3415.) Proverbs 8

May 20, 2022

In this Greek icon, Lady Wisdom is presented with her three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love.

Proverbs 8 (ESV)

Lady Wisdom Calls Out

Does not wisdom call?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:

As before in the book of Proverbs, Solomon here wrote of wisdom as if she were a person – a noble, beautiful, helpful woman in contrast to the immoral woman described in Proverbs 7.

“The unchaste wife moves covertly at dusk and speaks falsely; Wisdom moves publicly and speaks direct and authoritative truth.” 
–Bruce Waltke

“To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the children of man.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.

When wisdom speaks, it is true. When people use lies they should not be trusted to communicate wisdom. Wisdom says of her words that there is nothing crooked or perverse in them. Because of this, the words can be understood; they are all plain to him who understands. There is clarity and a straightforward character to wisdom, one that contrasts with elaborate so-called hidden truths and mysteries.

It could be said of the Scriptures in general, they are all plain to him who understands. Of course, there are deep and occasionally complicated passages, but the fundamental truths of the Bible are plain to those who trust God and honor His word. As the American author Mark Twain was reported to have said, It’s not the parts of the Bible I can’t understand that bother me; it’s the parts that I do understand.

–David Guzik

10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

from Whistling in the Dark:  An ABC Theologized
by Frederick Buechner

In the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom is a woman. “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,” she says (Proverbs 8:22). She was there when he made the heaven, the sea, the earth. It was as if he needed a woman’s imagination to help him make them, a woman’s eye to tell him if he’d made them right, a woman’s spirit to measure their beauty by. “I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,” she says (Proverbs 8:30), as if it was her joy in what he was creating that made creation bearable, and that’s why he created her first.

Wisdom is a matter not only of the mind but of the intuition and heart, like a woman’s wisdom. It is born out of suffering as a woman bears a child. It shows a way through the darkness the way a woman stands at the window holding a lamp. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness,” says Solomon, then adding, just in case there should be any lingering question as to her gender, “and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17).

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.

13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;
    I have insight; I have strength.

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Proverbs 8:14 — Counsel is Mine and sound wisdom:  I am understanding; I have strength.

Job 28:23 — God understandeth the way thereof and He knoweth the place thereof.

God understands. There are no ways and no places that He does not understand.

Have you ever thought what a tremendous difference it would make to our lives if this were not true? Imagine the feelings of a soldier if he had good reason to doubt that his commanding officer understood the situation. We are soldiers. Our Commander understands. His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5). Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident (Psalm 27:3).

Because of His infinite understanding, God knows that we want to be sure that the One who says He understands has been through the mill Himself. And so we have this wonderful touch of His special understanding in Proverbs 8, where it is clear that the speaker is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I am Understanding. I, the man of Sorrows acquainted with grief, I who was tempted in all points just as you are, I am Understanding.

It is restful to be understood, to be with one who never misjudges. Let us rest in his presence today.

15 By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
    and nobles, all who govern justly.
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.

Prov8 Godly wealth

“Paradoxically when wealth is sought it corrupts, but when wisdom is sought, edifying wealth is given (cf. 1 Kings 3:4-15).”
–Bruce Waltke

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,
    the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
    or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30  then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man.

Prov8 Genesis_1-31



HERE  Hillsong sings  “God Is Great.”  The whole earth sings to the glory of the Creator!


32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
Lady Wisdom.    https://albertblackwell.blogspot.com/2013/08/holy-wisdom-and-liberal-arts.html
painting by Arthur Douet.    http://www.arthurdouet.com/gallery/goddess_463x600.jpg
“He Cares” by Valeria Jean Marcus.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/9-he_cares.jpg?w=450
Genesis 1:31.   https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Genesis-1-31_Inspirational_Image/

3414.) Job 18

May 19, 2022

Job18 wages of sin

Job 18   (NLT)

Bildad’s Second Response to Job

Bildad rebukes Job:

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

Bildad rebukes Job for his words and low opinion of his friends.

“How long before you stop talking?
    Speak sense if you want us to answer!
Do you think we are mere animals?
    Do you think we are stupid?
You may tear out your hair in anger,
    but will that destroy the earth?
    Will it make the rocks tremble?

Bildad describes the afflictions of the wicked:

“Surely the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
    The sparks of their fire will not glow.
The light in their tent will grow dark.
    The lamp hanging above them will be quenched.
The confident stride of the wicked will be shortened.
    Their own schemes will be their downfall.
The wicked walk into a net.
    They fall into a pit.
A trap grabs them by the heel.
    A snare holds them tight.
10 A noose lies hidden on the ground.
    A rope is stretched across their path.

havahart humane live animal trap

A net, a pit, a trap, a snare, a noose, a rope — Bildad is certainly thorough! The wicked are on a dangerous path; their doom is sure! 

