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Bible Commentaries
Job 38

Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the BibleBrown's Commentary

Verses 1-41

John Brown

Job 38-40

God Speaks Job Repents


A. Last week we covered a lot of territory!

1. We finished with Elihu's speeches to Job and found that, although he was a lot more accurate in what he had to say about the Lord, he really didn't help Job either.

B. This morning, we will conclude our study in the book of Job.

1. It seemed appropriate to re-cap what we have seen so far.

2. Job was once a wealthy, successful man admired by all who knew him.

3. He was one to whom people came for counsel and direction - a "pillar" in the community.

4. Everything seemed to be going wonderfully:

a) Then in one fell swoop, he lost all ten of children.

b) All of his possessions and material wealth were gone.

c) He became stricken with a leprosy-like disease for which there seemed no recovery.

d) His wife has told him to "curse God and die."

e) His three remaining friends accused him of hidden sin and only succeeded in sending him into further depression.

f) All the while, Job has listened and maintained his innocence.

5. This morning we come to the turning point, as well as the close of the entire book.

a) The Lord finally interrupts all the miss-guided counsel and speaks to Job directly.

b) That is where our study begins this morning!


A. Job_38:1 (NKJV) Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

2 "Who [is] this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?

3 Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

1. The Lord knew exactly who Job was, but the question is actually more like, "Who do you think you are acting as a counselor for God. Spewing out words and making statements that you know absolutely nothing about!"

a) If you want a classic example of this, you will find it on today's talk shows.

(1) They go on for an hour about the most trivial things.

(2) Everyone talks and some even claim to be experts on the various subjects, but they never accomplish anything!

(3) We Christians have to careful about "going on" about trivial things we have little or no knowledge of.

(a) Jer_4:22 "For My people [are] foolish, They have not known Me. They [are] silly children, And they have no understanding. They [are] wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge."

(b) 1Ti_1:4 (NKJV) Do not . . . give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, [from] a good conscience, and [from] sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

B. Job_38:4-11 (NKJV) "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell [Me], if you have understanding.

5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?

6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,

7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8 "Or [who] shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth [and] issued from the womb;

9 When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band;

10 When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors;

11 When I said, `This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!'

1. The Lord begins with the first days of creation and goes from there.

a) I think the Lord is making the point here that the creation of mankind came later.

b) He wasn't even there for any of these decisions because he was not needed to make these decisions!

c) The non=Christian "scientific" community speaks of things that occurred millions or billions of years ago as if they were there themselves.

(1) They speak as though they have absolute proof of their theories.

(2) However, on many issues, they speak as "men without knowledge."

(a) They weren't there when the Lord put it all together any more than Job was.

d) The Lord continues to put Job in his place.

C. Job_38:12-18 (NKJV) "Have you commanded the morning since your days [began], [And] caused the dawn to know its place,

13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?

14 It takes on form like clay [under] a seal, And stands out like a garment.

15 From the wicked their light is withheld, And the upraised arm is broken.

16 "Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?

17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?

18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell [Me], if you know all this.

1. "Job you seem to have all the answers and even know more than I do, so answer these questions if you can!"

2. Chapters 38 though 41 are pretty much the same: the Lord putting Job in his proper place of willful submission, by showing him how small he really is.

a) There are however a few passages we should look at before we deal with Job's repentance.

D. Job_38:22 (NKJV) "Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail,

23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, For the day of battle and war?

1. There is much that could be said about these 2 verses, but at the very least we can determine the Lord will use snow and hail in his final judgment upon the earth.

a) Rev_8:7 (NKJV) The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

b) If you are a history student then you know that it was snow that defeated Napoleon, and has affected the outcome of many wars since.

E. Job_38:31-33 (NKJV) "Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?

32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?

33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?

1. Evidently those whom have gone before us had a pretty good understanding of the universe.

a) It is my understanding that the Egyptians could correctly calculate the distance to the sun.

(1) Even the great pyramids are architectural "marvels!"

b) In the Myan culture even some of their buildings were constructed to tell times and seasons, much the same as a gigantic sun dial!

c) All this is living proof that you can have a tremendous knowledge of the creation and miss the Creator!!

F. Job_40:1-2 (NKJV) Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said:

2 "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct [Him]? He who rebukes God, let him answer it."

1. "Job you have rebuked me and corrected me.Are you really in a spot to do that? If you are, answer my questions."

G. Job_40:3-5 (NKJV) 3 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

4 "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.

5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further."

1. This is the same man who said he would maintain his innocence and integrity no matter what happened to him!

2. He is that same guy who said that because he was innocent, God was therefore unjust to allow what had happened to him!

a) He was the "good guy" and God was the "bad guy".

b) Now, in the Lord's presence, he sees himself as vile!What happened?

c) We get a little better picture in the final Chapter of Job, Chapter 42.

H. Job_42:1-6 (NKJV) Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose [of] [Yours] can be withheld from You.

3 [You] [asked], `Who [is] this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

4 Listen, please, and let me speak; [You] [said], `I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'

5 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.

6 Therefore I abhor [myself], And repent in dust and ashes."

1. Basically when Job could compare himself to his family, his wife, or even his friends, he thought he measured up pretty good!

a) But when he came face-to-face with the Lord it was a different story.

2. We are no different than Job.When we compare ourselves with our friends, our family or our spouses, we can develop a sense of self-righteousness.

a) We begin to think that we have the right to judge those around us, and even how the Lord deals with them. And us!!

b) But, it is only when we compare ourselves with Jesus that we get a proper estimate of where we are really at in our walks.

c) Job's vision of the Lord (and himself) changed 3 very important things in his life:

(1) His opinion of the Lord

(2) His opinion of himself

(3) And his opinion of his friends

I. Job_42:7-9 (NKJV) And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me [what] [is] right, as My servant Job [has].

8 "Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you [according] [to] [your] folly; because you have not spoken of Me [what] [is] right, as My servant Job [has]."

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite [and] Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job.

1. The Lord begins to restore Job and uses him to restore his friends!

a) What a wonderful example of what a Christian should be and do.

(1) As we understand our own sinfulness, it should make us compassionate of those around us.

(2) And instead of judging them, allow the Lord to use us as instruments of restoration in their lives!

J. Job_42:10-17 (NKJV) And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

11 Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter [days] of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

13 He also had seven sons and three daughters.

14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch.

15 In all the land were found no women [so] beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren [for]four generations.

17 So Job died, old and full of days.

1. Please notice, Job's restoration came after he prayed for his friends!

a) It was only then that the Lord not only restored, but doubled what Job had before all this.

b) Before we close I would like for you to notice one more thing.

(1) Job included his daughters in the inheritance along with the sons, something that was unheard of at the time.

(2) I think this bout with the Lord, gave Job a new understanding of grace!

2. (If time permits, close with) 1Co_13:4-8 (NKJV) Love suffers long [and] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether [there] [are] prophecies, they will fail; whether [there] [are] tongues, they will cease; whether [there] [is] knowledge, it will vanish away. (And substitute your name with the word "love" = Christ!)

Bibliographical Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Job 38". Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jbs/job-38.html.
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