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Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Job 9

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-35

Chapter 9

So Job answers him and he said, I know it is true ( Job 9:1-2 ):

What? That God is fair. That God is just. Now that is something that we need to all know. That is true. God is righteous. God is just. Though the justice of God is often challenged. One of the first challenges that Satan made even to Eve was in the fairness of God. Satan was declaring God wasn't fair. "God doesn't want you to eat of the fruit of that tree because He knows that when you do, you're going to be just as wise as He is." He was challenging the fairness, the justice of God. And Satan is quite often still challenging the justice of God. I hear people say, "How can a God of love send a man to hell? Is that really fair? How can a God of love allow children to starve to death? How can a God of love allow wars to maim so many people?" The thought behind each of the questions is, "Is God... " Well, the intimation behind the question is God isn't fair. God isn't just. "How could God allow this to happen to me? Surely, God, You're not fair to me."

Now Job assures, "I know what you say is true. I know God is just. I know God." And you need to know that because there are going to be issues you're not going to understand. How could a God condemn a man to hell who never had a chance to hear about Jesus Christ? Who grew up in some village in Africa where the gospel never came and he lives and dies and has never heard the name of Jesus Christ. How could God send that man to hell forever? Let me first of all say I don't know that the scripture does say that God does send him to hell, the person who has never heard. I will tell you that the scripture does say that God will be fair when He judges that man who has never heard. Now just what God is going to do I don't know. But when He does it and I see it, I'm going to say, "Right on." That's so fair because God is just, though the justice of God is constantly being challenged by the enemy.

Job's saying, "I know what you say is true. But that's not my problem. My problem is how can I stand before God to plead my case? How can I bring my cause before God to be justified by Him? For God is so vast. His wisdom is so great. If He should start asking me questions, if He would ask me a thousand questions I couldn't even answer one. I am so puny in relationship to God. I am just nothing and God is infinite. So how can I, this little speck of dust on the planet Earth hope to ever touch God or reach God or plead my case to God or say, 'Hey God, what are You doing? Why have You done this?'" For he speaks of the fact that God has created the universe--Orion, the Pleiades, Arcturus. God causes the mountains to disappear. Mount Saint Helens. In building a new section of highway in Washington, it took them five months, twenty-four hours a day, with the most modern earth-moving equipment to move one million cubit yards of that base salt material. Five months, twenty-four hours a day, day and night, the crews were working to remove one million cubit yards. In twenty-seven minutes, from Mount Saint Helens, the same type of base salt material, there was removed five billion three hundred and fifty million cubit yards of material pulverized and spread all over the northern part of the United States in twenty-seven minutes. Now you begin to see the best efforts of man and what is man compared with what God can do?

He shakes the earth. He has set the constellations. He spread out the heavens with His hands. Who am I that I could come before this kind of a God? Because I can't even see Him. Though I know He surrounds me I don't see Him. I can't perceive Him. I can't touch Him. I reach out, but He's not there. So how can man ever stand before God to plead his case? You tell me get right with God, everything is going to be okay. Just go before God, plead my case. How can I do that? It's true, what you say is right. God is fair. God is just. But I don't know how I can plead my case before Him because of the vastness and the greatness of the infinite God and this gap that exists between us.

In the eighth psalm, David saw much the same problem looking at it from a little different direction. He began with the heavens. "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?" ( Psalms 8:3-4 ) Starting from the heavens coming down to man. He saw the great gap from that direction. Job is standing in this direction looking up and seeing the same thing. "When I consider me, who I am, what am I that I could stand before God? That I could justify myself before God. That I could plead my case so as to justify myself before God."

If I speak of strength, [hey,] he is so strong: if I speak of judgment, who will set my time for my case? And if I justify myself, my own mouth will condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it will prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet I would not know my soul: I would despise my life. This is the one thing, therefore I said it, He destroys the perfect and the wicked ( Job 9:19-22 ).

In other words, being good does not give me any immunity from problems. God destroys both the perfect and the wicked. I've said it. You may castigate me for saying it, but I said it.

He then speaks of his friends and he said,

If I would wash myself with snow water, and make my hands ever so clean; Yet you would plunge me in the ditch, and my own clothes would abhor me ( Job 9:30-31 ).

What can I say? I can't say how righteous I am or how, you know, innocent I am. You would throw me in a ditch. Even if I had cleansed myself.

And then he said concerning God,

For he is not a man, as I am ( Job 9:32 ),

Now, remember that. How often we're trying to pull God down to our level. How often we fall in the category of those in Romans, chapter 1, of which Paul wrote, "For the wrath of God shall be revealed from heaven against the ungodly and the unrighteous, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. For when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts was darkened. And professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and they began to worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever and ever" ( Romans 1:18 , Romans 1:21 , Romans 1:22 , Romans 1:25 ).

You see, they sought to bring man down to their level. They did not glorify Him as God. And for me to try to order Him around is to fail to glorify Him as God. For me to come and demand that, "You've got to do this now, God. I command in Jesus' name." Or, "I confess this is what You've got to do, God." And begin to lay demands upon God that He's got to do a certain thing, that's not glorifying Him as God. That's trying to reduce Him even below your level. That's trying to make Him a genie that comes out of a lamp and grants you your three requests.