11 “Terrors surround the wicked
    and trouble them at every step.
12 Hunger depletes their strength,
    and calamity waits for them to stumble.
13 Disease eats their skin;
    death devours their limbs.
14 They are torn from the security of their homes
    and are brought down to the king of terrors.

Job18 Grim_reaper

“The king of terrors” — a marvelously poetic description of death itself. We speak of the “Grim Reaper” and, from the 15th century onwards, it came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood. The Bible itself refers to “The Angel of Death” when he reaps Egypt’s firstborns. Incidentally, in English, death is personified as male, but in some other languages, death is portrayed as female.

15 The homes of the wicked will burn down;
    burning sulfur rains on their houses.
16 Their roots will dry up,
    and their branches will wither.
17 All memory of their existence will fade from the earth,
    no one will remember their names.
18 They will be thrust from light into darkness,
    driven from the world.
19 They will have neither children nor grandchildren,
    nor any survivor in the place where they lived.

This was an especially cruel statement to one who had lost all ten of his children (included seven sons) in a tragic accident, as we remember from chapter 1. Bildad felt that such cruelty was necessary to wake Job up from his self-deception.

20 People in the west are appalled at their fate;
    people in the east are horrified.
21 They will say, ‘This was the home of a wicked person,
    the place of one who rejected God.’”

“It is not Job’s wickedness but his faithfulness that the Lord is disclosing through this ordeal. In fact there may be nothing our God wants more than to bring each one of us to the point where He can do with us exactly what He did with Job: hand us over with perfect confidence into the clutches of Satan, knowing that even then our faith will hold.”

–Mike Mason



Bildad makes very clear what the destiny of the wicked will be. And wicked ones and righteous ones alike must face the end of their lives. Yet what a difference! Death is the last enemy a believer must face, and even then, Jesus is with us! Goodness and mercy will follow us. So there is no need to fear, now or then.   HERE  is Chris Tomlin and “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”  It is a peaceful joy to let these words sink in and soothe the soul.


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

Images courtesy of:
The wages of sin.    http://m1.behance.net/rendition/modules/17151334/disp/4cbcf5ee270172aae2c547fe8866b4ff.jpg
animal trap.    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Havahart-Easy-Set-Rabbit-and-Skunk-Animal-Trap/10714578
Grim Reaper.    http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090507165214/monster/images/5/55/Grim_reaper.jpg

3413.) Job 17

May 18, 2022

Job17 hope
Job 17   (NLT)

Job Continues to Defend His Innocence

Job directs a complaint both towards earth and towards heaven:

“My spirit is crushed,
    and my life is nearly snuffed out.
    The grave is ready to receive me.
I am surrounded by mockers.
    I watch how bitterly they taunt me.

“You must defend my innocence, O God,
    since no one else will stand up for me.
You have closed their minds to understanding,
    but do not let them triumph.
They betray their friends for their own advantage,
    so let their children faint with hunger.

A faint bright glimmer in the hopeless condition of Job:

“God has made a mockery of me among the people;
    they spit in my face.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
    and I am but a shadow of my former self.
The virtuous are horrified when they see me.
    The innocent rise up against the ungodly.
The righteous keep moving forward,
    and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.

Job17 v9

F.B. Meyer gave several reasons why the righteous will “hold their way.”

  • You shall hold on your way because Jesus holds you in his strong hand. He is your Shepherd; He has vanquished all your foes, and you shall never perish.
  • You shall hold on your way because the Father has designed through you to glorify His Son; and there must be no gaps in his crown where jewels ought to be.
  • You shall hold on your way because the Holy Spirit has designed to make you his residence and home; and He is within you the perennial spring of a holy life.

–quoted by David Guzik

10 “As for all of you, come back with a better argument,
    though I still won’t find a wise man among you.
11 My days are over.
    My hopes have disappeared.
    My heart’s desires are broken.
12 These men say that night is day;
    they claim that the darkness is light.
13 What if I go to the grave
    and make my bed in darkness?
14 What if I call the grave my father,
    and the maggot my mother or my sister?
15 Where then is my hope?
    Can anyone find it?

for all of us who are waiting . . .

for all of us who are waiting . . .

16 No, my hope will go down with me to the grave.
    We will rest together in the dust!”



We need not lose hope!  HERE  is Hillsong and “Hope of the World.”


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.

