“THE BOOK OF JOB”
Job’s Soliloquy (3)
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION
1) To consider Job’s soliloquy, which starts the “great controversy”
between Job and his friends
2) To appreciate the depth of Job’s complaint, why he wished that he
had never been born
3) To note the questions he raised as he sought to understand the
problem of suffering
Having sat in silence for seven days in the presence of his friends who
had come to comfort him, Job finally speaks. In the form of a
soliloquy, he begins by cursing the day of his birth and the night of
his conception for failing to prevent his sorrow (3:1-10). He then
bemoans why he did not die at birth or even be stillborn, for then at
least he would be at rest, just like those who were great in their
lifetime, or like those who had been oppressed (3:11-19). Job also
wonders why the suffering who long for death are allowed to linger. He
concludes by stating that what he most greatly feared has now come upon
him: trouble, from which there seems to be no rest (3:20-26).
I. JOB’S CURSE (3:1-10)
A. HE CURSES THE DAY OF HIS BIRTH…
1. Not just the day of his birth, but also the night of his
2. Because of the sorrow that has come his way
— I.e., he wished he had never been born
B. IN THIS HE RESEMBLES JEREMIAH…
1. Who had an unpopular ministry – Jer 20:14-18
2. Who experienced much suffering like Job
C. AN IMPORTANT POINT TO REMEMBER…
1. Both expressed a desire never to have been born
2. Yet neither Job or Jeremiah for a moment considered the
possibility of suicide
3. They might have questioned the Lord’s wisdom, but they did not
dare take the precious gift of life with which He endowed them
II. JOB’S QUESTIONS (3:11-19)
A. WHY DID HE NOT DIE AT BIRTH?
1. Then he would have been at rest
2. He would be with those who were great and powerful in their
B. WHY WAS HE NOT STILLBORN?
1. Then he would have been at rest, free from those who trouble
2. He would be like those at rest, who were troubled in their
C. JOB VIEWS DEATH AS AN ESCAPE FROM EARTH’S MISERIES…
1. Job’s view of death applies only to those who die in the Lord
– cf. Re 14:13
2. For the wicked, death is no rest! – cf. Lk 16:19-31
III. JOB PONDERS THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING (3:20-26)
A. WHY THE SUFFERING ARE ALLOWED TO LINGER…
1. Why is life given to those who linger in suffering?
2. Even to those who long for death?
B. WHAT JOB FEARED HAS NOW HAPPENED TO HIM…
1. He dreaded the suffering that has come to him
2. And now he is troubled and no longer at ease
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION
1) What are the three main points of this section?
– Job’s curse (3:1-10)
– Job’s questions (3:11-19)
– Job ponders the problem of suffering (3:20-26)
2) As Job begins his soliloquy, what two things does he curse? (1-3)
– The day of his birth
– The night of his conception
3) Why did he did he curse the day of his birth? (10)
– Because it did not keep him from experiencing sorrow
4) Why did he wish he had died at birth? (11-15)
– Then he would be at rest, just like those who had been great in
5) Why did he wish he had been stillborn? (16-19)
– Then he would be at rest, like those who had been oppressed in
6) As Job ponders the problem of suffering, what does he ask? (20-21)
– Why is life given to those who suffer and long for death?
7) What had come upon Job? (25)
– That which he greatly feared and dreaded (i.e., trouble and
“THE BOOK OF JOB”
The Great Debate: First Cycle Of Speeches (4-14)
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION
1) To examine the counsel of Job’s friends, what their observations
were, and upon what they based their conclusions regarding Job’s
2) To consider Job’s response to his friends, how he took their
“advice”, and how he continued to vent his complaint over his
Following Job’s outburst in which he cursed the day of his birth and
wondered why those who long for death continue to live, his three
friends begin offering their counsel. Eliphaz the Temanite starts with
expressing his view that the innocent don’t suffer, the wicked do. As
support for his position, he refers to a vision that he had.
Chastening Job, Eliphaz then directs Job to seek God’s forgiveness,
reminding him of the blessings that would come if Job repented
(4:1-5:22). Job defends his rash words as being prompted by his grief,
and again expresses his desire for death. Reproaching his friends as
being a “deceitful brook”, he challenges them to show him where he has
sinned. He then resumes his complaint, asking God a multitude of
Bildad the Shuhite now steps in and rebukes Job for his strong words.
