Exercising The Faith
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Each of Job's friends had spoken twice and Job had answered each of them after each of their speeches. Now Friend Eliphaz begins to speak again. Job had just emphasized that the wicked prospered even more than the righteous. The reason that they are not punished in this life is that God lays up their iniquity and they are reserved for the day of destruction.

Eliphaz, with the tenacity with which he has already spoken twice, is going to beat Job over the head again with words to bring him to the place where he will say, “I am a sinner, Eliphaz. That is what you want me to say to satisfy you.”

A man does not always need to be faced with his sin and forced to admit that he is a sinner. In some instances, there is a need for an individual to recognize that he is out of the will of God, but that is not always so. Nothing is ever gained by forcing a man to admit that he is guilty of sin. One can lead an individual to the acknowledgment of his need of Christ and that accomplishes something. However, when admission of guilt is forced, nothing happens. As a matter of fact, the individual tends to become angry, as did Job, in response to the various accusations that his friends made.

The thing that Eliphaz was able to glean from what Job said was that Job was claiming his own righteousness. He was holding up his own integrity. Eliphaz therefore approached in a new fashion the same old theme. Turn to chapter 22, and notice verses 1-4:

Job 22:

1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
3Is it any pleasure to the almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?
4Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?

In other words, Eliphaz said, “For the sake of discussion, let's ask a few questions. Can a man be profitable to God when God, Who is all-wise, needs no profit from any man? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous? Is it gain to Him that thou makest thy way perfect? Why are you always talking about your own righteousness? Why do you talk about your own goodness? Do you think God cares? Do you think it means anything to Him? Do you think it adds anything to His righteousness?”

By asking these questions, Eliphaz was dealing partially in truth and partially in untruth. He was walking partly in the light and partly in the dark. In one sense, it adds absolutely nothing to God for a man to be righteous. It adds absolutely nothing to God for a man to make his way perfect. Nothing we can do can add to God in any sense of the word. However, when Eliphaz asked the question, “Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous?”, he was about to disprove his own argument.

Answer To The Questions Of Eliphaz In The Word Of God

It is a pleasure to the Almighty when men are righteous. It is a gain to Him when we make our ways perfect. Paul said in Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 1:

Ephesians 4:

1I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

We are exhorted again and again in the Word of God to live lives that will be such that the ministry of the Word of God will be approved by the world when they see the results in our lives.

For this reason, the Lord Jesus Christ—the perfect Man, the Son of God—lived to please God. Look at John, chapter 8, verse 29:

John 8:

29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

When Jesus was on earth, He said that His goal was to always do the things that pleased the Father. He always lived so that He brought pleasure into the Fathers' life.

In answer to this question of Eliphaz, we say, “Yes, the righteous man is a pleasure to the Almighty.” It is a pleasure to God that you are righteous just as it was a pleasure to Him that Job was righteous. You are righteous only because you have trusted in the finished work of Christ. It is a pleasure to God when you do good. It is a grief to God when you do evil. Turn to I Corinthians, chapter 10, verse 22:

I Corinthians 10:

22Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

Paul reminds us here that God feels so deeply about this that the word jealousy is the only thing to describe the way He actually feels. He is jealous over us with a godly jealousy that we might give our time, our talents, our everything to Him and to no one else. Paul is reminding us that the Holy Spirit within us cries in the spirit of jealousy that we might be holy and completely dedicated to the God we profess to love and serve. Is the righteousness of men any pleasure to the Almighty? Yes, it is.

Is it any gain to Him if we endeavor to make our way perfect? Yes, it is. Can a man be profitable unto God? Yes, he can. Look at II Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 1:

II Corinthians 6:

1We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

When the individual yields his life completely and fully to God, he becomes a profit to God and not a loss. God has made a tremendous investment in us. He purchased us with the blood of His Son. Therefore, we belong to Him. Are you profitable to God? Turn back to I Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 20:

I Corinthians 6:

20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Good Will Come To Those Who Are At Peace With God

Go back to the book of Job, chapter 22, and notice verse 21:

Job 22:

21Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Keep in mind that we have emphasized that in every instance the things which the friends of Job said to him were not necessarily true of him. Yet, there is a principle which does have a much wider application than the mere, “Acquaint thyself with God, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.” In this entire paragraph, the emphasis is put on the various kinds of good or the various ingredients of the word good. That good will come to the individual who takes time to stop grumbling against God and places himself with Him and accepts the good that only God can give. There is a sense in which every sinner is at enmity with God. God is never at enmity with the sinner, but the sinner is at enmity with God.

