Job 40-42 The hearing of the ear and seeing of the eye

From Job 40-42

18 Job three friends

Job is suddenly silenced when God comes and speaks. We all long for God to speak into our lives. Into our suffering. Job has been questioning why he has suffered. Now he has his answers.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

18 Job 40-42

Following yesterdays reading the LORD questions Job. Job is humbled before the LORD and promises silence. God questions whether it is right for Job to put him in the wrong so he may be in the right (Job 40.8).

The LORD gives him a series of challenges. If Job can do them, then he will acknowledge him and that he can save himself.

The LORD created the Behemoth (this creature is unknown) as the first of his works. The LORD has power over him as no one else does (Job 40). The LORD can dominate the Leviathan. No one else can do that. The Leviathan sues for peace, even though it is a mighty animal (Job 41).

42 Then Job answered the LORD and said:

2 “I know that you can do all things,

and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,

things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. (Job 42.1-3)

Some very poetic words don’t you think? Prior to the LORD’s revelation Job was without knowledge. He judged the LORD wrongly and was not aware of his power and majesty. But now the LORD has spoken. Job has now understood  ‘wonderful things’ about the LORD.

What do you find most wonderful about God?

Job seems to be suggesting a dramatic difference between his prior knowledge of God and his newfound knowledge.

4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you make it known to me.’

5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

6 therefore I despise myself,

and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42.4-6)

Job repeats earlier statements made by the LORD in order to answer them. He compares the ‘hearing of the ear’, with what his eyes see. Seeing gives much more information that hearing. A difference in quality rather than quantity.

Can you distinguish your knowledge of the LORD in the same way?

In response Job repents. He did not know as he does now. He did not understand. Presumably he repents of his accusations against the LORD for the perceived injustice.

7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. (Job 42.7)

The LORD now turns his attention to Job’s three friends. Elihu the young gun seems to be overlooked. Job’s three friends however are rebuked. The LORD commends Job to them. The LORD says they did not speak what was right about the LORD as Job had.  I strongly suspect the LORD is referring to Job’s act of repentance above (Job 42.1-6). They did not rightly speak of the LORD.

8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For 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 what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. (Job 42.8-9)

In a twist of events Job is commanded to offer a sacrifice and pray for them to propitiate the LORD’s wrath.

10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. (Job 42.10-11)

The LORD gives back his fortune. His remaining family come to him and support him. So do his former friends. They support him and comfort him. Give him some gold.

The text refers to the ‘evil’ the LORD brought upon him. Referring to Job’s trial and suffering, rather than implicating the LORD in any morally evil act.

12 And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.

13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

16 And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man, and full of days. (Job 42.12-17)

The fortunes of Job are listed with some detail. Livestock, many children and long life. Interestingly the author lists the names of his daughters, not his sons.

Story of Jesus

Like Job many have a poor understanding of what God the Father is like. There is a difference between ‘hearing with the ear’ and ‘seeing with the eye’. In the gospel, John explains how God reveals himself to us.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (Jn 1.14–18)

Job required God to come down and speak to him. He revealed things about himself that Job described as ‘things too wonderful for him, things he did not know’.

The comparison John makes is between the law of Moses and Jesus the Christ.

Jesus reveals the Father to us in a way we would not have known of before.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.