Job 12:14-25 “The Deceived and The Deceiver Are His”

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


Job 12:14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
Job 12:15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.
Job 12:16 With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.
Job 12:17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.
Job 12:18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.
Job 12:19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.
Job 12:20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.
Job 12:21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.
Job 12:22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.
Job 12:23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.
Job 12:24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.
Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.

Introduction

Job has just expressed his exasperation with the elementary understanding his “miserable comforters” are expressing in their efforts to condemn him and to hold him responsible for the suffering he is enduring at the hands of the Lord. Both Job and his ‘comforters’ agree that Job’s loss and his destruction are the work of the Lord. All three of his comforters have agreed that such a catastrophe as Job has endured is, to them, proof positive that Job is a sinner of the lowest degree. The words of Zophar were especially sharp and condemning:

Job 11:6 And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.

It is true that the word ‘deserveth’ is not in the Hebrew, but the tone of all three of these men, who are types of us all while we are in Babylon, implies that we all truly believe that we are responsible for our own sins and that therefore we are deserving of the judgments we receive at God’s hands. The fact that this is a universal human trait is demonstrated graphically for us in the question the disciples asked of our Lord regarding a man who had been born blind.

Joh 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

That is how we all first think. To this very day we all must struggle to remind ourselves that God is working all things after the counsel of His own will, and that no man is responsible for his own actions.

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

So why then was this man born blind? The answer from our Lord himself is that any sins committed by either this man or his parents had nothing at all to do with this man being born blind. When Christ said “Neither this man sinned nor his parents”, He is not saying that this is the first family in the history of mankind who was not “marred in the hand of the Potter”. What He is doing is answering their question about why this man was born blind. In other words, He is telling us that our spiritual blindness has nothing to do with our sins, and He is also telling us that Job’s afflictions had nothing to do with Job’s sins. That is why we are told up front that in human terms the man Job was ‘a good man who loved God and hated evil’.

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

So the man who Christ healed is a spiritual type of all of us. He was born blind for one reason and for one reason only; “that the works of God should be made manifest in him”. Mankind is born spiritually blind, “that the works of God should be made manifest in him”.
That is the message of the book of Job, and that is how God is dealing with Job and with you and with me. The only reason for all of our afflictions and trials, in the final analysis, is “that the works of God should be made manifest” in Job and in us all. We are all born spiritually blind for that very reason.
Christ gives us the lesson of the book of Job in this one parable:

Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

We must all ‘sell all we have’ and buy the field which contains the pearl of great price. This parable alone might lead us to believe that we willingly sell all we have to obtain the kingdom. But this is not the only parable about the kingdom. The very next parable tells us that there is a dragging process that must be endured before we are made willing to sell all we have to obtain the kingdom of God.

Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

These parables are not opposing each other. What each parable does is to provide just a little more information about how the kingdom of God is formed within us.

Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The book of Job and the apostle Paul demonstrate how they “suffer the loss of all” things to gain Christ.

Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Job simply could not get the pieces of the puzzle together. His life and all of his incredible trials were actually suffered and were lived out for our admonition and Job would never in this life come to understand what exactly the Lord was doing. But he also knew that the day would come when God would reveal His plan to all mankind. Peter tells us this was the case.

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Peter and the apostle Paul reveal to us that the hope and the final outcome of the ages, “Christ in you”, had not come to anyone in the Old Testament, but it has rather ‘come upon us’.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends [ Greek – telos, the outcome, the end product] of the world [ Greek – aions, ‘the ages of this world’, Eph 2:2] are come.

Here is some of that ‘diligent searching’ Peter speaks of as it was done by Job. For our admonition, Job is acknowledging the sovereign hand of our Lord in the kingdoms of this world. Job eventually came to see that God’s judgments and all of his suffering were for his good, but according to Peter, he knows that there is something more that he does not understand.