We are encouraged in the Word of God to know that while we were the enemy of Him, Christ died for us. Turn to Romans, chapter 5, and look at verse 10:

Romans 5:

10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

A complete pardon was announced for all who are willing to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Meet God's requirements today. Place yourself with Him and be at peace. This is the message of this verse. But it is not a message limited solely to the unsaved. It is addressed to believers today also. There are a great many believers who are restless and have no real peace and no real calmness of spirit. They need to come back into fellowship and be at peace. Good will come to the man who is in fellowship with God. That is what Eliphaz said.

If it is a matter of a sinner who has never been born again, the moment that the sinner receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and comes into fellowship with God, he has peace. If it is a matter of a believer who has left the place of fellowship, when he acknowledges his sin before God, he is restored to fellowship, and good will come and he will find peace. Look at Philippians, chapter 4, verse 7:

Philippians 4:

7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Turn back to Job, chapter 22, and notice verse 22:

Job 22:

22Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.

Eliphaz mentions some of the things that are related to the good. He emphasizes that it is important to receive the law of God from his mouth and to lay up the Word of God in the heart. When one is in fellowship with God, there will be attention to the Word of God; and when one who is out of fellowship returns, there will be a new attention to His Word because the believer who is walking in fellowship is interested in knowing what God has to say.

One sure sign that you are not in fellowship with God is your lack of interest in what God's Word has to say that you may be able to follow where He leads.

It is interesting to notice that the book of Job was written long before the words of the law were given to Moses and written down by him. Yet, even though the book of Job was written before the law was laid down, it emphasizes the accuracy of the Scripture in the words, “the law from his mouth” and “lay up his words in thine heart.” The law was given to Moses. God was directing the people through him by the word of His mouth.

Look at verses 23-24:

Job 22:

23If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
24Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.

Job was down at the very bottom. He suffered as much as any mortal could suffer. Now Eliphaz tells him that when he gets back into fellowship with God, he will be different. He will be built up again in strength and rather than advancing, iniquity will be taken far from his dwelling.

Values Change When Man Is At Peace With God

Next, Eliphaz tells Job that he will have a new evaluation of things and a new sense of life when he gets right with God. Job had been known for the wealth that was his. He was known for the prosperity which God had given him. He is told that with a new sense of values, he will “lay up gold as dust and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.” Notice verse 25:

Job 22:

25Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.

Notice that Job is told that God will bless him with material goods. He would have plenty of silver, but he would not put evaluation on material things as he once did. He would lay them up, not as gold, but as “stones of the brooks and the dust of the earth.” This suggests that he would have plenty according to God's promise to bless him. However, Job would not again be wedded to his riches.

This is the outlook on life that should be that of the true believer. Some people have gold as their god. If a person is truly born again, some say he will have no material goods. If he does have material goods, there must be something wrong. They suggest that he could not get riches honestly or with the blessing of God. But this passage of Scripture, along with a great many others, emphasizes the fact that God often blesses with material things, yet He does not always do so.

A Man's Delight Shall Be In God When He Is At Peace With Him

Look at verses 26-27:

Job 22:

26For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
27Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.

God not only promises to bless, but He promises that when we have peace with Him, we shall delight in Him. There are three things promised in these two verses.

First, there shall be delight in the Almighty. Are you enjoying your relationship with God? There are many who are not enjoying such a relationship. It is an ordeal for them. It is a system of rules and regulations to which they must carefully adhere, and if they don't, they are in torment of soul. Beloved, we want you to realize today that if you are trusting in the Lord and recognize that He is your peace, you should take delight in the Almighty.

Second, you will be able “to lift up your face to God” and “to make your prayer to Him and He will hear you.” What a wonderful privilege. What a wonderful assurance it is to know that you are at peace with God. You can lift up your face toward Heaven and make your prayer unto Him and know He will hear you. When we know that God hears, we know that we have the answer.