Maintaining that God is just, he implies that Job’s sons died because
of their own transgressions, and if Job were only pure and upright he
would be blessed by God. Appealing to wisdom of the ancients, he
contends the wicked are without support, and that God will not cast
away the blameless. If Job would only repent, God would fill him once
again with laughter and rejoicing (8:1-22). Job basically agrees, but
wonders who can really be righteous in God’s sight in view of His
wisdom and strength. He then complains of God’s inaccessibility, and
maintains his own integrity while concluding that God destroys the
blameless along with the wicked. Feeling hopeless, Job bemoans the
lack of a mediator between him and God. Once again, he gives free
course to his complaint as he lashes out with more questions directed
toward God (9:1-10:22).
Finally, Zophar the Naamathite enters the dialogue with his own rebuke
of Job for his rash words. Indicating that Job has actually received
less suffering than he deserves, he reproaches Job trying to search out
the deep things of God. Instead, Job should be putting away iniquity
and wickedness, for then he would abide in brightness, security and
hope (11:1-20). In response, Job chides his friends for their attempt
to impart wisdom but succeeding only in mocking him. Affirming the
wisdom of God, Job says the advice of his friends has been of little
help. He calls them “forgers of lies” and “worthless physicians” who
have only given him “proverbs of ashes” and “defenses of clay”.
Confident of his own integrity, Job again expresses his desire to speak
with God to ask Him what he has done to deserve such suffering. Once
again despairing of hope, he longs for death (12:1-14:22).
I. ELIPHAZ SPEAKS AND JOB RESPONDS (4:1-7:21)
A. THE COUNSEL OF ELIPHAZ (4:1-5:27)
1. Introductory remarks (4:1-6)
a. Though he does not wish to weary Job, he cannot refrain
b. Job has strengthened others in the past, now he needs
c. Is Job not trusting in his own confidence and integrity?
2. Eliphaz’s view: The innocent don’t suffer, the wicked do
a. When have the innocent ever perished?
b. But I have seen the wicked perish by the blast of God, just
like the lions
3. In support of his view: Eliphaz appeals to a vision (4:12-21)
a. A terrifying vision, in which he heard a voice
b. A revelation that man cannot be more righteous than God
c. If angels can be charged with error, how much more so men
d. Note: Eliphaz is appealing to “subjective revelation”
1) His example shows the error of appealing to such to
2) “Nothing is more essential than testing experience by an
objective standard of reality. When God has spoken
concerning a matter, that is decisive for all the issues
involved. His word must be the court of appeal for all
thoughts, impressions, and views.” (Newton Wray)
4. Eliphaz warns Job (5:1-7)
a. There is danger in the anger of a foolish man
b. Such a one will see his sons crushed and his harvest
c. Affliction comes because man is born to trouble
5. Eliphaz directs Job (5:8-16)
a. Seek God and commit your cause to Him
b. For God does great things, catching the wise in their own
craftiness, saving the needy and giving hope to the poor
6. Job reminded of God’s blessings on those who accept His
a. Happy is the man God corrects; don’t despise His chastening
b. God will make him whole, and protect him in times of
c. God will give him peace, many descendants, and long life
— Eliphaz’s conclusion: “This we have searched out; it is true.
Hear it and know for yourself.” (5:27)
B. JOB’S REPLY (6:1-7:21)
1. He justifies his rash words (6:1-7)
a. They are prompted by his heavy grief
b. He is experiencing the poisonous arrows and terrors of the
c. Animals don’t complain when well fed; but food has become
loathsome to him
2. He longs for death, while his integrity is still intact
a. He wishes that God would go ahead and crush him
b. Then he would have some comfort in knowing that he had not
concealed (or denied) the words of God
c. How long can he hope to endure?
3. Job reproaches his friends (6:14-23)
a. They should have shown proper kindness
b. They have been like a deceitful brook, that disappoints
those who come to it
c. They have been afraid of what they have seen
d. He had not asked for their assistance
4. He challenges them to show him where he has sinned (6:24-30)
a. Show him his error and he will be quiet
b. Reproving him with no proof is of no benefit, it is like
overwhelming the fatherless and undermining one’s friend
c. Look at him again and treat him justly, there is no
injustice in him
5. Job now resumes his complaint (7:1-10)
a. His life is one of hard servitude, with months of futility
and wearisome nights
b. The condition of his flesh makes him toss all night
c. His days swiftly go by with no hope of ever seeing good
d. He expects to descend to the grave and soon forgotten
6. Job speaks out in the anguish of his soul (7:11-21)
a. Why does God terrify him with dreams and visions, so that
he longs for death?
