Job’s Test of Suffering
I was old and respected for wisdom, now because of my trial the foolish young men despise me.
Job 30:1 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
What profit is there in the physical strength of servants, when I am facing death in this manner?
30:2 Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?
Foolish young men who were in deep poverty because of their foolishness, now condemn Job who was wise because of his calamities.
30:3 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. 30:4 Who cut up mallows [swamp greens] by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. 30:5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) 30:6 To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. 30:7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. 30:8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
Job is despised by even these sons of Belial, who now spit in Job’s face and say that he who taught godliness is a hypocrite and sinner.
30:9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. 30:10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
Because God has afflicted him and loosed his blessings from Job; the wicked foolish loosed off their self restraints and poured out abuse towards Job.
30:11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. 30:12 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away [seek to cause me to stumble in my loyalty to God] my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
When the faithful are TESTED and suffer, they are mocked by the wicked; who call the zealous fools and say: ”What is the profit in serving God?” The wicked, lax and lukewarm, attack the zealous for God and his commandments when they are in their trials. They are motivated by Satan to add mockery to the pain and so entice people to say “There is no profit in zeal for God” and to turn away from God.
30:13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. 30:14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters [as from a broken dam]: in the desolation [of the righteous, they add to sorrows] they rolled themselves upon me.
Job is afraid for his fears have come upon him.
30:15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. 30:16 And now my soul [my life] is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 30:17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
Job’s body is swollen.
30:18 By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. 30:19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
Job begs for mercy and it is delayed.
30:20 I cry unto thee [God], and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. 30:21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
30:22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it [be blown about in thoughts] , and dissolvest my substance.
Unto all men death is appointed
30:23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Job not knowing of the plan of salvation [revealed by Christ] considers this physical life to be all there is.
30:24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
Job had a concern for the afflicted and now seeks God’s concern for his affliction.
30:25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? 30:26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
Job sorrows night and day, and suffered abdominal distress in his agony of spirit.
30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. 30:28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
Job says that he is a wonderer over the land with wild beasts, and has lost his home and wealth.
30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. 30:30 My skin is black [sunburned and dried out] upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
30:31 My harp [songs of joy] also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
A list of sins and their consequences; each of which has its spiritual application.
Job covenanted with a wife and was faithful to her; this is analogous of our marriage covenant with Jesus Christ our espoused Husband.
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
The end of covenant breakers; who break their marriage covenant with Christ to keep all his commandments and to do all that he requires; is destruction. While the righteous will be lifted up to the marriage feast and eternal life in unity with Christ and God the Father.
31:2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? 31:3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? 31:4 Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? 31:5 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; 31:6 Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.
If we depart from God and the enthusiastically learning, internalizing and living by every Word of God; we are under a curse for our spiritual adultery and idolatry, as well as the specific sins involved.
31:7 If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine [the lust of my] eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; 31:8 Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.
31:9 If mine heart have been deceived by a woman [false teacher, false doctrine; Babylon the great religious whore], or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; 31:10 Then let my wife grind [serve] unto another, and let others bow down [lie] upon her.
Adultery is a great sin; and the spiritual adultery of departing from the teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ to follow and obey strange teachings of a strange god IS spiritual adultery.
31:11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. 31:12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
If we are not just with others, God will not hold us guiltless; for all persons are equal before him.
31:13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; 31:14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 31:15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
31:16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; 31:17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; 31:18 (For from my youth he was brought [my neighbour] up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;)
If the wealthy, or the better off, do not help the needy; it is a great evil. And if the spiritually blessed do not feed the poor in spirit, with the solid meat of God’s Word; it is a great sin.
You elders must give an account for the spiritual health of God’s flocks entrusted to your care. If they are lacking in spiritual growth, you will be judged for that.
31:19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; 31:20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 31:21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: 31:22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.
Fear God and feed his sheep with the Word of God! Do not be like the Laodicean shepherds of Ezekiel 34 who feed themselves and not the sheep; or who feed the sheep only enough to keep them almost alive, and give them polluted spiritual food and water in place of the pure Word of God.
31:23 For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
Never trust in transitory physical riches in place of the riches of the spirit and eternal life!
Never say “I am righteous, for I am rich in money and followers”! For that is spiritual idolatry!
Compromising with God’s Word to gain more followers and income, is spiritual adultery; lusting after these things instead of obedience to our espoused Husband!
31:24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; 31:25 If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
To read horoscopes and trust in the heavenly bodies or to trust in the false traditions of men which are contrary to the Word of God, is also spiritual adultery and idolatry. To believe such false gods and false doctrines is to deny the Eternal!
31:26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 31:28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
It is a sin to curse even the wicked; we are to pray for them, that they will sincerely repent and overcome the evil.
31:29 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: 31:30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
No man could say that Job did not care for them. Job satisfied them all and no man could say otherwise.
31:31 If the men of my tabernacle [tent, household, life] said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.
Job had fed the needy and housed the stranger
31:32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.
Job did not try to hide any transgression as Adam tried to hide.
31:33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
Job feared God and not what man can do.
31:34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? 31:35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. 31:36 Surely I would take it [the book of accusations] upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. 31:37 I would declare unto him [the accusing adversary] the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
31:38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; 31:39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money [by stealing] , or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: 31:40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley [in my own fields] .
The words of Job are ended.
The book now gets to the root and foundation of Job’s problem, which is exactly the same as the problem in today’s assemblies: Laodicean lukewarmness produced by: SELF JUSTIFICATION.
Up to this point Job’s three friends had been falsely accusing Job of sin without presenting any specific proofs, and Job had been responding by justifying himself. Job had indeed not sinned, yet he had been self justifying over his condition; and his belief that a righteous God could not afflict the righteous, made Job’s self justifying complaints come very close to accusing God of wrongful conduct in afflicting him.
Until now I have tried to avoid any mention of Job as being self righteous, because many people simply say that Job was self righteous, close the book, and avoid the many other instructional details of the book. I wanted to focus on the many other aspects of Job, and said that the book was not about self righteousness only. This is because Job is NOT a one subject book as we have come to see.
During the course of the discussion between Job and his friends, very many important points had been covered about the power and glory of God; the end of the wicked; the various duties of man and various sins; and the questions of why the innocent suffer in this life.
These four men had not understood the issue, which is that the Creator can do what he wants with his creation and that we are all possessions of our Creator, and that our Creator does as he pleases for the purpose of perfecting his creation.
Jesus Christ was perfect and yet he learned through the things that he suffered. One of the most important lessons learned was how to empathize and understand the sufferings of the people under Satan’s yoke, so that Christ could be the best possible Intercessor between man and God.
Even so, the righteous who are called out of sin, must also be TESTED and afflicted for the same reasons; as we are called out to become the priest-hood of our High Priest, Jesus Christ.
Job’s friends wrongfully accused him of sin, because Job was afflicted; and Job not understanding what was happening, came very close to accusing God of wrongdoing, by justifying himself against the affliction of God.
Brethren, very, very, soon now, most of today’s called out will be in great tribulation and only a few faithfully zealous will be spared for another kind of trial.
Job is written for us, the spiritually called out, to teach us that all of us NEED to return to our God and focus on him, and not on ourselves or on physical things.
This is perhaps the greatest lesson of Job: That physical riches are deceitful, and that compared to God; there is NOT ONE RIGHTEOUS. We can only try to put on the righteousness of God through learning, internalizing and living by every Word of God, being totally faithful to our espoused Husband, Jesus Christ, no matter what our circumstances good or bad.
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.