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Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 27

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Chapter 27

Job continued his answer and he said, As God lives, who has taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who has vexed my soul; 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. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, I'll not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live ( Job 27:1-6 ).

Job has now just had it with these guys. He said, "Look, I don't care what you say. As long as there is a breath in my mouth I am going to maintain my own integrity. My lips are not going to utter deceit. I'm not going to say I'm a sinner just to please you. God forbid that I should justify your speeches, the things that you are saying. 'Til I die I will not deny or remove my integrity from me. For my righteousness I hold fast. I'll not let it go. My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live."

Now this is Job's response to his friends. Next week you'll see Job's response to God; quite different. Which shows to me an interesting thing. I think that it is a mistake for us to try to bring our friends under conviction. I think that oftentimes we are in the position of trying to make a person feel guilty. "Aren't you sorry for what you've done? That's horrible!" You know. And what is the response to that? It is the justifying of myself. I don't want you laying some guilt trip on me, you hypocrite. You've done just as bad. You see, and I'm going to justify myself. I'm not going to let others lay guilt trips on me. I don't like that; I resent that. And here these guys are trying to make Job guilty. "Oh, you know, you've done all these horrible things." He says, "Hey, I'm not going to justify you. I hold fast mine integrity. My righteousness, I maintain it."

But when God began to speak, it was a different story. Which tells me that rather than trying to make people feel guilty for what they have done, or what they are doing, it would be better that we just ask God to reveal Himself to them. And the conscious affect of God's revelation is always that of the revelation of myself to me. When I see me in God's light, then I cry, "Woe is me, for I am a sinful man." I see, then, my own wickedness. And Job, when God revealed Himself, then Job cried out for forgiveness. Different story.

So we need to take a lesson from this. Rather than building resentment by trying to make people feel guilty for what they have done, best that we just pray and ask God to bring the conviction of His Spirit upon their hearts. "God, reveal Yourself, Your righteousness to them that they might see themselves in Your light." And that will bring about a dramatic change of attitude. Whereas all of my endeavors will only create resentment and only cause the person to become more solidified in his position, maintaining his innocence, and so forth.

So Job's friends were totally unsuccessful in all of their arguments.

Let my enemy be as the wicked, and he that rises up against me as the unrighteous. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he has gained, when God takes away his soul? ( Job 27:7-8 )

Good question. "What is the hope of the wicked man, though he has gained the whole world, when God takes away his own soul?" Jesus said, "What should it profit a man if he gained the whole world and loses his own soul?" ( Matthew 16:26 ) Basically, that's what Job said. Jesus was sort of reiterating what Job had said, just putting it in different terms. What reward is there to the hypocrite if he gains everything, when God takes away his soul? What's left then?

Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God? 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 you altogether vain? ( Job 27:9-12 )

You've seen these things. You know they're true. How come you're so empty?

This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: if the offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep. Though he heap up silver as 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 ( Job 27:13-17 ).

In other words, he's never going to be able to enjoy it. You may lay up for yourself great wealth, but who's going to spend it? When you die, whose is it going to be? You're not going to take it with you. Now Job sees the place of the wicked and the place of the hypocrite. They are more or less accusing Job, "Hey, you know, you're saying that the hypocrite and the wicked have it great." Job says, "No, you misunderstand me. You know as well as I know that their day is coming. I'm not saying that that's the way to live. I know what the end of that kind of a life is. I'm not advocating that lifestyle, because they're going to get cut off. They're going to lose it all. They're going to get wiped out. He may prepare it, but someone else is going to put it on. The innocent will divide the silver."

He builds his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper makes. The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he opens his eyes, and he is not. Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest steals him away in the night. And the east wind carries him away, and he departs: as a storm hurls him out of his place. For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand. Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place ( Job 27:18-23 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 27". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-27.html. 2014.
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