Job 20:1-15 “He Shall Fly Away As A Dream, and Shall Not Be Found”

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Study Aired June 24, 2012

Job 20:1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
Job 20:2 Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste.
Job 20:3 I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.
Job 20:4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
Job 20:6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
Job 20:7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?
Job 20:8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.
Job 20:9 The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.
Job 20:10 His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods.
Job 20:11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.
Job 20:12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
Job 20:13 Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:
Job 20:14 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
Job 20:15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.

Introduction

In our last study Job literally begged his friends for just a little compassion for what God had brought upon him:

Job 19:21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; For the hand of God hath touched me.

Job was defending himself against Bildad’s false accusations, while questioning and condemning his Creator and maintaining his own righteousness. He concluded his defense with this warning to his accusers:

Job 19:29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.

It seems incredible to Zophar that after he and his two friends have revealed to Job that he is a sinner above all men, that he would dare to insinuate that it is they who need to be “afraid of the sword”, and that it is they who need to understand that “there is a judgment”.
Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and even Job, know that God will destroy the wicked. To Job this is the basics at their most basic:

Job 12:3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?

What none of these men know is that God performs His work of judgment within his elect first, while simultaneously physically blessing those He uses to accomplish that judgment of and destruction of our wicked old man.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked [ Job, you and me] for the day of evil [ which includes having self- righteousness judged within us].

Job, as the type of God’s elect, is judged first with the fiery trials we read of in this book. Than as the Old Testament type of God’s elect, he is used as the channel through which his false accusers are saved, in type and in shadow.

Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Job 42:8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

It is because God’s elect are the first to be judged that Job made this statement in His defense of Bildad’s assault upon him:

Job 12:4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.

It appears during the time of our fiery judgment as if God is actually on the side of our adversaries, and answers their prayers while laughing at us. In fact that is exactly what He is doing to our old sinful man.

Psa 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him [ the old Job, our old man]: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Psa 59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

So Job, the type of God elect upon whom judgment must come first (1Pe 4:17), continues to endure the humiliation poured upon him from even his closest friends:

Job 20:1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
Job 20:2 Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste.

A hasty answer is most often a mistake. Wise men are “slow to speak, [ and] slow to wrath”:

Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Pro 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Pro 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

But Zophar is young and of a hasty spirit, and neither he nor either of his two friends are “of great understanding”.

Job 20:3 I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.

Here is how this verse is translated in the ASV:

Job 20:3 I have heard the reproof which putteth me to shame; And the spirit of my understanding answereth me.

“The spirit of [ Zophar’s] understanding” compels him to return to the same old “those on whom the tower of Siloam fell were sinners above all who were in Jerusalem”, self- righteous condemnation of other men who are being judged ahead of him.
The Hebrew word translated ‘spirit’ in this verse is ‘ruach’, the word which is so translated such throughout the Old Testament. So it is a certain spirit which is causing this response from immature and foolish Zophar. It is the ‘spirit’ and mindset which is natural to us all by birth.

Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Job 20:4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,

“Since man was placed upon the earth”, shows us that Zophar, his friends, and Job, all knew that man was “placed upon the earth” by his Creator.

Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Job and the men who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them were destroyed by God. Their “triumph… was short, [ their] joy [ was] but for a moment” and is now a thing of the past. For Zophar and our natural man, these things all speak for themselves. It is obvious that Job, the type of those who are being judged in this age, is “a sinner above all men”.

Job 20:6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
Job 20:7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are the types of us while we are yet in Babylon. It was the King of Babylon to whom these words are addressed:

Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Isa 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

It is a testament to the power of God to blind us by causing us to think we can see clearly. He accomplishes this by causing us to believe that “the wicked… and… the hypocrite” are not, and have never been within us.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Just like Job, as long as we maintain that we and our “old man” are not, and have never been the object of God’s wrath, “our sin remains”.

That is the doctrine of Babylon which has spawned the false doctrine of the rapture in all of its variations. Whether it is the doctrine of a rapture out of and away from the wrath of God upon our old man, or the doctrine of a place of safety which shields us from God’s wrath upon our old man, or the twisting of 1Th 5:9, which is speaking of all who are “appointed to salvation” (1Co 15:22), all of these false doctrines deny these consistent truths of God’s word.

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

If we do not “keep the things written therein: for the time is at hand”, then we do not have the testimony of Jesus Christ, and will not have part in that “blessed and holy… first resurrection”.

Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God [ “keep the things written therein”], and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

When we say we have never been blind, we are blind, and when we say we have never been rebellious unbelievers, we continue to remain under the wrath of God.

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

This is the very message of this entire book of Job, and yet is only natural to always place the wrath of God upon someone else while telling ourselves that we are “not like other men…” Consequently both Job and Zophar relegate these verses to the “old man” within “other men”.

Job 20:8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.
Job 20:9 The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.

But “the wicked” is every man who has ever lived. Even Job confesses to having been wicked.

Job 13:26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.

