Job’s 3rd Response to Eliphaz
Job’s Love Sickness (To be continued…)
Job 23:3, 7 | The Throne of God / The Judgment Seat of Christ: Job 23:3; The Judge: Job 9:15, 22:13, 23:7, Gen. 15:14, 16:5, 18:25, Deut. 32:36, Ps. 7:8, 9:8, 10:18, Isa. 3:13, 11:3-4, 33:22, 51:5 [Jehovah Shaphat]
Job’s dark desires are certainly corrupt (Job 38:2) and his boldness to argue with God is outrageously sinful (Job 23:4, 7), nevertheless this is the first instance in Holy Scripture where the Throne of God is mentioned, and had Job been right with God at the time (Job 23:8-9), it would be much more evident to the reader just how much believers understood about the Judgment Seat of Christ in the Early Church.
Job 23:5 | The Strange Work: Job 23:5 (Hab. 1:12-13, 2:1, Jer. 12:1-3)
Job’s humble acknowledgement here (Job 23:5) is comparable to Habakkuk’s (Hab. 1:12-13, 2:1), as they both were wrestling through the same subject matter of divine judgment: namely, when the righteous are punished or cursed more severely than the wicked for the time being.
Job 23:6 | Divine Pleading: Ps. 35:1, 43:1, 74:22, Prov. 22:23, 23:11, 31:9, Isa. 3:13, 43:26, 66:16, Ezek. 17:20, 20:35-36, 38:22, Hos. 2:2, Joel 3:2, Mic. 6:2; Note: Job intends this as a reproof to Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad, seeing that their words have not strengthened or comforted him.
Job 23:3, 8-9 | Spiritual Darkness: Job 5:14, 9:11, 24, 12:25, 23:3, 8-9, 29:3, 22:11, 28 (Gen. 19:11, Deut. 28:29, Prov. 4:19, Ps. 35:6, Isa. 6:9-11, 8:14-22, 28:7-13, 29:9-13, 59:10, Mk. 13:34-37, Lk. 12:35-40, Matt. 25:5, Acts 13:11, Rom. 11:8, Eph. 5:14, 1 Cor. 15:34, 1 Jn. 2:11) [Jehovah-Ori];
Job 23:10 | The Refiners Fire: Job 23:10; The Trial of the Righteous / The Trial of Faith: Job 7:12-21, 23:10
Job 23:11 | The Steps & Way of God: Job 23:11 [The Ways of God]
Job 23:12 | Possessors of the Word of God / the Law: Job 6:10, 25, 22:22, 23:12
Job 23:13-14 | Divine Repentances & Oneness of Mind or Wholeness of Desire: Job 23:13
Wholeness of heart or singleness of mind in the LORD to save (Jer. 32:41) or destroy (Jer. 15:6, Ezek. 24:14) and everything in between (Hos. 11:8) is a storyline of Church History that can be traced throughout all ages in the discourse between God and the Prophets.
Job 23:15-16 | The Fear of the Almighty: Job 6:14, 13:11, 21, 15:4, 18:11, 14, 20-21, 19:29, 21:5-6 [El-Ira]
Job 24:1 | Knowing God: Job 18:21, 21:14 (Ex. 5:2, Judges 2:10, 1 Sam. 2:12, 1 Chron. 28:9, Ps. 79:6, Jer. 9:3, 10:25, 1 Thess. 4:5, 2 Thess. 1:8, Titus 1:16); Intercession for the Days of Old: “Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?” - Job 24:1 (Deut. 32:7-8, 4:32, Ps. 44:1, 77:5-12, 78:1-8, Ps. 119:52, Isa. 46:9, 63:11, Joel 1:2-3) [Seeing Judgment; Laws of Perpetuity]; Numbered Days: Job 14:5-6, 16, 24:1 (“times”), Ps. 90:12
Job 24:1-25 | The Prosperity of the Wicked (verses 1-17) because of a Delayed Sudden Destruction (verses 18-25)
Job demonstrates his agreement with and knowledge in the doctrine of the Early Church, as rehearsed by Eliphaz in Job 22:5-12, by echoing the same scenario in Job 24:1-12 with respect to the wickedness of Sinners, and in Job 29:12-17 with respect to his own integrity in righteousness prior to the controversial calamity that befell him.
Job 24:12 | Seeing No Judgment: “The earth is given…” (Job 9:24), “in their sight…before their eyes” (Job 21:7-8), “not see His days” (Job 24:1), “…yet God layeth not folly to them.” (Job 24:12)
To undermine the confidence of his accusers, Job reasons in a way that could be easily misunderstood if the affirmations of this ongoing discourse are not followed from beginning to end. Job affirms and does not deny the teachings of the Elders in the Church, and repeatedly states that he agrees with the points being made by his accusers who seek to defend the non-arbitrary judgment of God upon the Church. However, Job, being accused of certain wickedness for what appeared to be a swift visitation of divine justice upon him, points out that a sudden outbreak of divine judgment (in his case) or the lack thereof (in the case of the prosperity of the wicked) doesn’t always mean immorality (in his case) or morality (in the case of the prosperity of the wicked). With the former being totally unheard of and the latter generally undeniable, this makes for a sharp disagreement when Job and his friends convened together in discourse on the subject.
