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Journaling: Job 13-16
- If we want to “speak” as God’s “physicians” or counselors to others then we need: 1) to understand more of God’s truth than them (13:1-3), 2) a right application of God’s truth and a right diagnosis of the person we are dealing w/ (13:4), 3) to realize the wisdom of silence (or saying nothing when we are not sure what to say) (13:5), 4) to avoid speaking false or deceitful words (13:6-7), 5) to never be partial in our judgment (13:8-11; how Job’s friends were being partial = They were accusing him of wrong w/o the necessary evidence. It was instead based on assumption), 6) to present legitimate support for what we say (13:12; Deu 19:15).
- If we are going to complain to God then: 1) we need to be ready to accept the possibility of his rebuke and additional consequences (13:13), 2) we had better be sure we are not the “godless” but those “in the right” (13:14-18), 3) that means we have already successfully defended our position (or had our position vetted) w/others (13:19), 4) we should seek not only a reprieve from the pain and suffering (13:20-21) but “to know” whether our current pain and suffering is due to sin or something else (13:22-28).
- A person who is unsure about the reality of life after death (14:11-14a) can see: 1) no point to judgment in this life given not only the shortness and troubles already inherent to life, but also the inevitability of sin (14:1-6), 2) more hope in being a tree (14:7-10), 3) that life after death gives not only purpose to their suffering in the present (i.e. paying for their sin), but also something to look forward to in the future (i.e. a new life – or “number[ing] [of their] steps” free of their former sins and troubles) (14:14b-17; *CONSIDER the motivation of the resurrection in Scripture and its evangelistic edge – e.g. Act 23:6; contra 1Co 15:32; Phi 3:11; 1Pe 1:3), 4) their current situation as a reason to feel sorry for themselves (14:18-22).
- Considering a person’s place in redemptive history is important to correctly interpreting their words or God’s message through them (e.g. 14:11-14a; Job most likely lived after the Noahic flood but before Abraham or the Old Covenant. Hence no mention of them or things related to them; In re: to the Noahic flood see 22:16 – “swept away by the flood”).
- The difference between the “wise man” and the fool is the former has words backed by evidence and able to make a difference whereas the latter possesses only “windy knowledge” (i.e. sounds good/smart but bears no support; speculation) and “unprofitable talk” (or “words that do no good”) (15:1-3).
- The reason people make a practice of slandering and lying (5b- “the tongue of the crafty”) is because they: 1) do not truly “fear…God” (i.e. seek to respect and obey Him) or spend time attempting to understand what He says (i.e. “meditation before God”) (15:4-6), 2) are unteachable, believing they already know what they need to know or know more than those who are attempting to teach them (15:7-11), 3) are not truly thankful for God’s existing mercies to them (15:11-13), 4) think too highly of their existing moral state (15:14-16; “a man who drinks injustice like water”).
- Wise observation from the past (15:17-19), teaches us that the very likely path of those who are antinomians (who have “stretched out [their] hand against God”, “running stubbornly against Him”) and anarchists (who live in “desolate cities, in houses none should inhabit, which were ready to become heaps of ruins” = People who hate society and conforming to society’s expectations; who would rather live in shacks on the prairie than in the city) (15:25-28) wb filled with: 1) pain (15:20), 2) inability to prosper (15:21, 29, 31-34), 3) lack of provision and protection from spiritual darkness or impending doom (15:22-24, 30), 4) evil and deceit (15:35).
- Giving “answers” which are according to (or “provoke[d]” by) evidence (and facts) versus assumptions (and feelings) is what determines whether we are “miserable comforters” with “windy (useless) words” or those who actually “strengthen” others and “assuage [their] pain.” (16:1-5; see again 13:8-12).
- There are two things that can only be provided by the friends of the righteous – never the righteous themselves: 1) comfort and encouragement when they are in pain (16:6), weak (16:7-8), under attack or being persecuted (16:9-14), depressed and losing hope (16:15-17), 2) advocacy for seeing justice, recompense or relief before they die (16:18-22).