Images courtesy of:
My only hope is in you.    http://ih3.redbubble.net/image.13878711.6274/flat,550×550,075,f.u2.jpg
The righteous also.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/job17-v9.png
Don’t lose hope.    http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyw0424HcC1qck0geo1_500.jpg

3412.) Job 16

May 17, 2022

Job16 my witness

Job 16   (NLT)

Job’s Fifth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz

Then Job spoke again:

Job reproaches his pitiless friends:

“I have heard all this before.
    What miserable comforters you are!

JOB mind-your-language

Job enriches our language. 

Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech:  Job’s comforters.  (This exact phrase is not found, but here we get the general meaning — someone who tries to make you feel better but makes you feel worse instead!)

Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air?
    What makes you keep on talking?
I could say the same things if you were in my place.
    I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
But if it were me, I would encourage you.
    I would try to take away your grief.

“The chief reason for being suspicious of the theology of Job’s friends is that it is so obviously lacking in mercy.”

–Mike Mason

Instead, I suffer if I defend myself,
    and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.

“O God, you have ground me down
    and devastated my family.
As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones.
    My gaunt flesh testifies against me.
God hates me and angrily tears me apart.
    He snaps his teeth at me
    and pierces me with his eyes.

“Eliphaz accused Job of attacking God, but Job claimed the reverse was true; God assailed him.”

–Elmer Smick

10 People jeer and laugh at me.
    They slap my cheek in contempt.
    A mob gathers against me.
11 God has handed me over to sinners.
    He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.

12 “I was living quietly until he shattered me.
    He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces.
Then he set me up as his target,
13     and now his archers surround me.
His arrows pierce me without mercy.
    The ground is wet with my blood.
14 Again and again he smashes against me,
    charging at me like a warrior.

Job wonders why his righteous life has deserved his dark trial:

15 I wear burlap to show my grief.
    My pride lies in the dust.
16 My eyes are red with weeping;
    dark shadows circle my eyes.
17 Yet I have done no wrong,
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not conceal my blood.
    Let it cry out on my behalf.
19 Even now my witness is in heaven.
    My advocate is there on high.
20 My friends scorn me,
    but I pour out my tears to God.
21 I need someone to mediate between God and me,
    as a person mediates between friends.

Job anticipated the need that would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is both our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and our advocate (1 John 2:1) in heaven before God the Father.  He knew by faith that such a person existed and could be trusted. The reality of this truth is even more available to us in light of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His exaltation to the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

–David Guzik

Our Heavenly Father is never absent from our pain and by His design, He shares in our grief. D. A. Carson said, “Christianity is uniquely comforting because only the Christian God plunged into the suffering we experience.” Jesus knows. Jesus understands.

22 For soon I must go down that road
    from which I will never return.



Job saw it dimly.  Paul wrote it clearly in  1 Timothy 2:5-6  — “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”  We can rejoice exceedingly!   HERE  is Ghost Ship and “Mediator.”


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.

Images courtesy of:
Even now my witness is in heaven.    http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x175/hollywd58/Bible%20Verses/Job16.jpg
1 Timothy 2:5-6.   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/429530883196150166/

3411.) Job 15

May 16, 2022

Job15 with friends

Job 15   (NLT)

Eliphaz’s Second Response to Job

In the second round of speeches, Job’s “comforters,” no longer appealing for repentance, become more condemning and vehement. Job, meanwhile, becomes more stubborn.

–William MacDonald

In Eliphaz’s response to Job, he insults Job, accuses Job of offending his friends and attacking God, and then goes into great detail as to how Job’s life matches that of the typical wicked man.

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Eliphaz criticizes Job a second time:

“A wise man wouldn’t answer with such empty talk!
    You are nothing but a windbag.

Job15 windbag


noun.  informal.  derogatory.
a person who talks at length but says little of value.

How wrong Eliphaz is! Job’s situation, his despair, and his pleas for help and understanding have spoken truth to countless people through the ages.

The wise don’t engage in empty chatter.
    What good are such words?
Have you no fear of God,
    no reverence for him?
Your sins are telling your mouth what to say.
    Your words are based on clever deception.
Your own mouth condemns you, not I.
    Your own lips testify against you.

As Job becomes more vehement, his friends become more severe. At first Eliphaz was gentle and courteous (Job 4:2). Now his politeness diminishes, and he bluntly accuses Job of folly and impiety.

–David Guzik

“Were you the first person ever born?
    Were you born before the hills were made?

Eliphaz argued along similar lines as God later did with Job in chapters 38 and 39. They both appealed to Job to consider that he did not know as much as he thought he did. Yet, what Eliphaz thought Job didn’t know was entirely different than what God knew Job didn’t know.

8 Were you listening at God’s secret council?
    Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
What do you know that we don’t?
    What do you understand that we do not?
10 On our side are aged, gray-haired men
    much older than your father!

11 “Is God’s comfort too little for you?
    Is his gentle word not enough?

