Exercsie: Read chs 29-30, then try to answer the following. What is the significance of v 4. By his light I walked through darkness? 2. How does Job, poetically describe his past days of prosperity? 3. What kind of friendship did he once have with God? 4. Where did the legal procedures take place in a town or community? 5. Can you list a few different ways in which his high position was acknowledged in the past? 6. Which particular group or groups of people did he help? 7. How did Job anticipate his future, when he was in his prime? 8. What fact showed that Job’s voice was the highest and most respected authority in the land? 9. Why and how would his smile affect people? 10. How did he describe his position amongst his people? 11. How would you compare ch.30 with chapter 29? Chapter 30. 12. Which verse in ch.30 suggests that perhaps even the local pop group had lyrics written in mockery of Job. 13. What fact about the young people who mocked him, revealed the extent of his turn around in prosperity and position? 14. Is there a phrase here which can be listed with “God has hedged me in” – “God had drawn his net around me” “He has carried out his decree against me”? 15. Why might the young men of his day have had pneumatic drills? (joke) 17. How might wind destroy someone’s dignity, as v.15 says? (no joke) 18. How does Job describe God’s powerful grip of him? 19. Which verse shows that part of the trial was unanswered prayer? 20. How does he use music to describe the lack of joy in his life? 21. Why might you have thought Job was sunburnt? 22. What plea does Job make to God, because he is a broken man? 23. What vow of morality had Job made? Why do you think it significant? 24. Which poem by Rudyard Kipling reminds you of this final speech? 25. Can you summarise this final plea of Job? 26. What might verse 35 tell us about a certain legal procedure in Job’s day? 27. Why is the word accuser in verse 35 significant, even though Job did not know it? 28. Why would Job be delighted to have received a summons from God in the post? Study Notes on ch. 29.
How things used to be; In this chapter we have a fuller account of how his life used to be before the suffering began. The first few verses can be contrasted with ch.23:17 where he describes the darkness he is now enduring. His previous dark experiences were lightened by the knowledge of the presence and friendship of God. Somehow he knew that this was different and God seemed not to be with Him. He had no idea why God had forsaken him in such darkness. It is evident that his position as a judge was respected by all members of society, even the young men stepped aside for him. He was a saviour to the poor, who came to him when oppressed by wicked exploiters. Verse 17 contains strange metaphorical language. He speaks in dracula-like terms, of the wicked having teeth and fangs. The fangs may liken the wicked to snakes, but do they have teeth as well? His total sense of security in verses 18-20, and his obvious expectations, reveal on the human level, just how unexpected life can be. However, the tremendous change reveals even more the extent of the suffering.
Christ-likeness; His reference to the “glory” he once knew, triggers a quick thought that Jesus also knew glory and similar serenity and security, before coming to this earth. (John ch.17.) In verse 25-26 we see his awareness of how his presence, was very reassuring to his people. He reigned like a king and it was always comforting to them to know that Job was in charge of their lives. Notes later on the “unrecognisable Christ” shed more light here.)
Legal Tapestry; He describes his legal authority as the highest in the land. Ch.29:7-17. “...Took my seat at city gate, young men stepped aside old men rose to their feet. - spoke well of me and my words of wisdom. By which I defended the poor and the fatherless. The dying blessed me. Widows sang because of me. I was clothed in righteousness, justice was my robe and turban. I was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, a father to the needy. I defended strangers, and rescued the helpless from their wicked oppressors. Ch. 29:22-25. When I spoke all remained hushed. My words were like gentle refreshing showers. People drank in my words like the spring rain. Even my smile was enough to uplift them. I made their decisions and they were happy. I was as a king among them, one of great comfort. The chief speakers were hushed.