The third thing mentioned here is “thou shalt pay thou vows.” Vows were very familiar in the Old Testament. Individuals would make a vow to God with sincerity of heart and would make every effort to keep the vow, but sometimes things would happen beyond their control, and they would not be able to keep the vow. Consequently, they were told that they should tread softly when they went into the house of God and that they should not make a vow that they would not be able to keep. If, when the time came to pay the vow, they said that they did not mean it when they made it, the One Who was able to look into their hearts would know whether they meant it or not. Therefore, the Word of God says, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5).

However, this does not mean that you should never make a promise to the Lord or a commitment to God. It does suggest that vows and commitment should be made very seriously and very conscientiously. Someone may say, “Suppose I am not able to keep the vow or commitment?” There is no need for you to fear that you will not be able to pay the vow if you make it in fellowship with God and are led of Him. This verse makes it clear that if we are in fellowship with Him, He will hear our prayers and we will be able to pay our vows. Turn to II Corinthians, chapter 9, verse 8:

II Corinthians 9:

8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

God had permitted Satan to put all these trials upon Job, and God knew that Job could bear them. We are also told that He will not suffer us to bear more than we can stand. We may think that more has come our way, but it hasn't. Satan can do no more than God permits, and God will not permit any more than we can bear. God permitted these afflictions because He knew that Job would come through victoriously.

God Will Hear Your Prayers When You Are At Peace With Him

When you pray and do not get an answer, that does not mean that God has not heard you. Perhaps it was not good for you. God knows best. If He has not given you the thing which you requested, there are several possibilities to consider. First, God doesn't think it is good for afyou, so He says, “No.” He did answer you prayer, but with a “no.” Second, when God says, “No,” you are disappointed and ask, “What's the use to pray then?” The “no” may not necessarily be an eternal “no.” Sometimes God says, “No,” for the present, but will say, “Yes,” by and by. By way of illustration, we did not permit our children to drive the car until they passed the Drivers' Education Course. Suppose one of our younger children would have asked to drive. I would have said, “No,” but that would not mean “no” when that child became old enough for that responsibility. God looks after our welfare just like that. So sometimes, it is, “Wait a while.” 3. The third possibility is that He may say, “Yes,” and you will receive the answer just as you requested.

Go back to Job, chapter 22, and notice verse 27:

Job 22:

27Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee…:

Job Answers The Third Discourse Of Eliphaz

Now look at chapter 23, verse 2:

Job 23:

2Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.

Notice, Job says that his complaint is bitter. A more accurate rendering of Job's words would be, “What I am going to say to you, Eliphaz, you will consider rebellion.” Eliphaz had been finding fault with him, so he said, “You think I'm complaining? My stroke is heavier than my groaning. I am not complaining nearly as much as I am being afflicted. I want you to know that. You may think that I am complaining too much in comparison with my burden, but you don't realize that my burden is worse than I have described.”

Remember, Eliphaz had advised Job, “Acquaint now thyself with him and be at peace.” In response to this statement, Job said in verse 3:

Job 23:

3Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

In other words, Job says, “If I knew where I might find Him, I would acquaint myself with Him. I would go to His throne if I knew where to find Him.” He did not mean that the location of the throne of God was not known to him. He knew the throne was in Heaven. He meant that he was out of touch with God. The burden of his heart was so heavy and the affliction of his body was so great that he had lost the sense of the presence of God.

Have you ever been in the place where your burden was so great, your affliction so terrible that you lost the sense of the presence of God? That is exactly where Job was at this time. His friends had been accusing him of sinning against God. Sick and discouraged, he truly wanted to stand before God Himself. He wanted to go directly before the Throne of God and talk with Him.

Job 23:

8Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
9On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

It is not sin to feel discouraged, but it is sin to continue to feel discouraged. Sometimes, when we do feel discouraged and analyze the situation, we realize that the trouble is with us. Notice how Job came out of his despondency in verse 10:

Job 23:

10But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

If Job could have come before the Throne of God, he would have done exactly that. In fact, Job said, “If I could come before God's Throne, I would state my case and then listen to what He had to say very carefully.

Job 23:

4I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
5I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
6Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
7There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Job actually wanted to present his case and let God be the judge. He felt then he would understand his affliction. Then he asked a question and answered it; he answered it correctly. Would God accept his plea or would He condemn Job? Job said, “No, He will not plead against me. He will put strength in me.” Instead of condemning, God will give strength. What a wonderful God we have.