b. Why is God testing him every moment? How long will this go
c. Why can’t God just leave him alone?
d. How has he sinned? What has he done to become a target for
e. If he has sinned, why doesn’t God pardon his transgression?
f. As it is, he will just go ahead and die, and then God won’t
have to bother with him anymore (the sort of foolish
statement for which Job later repents, 42:3,6)
II. BILDAD SPEAKS AND JOB RESPONDS (8:1-10:22)
A. THE COUNSEL OF BILDAD (8:1-22)
1. Introductory remarks (1-7)
a. He rebukes Job for his words
b. He maintains that God deals justly
c. If Job’s sons sinned, they were killed for their
d. Restoration would occur if Job would only seek God and
2. Bildad appeals to the wisdom of the ancients (8-18)
a. Heed what others have already learned, for our time is
b. The wicked are like the papyrus with no support, for they
c. God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He uphold
the evildoers (the implication is “Job, you are not
d. God will yet restore Job (assuming he repents)
B. JOB’S REPLY (9:1-10:22)
1. He agrees with Bildad, but who can truly be righteous before
a. No one can contend with God, He is too wise and strong
b. Job provides numerous examples of God’s power
2. Because of such power, Job’s complains of God’s inaccessibility
a. Even if he were righteous (perfect?), Job would be unable
to answer God
b. For even now God multiplies his wounds without cause
c. His own mouth would condemn him under the weight of God’s
3. Maintaining his claim to innocence, he concludes that God
destroys the blameless along with the wicked (9:21-24)
a. Job professes to be blameless, but has lost his will to
b. He knows of no other conclusion but that God looks lightly
at the plight of the innocent
4. Feeling hopeless, Job bemoans the lack of a mediator (9:25-35)
a. His days go by, with no good to be seen
b. Why even try, if God has chosen to condemn him?
c. He knows there is no way to reason with God, and there is
no one to mediate between them
d. If God would only take His rod from him, but such is not
5. In pain, Job gives free course to his complaint (10:1-22)
a. God, why do You condemn Me? Tell me why!
b. Does it seem good for You to despise the work of Your
c. Are You having to search for my iniquity, like a mortal
d. Have You made me, just to destroy me?
e. Whether I am wicked or righteous, Your indignation
increases toward me!
f. Why then did You let me be born? How I wish I had died at
g. Can’t You leave me alone so I can have a little comfort
before I die and enter the “land of darkness”?
III. ZOPHAR SPEAKS AND JOB RESPONDS (11:1-14:22)
A. THE COUNSEL OF ZOPHAR (11:1-20)
1. Affirms that Job has received less than he deserves (11:1-6)
a. The multitude of Job’s words call for refutation
b. Job claims innocence; if only God would speak and show his
c. God has exacted less from Job than he deserves
2. Reproaches Job for desiring to search out God’s hidden ways
a. Can Job find that which is beyond his ability to know?
b. God cannot be hindered, and considers the wickedness of man
c. A not-so-subtle rebuke of Job as a foolish empty-headed man
3. Promises restoration upon repentance and confession of sin
a. Seek the Lord and put away sin if you wish to be pure and
b. You would forget your misery and abide in brightness,
security and hope
c. But the wicked will not escape, and their only hope is loss
B. JOB’S REPLY (12:1-14:22)
1. He chides his accusers (12:1-12)
a. Mocking their wisdom, he also has wisdom
b. Though just and blameless, he has been mocked; meanwhile
the wicked prosper
c. Wisdom is not limited to Job’s friends; all nature
testifies of wisdom and it comes with age
2. He affirms God’s own wisdom and strength (12:13-25)
a. God can do what He wants, and none can stop Him
b. He can overpower the wise and mighty, even the nations
3. The advice of his friends has been no help (13:1-12)
a. He already knows what they know; he desires to reason with
b. They claim to speak for God, but they are worthless
physicians and forgers of lies
c. Their platitudes and defenses are worthless
4. Confident of his own integrity, Job again wishes to speak with
a. Let him speak, for he is willing to take what comes
b. Even if God slays him, he will continue to trust Him
c. He desires to defend himself before God, he cannot remain
5. Job appeals to God for an audience (13:20-28)
a. Upon the conditions of removing His hand and not
overwhelming him with dread, Job would speak with God
b. He desires to know where he has sinned, and why God regards
him as an enemy
c. Why has God so punished him?