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

Throughout the rest of this chapter Job is speaking only of the destruction of the sinner who we all are to begin with. Job’s destruction typifies the death of our old man. When Job says, “He breaks down and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening”, Job is not thinking of others. He is thinking of himself, his own “old man” as God’s enemy experiencing God’s wrath:

Job 19:11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.

We know he is thinking of himself because when he is later remembering how his life was before God came to destroy him, he tells us this:

Job 29:19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.

The Hebrew word for ‘opening’ is ‘pathach’, and it is the same Hebrew word translated ‘spread out’, when Job is describing his life when God had Satan hedged out of his life.
But knowing the wrath of God upon our “old man” is essential for the salvation of all of those in whom Christ would dwell. Jeremiah has the same lamentation as a type of the death of our “old man”.

Lam 3:1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
Lam 3:2 He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
Lam 3:3 Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day.
Lam 3:4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.
Lam 3:5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
Lam 3:6 He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old.
Lam 3:7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
Lam 3:8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

Notice how similar Job’s lamentations are to the lamentations of Jeremiah. There is no mention of salvation in either of these passages in Job or in Lamentations. So the repentance of our old man is not a “godly repentance unto salvation”, but it is rather a begrudging ‘sorrow of this world unto death’, and it has “no place” in the kingdom of God, but is rather “the sorrow of the world [ which] worketh death”.

2Co 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he [ Esau] would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Esau was physically ‘firstborn’, and in a natural sense “would have inherited the blessing” ahead of Jacob like Reuben, Joseph’s brother, who would have inherited the blessing if he had not lain with His father’s wife and had not sold his brother into Egypt as a slave.
Abraham himself lamented having to relinquish his own firstborn of his flesh:

Gen 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman is contrasted with Isaac, the son of the freewoman (Gal 4:21-31). Esau is contrasted with his brother, Jacob, and Reuben is contrasted with his brother Joseph, typifying the old man of the flesh who precedes the new man of the spirit.
Judas is the type and shadow Ishmael, Esau, and Reuben, who all experienced the sorrow of this world. But it was “the sorrow of the world [ which] works death”. Judas realized he had ‘betrayed an innocent man’, but instead of expressing godly repentance and asking for forgiveness and turning himself over to God’s judgment, Judas demonstrates for us “the sorrow of the world”. He sees his sin, but then he takes matters into his own beastly hands, and he judges himself unworthy of forgiveness, and he adds to his sin by murdering himself.

Mat 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Mat 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
Mat 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

God wants our old man to die. He is intent upon the destruction of the “man of sin” within us. But He will be the one to judge our “old man”, and He will have our ‘old man’ to “die daily” at the hands of “Christ in you”. God wants our old man to be ‘crucified’ daily and to offer himself up as “a living sacrifice”.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The stories of Ishmael, Esau, Reuben, Judas and Job all serve to demonstrate just how loathe is our old man to relinquish the throne of our hearts. “Oh, that Ishmael might live before Thee” is exactly what we all cry out to God. Our ‘old man’ of our flesh would rather die, and so he must, because:

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

So Job continues describing what God was doing to him as the type of our old man:

Job 12:15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

God’s Word’s are typified by water. They can be taken away and dried up, and they can come in such volume and velocity as to destroy our rebellious “old man” within us.

Gen 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
Job 28:4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
Isa 19:4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
Isa 19:5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.

Zec 10:11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.
Isa 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

“The whole stay of water” means that all of God’s Truth has been removed away from us while we are less than wholehearted in our obedience to God.
While the drying up of the waters can and does destroy Egypt and Assyria, the types of our old man, at the same time our new man is being saved from death. In other words, our salvation depends upon the death of Egypt within us.

Jos 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD d ried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Job’s lamentation of his old man continues.

Job 12:16 With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.

