The Testing of Faith - Job Talk 3 (Job 32:1-42:17)

Andy Byfield, March 16, 2016
Part of the Lent Bible School 2016 - Suffering in Job series, preached at a Midweek Meeting service

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Job 32:1-42:17

1So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. 3Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. 4Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he. 5When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled. 6And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. 7I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. 8But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 9Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. 10Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. 11Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. 12Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words: 13Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man. 14Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches. 15They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. 16When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) 17I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion. 18For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. 19Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. 20I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. 21Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. 22For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away. 33:1 Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words. 2Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth. 3My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. 4The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. 5If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. 6Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay. 7Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee. 8Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying, 9I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. 10Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy, 11He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths. 12Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. 13Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters. 14For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. 15In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; 16Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, 17That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. 18He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. 19He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: 20So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. 21His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. 22Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. 23If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: 24Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. 25His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. 27He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; 28He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. 29Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, 30To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. 31Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. 32If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee. 33If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom. 34:1 Furthermore Elihu answered and said, 2Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge. 3For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. 4Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good. 5For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment. 6Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression. 7What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? 8Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men. 9For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God. 10Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. 11For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. 12Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. 13Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? 14If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. 16If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words. 17Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? 18Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? 19How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands. 20In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. 21For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. 22There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. 23For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God. 24He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. 25Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed. 26He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others; 27Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways: 28So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. 29When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only: 30That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared. 31Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: 32That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more. 33Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest. 34Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me. 35Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. 36My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men. 37For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God. 35:1 Elihu spake moreover, and said, 2Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's? 3For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin? 4I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee. 5Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. 6If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? 7If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? 8Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man. 9By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty. 10But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; 11Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? 12There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men. 13Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it. 14Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him. 15But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity: 16Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge. 36:1 Elihu also proceeded, and said, 2Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf. 3I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker. 4For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee. 5Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom. 6He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor. 7He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted. 8And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction; 9Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. 10He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. 11If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. 12But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge. 13But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them. 14They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean. 15He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression. 16Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness. 17But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee. 18Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. 19Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength. 20Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place. 21Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction. 22Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him? 23Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity? 24Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold. 25Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off. 26Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. 27For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: 28Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. 29Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle? 30Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea. 31For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance. 32With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt. 33The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour. 37:1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. 2Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. 3He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. 4After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. 5God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. 6For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. 7He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work. 8Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places. 9Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north. 10By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. 11Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud: 12And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth. 13He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy. 14Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. 15Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine? 16Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? 17How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind? 18Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? 19Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness. 20Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. 21And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. 22Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty. 23Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. 24Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart. 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, 10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, 11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? 12Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; 13That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? 14It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. 15And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken. 16Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? 17Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? 18Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. 19Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, 20That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof? 21Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great? 22Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, 23Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? 24By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? 25Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; 26To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; 27To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? 28Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? 29Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? 30The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. 31Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? 32Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? 33Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? 34Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? 35Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? 36Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? 37Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, 38When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? 39Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, 40When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? 41Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. 39:1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve? 2Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth? 3They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows. 4Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them. 5Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? 6Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. 7He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. 8The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing. 9Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? 10Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? 11Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? 12Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? 13Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? 14Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, 15And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. 16She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear; 17Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding. 18What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider. 19Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? 20Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. 21He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. 22He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. 23The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. 24He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. 25He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting. 26Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? 27Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? 28She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. 29From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. 30Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she. 40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, 2Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. 3Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 4Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 5Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. 6Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 7Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 8Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? 9Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? 10Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. 11Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. 12Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. 13Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. 14Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. 15Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. 19He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. 20Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. 21He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. 22The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. 23Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. 24He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares. 41:1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? 2Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? 3Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee? 4Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever? 5Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? 6Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? 7Canst thou fill his skin with barbed iron? or his head with fish spears? 8Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. 9Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? 10None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me? 11Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine. 12I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. 13Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle? 14Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. 15His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. 16One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. 17They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. 18By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. 19Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. 20Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. 21His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. 22In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. 23The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. 24His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. 25When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. 26The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. 27He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. 28The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble. 29Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. 30Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire. 31He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. 32He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary. 33Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. 34He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride. 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 3Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. 7And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 8Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. 9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job. 10And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. 13He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch. 15And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. 16After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. 17So Job died, being old and full of days. (KJV)

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