King David confesses to having been wicked:

Psa 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.

The prophet Jeremiah informs us that he too, ‘bore the reproach of his youth’.

Jer 31:19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.

In spite of all these Biblical confessions, “the man of sin”, the “beast” within us all, simply cannot internalize these words. Instead he just naturally sees himself as “righteous, [ and] not as other men”.

Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

We all just naturally think ourselves to be righteous, while “the wicked” are always “other men”. So it is our own self- righteousness which nullifies every admonition in scripture which informs us of the fate of that old self- righteous man within us all.
For example, not one orthodox Christian would ever read Pro 16:4 and say, ‘Yes, it is my own “wicked” old man who God made for my own day of evil” within my own life’:

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

When we have the self- righteous spirit of Job and his friends, we apply nothing concerning evil to ourselves. The result is that we think we are well and do not need a physician.

Mat 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
Mat 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
Mat 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Until we see ourselves as wicked sinners, “of whom I am chief”, to quote the apostle Paul, none of the admonitions which are given us to prepare us to become overcomers who will be qualified as a “merciful… priest and king who can rule with Christ, will have any personal application.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

It was the spirit of self- righteousness which typifies us as our Lord’s murderers. A self- righteous spirit is our worst enemy because it is not “open… sin”, and because a self- righteous spirit wants to destroy those who would expose it for the murderous spirit it is. It is this self- righteous spirit which is in both Job and his miserable comforters, who are the Old Testament types of us all. This includes those who are predestined, as Job typifies, to be purged and judged first as “the house of God” (1Pe 4:17).
Those who are predestined to overcome sin in their lives in this age, must be the first to be exposed as wicked sinners who are the first to be judged and who are being judged now in this age. If we are blessed to be the first to be openly judged, we will also be the first to repent and “bring forth fruits [ which] are fit for repentance”:

1Ti 5:24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
1Ti 5:25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
Mat 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
Act 26:21 For these causes the Jews [ with the spirit of self- righteousness] caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.

We think we live in enlightened times which would never permit the murder of God’s elect, but our ‘murder’ and our ‘crucifixion’ is not to be understood in a literal sense. We are to see ourselves as “a living sacrifice… crucified with Christ… yet [ living]” (Rom 12:1 and Gal 2:20).

Job 20:10 His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods.

“His place shall be no more”, and “his children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods” because of the rapacious sins of their wicked fathers:

Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Ezekiel prophesied of the time when the sins of the Fathers would no longer afflict the children:

Eze 18:1 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,
Eze 18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
Eze 18:3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
Eze 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” is simply Old Testament confirmation that “the wages of sin is death… for that all have sinned”, and all will die before they can begin to be judged.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, 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:

It is our own old man whose place is no more, who suffers from the sins of his father the devil, and whose destruction and death is inevitable. It is our new man who, through channel of the death of our old man, is not visited by the sins of the fathers, whose “place” is not removed, and who will never die.

Psa 37:9 For evildoers [ within us] shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Pro 10:25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked [“old man” within each of us] no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.
Pro 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

“The righteous shall never be removed…” So much for the false doctrine of a secret rapture which claims the righteous will be removed from this earth.

Job 20:11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.
Job 20:12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
Job 20:13 Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:
Job 20:14 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.

The lies of Babylon are “sweet in our mouths… yet… it is the gall of asps within” us, when we are brought to stand before our Judge where we all confess that it is we who must live by every word and where we will confess that all things are ours, the world, life, death, things present and things to come, all are ours.
“Though he spare it” refers to the wicked doctrine “in his mouth” of the previous verse. The word ‘spare’ means to retain it, and cling to his false doctrines as long as he can in the same sense as it is used in this verse in:

1Sa 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

God had commanded King Saul to destroy everything and spare nothing of the Amalekites, but King Saul, like Job, his friends, and each of us, thought he knew better than God how to worship and serve Him.

Job 20:15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.

It is nothing less than spiritual ‘chronic adolescence’ which God sends to blind us and which keeps us “full of the sin of [ our] youth”, under the power of the passions of our fleshly youth, and all the lies of Babylon which always have and always will appeal to those who are spiritually immature.

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Next week we will hear Zophar’s last words to Job, as they are recorded here in this story of Job. These are the words which describe the future of our “old man… the first man Adam” so long as “the wrath of God abideth upon him”. As Zophar so well stated:

Job 20:6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
Job 20:7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

We convince ourselves we have “ascended to heaven”, even as the wrath of God “abides on us”.

Eze 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Here is God’s own description of what His wrath performs upon our proud, self- righteous, old, first man Adam:

Job 20:16 He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper’s tongue shall slay him.
Job 20:17 He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.
Job 20:18 That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein.
Job 20:19 Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;
Job 20:20 Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired.
Job 20:21 There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods.
Job 20:22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him.
Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.
Job 20:24 He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.
Job 20:25 It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him.
Job 20:26 All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.
Job 20:27 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him.
Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.

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