Study Notes on Ch. 30:
How things are now; “But now” ......even youths whose fathers, he wouldn’t have thought fit to look after his sheep, looked down on him. People, whose stock was well known to Job and people who were no more than vagabonds were now looking down on him in mockery. Apparently the local pop groups had written lyrics about his downfall. The Unrecognisable Christ; Perhaps you are familiar with the title of a tract called “The Incomparable Christ.” Job portrays the unrecognisable Christ. Have you ever known someone who became very ill and when you went into hospital you did not recognise them because they were so pitifully weak and emaciated. Sometimes such people have in their prime, been men of great athletic prowess or giants in the business or political world. Looking at them in their bed, one would never think that it was the same person. But it is, and sadly you know it. Looking at Job in chapter 30, one would never believe that this was the same man of chapter 29. But it was. He speaks of former glories in his prime, but now his skin is black, but not through sunburn. Inwardly, in his mind, soul and will he was the same person, but he was not treated as before for “man looks on the outward.” Jesus likewise, who prayed in the garden concerning his “former glory” which He once knew, became a “black man”. In the blackness of the hidden face of God, and the blackness of man’s sin, “He who knew no sin became sin”. (black and white colours are biblically metaphorical- not racial) This pitiful forlorn creature carrying this cross, head bleeding, back bleeding, with the spittle of his mockers on his cheeks, was this the Lord of Glory? Yes, the very same person. Unrecognisable, but the very same man. (check as above the life of Christ-Circle 1.) Ponder if you would on the “Glory He once knew”, “The darkness of the hour” and the “blackness of the man”. Man of Sorrows, What a name, for the Son of God who came. Ruined sinners to reclaim, Hallelujah, what a Saviour! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned he stood Sealed my pardon with His blood, Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
God the Instigator: Ch. 30:11, is contrasted with verse 20 of the previous chapter. The bow which he thought would always remain as new in his hand had been “unstrung” by God himself. Nothing could be more useless than an unstrung bow. His enemies show no restraint when attacking him, because they realise he is defenceless and there is no-one to help him. God grabs hold of his clothing, by the neck and throws him into the mud. God refuses to listen to his cries for help, or mercy, but instead “ruthlessly” God attacks him. It is incredulous that God should treat a helpless man in such a way. Job never thought anyone, let alone God could be so cruel. What an endorsement of the mystery of Calvary!
His suffering: Total devastation is the testimony in this chapter. Mocked by the lowest, spat upon, overwhelmed by terrors, all dignity and security has vanished away. Day and night incessantly, he endures relentless suffering and pain. Chap 30:27; the churning inside him never stops, his skin is black, but not through lying in the sun, his skin peels and burns continuously.
Death and the grave: Ch. 30:23; Death is the appointed end for all the living
Study Notes on Ch. 31.
Legal Tapestry: Rudyard Kipling once wrote a poem called “if”. I wonder if he realised that Job had the copyright in his poetry here. It is a magnificent legal speech. It is the final plea to the judge and jury. He pleads only for justice, and if he is guilty of any wrongdoing, then gladly he will suffer his punishment, The chapter no-doubt lists many of the things his friends had accused him of. Surely at some time or another, he had looked upon a young girl and lusted after her? But Job will not admit to even the most common of human frailties, for he had made a covenant with his eyes never to do so. What integrity? Had he told lies? No. Had he deceived in business? No. Had he ever committed adultery? No. Had he been an employer without compassion for his workers? No. Did he see himself as above them? No. Had he refused help, or bread to the poor? No. Had he seen the naked without clothing? No, he had given fleeces to all who needed them. Had he ever judged harshly? No. Though rich, had he ever trusted in his riches rather than in God? No. Had he ever had the slightest inclination to worship the sun or any other false gods? No. Had he ever rejoiced over the misfortune of his enemies? No. Had he ever closed his doors to weary travellers? No. He admits to no offence whatsoever. Finally he puts pen to paper to sign his written defence. Almost defiantly he calls God his accuser and calls for the indictment to be put in writing. Oh, how glad he would be to receive such a summons. How thrilled he would be to be called to the judgment hall of his God. He would not approach in fear but in triumph. He would wave the written summons like a flag above his head as he approached the throne, knowing he was innocent. Ch. 31:35-37. I sign now my defence, let the Almighty answer me. Let the accuser put his indictment in writing. If this was a script for a play, what a dramatic climax could be portrayed here.
Christ-likeness. What a magnificent picture of Jesus is portrayed in Job’s desire to stand before the judgement throne. In Hebrews it says that “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgement.” Not many bible students ever associate these verses with Jesus, as they are more often addressed to the sinner man in the street. However a closer look at the context, will show that Jesus was the subject of the narrative and the point being made, is the fact that he appeared before the judgement, just like any other man. So Jesus died and appeared before God for judgment. His offering and his person were accepted. Surely, as Jesus read these words in the days of his flesh, he must have heard the inner whisper of the Spirit. Collossians ch.2:14. The Apostle Paul speaks of the indictments and accusations against us being nailed to the cross. Who is there that can now condemn?