6. He expresses hopelessness in this life (14:1-12)
a. Life is brief and troublesome, his days are numbered
b. Cut down a tree, and it will sprout again; but when man
dies, he is no longer here as long as the heavens last
7. He longs for death (14:13-22)
a. That God would so hide him from His wrath until it is past
b. Man’s hope is slowly eroded as he goes through life, until
he knows no more of this life
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION
1) Which of his three friends first responded to Job? (4:1)
– Eliphaz the Temanite
2) What was his main argument? (4:7-8)
– Who ever perished being innocent?
– Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same
3) To what did he appeal in support of his argument? (4:12-13)
– A dream or vision
4) What does he encourage Job to do? (5:8)
– To seek God and commit his cause to Him
5) What does he encourage Job not to do? (5:17)
– Despise the chastening of the Almighty
6) How does Job justify his rash words? (6:2-3)
– They were prompted by his troubles and heavy grief
7) For what does Job long? (6:8-9)
– That God would go ahead and crush him (i.e., he longed for death)
8) How does Job describe his friends? (6:14-15)
– Like a deceitful brook
9) What challenge does Job give his friends? (6:24)
– Show him his error and he will be quiet
10) As Job resumes his complaint, what does he say has been given to
– Months of futility and wearisome nights
– Flesh caked with worms and dust, skin which cracks and breaks
11) How does he describe his days? (7:6)
– Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, spent without hope
12) In such anguish, what does Job say he will do? (7:11)
– Complain in the bitterness of his soul
13) What does he ask of God? (7:20-21)
– Have I sinned? What have I done to You?
– If so, why don’t you pardon my transgression?
14) Who is the second person to respond to Job? (8:1)
– Bildad the Shuhite
15) For what does he rebuke Job? (8:2)
– His strong words
16) What does he counsel Job to do? (8:5-7)
– Earnestly seek God and be pure if he desires restoration
17) To what did he appeal in support of his argument? (8:8-10)
– Things discovered by their ancestors (i.e., the wisdom of the
18) What does Bildad conclude concerning God? (8:20)
– God will not cast away the blameless, nor uphold the evildoers
19) How does Job initially respond to Bildad? (9:2)
– He basically agrees, but how can one be righteous before God?
20) What does Job bemoan? (9:32-33)
– The lack of a mediator between him and God
21) As Job gives continues his complaint, what does he ask of God?
– Show him why He contends with him
– Why did God bring him out of the womb?
– Why can’t God just leave him alone and let him die?
22) Who is the third person to respond to Job? (11:1)
– Zophar the Naamathite
23) What does he affirm concerning Job? (11:6)
– He had received less than his iniquity deserved
24) For what does he reproach Job? (11:7)
– Trying to search out the deep things of God
25) What does Zophar say would be true of Job if he repented?
– He would be pure, steadfast, free of fear and misery
26) How does Job mock his friends? (12:2)
– By saying that wisdom will die with them
27) How did Job feel he was being treated by his friends? (12:4)
– That they were mocking him
28) How does Job describe his friends? (13:4)
– As forger of lies and worthless physicians
29) How does Job describe their speeches? (13:12)
– As proverbs of ashes, and defenses of clay
30) What two things does Job request if God should grant him an
– For God to withdraw His hand far from him
– For God not to make him afraid
31) What does Job wish God would reveal to him? (13:23-24)
– How many are his iniquities and sins
– Why God hides His face and regards Job as an enemy
32) How does Job view the life of man? (14:1-2)
– Of few days and full of trouble
– Like a flower that soon fades away, as a fleeting shadow that is
33) From his earthly perspective, how does Job compare himself with a
– There is more hope for a tree, for a tree cut down will rise again
34) What request does Job make again? (14:13)
– That God would go ahead and allow him to die
June 7, 2015
Are You Insulting God in Worship?
Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; author, The Hope of Glory
The misunderstanding of a short, three-letter word can transform an act of heartfelt worship into a slanderous insult.
