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Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 33

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Chapter 33

Wherefore, Job, [he said,] I pray thee, now hear my speech, hearken to all my words. Behold, I've opened my mouth, my tongue has spoken in my mouth. My words shall be of uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life. If you can answer me, set your words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to your wish in God's stead ( Job 33:1-6 ):

Oh, my, he's going now a little far. Job was saying earlier, "Oh, that there was someone between us, you know, that could lay his hand on." Now, "I'm what you wished for. I am standing here in God's stead." Elihu, you're getting carried away. So I depart from him at this point.

I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee. Surely you have spoken in my hearing, I've heard the voice of your words, saying ( Job 33:6-8 ),

And now he's quoting Job. I've heard you say,

I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there any iniquity in me ( Job 33:9 ).

And he heard Job saying concerning God:

Behold, he find occasions against me, he counts me for his enemy; He puts my feet in the stocks, he marks all my paths. Behold, in this, Job, you are not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why do you strive against him? for he gives not account of any of his matters ( Job 33:10-13 ).

"God doesn't owe you any apologies, God doesn't owe you any explanations." Paul said concerning God that He is as a potter and we are as the clay, and what right has the clay to say to the potter, "Why have You made me like this? Why did You put that wrinkle in me?" I have no right to challenge God. As a lump of clay, the Potter has sovereignty over my life. He can make of me whatever He wants to make of me. He can do with me whatever He wants to do with me. He can make me a vessel of honor, a vessel of dishonor. He can make me a drinking cup or a garbage pail. He has absolute power over my life. And He doesn't owe me explanations, though I'm oftentimes demanding explanations from Him. "God, what did You do this for? Lord, why did You allow that to happen?" I'm demanding that God give me an explanation. "God, give me a reason." He really doesn't owe me any explanations. He can do whatever He wants without having to explain to me.

Now we sing, "Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine. We'll understand it all, by and by. And we'll talk it over in the by and by. We'll talk it over, my Lord and I. I'll ask the reasons, He'll tell me why when we talk it over in the by and by." Do you think I'm going to sit down in heaven and say, "Now, Lord, do you remember back in 1980, that weird thing that happened, now why did You do that, Lord?" No way! When I get there, I'm going to be so glad just to be there and so excited to get it on with whatever God's got in store, I'm not going to be challenging God or asking God for the reasons why things happened to me here on the earth. At that point, I can care less. Just glad to be there and to enter into the excitement and the thrills and the joys of His eternal kingdom. So there are some people that may want to get to heaven and sit down and get all the explanations for life and all. Not me, I have no desire to waste my time in heaven with that kind of stuff. Just glad to be out of this mess and all of it. Just with the Lord and there in His presence and in His kingdom.

So he declares,

For God has spoken once, yes twice, yet man did not perceive it. In a dream, and in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings on the bed; Then he opens the ears of men, and seals their instructions, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword ( Job 33:14-18 ).

Now God speaks. Once He speaks, twice. How does God speak? He speaks sometimes through dreams. He speaks sometimes through visions. God can speak in various ways to people. I think, though, that our hearts need to be open to hear the voice of God. I believe that God is speaking and does speak quite often and we just don't understand that it is God speaking. We don't understand His voice. We're looking for some echo chamber type of voice. "Charles..." Oh God! You know, just expecting things to just reverberate. But God speaks in such beautiful, natural ways that we're not always aware that it is God speaking. God can speak to us through dreams. He can speak to us through visions. He can speak to us through angels. He can speak to us through His Word. He can speak to us through a friend. God can speak to us in many different ways, and you can't really limit the ways by which God speaks to a man.

Elijah said there was a fire; God wasn't in a fire. There was a horrible wind; God wasn't in the wind. There was an earthquake; God wasn't in the earthquake. And then there came a still small voice and God was in the still small voice ( 1 Kings 19:11-13 ). Now that was that particular experience, but God can speak and did speak to Moses through the fire. God spoke to the jailer through an earthquake. God can speak in different ways. The fact is, God is speaking. Am I listening? Am I tuned in?

Would you believe me if I told you that in this room tonight there are all kinds of pictures and all kinds of voices? There is beautiful symphonic music in this room right now. And there's hard rock. And there's all kinds of sounds in this room right now. Now if you had a little radio and you would tune it, you could pick up all of the music that's floating through the air. Just by turning your tuner. Tuning in. You could see all of the pictures that are floating through the air. Hear the voices. But you've got to be tuned into them. Even so, God is speaking, but we're not always tuned in to the voice of God. It takes really, I think, a definite act of our own will of saying, "Lord, speak to me. Show me." And then waiting to allow God to speak to us. Listening to what the Lord might have to say. And I think that our mistake is that we're not asking God direct questions, and thus we're not getting direct answers. We're not listening enough to hear God speak to us. God has spoken once; God has spoken twice. He speaks in visions. He opens ears. He turns us from our purposes in order that He might keep us back from the pit.

He is chastened also with pain upon his bed [that is, man], and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhors bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that they were not, they stick out ( Job 33:19-21 ).

So he's sort of describing Job's condition. "Man, you know, you're in pain, and your bones are sticking out, and your health is taken away, and all. God is trying to speak to you, Job."

If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show man his uprightness; Then he is gracious unto him, and he says, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: and he'll render unto man his righteousness. He looks upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul ( Job 33:23-28 )

"If you'll confess," he is saying,

He'll deliver your soul from the pit, and your life shall see the light. Lo, these things God works oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I'm going to speak. And if you have anything to say, then answer: speak, for I desire to justify thee. If not, then listen to me: hold your peace, and I am going to teach you wisdom ( Job 33:28-33 ).

So this young kid's telling Job, "If you've got anything to say, say it, but if not, then just let me talk on, because I'm going to teach you a few things here." Now, what he is saying is basically pretty sound, and that is that God oftentimes uses chastisement to turn us away from the pit. You know, as a child of God, you're in a very good position, because God's not going to let you get away with evil. Now everyone around you may get away with it, that's because they are not children of God. But because He's your Father, and He's watching over you, He's not going to let you get by with perversity, with crookedness. And God uses chastisement to keep His children out of the pit. God'll stop you. He'll allow you to be caught up with. "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord. For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" ( Hebrews 12:5-6 ). And if you are not chastened, then you're like a bastard; you're not really His son.

If you can do evil and get by with it, then I would very worried. If you can cheat and get by with it, then you have cause to really be worried. But if you're a child of God, He's not going to let you get by. You're going to get caught up with. That's because He's trying to save you from the snare, from the pit. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 33". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-33.html. 2014.
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