Notice that Job did not say ‘The truthfully informed and the deceived are His’ but rather he is informing us that “the deceived and the deceiver are His”. This Truth concerning God’s total sovereignty over “all things” (Eph 1:8) is even more graphically demonstrated for us in God’s own bold words:

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Eze 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

“The deceived and the deceiver are the Lords”, and “the punishment of the [ false] prophet shall be as the punishment of him that seeks unto him”.

Job 12:17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.

It is we who are obeying the foolish counsel of our own corrupt flesh:

Pro 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Pro 5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Under these circumstances we are still living in the bondage of spiritual ‘Egypt’.

Isa 19:11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?
Isa 19:12 Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.
Isa 19:13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.
Isa 19:14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

All of our great counsel given by our ‘ancient and honorable… old man’, and all of our own judgments are revealed for the foolishness they are by the Truth of the Word of God. But even then we are blinded by “the pride of life”, and we cannot see or understand what He is telling us.

Pro 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

“The pride of life” is the life’s blood of our old man, and it must be spilled, and our old man must be destroyed by God Himself.

Isa 9:13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
Isa 9:14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
Isa 9:15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
Isa 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
Isa 9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

When we live our lives believing lies, those lies hurt us more than we realize. We are given a description of the pain and the ruin that “the tail… prophet that teaches lies” wreaks upon us in Rev 9:

Rev 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Isa 9:16 does not contradict Isa 63:17. Instead Isa 9:16 reveals how God goes about ‘causing us to err from His ways’. Isa 9:16 is in complete accord with Ezekiel 14:9-10.

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Eze 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

Both Isa 9 and Ezekiel 14 tell us that God uses our leaders to deceive us, just as He used Satan as ‘His hand… put forth and afflict Job’.

Job 2:4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
Job 2:5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

How does God “put forth [ His] hand” to afflict Job?

Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

So if we are ‘dying daily’ or if we are being ‘crucified with Christ’, then it is all “the Lord’s hand” which is working it all “after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11).

Job 12:18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

Kings are not normally thought of as being in bonds. What Job is telling us is that God ‘looses the authority’ of kings and places those kings who once ruled and wielded authority, under the authority of others who God has ordained to rule and wield authority over them, as the type of the new man taking the rule over the old.

Isa 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

Verse 17 tells us that the king’s counselors are spoiled, and his judges are made fools. Verse 18 reveals that we, as that ‘king’, are stripped of our authority over our old kingdom and are clothed with the clothes of a slave. Under those circumstances verse 19 is almost redundant.

Job 12:19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Our “old man… stands upon and the dwelling place of our ‘old man’ is built upon the shifting sands of “the pride of life”, and the fall of that man and of his house will be very great:

Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

In time we will ‘stand upon the Rock’, and we will ‘build our house upon the Rock’, but we all stand and build upon the sand first. So Job continues:

Job 12:20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.
Job 12:21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.

As we saw earlier, the lies we believe are sent to us by prophets who the Lord Himself has deceived. It is the Lord who has “mingled an evil spirit in Egypt”, and it is He who has made us to err and has ‘removed the speech of the trusty and taken away the understanding of the aged’. Evil is not a creation of the devil as we have been told, and the sins we commit are not of our own will, but are being worked “after the counsel of His own will, governed by ‘the law of sin… in our members’, and in complete and total accord with His purpose. It is not kings who decide to be evil rulers. That too, is a work of God alone.

Job 17:4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
Job 32:9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

It is revealed right here in this book of Job, that ‘the king’s heart’ is ‘turned to do evil’ before it is ‘turned to righteousness’.

Job 7:20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

Job 35:1 Elihu spake moreover, and said,
Job 35:2 Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God’s?
Job 35:3 For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?

The fact is that we are told that Job is a good man who loved God and hated evil. So his sin, his self- righteousness, our self- righteousness, is one of those “deep things of darkness”, which we must all, in our own appointed time, come to see within ourselves and repent of thinking that we can take credit for anything, good or evil, that we have done.

