Job’s Final Speech
Job continued speaking:
Job’s commitment to the truth:
2 “I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights,
by the Almighty who has embittered my soul—
3 As long as I live,
while I have breath from God,
4 my lips will speak no evil,
and my tongue will speak no lies.
5 I will never concede that you are right;
I will defend my integrity until I die.
6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering.
My conscience is clear for as long as I live.
The vain hope of the hypocrite:
7 “May my enemy be punished like the wicked,
my adversary like those who do evil.
8 For what hope do the godless have when God cuts them off
and takes away their life?
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)
Macbeth at the beginning of Shakespeare’s play is a noble man, respected and honorable. But at its end he is a toppled ruin—a murderer whose first murder has led him to kill again and again, one who is friendless, dehumanized, whose only comment when he hears of his wife’s suicide is that she should have found a more convenient time. His life is utterly without hope.
Our great temptation and trials are likely less traumatic than those of either Job or Macbeth. But in our lives, too, come the time when we have to choose what or whom to trust. Job’s faith and hope held fast (“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” Job 13:15). For Macbeth, hope was gone, once God was forgotten.
–J. Ruth Stenerson
9 Will God listen to their cry
when trouble comes upon them?
10 Can they take delight in the Almighty?
Can they call to God at any time?
11 I will teach you about God’s power.
I will not conceal anything concerning the Almighty.
12 But you have seen all this,
yet you say all these useless things to me.
God will judge the wicked:
13 “This is what the wicked will receive from God;
this is their inheritance from the Almighty.
14 They may have many children,
but the children will die in war or starve to death.
15 Those who survive will die of a plague,
and not even their widows will mourn them.
16 “Evil people may have piles of money
and may store away mounds of clothing.
17 But the righteous will wear that clothing,
and the innocent will divide that money.
18 The wicked build houses as fragile as a spider’s web,
as flimsy as a shelter made of branches.
19 The wicked go to bed rich
but wake to find that all their wealth is gone.
20 Terror overwhelms them like a flood,
and they are blown away in the storms of the night.
The Two House Builders (like Job and Macbeth)
“So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.
“But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!”
21 The east wind carries them away, and they are gone.
It sweeps them away.
22 It whirls down on them without mercy.
They struggle to flee from its power.
23 But everyone jeers at them
and mocks them.
I love how Job keeps saying he will be faithful even when his circumstances would speak against it! HERE is a song that Job would like, and I like it, too — it gets in my mind and stays there all day! “I Walk By Faith” — written by Chris Falson and sung by the Maranatha Singers.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved