“God Has Got the Whole World in His Hands” (Job 12-13)

Heart of a Shepherd

Jan 29, 2023

Translations

Urdu

’’خدا نے ساری دنیا اپنے ہاتھ میں رکھی ہوئی ہے‘‘ (ایوب 12-13)

Portuguese

“Deus tem o mundo inteiro em suas mãos” (Jó 12-13)

Italian

“Dio ha il mondo intero nelle sue mani” (Giobbe 12-13)

German

„Gott hat die ganze Welt in seiner Hand“ (Hiob 12-13)

French

« Dieu a le monde entier entre ses mains » (Job 12-13)

Spanish

“Dios tiene el mundo entero en sus manos” (Job 12-13)

Russian

«Бог держит в своих руках весь мир» (Иов 12-13)

“God Has Got the Whole World in His Hands” (Job 12-13) 

Scripture reading - Job 12; Job 13  

Zophar had contended that Job’s troubles were indicative of unconfessed sin (Job 11), and concluded his admonition with three challenges: Repent (Job 11:13-14); Be restored (Job 11:15-19); but Be forewarned - A man who refuses to repent of his sin will vainly seek rest, refuge, and hope (Job 11:20). Job’s reproof of Zophar’s denunciation is recorded in Job 12-14. Today’s devotional will consider the first two of the three chapters (Job 12-13).



Job 12 – Four Spiritual Lessons in the Sovereignty and Providence of God

 

Job’s initial response to Zophar was sarcastic, asserting, “No doubt…wisdom shall die with you” (Job 12:2). In other words, Job argued that Zophar presumed he had all wisdom, and no doubt believed that wisdom would perish with him.

 

Continuing his reproof, Job declared, “I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: Yea, who knoweth not such things as these?” (Job 12:3) Although bearing the sorrows of his trials, Job’s confidence in the LORD, and his personal knowledge of God’s ways was unshaken by Zophar’s pride and condemnation. Job contended he was his friend’s equal, and he had heard nothing spoken that was not common knowledge among men (Job 12:3). There are several lessons we might derive from Job’s defense.

 

Lesson – Trials are not indicative of sin or God’s judgment. (Job 12:4-8)



Refuting Zophar’s contention that only the wicked suffer so many sorrows, Job observed, “The tabernacles [houses or households] of robbers prosper, And they that provoke God are secure; Into whose hand God bringeth abundantly” (Job 12:6).



Job’s observation was the opposite of Zophar’s conclusion. Using the order and laws of nature as the basis of his argument (Job 12:7-8), Job concluded that the influence of sin in the world dictates that the stronger prey upon the weak (the beasts, fowls, and fish are proofs, Job 12:7-8).



Lesson – God is Sovereign, and He Will Not Abdicate His Authority. (Job 12:9-15)



The life and breath of “every living thing” is in God’s hands (Job 12:9-10), and the wisdom of man is not the wisdom of God (Job 12:11-13). God is all-powerful, and no man or nation can contend with His providences. What the LORD determines to break down, no man can rebuild (Job 12:14a). He controls the floodwaters, and sends or withholds the rain (Job 12:15). All men are under God’s control, for “the deceived and the deceiver are His” (Job 12:16).



Lesson – No Man Can Contend with Divine Providence and Win. (Job 12:17-24)



God humiliates counselors, and makes fools of judges (Job 12:17). He upends the bondage of kings, and entangles them in their own devices (Job 12:18). He humiliates the mighty (Job 12:19), and frustrates the counsel “of the aged” (Job 12:20). He brings the powerful to disgrace (Job 12:21). He brings to light the plots made in secret (Job 12:22). He is Sovereign of the nations, and “increaseth [strengthens] the nations, and destroyeth them: He enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth [leads] them again” (Job 12:23).



Lesson – God Frustrates the Heads of the Nations, Leaving Them Blind. (Job 12:24-25)



Job 12:23–25 - "He taketh away the heart [mind; will; understanding] of the chief [leaders] of the people of the earth, And causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way [perplexed, and confused]. (25) They grope in the dark without light, And he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.



Job 13 – Job’s focus turns from his friends to God.



Job 13 begins with the same contention he stated in the early verses of Job 12: His friends are no wiser than he (Job 13:1-2), and he does not need them superseding God’s authority or speaking for Him (Job 13:3). He rejects their counsel, contending they were “forgers of lies…physicians of no value” (Job 13:4). He accused them of dishonoring God, by supposing to speak on His behalf (Job 13:5-13). I conclude with one of the great statements of faith in God’s providences found in the Bible: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15a). Job was confident that, though his life might be taken in death, the Lord would not forsake him.

 

What about you? Will you trust God, when it appears it will cost you everything? Will you trust Him when you feel humiliated, and betrayed? Will your faith remain unshaken, when all seems lost?



Psalm 23:4 - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

 

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