from Job than obedience to known laws. He wanted his true, heartfelt worship, as we will see.

If God had the right to seek true worshippers before Calvary, how much more so now, since giving his only begotten son?

Attention Readers

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Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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