12 What has taken away your reason?
    What has weakened your vision,
13 that you turn against God
    and say all these evil things?

Eliphaz groups Job with the wicked deserving of and receiving judgment:

14 Can any mortal be pure?
    Can anyone born of a woman be just?
15 Look, God does not even trust the angels.
    Even the heavens are not absolutely pure in his sight.
16 How much less pure is a corrupt and sinful person
    with a thirst for wickedness!

17 “If you will listen, I will show you.
    I will answer you from my own experience.
18 And it is confirmed by the reports of wise men
    who have heard the same thing from their fathers—
19 from those to whom the land was given
    long before any foreigners arrived.

Job15 Ps 34

20 “The wicked writhe in pain throughout their lives.
    Years of trouble are stored up for the ruthless.
21 The sound of terror rings in their ears,
    and even on good days they fear the attack of the destroyer.
22 They dare not go out into the darkness
    for fear they will be murdered.
23 They wander around, saying, ‘Where can I find bread?’
    They know their day of destruction is near.
24 That dark day terrifies them.
    They live in distress and anguish,
    like a king preparing for battle.
25 For they shake their fists at God,
    defying the Almighty.
26 Holding their strong shields,
    they defiantly charge against him.

The certainty of God’s judgment against the wicked:

27 “These wicked people are heavy and prosperous;
    their waists bulge with fat.
28 But their cities will be ruined.
    They will live in abandoned houses
    that are ready to tumble down.
29 Their riches will not last,
    and their wealth will not endure.
    Their possessions will no longer spread across the horizon.

Job15 here today

Hold Fast True Riches
By Martha S. Nicholson

(I often heard my mother recite this poem.)

Let me hold lightly things of this earth;
Transient treasures, what are they worth?
Moths can corrupt them, rust can decay;
All their bright beauty fades in a day.
Let me hold lightly temporal things —
I, who am deathless, I, who wear wings!

Let me hold fast, Lord, things of the skies;
Quicken my vision, open my eyes!
Show me Thy riches, glory and grace,
Boundless as time is, endless as space.
Let me hold lightly things that are mine —
Lord, Thou dost give me all that is Thine!

30 “They will not escape the darkness.
    The burning sun will wither their shoots,
    and the breath of God will destroy them.
31 Let them no longer fool themselves by trusting in empty riches,
    for emptiness will be their only reward.
32 Like trees, they will be cut down in the prime of life;
    their branches will never again be green.
33 They will be like a vine whose grapes are harvested too early,
    like an olive tree that loses its blossoms before the fruit can form.
34 For the godless are barren.
    Their homes, enriched through bribery, will burn.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
    Their womb produces deceit.”

“It was hard to convince Job, and it is hard to convince us, that that fair and dutiful life had been based on guilt and hypocrisy; that all this misery was the well-deserved, well-measured requital of a life that was a lie.”  (Bradley)

–quoted by David Guzik



When all things seem to be turned against us, as they were for Job — normal life completely disrupted, friends condemning us — oh, that feeling of desperation.  HERE  is Michael W. Smith and “Breathe.”


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.

Images courtesy of:
Job listens to his friends.    http://www.truth2u.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/110_01_0188_BiblePaintings.jpg
windbag.   http://patriccio.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/politician-windbag.jpg
Psalm 34:16.    https://conservativechristianapologist.com/2017/10/16/the-forgotten/
here today.    http://www.englishbaby.com/dynamic/vocab_word/flashcard_image/0000/0000/0010/10755_1362714388_680452.png

3410.) Job 14

May 13, 2022
"Job's Despair," by William Blake.

“Job’s Despair,” by William Blake.

Job 14   (NLT)

Job muses on the frailty of man:

“How frail is humanity!
    How short is life, how full of trouble!
We blossom like a flower and then wither.
    Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.

Job14 life is hard

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.
~James Dean

We are always getting ready to live but never living.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature
    and demand an accounting from me?
Who can bring purity out of an impure person?
    No one!
You have decided the length of our lives.
    You know how many months we will live,
    and we are not given a minute longer.
So leave us alone and let us rest!
    We are like hired hands, so let us finish our work in peace.

Job’s meditation of what lies beyond this life:

“Even a tree has more hope!
    If it is cut down, it will sprout again
    and grow new branches.
Though its roots have grown old in the earth
    and its stump decays,
at the scent of water it will bud
    and sprout again like a new seedling.

10 “But when people die, their strength is gone.
    They breathe their last, and then where are they?
11 As water evaporates from a lake
    and a river disappears in drought,
12 people are laid to rest and do not rise again.
    Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up
    nor be roused from their sleep.