Job 12:22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

Many of us have been taught that these bodies of flesh and blood will somehow become eternal ‘spiritual flesh’. But God “brings to light the shadow of death” by revealing to us that this life in this flesh is itself “the valley of the shadow of death”, and these bodies of flesh and blood are nothing more that “the body of this death” from which we must be saved.

Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Joh 3:5 Jesus 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.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

So according to our own Savior, there is no such thing as ‘a spiritual body of flesh’. The apostle Paul agrees with our Lord:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Here are a few verses which demonstrate how God “discovers the deep things out of darkness:

Dan 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

“The darkness and the light are both alike unto thee” does not mean that God considers good to be the same as evil. Rather we are simply being told that “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him” who creates both the light and the darkness (Isa 45:7).

Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

God is indeed the creator of both the good and the evil, but he is calling light out of darkness and making good come of evil. He alone, as God, is capable of doing that.

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

“God meant it unto good”. The “it” is the evil that Joseph’s brothers committed against him in selling him into Egypt as a slave. That evil and all evil of all time is ‘meant by God unto good’, and He alone will bring that to pass in His own time.
In the meantime “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”.

Mat 6:34 Take therefore no [ anxious] thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

It is all by God’s own design:

Job 12:23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.

“There has never been a righteous nation” simply because “there is none that doeth good”.

Psa 14:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

So the worst despots of history were never ‘loose cannons’ with which God was struggling to cope. They are all, rather like Satan himself, nothing more than “vessels of dishonor” and were in the final analysis God’s own sword, to work out His own plan and His own purpose.

Psa 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
Psa 17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

All nations are ruled by evil men, within and without. But they are no problem for an almighty God who in reality is working all things in all nations “after the counsel of His own will”.

Isa 40:15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
Isa 40:16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
Isa 40:17 A ll nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

Daniel informs us that God gives the rule of the nations to “the basest of men”.

Dan 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

So inwardly and spiritually we are being told that we are all just naturally ruled by our basest instincts. Outwardly we are made to understand that all of our presidents and all the prime ministers and kings and rulers and dictators of all the nations of the earth are there by God’s own decree, and simply cannot be in that position and at the same time be men with the mind of Christ and have the kingdom of God within them.

Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world [ Greek – aion, “this present evil age”]: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world [ Gr – aion, age], according to the will of God and our Father:

In the end we will all be very grateful that He has seen fit to deliver us from these dying, corruptible and depraved clay vessels which we call bodies of sinful flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

Job 12:24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.

We are all ‘shapen in iniquity, conceived in sin… born as lost sheep in need of a Savior’. Of ourselves we do not know what produces the peace and happiness which we all so very much desire. This is the truth of what we know about how to become peaceful and happy:

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Isa 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
Isa 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
Isa 59:9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
Isa 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

Job’s perspective on the condition of our natural man is in complete agreement with King David, and with Isaiah. We “stagger like a drunken man [ and] We grope for the wall like the blind”.

Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.

This is always the same the message for what must come upon our “old man”. It is the very trials of Job for which we are repeatedly admonished to “praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” and ‘be thankful for His works’.

Psa 107:21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psa 107:23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
Psa 107:24 These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
Psa 107:28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

So we end this chapter without one positive word for the fate of our old, first man. Job, as the type of that old man, sees nothing but death and destruction for himself as ‘the enemy of God’. But as is always the case, it is through the death of that old, first man Adam, and through his destruction, that the glorious new man, made in the image of the Son of God, is being birthed “in earthen vessels”.

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Next week we will hear Job continue to foolishly compare himself with his friends before telling them they are “forgers of lies” who if they were wise would simply shut up and be quiet.

Job 13:1 Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.
Job 13:2 What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.
Job 13:3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
Job 13:4 But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.
Job 13:5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
Job 13:6 Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.
Job 13:7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?
Job 13:8 Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?
Job 13:9 Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
Job 13:10 He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.
Job 13:11 Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?
Job 13:12 Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.
Job 13:13 Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.
Job 13:14 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?

Other related posts