Job 11-13 I have understanding as well as you, I am not inferior to you

From Job 11-13

18 Job three friends thumb

Job has understood from the start the hand of the LORD in his suffering. God has done this to him. This is what has caused him some grief. What has he done wrong? Why has the LORD done this to him? Not understanding the reason for suffering makes it harder to bear.

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

Passage and Comments

18 Job 11-13

Job feels his friends are standing over him more and more in judgment.

12 Then Job answered and said: 

2 “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.

3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. (Job 12.1-3)

Job makes a sarcastic comment about their wisdom dying with them. His friends are standing over him in judgment. In their own eyes they believe he has sinned. He deserves this punishment.

When one person condemns another he puts the other down and raises himself up.

Who does not know such things as these? 

4 I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called to God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.

5 In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; it is ready for those whose feet slip.

6 The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand. (Job 12.4-6)

Job continues to languish in his situation. He used to be highly thought of. Now he is a laughingstock. An example. An object of ridicule.

Job continues to question if there is justice in the world. Robbers get away with their crime. People who blaspheme against God and commit idolatry remain secure in life. He is implicitly questioning God’s justice in allowing these to happen.

7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;

8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?

10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

11 Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food?

12 Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. (Job 12.7-12)

Job understands all of creation is aware of the LORD’s doings. Even his suffering. Creation knows all this because all of life is in the LORD’s hand. This would normally be praise, but Job now blames God for the evil happenings in nature.

Story of Jesus

Job feels humbled by his friends condemnation. He says he is not inferior to them. It’e easy to fall into the trap for striving to be the greatest. To want to put another down in order to appear great.

Jesus reversed this. He encourages his people to humble themselves.

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mt 18.1-6)

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

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