Job14 cemetery angel

We can explain Job’s lack of knowledge of the afterlife by understanding the principle of 2 Timothy 2:10: that Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The understanding of immortality was at best cloudy in the Old Testament, but is much clearer in the New Testament. For example, we can say that Jesus knew fully what He was talking about when He described hell and judgment (such as in Matthew 25:41-46). We therefore rely on the New Testament for our understanding of the afterlife, much more than the Old.

Later, God challenged and corrected Job’s presumptuous assertions regarding the afterlife, reminding Job that he did not in fact know what life after death was like (Job 38:2 and 38:17). 

–David Guzik

13 “I wish you would hide me in the grave
    and forget me there until your anger has passed.
    But mark your calendar to think of me again!
14 Can the dead live again?
    If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle,
    and I would eagerly await the release of death.

The King James Version puts it, “If a man die, shall he live again?” 

“It was a tremendous question: but let us remind ourselves that there is no answer to it, save that which came to men through Jesus Christ and His Gospel. As Paul said, it is He ‘Who brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel’ (2 Timothy 1:10). The question of Job was answered by Jesus, and that so completely as to leave no room for doubt.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

15 You would call and I would answer,
    and you would yearn for me, your handiwork.
16 For then you would guard my steps,
    instead of watching for my sins.
17 My sins would be sealed in a pouch,
    and you would cover my guilt.

Job considers the limitless power of God – and despairs:

18 “But instead, as mountains fall and crumble
    and as rocks fall from a cliff,
19 as water wears away the stones
    and floods wash away the soil,
    so you destroy people’s hope.
20 You always overpower them, and they pass from the scene.
    You disfigure them in death and send them away.
21 They never know if their children grow up in honor
    or sink to insignificance.
22 They suffer painfully;
    their life is full of trouble.”

Job14 Jesus-on-the-cross

We are somewhat reminded of Jesus’ words at Mark 15:34: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

On the one hand, those words were a true and accurate description of how Jesus felt; He rightly felt forsaken by God the Father at that moment. Jesus, the substitute for sinful humanity, felt the withdrawal of the Father’s fellowship. At the same time, we cannot say that the separation between the Father and the Son at the cross was complete, because as 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself at the cross.

–David Guzik



“. . . reconciling the world to Himself” — at the cross. So life has purpose and we have hope.  HERE  is Terry Butler’s worshipful “At the Cross.”


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.

Images courtesy of:
Blake.    https://www.themorgan.org/collection/William-Blakes-World/25
Life is hard.  Then you die.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/job14-life-is-hard.png
cemetery angel.    https://mymodernmet.com/achingly-beautiful-cemetery/
dug grave.   https://muslimmatters.org/2019/06/27/gravedigger-short-story-wael-life-death-fight/
Jesus on the cross.    https://godloveseverybody.weebly.com/station-2-the-crucifixion-and-death-of-jesus.html

3409.) Job 13

May 12, 2022

Job13 v15

Job 13   (NLT)

Job Wants to Argue His Case with God

Here Job shows himself to be a more honest observer, a more exuberant thinker, than the friends. The mind reels at the immensity of his conception of God. The little deity in the theology of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar is easily thought and easily believed. But a faith like Job’s puts the human spirit to strenuous work.

–Francis Anderson

Job’s strong rebuke to his friends:

“Look, I have seen all this with my own eyes
    and heard it with my own ears, and now I understand.
I know as much as you do.
    You are no better than I am.

Job starts by reasserting something he’s said already in chapter 12. Job claims that his friends’ knowledge doesn’t surpass his at all. For this has been the impression these friends have left Job with – that they’re superior to him in wisdom and understanding. But Job here is flatly denying that.

And we do need to be careful – as we counsel others and try to explain God’s ways to them – that we don’t come across as know-it-alls. Especially when the knowledge we’re trying to convey is really more just personal opinion based on something other than Scripture.


3 As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty.
    I want to argue my case with God himself.

Job here develops a theme that will end with a virtual demand that God make sense of his suffering. God’s response to Job’s demand (and Job’s response to God’s response) makes up the last few chapters of the book.

–David Guzik

4 As for you, you smear me with lies.
    As physicians, you are worthless quacks.
If only you could be silent!
    That’s the wisest thing you could do.

Ouch! Job tells them that if they really want to be wise, they’ll be quiet and stop communicating lies on God’s behalf.

6 Listen to my charge;
    pay attention to my arguments.

“Are you defending God with lies?
Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake?
Will you slant your testimony in his favor?
Will you argue God’s case for him?
What will happen when he finds out what you are doing?
Can you fool him as easily as you fool people?
10 No, you will be in trouble with him
if you secretly slant your testimony in his favor.
11 Doesn’t his majesty terrify you?
Doesn’t your fear of him overwhelm you?
12 Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes.
Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.

