Tag Archives: unworthiness

With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXV. Epilogue -Part 2 Ch. 42:10-17)

In a shocking conclusion, we read that God confronts Job’s three friends and declares their counseling of Job to be folly. He then requires them to offer a sacrifice, asking Job to pray for them. Job has indeed prayed, interceded really, for them so that God would not deal with them according to their folly. We then read the following in this epilogue:

An Accepted Prayer: Job prayed for his friends (did he include Elihu?), the Lord restored his fortunes (v. 10). The Lord gives him twice as much as he had before. If my calculations are correct, that means Job became the proud owner of 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 donkeys (cp. 1:3)! A “yoke” of oxen really means two oxen, so Job now has 23,000 animals in his possession!

A Re-Established Home: We then read that a great feast was held in his home with all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before attending. And they comforted and consoled him “over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him” (v. 11). Job’s wealth is restored from the gifts of silver and gold they bring to him.

Apart from his doubled livestock (v. 12), Job and his wife bring into the world seven sons and three daughters (the same number as he had at the beginning) (v. 13). Unlike the succinct account of his first set of children, here his three daughters’ names are given: Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch. I wonder why the daughters are named? And why are the names of the seven sons not given? We are also informed that “nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters.” (v. 15). And, in what appears to be counter-cultural, we read that “their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.”

There is also no mention of Job’s wife. Is this the same wife as the one who told Job to curse God and die? Has she repented of her folly? 

We then read that “after this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.” (vv. 16-17).


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Posted by on February 12, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXIV. Job’s Response to the Lord -Ch. 42:1-6)

Job has been taken on an extremely fascinating nature tour by the Creator. And God’s multiple questions seem to have a double goal: to humble Job and to eradicate his desire to prosecute God for His actions in Job’s life. God hasn’t given Job any explanation for the trials. But Job gets one last opportunity to respond to the Lord. And he does so in six verses.

In his response, Job acknowledges God’s omnipotence in bringing about His purposes (42:2). He confesses that he has been guilty of obscuring the plans of God (42:3) and speaking of things of which he had no understanding.

God told Job to listen — and he did. Job refers to two of his senses when he says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (42:5). This overwhelming vision of God drives Job to one and only one conclusion: “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (42:6). Repent of what? His insolence? His charging God with allowing the wicked to prosper and the righteous to suffer? Repent of condemning God’s silence in the face of his friends’ accusatory and condemning speeches? Has Job been disrespectful, irreverent, even blasphemous toward the Lord? Job has certainly charged the Lord with wrongdoing, with unfairly making Job His target, with callously refusing to give Job his day in court.



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Posted by on February 8, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXIII. The Lord Continues to Speak -Chs. 40:6-Ch. 41)

But the Lord’s speech to Job is not finished. The Almighty continues His challenge of Job in the rest of chapter 40 and all of chapter 41. Let’s notice a few things that the Lord says.

Chapter 40: The Lord directly confronts Job with piercing questions such as “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” (v. 8).

If Job wants to play God, God says he must adorn himself with glory and splendor, cover himself with honor and majesty, unleash the fury of his wrath, bring down the wicked (vv. 10-13). If he can do those things, then the Lord will admit to Job that his own right hand can save him (v. 14).

We then receive an extended discussion of “Behemoth” (vv. 15-24). It is a beast, God says, “which I made along with you” (v. 15). Marked by incredible strength, it “ranks first among the works of God” (v. 19). It is unable to be captured by man (v. 24).

Chapter 41: In chapter 41 God describes “Leviathan.” Is Leviathan another name for Behemoth? At any rate, this beast is a further example of man’s impotence. In great sarcasm, God asks if Job can make this creature his slave or a pet for the young women in your house? (vv. 4-5) It can’t be captured with harpoons or fishing spears. “If you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!” (v. 8).

God says, if you are unable to capture Leviathan, “Who then is able to stand against me?” (v. 10). God asks, “Who has a claim against me that I must pay?” (v. 11). God is no man’s debtor.

God continues to speak of Leviathan’s strength, double coat of armor, and fearsome teeth, rows of shields on its back (vv. 12-17). Its snorting “throws out flashes of light”; “flames stream from its mouth”; “smoke pours from its nostrils”; “flames dart from its mouth” (vv. 18-21). Sure sounds like a dragon, doesn’t it?

This creature terrifies the mighty. Iron swords have no effect on it; arrows are useless; slingstones are like chaff to it (vv. 25-28). Clubs and lances are laughable to it (v. 29).

It appears to dwell in the sea (v. 31). “Nothing on earth is its equal — a creature without fear” (v. 33). “It is king over all that are proud” (v. 34).


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Posted by on February 6, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXII. Job’s Response (Ch.40:3-5)

Job has unceremoniously been put in his place by the Lord who grilled him on his complete ignorance of the natural world. How does Job respond to this devastating and overwhelming attack from the Lord? We read in 40:3-5 the following:

Then Job answered the Lord:

“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
    I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer—
    twice, but I will say no more.”

The Lord’s long-awaited response to Job causes him to confess his unworthiness and complete inability to say anything to the Lord. He is overwhelmed. He physically shuts his mouth. He also admits that he had spoken once, but now has no answer to the Lord. He even was bold to speak a second time, but now determines he will say no more.

What are we to conclude from such a one-sided discussion? Is it fair to say that Job had forgotten who God was — and that he needed to be reminded of his own createdness? In his demands for an audience with the Almighty, had Job missed the point of these trials?

God’s words in 40:1-2 silenced Job. Was that the Creator’s intent? But the Lord is not done. Chapter 40 continues with God’s rebuke of Job. We will examine what else the Lord says to Job in our next post.





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Posted by on February 4, 2023 in the book of Job


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