We must remember that Job lived long before the days of Israel's economy, and even then, only the priest could come before God. But Job could look down the corridors of time and realize a way into the Holy of Holies. The veil of the temple would be rent from the top to the bottom, not from the bottom to the top. This indicates that divine power, not man power, had been manifested at that time.

The veil had separated man from God and only the priest could come between, but when the veil was rent, the way was made open so that man could appear before God and state his case. Our advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, will plead each case, for we are told, “…and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the world” (I John 2:1-2). Thank God that we can now come before God, state our case, and our advocate, Jesus Christ, the Righteous, will plead for us.

Notice that as Job's three friends continued to condemn him and accuse him of sinning against God to the extent that God was punishing him for his sin by sending these trials, Job did not take this lying down. He answered them. Though what he said was said rather petulantly, what he said was true. Look at verse 10:

Job 23:

10But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

In other words, Job says, “It doesn't matter what you say or what you think. God knows the truth, and He knows my heart. When this trial is over, I shall come forth as pure gold. You may think that I have done wrong, but wait and see.”

Job 23:

11My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

What a wonderful testimony. Can you say this? I think most of us would have to say, My foot hath held his steps most of the time, or part of the time, but not all the time. Job also said, “I have not declined.” Can you or I say, “I have kept His way and have not declined any suggestion that He has made in regard to His suggestions?” Can we say that we have yielded entirely to God's will?

Job 23:

12Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Can you say, “Neither have I gone back?” We start out so well and are so desirous of doing His will, but one thing and another happens, and we go back on our word and back on His will for us.

I love the last part of this verse, for I can say this in all honesty. It is my heart's desire to put His Word in first place in my life—to give the Lord the preeminence in my life Can you say this? Do you esteem His Word more than your daily food? Job is saying in effect here, “If I had to make a choice between the necessary food for my body or for my soul, I would choose the spiritual food—the Word of God.

It is not often that one is called upon to make this choice. but if you should be faced with this situation, what would your choice be? Would you choose food for your body or spiritual food—the Word of God?

Another translation reads, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips, and I have treasured up His orders.” I trust that this is the way you feel about the matter. If not, learn to pray the prayer given in His Word: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of they law” (Psalm 119:18). God will open your eyes if you pray this prayer from your heart. You will learn to listen to His Word so that you desire it even more than your daily food. Notice verses 13-14:

Job 23:

13But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
14For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

Notice, “He performeth the thing.” God performs the things that come to us. They are not accidents. They are part of His plan for us. I have this verse marked 1965 because God gave me this verse then to help me through a great trial. The Amplified version says, “He performs that which He has planned for me.” Another reads, “He has many such things in mind.” Another reads, “He will carry out His plans for me, and He has many such things in mind.”

In the portion of Scripture that we're studying, we find that God has many such things in mind for Job, and He was performing them for Job's good. God assured Job that his friends were not right when they accused him of sin and declared he was being chastised for his sin. God said, “These trials are from Me and are but what I have planned for you. I will complete My plans, and they will prove best for you.” But how could Job be sure that God had good things in mind for him after all his trials? Look at verse 13:

Job 23:

13But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Job could rest upon God's Word and we can rest upon this verse today. It is not an indication of evil nor of God's anger when we suffer. Neither will He be deterred from carrying out His plans. Look at this verse as a promise of good to come to you and be assured that God will do just what He has said He will do. This verse shows God's plan, purpose, and promise.

Remember, God will not be beggarly in giving you the things that He has planned for you. He has planned many wonderful things for you. He has in mind many things to do, and He will perform them. Job knew where he stood with God. Verse 14:

Job 23:

14For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

Job understood that God had planned his life and was working out His plans and that God had many things ahead for him; but even so, there were periods when he suffered doubt and despair and had unanswered questions.

Job 23:

15Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.
16For God maketh my heart soft, and the almighty troubleth me:

What troubles you now, Job? This time of trial has not come to God by surprise. The times are not hidden from the Almighty. He knows what is coming before it comes. He knows all about what is troubling you.

Job Continues To Answer Accusations Of Eliphaz

Look at chapter 24, beginning with verse 1:

Job 24:

1Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?
2Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.
3They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
4They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
5Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.
6They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.
7They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.