The problem with the counsel of these men – that good is always rewarded and evil always punished in this life – is that they are so stuck in that way of thinking that they are obliged to accuse Job of secret sin in order to make their man-made theology work.

Job’s confidence in God and his own integrity:

13 “Be silent now and leave me alone.
    Let me speak, and I will face the consequences.
14 Yes, I will take my life in my hands
    and say what I really think.

JOB mind-your-language

Job enriches our language. 

Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech:  take my life in my hands.

15 God might kill me, but I have no other hope.

Job 13:15  (KJV)

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.

Writing fictionally in the voice of a senior demon instructing a junior demon in his popular book The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis stated – from a demon’s perspective – this dynamic of trial in the life of the believer: “He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”

John 6:68   (KJV)

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

    I am going to argue my case with him.
16 But this is what will save me—I am not godless.
    If I were, I could not stand before him.

17 “Listen closely to what I am about to say.
    Hear me out.
18 I have prepared my case;
    I will be proved innocent.
19 Who can argue with me over this?
    And if you prove me wrong, I will remain silent and die.

Job Asks How He Has Sinned

Job asks God to tell him if sin is indeed the cause of his suffering:

20 “O God, grant me these two things,
    and then I will be able to face you.
21 Remove your heavy hand from me,
    and don’t terrify me with your awesome presence.
22 Now summon me, and I will answer!
    Or let me speak to you, and you reply.
23 Tell me, what have I done wrong?
    Show me my rebellion and my sin.

Job13 search me
Why do you turn away from me?

    Why do you treat me as your enemy?
25 Would you terrify a leaf blown by the wind?
    Would you chase dry straw?

26 “You write bitter accusations against me
    and bring up all the sins of my youth.
27 You put my feet in stocks.
    You examine all my paths.
    You trace all my footprints.

Job laments the frailty of man:

28 I waste away like rotting wood,
    like a moth-eaten coat.

Job has basically told his friends to be quiet and to listen to him. And what he wants them to listen to is the fact that he’s innocent and he can’t figure out why it seems like God is punishing him. That arrangement contradicts everything that Job and his friends have believed about how God works.



Verse 15 — “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” — the ultimate expression of faith.  HERE  is MercyMe and “Bring the Rain.” “Forever singing,” the song says, which means I can be joyfully singing today, with its sunshine and rain . . .


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.

Images courtesy of:
Though he slay me.    http://redeemingmoments.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/job13-15.jpg
Search me, O God.    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/79/5b/e1/795be1ea1a71562a7888da79db7ba641.jpg

3408.) Job 12

May 11, 2022

Job12 frog

Job 12   (NLT)

Job’s Fourth Speech: A Response to Zophar

Job complains about his friends:

Then Job spoke again:

Job 12 sarcasm

2 “You people really know everything, don’t you?
    And when you die, wisdom will die with you!

Well, I know a few things myself—
    and you’re no better than I am.
    Who doesn’t know these things you’ve been saying?
Yet my friends laugh at me,
    for I call on God and expect an answer.
I am a just and blameless man,
    yet they laugh at me.
People who are at ease mock those in trouble.
    They give a push to people who are stumbling.
But robbers are left in peace,
    and those who provoke God live in safety—
    though God keeps them in his power.

Job explains his understanding of God’s ways:

“Just ask the animals, and they will teach you.
    Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you.
    Let the fish in the sea speak to you.
For they all know
    that my disaster has come from the hand of the Lord.
10 For the life of every living thing is in his hand,
    and the breath of every human being.

Acts 17:28   (Good News Translation)

‘In him we live and move and exist.’

Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
To God the Creator triumphantly raise,
Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,
Who guideth us on to the end of our days.
His banners are o’er us,
His light goes before us,
A pillar of fire shining forth in the night,
‘Til shadows have vanished and darkness is banished,
As forward we travel from light into light.
His law He enforces: the stars in their courses,
The sun in His orbit, obediently shine;
The hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains,
The deeps of the ocean proclaim Him divine,
We too should be voicing
Our love and rejoicing,
With glad adoration a song let us raise,
‘Til all things now living unite in thanksgiving
To God in the highest, hosanna and praise.

–Katherine Davis

11 The ear tests the words it hears
    just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.
12 Wisdom belongs to the aged,
    and understanding to the old.

Job describes the great power of God:

In this section, Job rebukes the previous speech of Zophar in chapter 11, especially where Zophar criticized Job for not knowing God and likened him to an empty-headed man. Here Job shows that he does indeed know God. Job’s message to his friends is clear: “I do know God and how great He is. Don’t criticize me on this point any longer.”