God is not a genie. He's not some magic amulet. Nor is the purpose of prayer to get your will done. The purpose of prayer is to get God's will done. And He knows so much better than I will ever know. That the wisest prayer I could ever offer is, 'Father, Thy will be done in my life, in these situations, Lord. Your will be done." I never worry when I don't know how to pray, because I don't know how to pray half the time. But I have great confidence, because when I don't know how to pray because I don't know what is the will of God concerning this particular situation, I can always just say, "Lord, Your will be done." And I know that's best. I have that kind of confidence in God because He is so much greater than I am. His wisdom is... there's no comparison. There's no basis for comparison. There's no way that you can compare the finite with the infinite. There isn't even a basis for a comparison. You can't even draw any comparisons.

All right, you tell me to get right with God. That's great help, thanks a lot. Who's going to set the time for me to come and plead my case? And how can I, here I am, how can I ever plead my case before God anyhow? If He starts His cross-examination, ask me a thousand questions, I can't answer a single one. If you can't answer a single question out of a thousand, you'll be thrown out of court as an unreliable witness. He's not a man like I am that I could come and say, "Hey, hey, what are You doing here? What's going on?" He's not a man like I am.

Neither is there any daysman between us, that might lay his hand upon us both ( Job 9:33 ).

My situation is hopeless. God is so vast. There's no way I can touch Him. I can't see Him. I know He's there. I know He's just. But I have no way of pleading my cause. I'm just a man. He is the infinite God. The only way this could ever be is that somehow there would be between us a daysman, one who could lay his hand on us both. But there isn't any. There's no mediator, no daysman.

Oh, how I thank God for the revelation of the New Testament. For Paul the apostle tells us, "There is one God, and there is one mediator" ( 1 Timothy 2:5 ). There is one daysman between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. "Who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God: yet He emptied Himself, and took on the form of man" ( Philippians 2:6-7 ). And so He touches God, but He came down and He touched me. As a man, in all points He was tempted even as I am, in order that He might be able to help me when I am in my hour of temptation. "For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. But the Word was made flesh, and He dwelt [tabernacled, made His home] among us, (and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" ( John 1:1 , John 1:14 ). For, "That which was from the beginning, [which John said] we have seen, we have touched, we have heard, we declare, we saw" ( 1Jn 1:1 , 1 John 1:3 ). Job said, "He's around me I can't see Him." John said, "I've seen Him. The One who existed from the beginning, I've seen Him." Job said, "I can't touch Him." John said, "I've touched Him."

For though man could never build a bridge to God, God in His mercy built the bridge to man. And there is the vast difference between every religious system and Christianity. For in every religious system, you have man's endeavor to build this bridge to God. Man trying to climb the ladder to reach God. Man trying to reach out and touch God, find God, discover God. But in Christianity, you have God reaching down to man. Therefore, Christianity is reasonable and logical, whereas every other religious system is illogical and unreasonable. Because it is illogic and unreasonable to think that the finite could reach the infinite. However, it is very logical and reasonable to believe that the infinite could reach and touch the finite. And that's exactly what Christianity is. The infinite God reaching down to touch the finite man. "God so loved the world that He gave" ( John 3:16 ). He built the bridge by sending His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but know and experience the eternal life of God.

Job cried out. A man stripped of everything and now you have one of the basic cries of man, a cry of man after God, and it exists down deep in every heart.

Sir Henry Drummond in his brilliant scientist in his book, The Nature and the Supernatural, said there is within the very protoplasm of man's cells those little tentacles that are reaching out for God. You see, when you leave the subject of spaghetti or tacos, which shall it be? And you really get down to the real issues of life. Not, "We need to get some gasoline before we get home," or, "We ought to buy a new Ford," or, "Maybe we should move." Or these mundane things with which we are constantly occupying our lives. When you get to the real issues of life, when you're stripped of these other things and you're down now to basic issues of life, the basic need of man is to somehow touch God. How can I reach Him? How can I know Him? How can I touch Him? There's no one between us who can touch us both. That's the only way it can happen. That's the only way it can be, but it doesn't exist. Oh, but Job, there is One who has come, who stands between God and man. Who is one with the Father and lays His hand upon the Father, but He has become one with me and He puts His arm around me and He touches me. And through the touch of Jesus Christ I am brought in touch with God, the glorious daysman. And the basic need of my life is satisfied. That clamant cry from within is met. And I have an experience of knowing God, of touching God, and of being touched by God through Jesus Christ.

Now you may look at me and say, "Oh, you poor soul, you actually think you've touched God. My! That's all right for you." And you may feel sorry for me and look upon me sort of with pity. But let me tell you something, the pity that you may feel for me is nothing like the pity I feel for the man who cannot say, "I've touched God." The man who doesn't know what it is to have the touch of God upon his life, that's the man to pity and feel sorry for. The man who has never heard the voice of God. The man who has never felt the flush and the joy of the presence of God. That's the man to pity. Don't pity me. I'm in good shape. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 9". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-9.html. 2014.
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