Job Chapter Twenty-Seven
Job’s discourse in this setting is called a parable (mashal). It carries the same designation as Solomon’s proverbs, it is instructive and he speaks as one having authority. He commands the attention of his hearers. He backs up everything he has said concerning his own integrity with a solemn oath, the intent is to silence contradiction and bring any blame for any wrongdoing upon himself.
Read Job 27:1-6
v1-2. “MOREOVER JOB CONTINUED HIS PARABLE, AND SAID, as GOD LIVETH, who HATH TAKEN AWAY MY JUDGMENT; AND THE ALMIGHTY, who HATH VEXED MY SOUL;”
Job swears by the living God, or the ever living God, eternal God that has life within himself as the sole and sovereign judge. He could swear by no greater.
Yet he also charges it to God that his soul is vexed. God has not only not appeared for him but seems to have appeared against him. He has allowed such afflictions to come upon him that they have made him bitter as he can find no peace or comfort in his current condition. Job continues to show his confidence in God and the goodness of his cause before him by committing to God his cause without reservation.
v3-4. “ALL THE WHILE MY BREATH is IN ME, AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD is IN MY NOSTRILS; MY LIPS SHALL NOT SPEAK WICKEDNESS, NOR MY TONGUE UTTER DECEIT.”
Oh! if we could but repeat the words of Job as our own. All the while, without reservation, completely, never, while I am able to breathe, and the spirit given by God is still in its earthly abode, my lips shall not speak wickedness nor my tongue utter deceit. Our resolution against sin should be this strong, this constant, as it is a resolution for life, spiritual life. That we as Job should not allow ourselves to lie, about anything, never maintain any doctrine or teaching not in harmony with the Word of God, never put forward anything as a fact unless we know it to be true or deny the truth no matter how much it might hurt at the time.
v5-6. “GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD JUSTIFY YOU: TILL I DIE I WILL NOT REMOVE MINE INTEGRITY FROM ME. MY RIGHTEOUSNESS I HOLD FAST, AND WILL NOT LET IT GO: MY HEART SHALL NOT REPROACH me SO LONG AS I LIVE.”
Job now turns to his so-called friends - God forbid that I should own up to being a hypocrite because I will not justify your charges against me. Job would not give up his integrity, he would always be an honest man and refused to curse God and die as his wife encouraged him to do in Job 2:9. Job here thinks in terms of being ready for death and therefore he resolves to hang on to everything good that he has, every good that he did, especially his faith in God, so as to not lose all that he has in the coming world like he has in the one that he is presently living in. He is resolved to defend his integrity and his relationship with the Almighty until the very end. This sounds somewhat like the testimony of Paul in Jerusalem before Felix:
Acts 24:14-16 “BUT THIS I CONFESS UNTO THEE, THAT AFTER THE WAY WHICH THEY CALL HERESY, SO WORSHIP I THE GOD OF MY FATHERS, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW AND IN THE PROPHETS: AND HAVE HOPE TOWARD GOD, WHICH THEY THEMSELVES ALSO ALLOW, THAT THERE SHALL BE A RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, BOTH OF THE JUST AND UNJUST. AND HEREIN DO I EXERCISE MYSELF, TO HAVE ALWAYS A CONSCIENCE VOID OF OFFENCE TOWARD GOD, AND toward MEN.”
My conscience is clear before God and before men; no one has any right to have accused me.
Read Job 27:7-10
v7. “LET MINE ENEMY BE AS THE WICKED, AND HE THAT RISETH UP AGAINST ME AS THE UNRIGHTEOUS.”
Let my enemy be as the wicked, let him be as the unrighteous, there is nothing worse I could ask for him. Job looks upon this condition of wickedness or unrighteousness as being absolutely the worst condition that a man could be in; having something in his life that would cause his separation from God. Because if we are separated from God as wicked or unrighteous then we have lost all haven’t we?
v8. “FOR WHAT is THE HOPE OF THE HYPOCRITE, THOUGH HE HATH GAINED, WHEN GOD TAKETH AWAY HIS SOUL?”
For what hope does the hypocrite have? Where will his soul spend eternity? Even if he gain the entire world, what can he look forward to except an eternity of punishment? Or as in the words of Jesus:
Matthew “FOR WHAT IS A MAN PROFITED, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL? OR WHAT SHALL A MAN GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL?”