It is true that nothing is hidden from the Almighty. The next several verses describe the activities of the wicked. The wicked get away with everything. Why doesn't God do something about this? Why does God not stop them? God knows and sees what the wicked are doing and He keeps a record.

It isn't fair. We who are righteous have so many difficulties while the wicked go on doing wickedly and prosper. Many of Job's questions are not answered in the book of Job, but are answered in the New Testament. Turn to the book of Acts, chapter 1, and notice verse 1:

God Works According To His Own Appointed Seasons

Acts 1:

6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

In the minds of the disciples, righteous souls should be vindicated immediately and the wicked should receive retribution. Therefore, they asked this question. But note the answer of Jesus in Acts, chapter 1, verse 7:

Acts 1:

7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

So often we, like the disciples, ask God to judge certain things at a certain time. We ask God why He does not act upon wickedness right away. But this is not for us to know. God is not subject to the whims of man. It is a good thing that He is not, for at one moment we can be full of hatred and want severe judgment upon those who have wronged us. The next moment we may be filled with pity and don't even want to see them punished. Therefore, when Job asked this question, God said that He had His own appointed seasons and He never acted ahead of His schedule nor behind His schedule. Turn to Revelation, chapter 6, and notice verses 9-11.

Revelation 6:

9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Notice the words, “rest yet for a little season.” What did God say in answer to the question of why the wicked were getting away with their wrong doing? These souls cried, “How long?” This was the same question that Job asked and we, too, sometimes ask the same question. God answered, “Rest a while. My times are not yet fulfilled. There are yet more things to be done. There are still some to be martyred for Christ. We will wait until all have had this opportunity.” So we wait on the promise that God will work out His program on schedule.

This the the reason judgment does not come swiftly. God's Word teaches us that He moves according to plan. Turn to II Peter, chapter 3, verse 8:

II Peter 3:

8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This does not mean that every day is as 1,000 years. Time runs very rapidly for man, for his days are short in comparison with eternity; but God is a God of eternity and time does not pass that rapidly for God. God is never hasty about anything that He does. Look at II Peter, chapter 3, verse 9:

II Peter 3:

9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Should we as believers want judgment rather than salvation for those who are doing wrong? We should be willing to bear our indignities that some might come to know Christ as Savior.

We have given particular notice to Job's question, “Why doesn't God do something about the wicked?” This chapter discusses the actions of the wicked, but the question remains unanswered. Why doesn't God judge the wicked? it certainly does look as if the wicked get away with many, many things.

The Amplified version reads: “Why, seeing the times are not hidden from the Almighty, does He not set a season for judgment?” Again, it is the New Testament that gives us this answer in Acts, chapter 17, verses 22-31:

Acts 17:

22Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
23For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
24God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

In this portion of Scripture, Paul is preaching on Mars Hill to the Greeks who worshipped many gods. They even had an altar with the inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD”.

Notice verse 31: God has already appointed a day of judgment. When Job asked, “Why don't the righteous see the wicked judged for their sin?”, we must look to Paul's answer: “Because God has appointed a specific day and has committed the judgment of the wicked to His Son Who arose from the dead. This day of judgment is just as sure as Christ's resurrection. Turn to Romans, chapter 5, verse 1:

Romans 5:

1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

How are we justified? By faith. We are objects of faith—varied and many. Since the verse begins with the word therefore , we are referred to the previous chapter. Here Abraham's faith was given as an illustration for us in order that we might exercise the same faith. Abraham exercised his faith in the Christ to come. We exercise our faith in the Christ Who has come and has risen from the dead. Now look at verse 2:

Romans 5:

2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Our faith is in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom our salvation has been provided. If Christ had not risen, there would not have been a day appointed. But God did appoint a definite day, and it is fixed on His calendar.

Someone may say, “Then I can live as I please and get ready just before that day.” Oh, no. Your only opportunity to get right with God is in your lifetime. You cannot be sure of tomorrow. You can only be sure of the breath you are presently taking.

Bildad's Third Speech Leaves Job In Despair

When Job finished his answer to Eliphaz, his friend, Bildad, then asked, “How then can a man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? Job did not have the answer to this question. He remonstrated, but he could not answer.

Already, we have referred to the New Testament answer given by the Apostle Paul. Paul also said in Romans, chapter 5, verse 1:

Romans 5:

1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, Paul says also, “Put your faith in Him and you are justified before God—“just as if you had never sinned.” By so doing, you will have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The story of Nicodemus, given in the third chapter of John, presents Jesus as the perfect sacrifice.

