Jan 29, 2023
Mantieni viva la speranza: Dio ti conosce! (Giobbe 22; Lavoro 23)
Keep Hope Alive: Gott kennt Sie! (Hiob 22; Hiob 23)
Mantenha a esperança viva: Deus conhece você! (Jó 22; Jó 23)
امید کو زندہ رکھیں: خدا آپ کو جانتا ہے! (ایوب 22؛ ایوب 23)
Gardez l'espoir vivant : Dieu vous connaît ! (Travail 22; Travail 23)
Поддержи надежду: Бог знает тебя! (Иов 22; Иов 23)
Mantén viva la esperanza: ¡Dios te conoce! (Job 22; Job 23)
Scripture reading - Job 22; Job 23
Continuing our two-year chronological study of the Scriptures, we are in the midst of the Book of Job. What a powerful book and reminder that no one is spared the troubles and trials of this earthly life. Job served as a memorable example of a spiritual man who faced not only the hardships of catastrophic losses, but the erroneous, harsh judgments of some who purported to be his friends.
Yet, we should remember Job was not aware his afflictions were a consequence, not of God’s judgment, but His confidence there was “none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (Job 1:8). The LORD gave Satan liberty to assail Job, and spared only the man’s life, from that evil one’s assault. In spite of his sorrows, Job’s faith did not falter, even as the evil insinuations of his friends increased.
After listening to Job maintain his innocence, and refute the allegations that he had committed some sin that warranted God’s judgment (Job 21), Eliphaz, obviously offended, spoke up.
Job 22 – Eliphaz’s Rebuke of Job
Eliphaz the Temanite disputed Job for his third and final time (his first two challenges were recorded in Job 4-5, and Job 15). Though claiming to be Job’s friend, Eliphaz accused him of supposing he was righteous, and God was obligated to him (Job 22:1-4).
Impatient with Job’s pleas of innocence, Eliphaz unleashed a torrent of accusations against the man whom God said, “there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man” (Job 1:8). He alleged Job had exploited the poor (22:6), refused water to the thirsty, and denied bread to the hungry (Job 22:7). He suggested he had taken advantage of the most vulnerable, sent widows away wanting (Job 22:9a), and crushed orphans (Job 22:9b). Eliphaz dared suggest Job thought God must be blind to his wicked ways, and warned all the troubles that had befallen Job was God’s punishment (Job 22:12-14).
Eliphaz’s diatribe (Job 22:15-30) against Job’s character continued through the balance of Job 22, as he recapped for Job concerning the wicked, and God’s judgment (Job 22:15). Understanding the Book of Job is believed to be the most ancient of the books of the Bible, we are not surprised to find the worldwide flood still fresh in the minds of the men of Job’s day (Job 22:16). Eliphaz reminded Job how the wicked were destroyed in the flood, for they had rejected the LORD (Job 22:17). Yet, men in Noah’s day, as in our day, enjoyed God’s common grace, and their houses were “filled…with good things” (Job 22:18).
Then, Eliphaz proved the callous, heartless man he was and boasted the righteous rejoice when the wicked are afflicted (Job 22:19), and the righteous are “not cut down” (Job 22:20). Once again, the implication was only the wicked suffer in the manner Job was afflicted, and called upon Job to repent and “return to the Almighty” (Job 22:21-23). Perhaps the first to preach a “prosperity gospel,” Eliphaz promised God would prosper Job (Job 22:26), and answer his prayers if he confessed his sin and repented (Job 22:27-30).
Job 23 – Job’s Appeal for God to Hear His Plea
Job’s reply to Eliphaz’s harsh inferences was recorded in Job 23 and Job 24; however, today’s devotional will conclude focusing solely on Job 23.
Once again, Job employed the scene of a heavenly courtroom, and God being his judge and he the victim advocating for compassion and understanding (Job 23:1-2). Job complained it seemed God was distant, and were he to find Him, he would come to His throne and petition the LORD to hear his appeal (Job 23:3-4). Knowing the LORD to be just, Job confessed, “I would know the words which He would answer me, And understand what He would say unto me” (Job 23:5). He believed God would not only hear his cause, but would favor him in His judgment (Job 23:6-7). Job complained, he searched everywhere for the LORD, but felt he was abandoned by Him (if only he had known, God was ever watching and attentive to him (Job 23:8-9).
Closing thoughts (Job 23:10-17) – Our devotion concludes with Job giving us a wonderful truth regarding God’s omniscience, mercy, and providences. Job 23:10 presents us with one of the great statements of faith in God’s providences: “He knoweth the way that I take: When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
Though his friends misjudged him, Job was comforted knowing the LORD knew his ways and motives (Job 23:11-12). Though men are given to urges, Job knew the LORD was immutable, and not given to whims. Our God is of “one mind” and does as He pleases, and His plan will be accomplished in our lives (Job 23:13-14).
Job was confident, regardless the accusations brought against him by others, he was sure God knew him to be a man of integrity. While friends slandered and misjudged him, he believed God’s judgment was righteous and perfect.
Take comfort and trust in God: The LORD is not given to whims, for “He is one mind…and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (Job 23:13).
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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