Job is an anomaly. If only Job’s earthly friends knew about the unique heavenly situation that brought about Job’s calamity, how the Almighty accepted Satan’s challenge and made Job the focal point of an unprecedented trial between God and angels. Contrary to the opinion of Job’s friends, this came about because of Job’s unrivaled righteousness above all other men on the face of the earth.
Job 24:13, 16 | Walking in the Light: Ps. 89:15, Isa. 2:5, John 8:12, 11:9-10, 12:35, Eph. 5:8, 1 Jn. 1:7, Rev. 21:24 [Spiritual Darkness]; The Doctrine of Abiding: John 12:46, 15:1-10, 1 Jn. 2:24, 27-28; Knowing God: “…they know not the ways thereof” & “they know not the light” (Job 24:13, 16)
This is the first time a Prophet has used Light and Darkness interchangeably to describe the physical and spiritual condition of sinners (1 Thess. 5:1-8).
Job 24:17 | Shadow of Death: Job 3:5 (Ps. 23:4, 44:19, 107:10, 14, Isa. 9:2, Jer. 2:6, 13:16, Amos 5:8)
Job 24:19 | The Mechanism of Fire: Job 1:16, 15:30, 34, 22:20, 31:12 [El-esh-oklah];
Job 24:20 | Remembrance & Name: Job 13:12, 18:17, Ps. 34:16, 83:4, 109:13, Prov. 2:22, 10:7; Like a Tree: Job 19:10 (Ps. 1:3, 102:11, 37:35-36, 52:8, 92:12, Jer. 11:19, Hos. 14:8, Mk. 11:21); The Worm as an Instrument of Wrath: Job 17:14, 24:20, Ps. 49:14, Isa. 14:11, 51:8, 66:24, Mk. 9:44, 46, 48
THE WORM. It is one of the smallest of God’s creatures. It is harmless to the living and defenseless when attacked. Nevertheless, it is a fierce consumer of the dead! The dead are violated by the worm. A corpse is defenseless before the worm. And the rotten meal is sweet to the worm! These are tokens of divine wrath: “…the worm shall feed sweetly on him” (Job 24:20).
The presence of the worm is nearly indistinguishable from death. It is a minister of corruption (Job 17:14). It is as the presence of death itself (Ps. 49:14). Unless you have beheld the worm at work you couldn’t possibly understand. When the worm meets with mortal men in the end, this can only mean one thing: humiliation. “Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.” (Isaiah 14:11). Death is the deglorification of sinners. The worm defeats them. God is demonstrating divine wrath in real time through creation. He that hath an ear, let him hear.
The Creator designed creation to preach sermons to mankind. The worm sweetly feeding on the dead carcasses of wicked sinners is a process that satisfies the wrath of God. Divine justice kills sinners and removes them from the face of the earth (Heb. 9:27, Ezek. 18:4, 20). The world is made better by one less sinner. The holy heart of God is cheered at a little less sadness (Gen. 6:7, Ps. 104:35).
“Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.” - Psalms 104:35
Nevertheless, what about the afterlife? The same dreadful marvels accompany the 2nd Death. The tokens of divine wrath that accompany the 1st Death are harnessed by God and adapted to meet with tormented souls in Hell, or what we could call the 2nd Death (Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 14, 21:8). In retrospect, we can see that the 1st Death was teaching sinners about the horrors of the 2nd Death all along! It pleases a benevolent God to force sinners to encounter the rotting corpses of dead things as they go about their business in their earthly lives. As a medicine to the soul (Eccl. 7:2-5), it would do them good to take a long hard look at the unsightly mess of rotting death: see how it looks, imagine how it feels, and be nauseated with horror at the smell!
The worm, as an instrument of divine wrath in the 1st Death, is employed by God even after physical death – the worm will sweetly feed on the spirits and bodies of sinners in the Lake of Fire for their outrageous and unthinkable wickedness before a Holy God! Herein, God’s wrath will be forever satisfied in the destruction of transgressors (Rev. 14:10, Matt. 8:29, 2 Thess. 1:7-10). God has appointed the worm for this cause (Jonah 4:7)! Speaking of this, Jesus of Nazareth spoke about the torments of Hellfire, quoting Isaiah, saying that it is a place "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mk. 9:44, 46, 48)! This should make mortal men and devils horribly afraid (Matt. 8:29, James 2:19).