Job Chapter Twenty-Six
Job’s reply to Bildad is shorter than in past occurrences. He does not contradict what Bildad says but in fact far surpasses Bildad in his magnification of God’s greatness and power. In this he is in effect saying that as wise as you are, Bildad, I have the same knowledge and wisdom or perhaps even more.
Read Job 26:1-4
v1-2. “BUT JOB ANSWERED AND SAID, HOW HAST THOU HELPED him that is WITHOUT POWER? how SAVEST THOU THE ARM THAT hath no STRENGTH?”
Job begins his response to Bildad by asking him of what use are his words? What good have you done with all your words to him who has no power? He had done God no service by his words; He had done his cause, his argument no good with his words and he had done Job no service as well. He pretended to instruct, to convince, and comfort but Job says what he said has so little value to his purpose that it has done nothing to rectify his mistakes.
v3. “HOW HAST THOU COUNSELLED him that hath NO WISDOM? AND how HAST THOU PLENTIFULLY DECLARED THE THING AS IT IS?”
Job is asking Bildad questions here using sarcasm and irony which can be hard to understand unless we hear the inflection or tone in someone’s voice to help us. Bildad was fond of his own notions (as most of us are apt to be), and thought they only were right, and true and reasonable, and all other notions about such things were false, mistaken and confused. When we speak of the greatness and glory of God, we cannot declare this as it is because we see only through the revelation we have and will not see his true glory until we see Him at the judgment day.
v4. “TO WHOM HAST THOU UTTERED WORDS? AND WHOSE SPIRIT CAME FROM THEE?”
You have told me these things? Am I a child that needs instruction in these matters? Or, do you think your words as proper for one in my condition? Everything that is true and good is not necessarily suitable or appropriate for all occasions is it? Which would be better if one is afflicted like Job? Would it be better to teach and preach of God’s power and majesty or to preach and teach of God’s grace and infinite mercy?
Read Job 26:5-14
Job and his friends have finally found something they can agree on. They can agree on the power and majesty of the Almighty God.
v5. “DEAD things ARE FORMED FROM UNDER THE WATERS, AND THE INHABITANTS THEREOF.”
Dead are formed from under the waters; referring to what great event in the history of mankind. Could there have been anything more representative, more dreadful of God’s majesty that the time that he destroyed all of mankind because:
“AND GOD SAW THAT THE WICKEDNESS OF MAN was GREAT IN THE EARTH, AND that EVERY IMAGINATION OF THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART was ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY. AND IT REPENTED THE LORD THAT HE HAD MADE MAN ON THE EARTH, AND IT GRIEVED HIM AT HIS HEART.” Genesis 6:5-6
This makes us wonder just how much longer God is going to put up with today’s generations, doesn’t it?
v6. “HELL is NAKED BEFORE HIM, AND DESTRUCTION HATH NO COVERING.”
We conceive of hell as being beneath, laid out, out of our sight and perhaps even out of the sight of God. But what’s wrong with this concept? God even knows what’s going on there, there is no hiding. Even those who are in the grave and whose bones have returned to dust, our God knows where they are, He knows what kind of lives they lived and at the right time, His good time, we and they will all be raised again. Even those destroyed, for destruction has no covering that God cannot be behind or through.
v7. “HE STRETCHETH OUT THE NORTH OVER THE EMPTY PLACE, and HANGETH THE EARTH UPON NOTHING.”
God stretched out the heavens as a curtain and the atmosphere or air is the empty space over which it’s stretched. We have here words very similar to that in the psalms:
Psalms 104:2 “WHO COVEREST thyself WITH LIGHT AS with A GARMENT: WHO STRETCHEST OUT THE HEAVENS LIKE A CURTAIN:”
And this will continue until such time as heaven and earth are removed from existence, when we’re told that heaven will be rolled up like a scroll or a roll of paper.
Revelation 6:14 “AND THE HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL WHEN IT IS ROLLED TOGETHER; AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND ISLAND WERE MOVED OUT OF THEIR PLACES.”