Or as the rich man who had goods laid up for many years:
Luke “BUT GOD SAID UNTO HIM, thou FOOL, THIS NIGHT THY SOUL SHALL BE REQUIRED OF THEE: THEN WHOSE SHALL THOSE THINGS BE, WHICH THOU HAST PROVIDED?”
Both Bildad (Job ) and Zophar (Job ) had condemned hypocrisy and Job is agreeing with them.
v9. “WILL GOD HEAR HIS CRY WHEN TROUBLE COMETH UPON HIM?”
Will God hear
the cry of the hypocrite when trouble comes upon him? Does God hear the hypocrite’s prayer? We have a glorious example; provided in the
schoolmaster for our learning. Through
Isaiah the prophet God tells the people of
v10. “WILL HE DELIGHT HIMSELF IN THE ALMIGHTY? WILL HE ALWAYS CALL UPON GOD?”
Will the hypocrite find delight in the ways of God, will he call upon God? No, not until it’s too late. Hypocrites are those who though they profess to be religious take neither pleasure in it, comfort from it or persevere in it. They reckon what God requires to be a drudgery; a task or duty which must be performed but brings no joy. They may call upon God when it’s in fashion, while a pang of guilt troubles them or when they are in despair. But when it’s no longer fashionable in their sight, the twinge of guilt goes away or when whatever brought them to worship God is over they’ll revert right back to what they were before.
Read Job 27:11-23
v11-12. “I WILL TEACH YOU BY THE HAND OF GOD: that WHICH is WITH THE ALMIGHTY WILL I NOT CONCEAL. BEHOLD, ALL YE YOURSELVES HAVE SEEN it; WHY THEN ARE YE THUS ALTOGETHER VAIN?”
Job has, up until this time completely opposed his friend’s contention that the wicked, especially oppressors, suffer from misery and destruction. Now he is more ready to own up to how far he agrees with them and let them know the differences between their beliefs and his own. Now he says he will teach them about the counsels and purposes of the Almighty God concerning wicked people. He would teach them by the hand of God, using God as his strength and assistant. Why was Job particularly qualified to teach his friends?
Isaiah “FOR THE LORD SPAKE THUS TO ME WITH A STRONG HAND, AND INSTRUCTED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT WALK IN THE WAY OF THIS PEOPLE, SAYING,”
v13. “THIS is THE PORTION OF A WICKED MAN WITH GOD, AND THE HERITAGE OF OPPRESSORS, which THEY SHALL RECEIVE OF THE ALMIGHTY.”
The central theme of Job presentation is that wicked people may, in some instances, prosper, but that ruin follows them in those very instances; and that is their portion, that is their heritage, that is it which they must abide by. While their portion in the world may be wealth and preferment, their portion with God is ruin and misery. They may above the control of any earthly power, but the Almighty can and will deal with them.
v14. “IF HIS CHILDREN BE MULTIPLIED, it is FOR THE SWORD: AND HIS OFFSPRING SHALL NOT BE SATISFIED WITH BREAD.”
prosper in children, have many of them, raise them to high honor and great
wealth in this world but ruin awaits them.
We have an example in Esther. Haman,
who had plotted against the Jews and was their worst enemy in
Esther 9:10 “THE TEN SONS OF HAMAN THE SON OF HAMMEDATHA, THE ENEMY OF THE JEWS, SLEW THEY; BUT ON THE SPOIL LAID THEY NOT THEIR HAND.”
The prophet Hosea in his condemnation of the nation of Israel because of their rebellion against God’s commandments states as part of his prophecy:
Hosea 9:13 “EPHRAIM, AS I SAW TYRUS, is PLANTED IN A PLEASANT PLACE: BUT EPHRAIM SHALL BRING FORTH HIS CHILDREN TO THE MURDERER.”
v15. “THOSE THAT REMAIN OF HIM SHALL BE BURIED IN DEATH: AND HIS WIDOWS SHALL NOT WEEP.”
remain shall die as those who have the plague, be buried in haste, as soon as
they are dead, without any solemn period of mourning. An example of this kind of situation is again
found in the condemnation of
Psalms 78:64 “THEIR PRIESTS FELL BY THE SWORD; AND THEIR WIDOWS MADE NO LAMENTATION.”
v16-17. “THOUGH HE HEAP UP SILVER AS THE DUST, AND PREPARE RAIMENT AS THE CLAY; HE MAY PREPARE it, BUT THE JUST SHALL PUT it ON, AND THE INNOCENT SHALL DIVIDE THE SILVER.”