Perhaps you’ve heard Matt Redman’s song “Here for You” and are familiar with its lyrics. Here’s the first verse:
Let our praise be Your welcome
Let our songs be a sign
We are here for You, we are here for You
Let Your breath come from heaven
Fill our hearts with Your life
We are here for You, we are here for You
Little words can mean a lot. They can make the difference between good and evil, between heaven and hell. In this case, a right understanding of a single word is the only thing that prevents an act of worship from degenerating into a colossal insult to God. It’s the word “for.”
Here to Help?
Imagine for a moment that a person in your church has fallen ill and is bedridden. While he is helplessly laid up, his house suffers from disrepair. The yard is overgrown and desperately in need of care. You and a small group from the church show up unexpectedly at his home, prepared to do for him what he simply cannot do for himself.
“Why are you here?” he asks. “What’s this all about?”
“We are here for you,” everyone responds in unison.
Think about the meaning of “for” in that sentence. You are telling your friend that you are present in order to provide a service for him. He is weak and sickly and in great need, and you and your friends are here to do for him what he lacks the strength and ability to do on his own. He is in lack. You are here in order to supply for him a service that he is unable to accomplish in his own power.
“Our worship on Sunday morning doesn’t meet a need in God. It meets a need in us.”
Once the house has been cleaned and the yard has been mowed, the hedges trimmed, and the trash hauled off, he says, “I can’t believe you are so kind to me. That you would provide this service for me is amazing. I’ve been so weak and exhausted and I simply didn’t have the time or energy to do for myself what you’ve done for me. Thanks so much.”
What are we doing when we gather corporately and sing our praise to God? What is our intent? What is it that we believe we are achieving?
When we sing, “We are here for you,” in what sense do we use the word “for”?
God Does Not Need You
If you are singing and praying and praising and preaching in order to do “for” God what you and your friends did “for” that sickly and needy man, you have insulted God. Now, why do I say that? Consider what the apostle Paul said in his speech on Mars Hill:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:24–25)
Simply put, God does not need you or me. He is altogether self-sufficient, dependent on no one. He is, in fact, the one who is responsible for the existence and preservation of all life, yours and mine. Therefore, he cannot be “served” as if he were needy or exhausted or weak or lacking something that only you and I and the people of your church can supply.
To arrive on a Sunday morning and declare to God, “We are here for you,” in the sense that you believe there is something you can give to God that he doesn’t already have, or that you can shore up a weakness, or fill a gap or overcome a deficiency, is to insult God to the very core of his being.
That is why we must be extremely careful that we are never there “for” God in the sense in which we might be there “for” an invalid or someone who is destitute of the resources to care for himself.
Here to Be Refreshed
But let’s go back to your gracious and loving service “for” your friend who is bedridden. Let’s assume that after your hard day at work in his yard in one-hundred-degree temperature, you are desperately thirsty.
Suddenly there appears a truck at the curb, offering ice-cold, refreshing water. You run up to the driver and say, “We are here for you.” Your obvious intent is that you are there for what the driver can supply. You don’t pretend to bring him anything other than your thirst. You are desperate for refreshment. Without it, you will faint. You are there humbly asking him for what he alone can provide: life-giving, thirst-quenching, soul-refreshing water.
“We don’t bring anything to God in corporate worship that he doesn’t already have. Nothing except our need for him.”
That is how we are here for God in worship. We cannot add to his resources as if he were in lack. He is infinite and immeasurably abundant and needs nothing from us. Rather, we are here for God in the sense that we need him as a thirsty man needs water, as a hungry traveler needs food, as a bankrupt beggar needs money, as a guilty soul needs forgiveness, as a broken heart needs healing, as a lost sinner needs salvation. That is why we are here for God. Only he can supply what we lack. Only he can give us what we need.
If we gather for God, thinking that he stands in need of us, we insult him. But if we gather for God to drink deeply and feast upon all that he is for us in Jesus, we honor him.
By the way, we should give Matt Redman credit for making this quite clear in his song. If we ask of the lyrics, “Why are you here for God?” the answer is clear:
Let Your breath come from heaven
Fill our hearts with Your life
The worshiper comes not to infuse God with breath, but to receive it from him. The worshiper makes no pretense at filling up what is lacking God, but cries out that God fill his heart with divine and supernatural life.
Such is how a simple, short, three-letter word can be used either to denigrate and dishonor God, or to honor and extol him.
May it always be the latter when we come together and say, “We are here for you.”
Thanks Mr.MBB333 for posting this.
These are the giants of Gen. 6 called the Nephilim.
Look up people. The Lord will be seen in the sky soon!