And he hung the earth upon nothing. How does this earth stay in its place? Does mankind really understand the power and majesty of God, that He spoke this earth into existence and he can speak this earth out of existence again and back and forth as many times as He chooses. But He is waiting, waiting to give those that are even in this world that we know today the opportunity to Him in obedience and in prayer.
v8. “HE BINDETH UP THE WATERS IN HIS THICK CLOUDS; AND THE CLOUD IS NOT RENT UNDER THEM.”
He binds up great floods in the heavens above doesn’t He? Mankind has identified that as vapor, and we realize that just as the cloud above the teakettle spout (I’m dating all of us aren’t I) is not nearly as heavy as what’s inside and after a moment we can’t even see it. God is able to hold great floods in the heavens until through his providence they’re released to water the earth. But do we know how he does that, how this process was actually started, how that the earth before the flood did not know rain but was watered by a mist or vapor and that God changed it after the flood?
v9. “HE HOLDETH BACK THE FACE OF HIS THRONE, and SPREADETH HIS CLOUD UPON IT.”
God conceals the glory of the upper world, the dazzling luster that we as poor humans could not stand to look upon. Because God would have us live by faith rather than by the senses of touch or sight. As we read:
Psalms 97:2 “CLOUDS AND DARKNESS are ROUND ABOUT HIM: RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUDGMENT are THE HABITATION OF HIS THRONE.”
Even when he lived with his children, the children of Israel and guided them through the desert, he lived in a cloud by day:
Psalms 105:39 “HE SPREAD A CLOUD FOR A COVERING; AND FIRE TO GIVE LIGHT IN THE NIGHT.”
v10. “HE HATH COMPASSED THE WATERS WITH BOUNDS, UNTIL THE DAY AND NIGHT COME TO AN END.”
God in his power and majesty has given the waters of the oceans and seas their bounds or boundaries and those will remain until day and night come to an end and this universe is destroyed. The wise man described it this way:
Proverbs 8:29 “WHEN HE GAVE TO THE SEA HIS DECREE, THAT THE WATERS SHOULD NOT PASS HIS COMMANDMENT: WHEN HE APPOINTED THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH:”
v11-12. “THE PILLARS OF HEAVEN TREMBLE AND ARE ASTONISHED AT HIS REPROOF. HE DIVIDETH THE SEA WITH HIS POWER, AND BY HIS UNDERSTANDING HE SMITETH THROUGH THE PROUD.”
God, by mighty storms and tempests, shakes the mountains which are here called pillars of heaven and even divides the sea. The prophet Isaiah writes as he calls those of Judah who are righteous and seek the Lord to illustrate God’s majesty:
Isaiah 51:15 “BUT I am THE LORD THY GOD, THAT DIVIDED THE SEA, WHOSE WAVES ROARED: THE LORD OF HOSTS is HIS NAME.”
v13. “BY HIS SPIRIT HE HATH GARNISHED THE HEAVENS; HIS HAND HATH FORMED THE CROOKED SERPENT.”
The bright ornaments of the heavens are the work of his hands. The eternal Spirit moved upon the waters and the breath of his mouth gave life to all things in the earth. He not only made them but beautified them, the stars and galaxies of the heavens, the beauty of the earth and it expanse and scenery, the beauty of the flowers that bloom and even every creature down to the serpent that is crooked and crawls on his belly is as David describes himself:
Psalms 139:14 “I WILL PRAISE THEE; FOR I AM FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE: MARVELLOUS are THY WORKS; AND that MY SOUL KNOWETH RIGHT WELL.”
v14. “LO, THESE are PARTS OF HIS WAYS: BUT HOW LITTLE A PORTION IS HEARD OF HIM? BUT THE THUNDER OF HIS POWER WHO CAN UNDERSTAND?”
Job concludes his description of God’s power reflecting, with adoration and love, upon the discoveries that man has made of God and His ways. But he also admires the depth of that which is yet undiscovered. This that we have said is but a part of his ways, a small part. God is infinite and incomprehensible; our understanding of him and our capabilities to understand him are limited by the knowledge we gain of his Word and from his creation. But it is sufficient that we can know that we are his children (I John 2:3) and know that our discovery will be full or complete when we join Him in glory as his children.