JOB – FINAL DEFENSE

<27:1—31:40>

 (a).  Job’s First Monologue   <27:1—28:28>

Commencing his final defense he expresses his continuing faith in God even though the opinion of denied justice exists <27:2>; “as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.” <27:3-4 (NIV); cf. 1:8; 2:3, 10; Dan.1:8>; he has no intention of admitting that his friends are correct in their accusations or of denying his integrity <27:5>. He resolves; “I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” <27:6 (NIV); cf. Phil.2:12-13; Jas.1:22>, he will live for the rest of his life with a clear conscience.

He then verbalizes that his enemies, his friends, should be like the wicked, godless and unjust, for they have no hope when God takes away their life, God does not listen to their cry for they find no delight in Him <27:7-10; cf. Psa.109:6-15>, for they have falsely accused him so they should be treated as if they were wicked; proceeding to describe four characteristics of the destiny of wicked people, echoing Zophar’s words <20:29>. “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked” <27:13 (NIV)>: First he declares that they will leave no heritage <27:13-15>; secondly, all their personal possessions will be disappear <27:16-19>; and thirdly, “Terrors” like a flood will overtake them and they will be carried off by the “east wind” which will blow against them without mercy <27:20-23>. The east wind is typical of the Sirocco: It arises from a warm, dry, tropical air mass that is pulled northward by low-pressure cells, with the wind originating in the Arabian or Sahara deserts. The hotter, drier continental air mixes with the cooler, wetter air of the maritime cyclone, and the counter-clockwise circulation of the low propels the mixed air. The dust within the sirocco winds can cause abrasion in mechanical devices and penetrate buildings. Sirocco wind speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (54 knots) are possible. [From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia]: Job equates this to the judgment of God upon the wicked and ungodly, and the Scriptures often refers to the east wind as judgment <cf. Gen.41:6, 23, 27; Psa.48:7; Isa.27:8>.

His long tedious uninterrupted speech continues by addressing the subject of wisdom, first human wisdom <28:1-20>; “But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” <28:12-13 (NIV)>, and suggests that it is searched for like a miner looking for gold and precious stones in the darkest recesses of the earth, it is not found in the depths of the earth nor in the depths of the sea, neither can it be purchased with all the gold or precious stones, “the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.  The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.” <28:18-19 (NIV)>. He resolves that wisdom is hidden and concealed from the eyes of every living thing, even Destruction and Death (Sheol and Abaddon; <see 26:6>) have only heard a rumour of wisdom <28:21-22>.

So then, what is wisdom and where does it originate? <28:20> He concludes that “God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells” <28:23 (NIV)>; and from the very beginning of time, creation, He looked at wisdom and appraised it, confirmed it, and tested it; and confirmed to humankind, “And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord — that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'” <28:28 (NIV); cf. 1:1, 8; 2:3; Psa.111:10; Prov.9:10; 1:7>; and this characteristic was confirmed by God of His servant Job.

Job therefore shows that godly wisdom is not discoverable by humankind because we are all looking for it in the wrong places <see 1 Cor.1:30; 2:7-16; Eph.1:7-10>.

(b).  Job’s Second Monologue          <29:1—31:40>

Job’s final speech is in three parts; first he recalls his past experiences, then he contrasts his present afflictions, and finally he denies any guilt in the sins for which his friends have accused him.

“How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head and by his light I walked through darkness! Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me” <29:2-5 (NIV)>. Here Job reflects on the past when God was his friend and constant companion, God’s care and protection was evident, and he lived by the light of Scriptures <cf. 2 Sam.22:29; Psa.18:28; 119:105; Prov.20:27; Eph.5:14; 1 Jn.1:7>; God’s loving friendship was experienced by himself and his family <Job 1:5>. This should be the expression of all God’s children, and should be the reflection of all those who have left their “first love” <Rev.2:4-5a; cf. Jer.6:16; Lam.3:40-42; Joel 2:12-13>. He was respected by the citizens, both young and old, of the city <29:7-11> because he assisted the poor and fatherless by charity, righteousness and good judgment <29:12-17>. “I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.” <29:14 (NIV); cf. Isa.61:10; Eph.6:14, 17>. He anticipated a peaceful death in his own house after a life of prosperity and delight in God’s Word <cf. Psa.92:12-14>. He was a counselor to the people and they respected his techniques  <29:21-25>.

“But now they mock me” <30:1 (NIV)>; even the outcasts of society <30:1-8> those that I would not have used to help watch my sheep, those that have become homeless nomads driven out of the city. These outcasts now look upon Job with complete disrespect <39:9-15>; he is their object of scorn, they abhor him, spit in his face and keep their distance, causing terror to overwhelm him and his dignity and safety vanishes. He is in constant pain and agony <30:16-23> and God refuses to answer his prayers but apparently attacks him and he is tossed around by the turmoil. Certainly, God would not continue to afflict one who is at death’s door <30:24-31>, Job had shown mercy to those who were in trouble, but he has not experienced any mercy, all he has seen is evil and darkness as he cries for help; he is covered in sores and burns with fever, he is so lonely that he considers himself “a brother of jackals and a companion of owls” <30:29 (NIV)>, one who is nocturnal in character and feeds on live prey. His songs of praise are turned to sounds of mourning <30:31>.

“For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” <31:2-4 (NIV)>. Job finally addresses the accusations of his friends, denying any guilt of sins against God <31:1-12>, stating that God will judge the wicked whose end will be ruin and disaster <see Psa.11:6>, but God sees and knows Job’s deeds <cf. 2 Chron.16:9; Psa.139:3>. He insists that he has not been guilty of lusting after women, he has not been deceitful in his actions and he has not digressed from his godly life, “let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless” <31:6 (NIV)>. He has not denied justice <31:13-37> to his servants, nor has he withheld help due to the poor, widows or the fatherless, he has shared his wealth with those that needed his assistance. He has not been an idolater, nor has he trusted in his great wealth considering it to be the work of his  hands alone, for such would be sins to be judged for he would have been unfaithful and he would have to answer to God, “what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account?” <31:14 (NIV); cf. Rom.14:10-12>. He has not rejoiced at his enemy’s misfortune nor sinned by cursing him, nor has he concealed his sin. “Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense — let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing.” <31:35 (NIV)>, for he would wear it like a crown if they would put it in a book.

Job then calls for a curse on his property if all that he has been accused of is true <31:38-40>, and so his speech is ended and he has nothing more to say to his accusers; The words of Job are ended.” <31:40 (NIV)>.