–David Guzik 

13 “But true wisdom and power are found in God;
    counsel and understanding are his.

With wonderful poetic beauty and repetition, Job describes the power and majesty of God:

14 What he destroys cannot be rebuilt.
    When he puts someone in prison, there is no escape.

God’s power over men;

15 If he holds back the rain, the earth becomes a desert.
    If he releases the waters, they flood the earth.
16 Yes, strength and wisdom are his;
    deceivers and deceived are both in his power.

God’s power over the minds of human beings;

17 He leads counselors away, stripped of good judgment;
    wise judges become fools.

God’s power over the wise;

18 He removes the royal robe of kings.
    They are led away with ropes around their waist.

God’s power over rulers;

19 He leads priests away, stripped of status;
    he overthrows those with long years in power.
20 He silences the trusted adviser
    and removes the insight of the elders.

God’s power over the eloquent;

21 He pours disgrace upon princes
    and disarms the strong.

22 “He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness;
    he brings light to the deepest gloom.

God’s power over darkness;

23 He builds up nations, and he destroys them.
    He expands nations, and he abandons them.

God’s power over nations.

24 He strips kings of understanding
    and leaves them wandering in a pathless wasteland.
25 They grope in the darkness without a light.
    He makes them stagger like drunkards.

Perhaps here Job is describing himself — a formerly prominent man now stripped of understanding, wandering in a wasteland, groping in the darkness, staggering like a drunk.



In verse 10 Job tells us that the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.  Creation speaks to us of the power and glory of God!  HERE  is the St. Philips Boys Choir with John Rutter’s beautiful arrangement of “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

Job 12 birthday pie

And Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, David, who knows and shares the power and love of God with all the people he meets! (And who prefers pie to cake!)


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.

Images courtesy of:
In his hand, frog.    http://media.salemwebnetwork.com/ecards/scripture-cards/job-12-10-frog-550×320.jpg
sarcasm.    https://www.bustedtees.com/products/sarcasm-just-one-of-the-many-services-i-offer-19995
frog on leaf.  https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Job-12-9_Inspirational_Image/

3407.) Job 11

May 10, 2022

Job11 v7

Job 11   (NLT)

Zophar’s First Response to Job

Zophar criticizes Job for his complaining:

Then Zophar the Naamathite replied to Job:

Zophar wastes little time boring straight to the heart of the matter (as he interprets it). By comparison with Eliphaz and Bildad, he is almost brutal in his bluntness. “Should thy lies make men hold their peace? . . . But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee . . . God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth” (verses 3, 5-6). He appeals to God’s great wisdom and control, which dwarfs that of vain and ignorant men, and urges Job to return to God, where he will find both security and hope.

–Walk Thru the Bible Ministries

“Shouldn’t someone answer this torrent of words?
    Is a person proved innocent just by a lot of talking?
Should I remain silent while you babble on?
    When you mock God, shouldn’t someone make you ashamed?
You claim, ‘My beliefs are pure,’
    and ‘I am clean in the sight of God.’
If only God would speak;
    if only he would tell you what he thinks!
If only he would tell you the secrets of wisdom,
    for true wisdom is not a simple matter.
Listen! God is doubtless punishing you
    far less than you deserve!

Job11 Romans_11-33
“Can you solve the mysteries of God?

    Can you discover everything about the Almighty?
Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—
    and who are you?

It is deeper than the underworld—
    what do you know?
It is broader than the earth
    and wider than the sea.
10 If God comes and puts a person in prison
    or calls the court to order, who can stop him?
11 For he knows those who are false,
    and he takes note of all their sins.
12 An empty-headed person won’t become wise
    any more than a wild donkey can bear a human child.

Job 11 pigs fly fabric

Or, “anymore than pigs can fly.” Really, Zophar almost crosses the line of friendship. This is a mean and condescending remark showing no compassion while accusing Job of stupidity.

Zophar’s advice to Job:

13 “If only you would prepare your heart
    and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
14 Get rid of your sins,
    and leave all iniquity behind you.
15 Then your face will brighten with innocence.
    You will be strong and free of fear.

It is arrogance on the part of Zophar to think that he knows why Job is suffering. We know from the prologue that it was not because Job had sinned. Job was called by God to join that grand company of innocent sufferers for the glory of the Lord.  (The Reformation Bible)

1 Peter 4:13   (ESV)

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

16 You will forget your misery;
    it will be like water flowing away.
17 Your life will be brighter than the noonday.
    Even darkness will be as bright as morning.

18 Having hope will give you courage.
    You will be protected and will rest in safety.
19 You will lie down unafraid,
    and many will look to you for help.
20 But the wicked will be blinded.
    They will have no escape.
    Their only hope is death.”

