Job 31:13

 

In the following verses Job is continuing to explain the right things that he did and why Job does not think that his sufferings are some kind of punishment for wrong-doing. Job said in Job 31:13-34, “If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;[14] What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?[15] Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?[16] If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;[17] Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;[18] (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;)[19] If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;[20] If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;[21] If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:[22] Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.[23] For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.[24] If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;[25] If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;[26] If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;[27] And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:[28] This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.[29] If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:[30] Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.[31] If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.[32] The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.[33] If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:[34] Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?”

 

In verse 13 Job said that he treated workers properly. And in verse 15 Job told us why. Job’s logic was: “Did not he that made me in the womb make him?” Job knew that he was not better than anyone else because God had given them life as well as himself. In verses 16 and 17 Job said that he helped the poor, and the widows, and the hungry. In verse 18 Job told us why he did that. Job said, “For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb.” Evidently Job lived in the same local his whole life, and he knew the people who lived around him, and they were like family. Job could not turn his back on family. In verse 19 Job said that he helped those who needed clothing. In verse 20 Job said he helped those who had no father. In verses 24 through 28 Job stated that even though he was wealthy, he did not trust in his wealth nor rejoice at his riches. In other words he continued to trust in God and to rejoice in the Lord. In verse 29 Job said that he even treated his enemies rightly. Job practiced “love your enemies” even before Jesus came along and taught it. In verse 30 Job said that he did not even speak against his enemies. In a day when there were not many hotels, Job said that he provided lodging for travelers so that they could have a place to stay. In verse 33 Job said that he did not hide his sins. In spite of the good life that he lived, Job was honest with God about his own short-comings. In verse 34 Job said that he did not allow natural human fear to keep him from doing the things that he ought to do or say the things that he ought to say. Life has to be lived. As Queen Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” 

 

Job said in Job 31:35-40, “Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.[36] Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.[37] I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.[38] If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;[39] If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:[40] Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.” Job is on his own. His wife and his friends oppose him and accuse him. And Job has not yet heard from God. That is really what Job wants: Job wants to know what God has to say about all of this. Job certainly has the right attitude. Job certainly knows the correct source for the answers to his questions. By the way, we have the full written Word of God at our disposal. Learn the Word of God, and you will be learning the answers to the questions of life. Do you want to know what has happened to you and why? Do you want to know what is God’s will for you? Do you want to hear from God? Then open up the book and read it with a seeking heart. God will speak to you from his Word.

 

In these verses 38-40 Job is saying one more time that only if he had been cheating people or doing other sins would Job have deserved the terrible things that happened to him. Job knew that he did not deserve or earn what had happened to him, and Job was looking forward to having a discussion with God about it all.

 

The Bible says in Job 32:1-10, “So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.[2] Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.[3] Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.[4] Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.[5] When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.[6] And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.[7] I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.[8] But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.[9] Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.[10] Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.” In this chapter another person speaks up that we have not heard before in the book of Job. His name is Elihu. We are told how to interpret his sayings in verse. Elihu was an angry man. He was angry at everyone. Elihu was angry at Job. It says about Elihu in verse 2, “against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.” Elihu thought that Job was justifying himself against God, which shows that Elihu did not understand the situation at all. Elihu did not have understanding from God about what was really going on in Job’s life. And because Elihu was arrogant and an angry person, Elihu was also angry at the three friends because he thought that they did not know how to respond to Job. It says about Elihu in verse 3, “Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.”

 

 

The reason that we had not heard from Elihu up to this point is given in verse 6 when Elihu says, “I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.” But of course, like many young men, he thinks that he knows more than his elders. There is a reason that the Bible indicates that the pastors should be the elders. Older usually means wiser. That is what it is supposed to mean. Of course, there are exceptions, such as when David was a teenager and became God’s choice to be king.

 

Another problem that Elihu had is stated in verse 1, “he was righteous in his own eyes.” He was arrogant. If you really know a lot about God, then you also know a lot about yourself. If you know a lot about God, then you know He is holy. If you know a lot about yourself, then you know that you are sinful. If you really know those two things, then you will not be arrogant and self-righteous, and you will not judge others, and you will not think that you know so much more than others. Probably only Christians have a chance to be humble in this way. When you become a true Christian, you admit that you are a sinner, you throw yourself on the mercy of Christ, and surrender to His leading, and ask for His forgiveness. If you accept Christ and can keep that attitude about yourself, then you will not be self-righteous.

 

Elihu keeps talking and says in Job 32:11-22, “Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.[12] Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:[13] Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.[14] Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.[15] They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.[16] When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)[17] I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.[18] For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.[19] Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.[20] I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.[21] Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.[22] For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.” First of all Elihu tells the other three friends that they did not know what they were talking about. That is why Elihu says in verse 14, “neither will I answer him with your speeches.” Elihu said that he could not constrain himself. He just had to speak. For example he says in verse 19, “Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.” There are a lot of people like that. There are a lot of people who speak when they should not speak. That is why the Bible tells Christians in James 1:19, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” It also says in James 3:8, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison

 

There is always a way to justify yourself. Be very careful of that. Elihu would have been better off not speaking at all because he did not know what was really happening to Job or why. Only God knew. Elihu knew that he was speaking against Job and the three friends, but Elihu justified himself by saying in verse 21, “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.” Be very careful about justifying yourself when you tell someone off about their behavior or their life. Jesus said in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not that ye be not judged 

 

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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