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Canal, Rock Support and
The Blaze of Faith
1. ROOT CANAL
courtesy of Eliphaz and Bildad (non-painless) … Job 14-17
A. ELIPHAZ’s turn. Job feels the need for a time, for a place to hide (). A time is to come when this will resemble the plight of all on the earth in Isaiah 2:10ff., when they seek for the rock to cover them. In Isaiah 26:20-21, however, you see God’s people invited to come to Him for shelter (“”the shadow of a mighty rock” as in Isaiah 32:2, which is the REAL need of Job, to which he comes far closer, in Ch. 19). Let us see wisdom from Isaiah 26, however.
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For, behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
In Job we see a poignant reminder of judgment, the final confrontation: Job’s faith working even in his darkened and stressful period (cf. Isaiah 50:10): the test that shows. Trust in experience (like trusting your feelings in the presence of a bride or groom), and what have you ? Look to the OBJECT, the Lord of your affection, TRUST in HIM and He works!
In Job you see Job feeling better at supervision from the Lord, than inspection!
Now Eliphaz does the root canal job, not satisfied with drilling Job’s teeth! In 15:4, he tells Job he does not pray enough; in Job 15:5, he reveals his thought that Job’s iniquity teaches his mouth, like some evil drama coach. It is not (14:17ff.), that you are so special, he says. “What,” he asks, “ is man that he could be pure ?” (). In this, he misses the point that sinful as man is, purity is his proper place, and God expects its integrity to be honoured. In fact, power is not another name for it, and Job’s insistence that there is a justice, that there is an explanation, though he is dashed at not discovering it at this point, is just and sound.
Eliphaz then traces the slow but sure overpowering of the wicked (-26), those who dare to trifle with God. In 15:30: The wicked “will not depart from darkness”; in , “the company of hypocrites will be barren.” The implication of course is that Job had better straighten out! How often are right principles given wrong application through presumption, as here.
Job’s reply we see in Ch. 16, “He has set me up for His target”, he smoulders, and in one respect this is almost true, since Satan WAS given divine permission for the test. In Job 16:18, he cries with heartfelt underlying faith,
“O earth, do not cover my blood.”
Again, in his bewilderment, he grieves (and I Peter gives us warning not to be surprised at fiery tests), wishing: “that a man might plead with God as with his neighbour!” We saw this poignant thrust in -35, seeking for a mediator, and shall see outcome soon.
“My spirit is broken,” Job cries, and “Are not mockers with me!” his words pulse as he writhes … “He has made me a byword of the people!” Here then is Job as a type of Christ (cf. Isaiah 50:5-6, Psalm 22:7-8, one of the Messianic ones), esteemed “smitten of God and afflicted”.
For Christ, it was for redemption; with Job it is for proof of sincerity. In Job 17:9, however, note the resilient faith of the patriarch Job, “Yet the righteous will hold to his way, and he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.” Though he does not see the way of God as yet in this test, yet he knows the words of his friends are simplistic and unspiritual.
In Job 17:11, he laments,
“My days are past, my purposes are broken off…”
as he feels the sense of termination, axing, reminding us of Christ as in Mark 10:34:
“Behold, we are going up to
Though the duress strong (cf. Isaiah 49:4 “I have spent my strength for nothing … but surely My just recompense is with the Lord”) – yet note the light which can never be repealed.
B) BILDAD’s turn. This ‘friend’ then gets along with the root canal drilling. Eliphaz will resume his contribution with a vengeance, later: but Bildad ?
“Why are we counted as beasts and regarded as stupid in your sight!” (18:2). As to the wicked, he pointedly announces to Job, “His light is dark in his tent,” and “His strength is starved.”
Rather like a photograph of Job from the camera of the imagination ?
2. THE ROCK SUPPORT courtesy of the Messiah… Job 19
Before we return to the root canal drilling, notice that in the very midst of disease, grief, distress, breach of social relationships, poverty, Job makes his most famous announcement, as truly a revelation from the Lord as was Peter’s declaration that Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God! (Matthew 16). After this, he rebukes the simplistic friends, declaring, “Be afraid of the sword for yourselves” – . Their specious argumentation continually bears on the concept that Job is in specialised trouble for specialised sin!
OH, cries Job, that my words could be written, engraved on rock with a steel pen, lead for ink! If I cry out concerning wrong, I am not heard (19:7). Obliterative platitudes caress him like bull, stamping with its feet, from the mouths of his friends. Now, “even young children despise me”…(), and servants treat him as an alien. HAVE PITY ON ME … he cries, but as we shall see, they are getting further and further from good feeling for him (Job 22).
It is the LORD who is hearing! and soon He will speak to them all (Job 38ff.)! Meanwhile Job in faith perceives, like Peter when Christ was physically present, that his REDEEMER is alive, and that in the end of the time, HE, God Himself, will appear ON EARTH, so that with his very own eyes Job will see Him, independent of any other; and while his body be destroyed, yet in the eyes of his flesh, resurrected, HE WILL SEE GOD! “How my heart yearns within me!” he says from the crag of faith, set on the rock that does not move. While Job wilts, his faith does not; and though he fall, yet he arises like the dawn, unable to be separated from his God. Soon the day of truth dawns on their gathering, but the dark test brought to light the beauty of holiness.