Bible commentator Adam Clarke (1762-1832) speaks of Zophar’s “sour godliness”! Lord, keep us from imitating Zophar’s pitilessness as we seek to comfort others!



James tells us, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, and purify your thoughts.” In our suffering, too often I am guilty of just wanting it to stop! Enough already! But do I pause and ask God to perfect His purposes in me through the suffering?  HERE is a hymn to help us “purify our thoughts” and draw closer to Christ. Isaac Watts’ “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed”  is sung by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute in Pennsylvania. The tune they use is unfamiliar to me but fits the hymn quite well, I think.


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.

Images courtesy of:
Can you fathom the mysteries of God.    http://wallpaper4god.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Job11_7.jpg
Romans 11:33.    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Inspirational-Images/large/Romans_11-33.jpg
pigs fly fabric.   https://beautifulquiltfabric.net/products/pig-fabric-colorful-when-pigs-fly-fabric-cotton-or-fleece-1760
verse 17.   https://mayangledz.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/job-11-17.jpg

3406.) Job 10

May 9, 2022

“Job,” by Jan (the Elder) Lievens, 1631 (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa)

Job 10   (NLT)

Job Frames His Plea to God

What Job would say to God if he could:

“I am disgusted with my life.
Let me complain freely.
My bitter soul must complain.

Pity Party. 

A way of experiencing grief, in which you spend your time feeling sorry for yourself and whining endlessly about how crappy your life is.
Pity Parties can be just for one or for many people, such as your friends, who will try to comfort you or just be there for you while you keep asking yourself what did you do to deserve whatever it is that made you so sad in the first place.
Pity Parties require the proper outfit, which is usually pajamas because you don’t get all dressed up during those feeling-sorry-for-myself moments. Also you should have no make up on or just what remains from the night before; hair undone as well.
They also involve tissues — and comfort food such as ice cream, chocolate, potato chips, cookies, cake, and candy. Low fat food is banned.


2 I will say to God, ‘Don’t simply condemn me—
tell me the charge you are bringing against me.
3 What do you gain by oppressing me?
Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands,
while smiling on the schemes of the wicked?
4 Are your eyes like those of a human?
Do you see things only as people see them?
5 Is your lifetime only as long as ours?
Is your life so short
6 that you must quickly probe for my guilt
and search for my sin?
7 Although you know I am not guilty,
no one can rescue me from your hands.

Now Job reminds God that in creating humankind He has assumed responsibilities from which He cannot honorably escape!

–Harold St. John

8 “‘You formed me with your hands; you made me,
yet now you completely destroy me.
9 Remember that you made me from dust—
will you turn me back to dust so soon?

Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

10 You guided my conception
and formed me in the womb.
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
My life was preserved by your care.

Job 10 newborn-

Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.

Job’s agonized question: “Why, God?”

13 “‘Yet your real motive—
your true intent—
14 was to watch me, and if I sinned,
you would not forgive my guilt.
15 If I am guilty, too bad for me;
and even if I’m innocent, I can’t hold my head high,
because I am filled with shame and misery.
16 And if I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion
and display your awesome power against me.
17 Again and again you witness against me.
You pour out your growing anger on me
and bring fresh armies against me.

Job 10 question mark

Job is searching for an answer to his suffering, an answer to the question of why bad things happen to good people. His answer:  if it isn’t my fault, it must be God’s fault. He claims God is out to get him. If that is the case, then, what is the point of living? What is life all about?

Job asks God to leave him alone:

18 “‘Why, then, did you deliver me from my mother’s womb?
Why didn’t you let me die at birth?
19 It would be as though I had never existed,
going directly from the womb to the grave.
20 I have only a few days left, so leave me alone,
that I may have a moment of comfort
21 before I leave—never to return—
for the land of darkness and utter gloom.
22 It is a land as dark as midnight,
a land of gloom and confusion,
where even the light is dark as midnight.’”



HERE  is a modern-day rendering of the same question:  Why do we live? “Alfie”  by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and sung by Dionne Warwick.

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
then I guess it’s wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
what will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there’s something much more,
something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
and you’ll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.


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.

Images courtesy of:
Lievens.    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3b/Jan_Lievens_-_Job.jpg/501px-Jan_Lievens_-_Job.jpg
pity party.  http://s2.hubimg.com/u/4593989_f496.jpg
first man Adam and perfect man Christ.    https://changedandtransformedblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/you-were-born-an-original-dont-die-a-copy/
newborn baby.  https://www.itsmyhealthinsurance.com.au/advice/12-tips-for-keeping-your-newborn-healthy/
question mark.   https://www.kindpng.com/imgv/ToiTJi_green-question-mark-clip-art-at-clker-green/