Lessons From The Whirlwind (Two)

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It is written:

Job 38:1-Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

The Book of Job starts by telling us about the fact that Job was a righteous man.

Job 1:1-There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

Now, the fact that Job was “blameless and upright” does not mean that he was sinless. Indeed, we are told throughout the Book of Job that he was a sinner. In fact, we are assured that Job freely confessed his sins to God:

Job 31:33-34-If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34  Because I feared the great multitude, And dreaded the contempt of families, So that I kept silence And did not go out of the door—

Here is a man who freely acknowledged his sins before God and who attempted to be true to Him. He even referred to God as His closest Friend!

Job 29:4 (CEV)-I was in the prime of life, God All-Powerful was my closest friend,

Despite this friendship with God, Job went through horrible suffering:

Job 1:13-19-Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; 14  and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15  when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 16  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 17  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 18  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19  and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

As if this suffering were not too brutal enough, consider that Job was told that it was the “fire of God” that contributed to this calamity (Job 1:16). In the Bible, the idea of the “fire of God”is usually fire that comes directly from God (cf. Deuteronomy 4:33; 5:24, -26; 9:10; 18:16; 2 Kings 1:12). It appeared to Job that God Himself had turned against Job and had brought this suffering and calamity upon the patriarch and his family!

Nevertheless, even though he did not understand, Job worshipped God and did not curse Him (Job 1:20-22).

However, Satan was not finished.

Job 2:7-8-So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8  And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

The sickness that Satan brought upon Job included severe itching (Job 2:8), insomnia (Job 2:4), running sores and scabs (Job 2:5), nightmares (Job 7:14), bad breath (Job 19:17), weight loss (Job 19:20), chills and fevers (Job 21:6), severe anxiety and possibly diarrhea (Job 30:27), and skin that was blackened from disease (Job 30:27).

Satan does all of these things to Job, trying to get the great man of God to curse God! However, the devil is still not finished. He then unleashes one of his greatest weapons against Job-Job’s own three friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zohar the Naamathite)!

Job 2:11-Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.

Job’s friends came from very far away to try and comfort Job.

“Eliphaz, who took the lead in the debate against Job, is identified in the text as a Temanite. Teman is a city in Edom. Edom encompasses the southern portion of what is now the nation of Jordan. Teman was famous in the ancient world for its exceptionally wise scholars.[4] Ancient literature indicates this fame persisted for centuries. The prophet Jeremiah comments on Teman in a series of rhetorical questions: “Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed?” (Jer. 49:7). Given the eight-hundred-mile distance between Teman and Job’s home in the land of Uz (see fig. 2.1) and the investment required to undertake such a journey, it seems likely that Teman’s leaders sent their most gifted scholar, Job’s friend and peer, to offer comfort. It makes sense that Eliphaz, the most revered, was probably the Temanite best known to Job, and the text indicates (see Job 2:11 and 42:10) that, despite the distance, Eliphaz was among Job’s dearest friends. The text suggests that Zophar and Bildad were of virtually equal abilities to Eliphaz and also close friends to Job. Apparently, when word of Job’s devastating losses and sufferings spread, the world of that time sent their three most eminent wise men to offer comfort and counsel. Who else could even try?”  (Hugh Ross, Hidden Treasures In The Book Of Job: How The Oldest Book In The Bible Answers Today’s Scientific Questions, 28-29 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

However, as we will see, Job’s three friends provided no comfort.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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