John 3:

1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

When Jesus spoke of “the Son of man being lifted up as the serpent in the wilderness,” He referred to His coming crucifixion. Thus, He gave proof that He was the Son of God. He said, in effect, “Put your faith in the Son of God.”

God had said to man, “You are unclean and unworthy. You cannot fellowship with Me, but I want your fellowship.” So God sent His Son to make this possible. His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was a perfect man and an acceptable sacrifice for man's sin. Look at John, chapter 3, verse 16:

John 3:

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We have learned that the Judgment Day is as sure as the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection, there would be no Judgment Day. But since our Lord did arise from the dead, just as sure, the Day of Judgment is coming.

Job had said to Eliphaz, “Behold my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high…He knoweth the way that I take, when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold, and…I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”

Then Bildad asks, “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4). In other words, “How can a man be clean? Why is it necessary for a man to be cleansed? Why is he dirty?”

For the sake of clarity, let us look at the New Testament. God had created man in His own image. However, Adam brought forth sons in his own image—not in the image of God. Notice, “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image:… (Genesis 5:3). Now look at Romans, chapter 5, verse 12:

Romans 5:

12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:

18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Bildad had asked, “How can a man be clean? Why is he dirty?” This is the answer to those questions, Bildad. “By one man sin entered into the world.”

Notice another lesson taught here: “Judgment came upon all men to condemnation,” thus Adam's sons were born in the image of Adam. We believe the Bible.

All Have Sinned But There Is A Cure

Turn to the book of I John, and notice chapter 1, verse 7:

I John 1:

7 …the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Now notice Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 22:

Hebrews 9:

22 …and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The Old Testament Scriptures stressed the blood as necessary in forgiveness of sin. The person had to bring a sacrifice, put his hand upon the sacrifice and was cleansed thereby. In accordance with the promise of God to these Old Testament believers, God sent His Son. John, the forerunner of Christ, announced: “…Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

All of the animal sacrifices, all of the lambs offered during the years before Christ came, were just types of the perfect sacrifice to come. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice; and He came and died on the Cross and shed His precious blood so that now, we can be cleansed by receiving Him as our personal Savior.

I John 1:

7 …and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

We can declare this wonderful truth to all people. Yes, Bildad, you asked, “How can a man be cleansed?” Well, here is your answer.

In The Midst Of Despair, Job Still Has Faith In God

Bildad's negative speech had brought despair to Job. Then Job began to consider the great things done by God and as he contemplated these great works, his faith was strengthened. Go back to Job and notice chapter 26, verses 2-4:

Job 26:

2How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?
3How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?
4To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?

Yes, Bildad's speech had left Job cold. He wasn't too interested in Bildad after that. He says in these verses, which I express in paraphrase: “What good have you done? You haven't said anything that I don't know or that I haven't said myself. If you want to talk about God, let's talk about Him.” Then there follows one of the greatest descriptive truths of God that is given anywhere in the Scriptures. Look at verses 5-6:

Job 26:

5Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
6Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

Dead things—demons and the souls of those who have died and gone to Hades—tremble at the prospect of God's judgment. Think of the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke, chapter 16, verses 19-31. The rich man was in Hell, but he could see Lazarus and could carry on a conversation with Abraham.

Job Refers To Great Things God Has Done

Now look at verse 7:

Job 26:

7He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

Job here reveals scientific truths that have been discovered. The earth truly is hung upon nothing, and there is an empty space in the north—that is, as far as man can see. This makes it easier for man to go through to God's Throne which is in the north. Scientists have concluded that the earth is suspended upon nothing—just hanging in space. When I was first saved, I heard a man say: “Think. If God could hang the earth on nothing, what can He hang on you?” That truth has stayed with me.

Job 26:

12He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.
13By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

Think of the heavens as though God had taken a handful of stars and thrown them out into space, or so it seems. He can do anything. The words, the crooked serpent , may refer to the constellation. Notice verse 14:

Job 26:

14Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Man cannot understand God nor truly understand His works. But God does not demand that we understand, only that we trust. If we believe His Word, the Holy Bible, we find it easy and gratifying to trust His Holy Word.


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