Though the wicked man my heap up silver plentiful as the dust, and have rich garments or raiment as equal in quantity to the clay in the earth, neither he, nor his children will gain permanent enjoyment from it. He may prepare it but the just will wear it and the innocent will spend his money. This is the purpose in living for worldly people, to heap up worldly wealth, things and pleasures to be enjoyed on this earth. But what comes of it? Death will rob him, if they aren’t robbed and stripped sooner. The wise man tells us what will happen to it:
Proverbs 28:8 “HE THAT BY USURY AND UNJUST GAIN INCREASETH HIS SUBSTANCE, HE SHALL GATHER IT FOR HIM THAT WILL PITY THE POOR.”
Ecclesiastes 2:26 “FOR God GIVETH TO A MAN THAT is GOOD IN HIS SIGHT WISDOM, AND KNOWLEDGE, AND JOY: BUT TO THE SINNER HE GIVETH TRAVAIL, TO GATHER AND TO HEAP UP, THAT HE MAY GIVE TO HIM that is good BEFORE GOD. THIS ALSO is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.”
v18. “HE BUILDETH HIS HOUSE AS A MOTH, AND AS A BOOTH that THE KEEPER MAKETH.”
The wicked build themselves houses that reflect their earthly wealth, strong and stately homes but they’re like the house that the moth builds in a garment. A house that lasts only until it’s shaken out and destroyed. Or the booth like the keeper of the vineyard builds to shade himself during the heat of the day what will wilt, dry up and need to be replaced in a very short period of time. As Jeremiah describes the manifestation of God’s wrath against wicked Judah:
Lamentations 2:6 “AND HE HATH VIOLENTLY TAKEN AWAY HIS TABERNACLE, AS if it were of A GARDEN: HE HATH DESTROYED HIS PLACES OF THE ASSEMBLY: THE LORD HATH CAUSED THE SOLEMN FEASTS AND SABBATHS TO BE FORGOTTEN IN ZION, AND HATH DESPISED IN THE INDIGNATION OF HIS ANGER THE KING AND THE PRIEST.”
v19. “THE RICH MAN SHALL LIE DOWN, BUT HE SHALL NOT BE GATHERED: HE OPENETH HIS EYES, AND HE is NOT.”
The wicked man may appear to rest comfortably in the abundance of their wealth and seem to others to be very happy and at ease; but he does not have his mind composed, settled and at ease to enjoy his wealth. He does not sleep as contentedly as people might suppose. His wealth increases his cares, he fears that he will wake and it will all be gone or he will be removed from it.
v20-21. “TERRORS TAKE HOLD ON HIM AS WATERS, A TEMPEST STEALETH HIM AWAY IN THE NIGHT. THE EAST WIND CARRIETH HIM AWAY, AND HE DEPARTETH: AND AS A STORM HURLETH HIM OUT OF HIS PLACE.”
He is miserable in death and after death. It is to him the worst terror he can imagine. It is as though he is surrounded by deep water from which he cannot escape. He trembles to think of leaving this world, and much more of what might await him in the next. Death to a wicked man is like an east wind, a storm, a tempest, that hurries him away into confusion and destruction, to a place for which he is not prepared.
v22. “FOR God SHALL CAST UPON HIM, AND NOT SPARE: HE WOULD FAIN FLEE OUT OF HIS HAND.”
He is miserable after death as we read of the rich man in Luke 16. His soul falls under the justice of an Almighty God. In his death he is terrified because he knows that while living he might have had the benefit of God’s mercy but now the day of God’s patience is over, he will not be spared, but will endure the completeness of God’s wrath.
v23. “men SHALL CLAP THEIR HANDS AT HIM, AND SHALL HISS HIM OUT OF HIS PLACE.”
Men shall rejoice at his death and in the justice that God will provide and will be very pleased at his fall. Or as Solomon recorded:
Proverbs 11:10 “WHEN IT GOETH WELL WITH THE RIGHTEOUS, THE CITY REJOICETH: AND WHEN THE WICKED PERISH, there is SHOUTING.”