Job 33:18-33 “Deliver Him From Going Down To The Pit: I Have Found A Ransom”

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Job 33:18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
Job 33:19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
Job 33:20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
Job 33:21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
Job 33:22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
Job 33:23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
Job 33:24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
Job 33:25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:
Job 33:26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.
Job 33:27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
Job 33:28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
Job 33:29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,
Job 33:30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
Job 33:31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.
Job 33:32 If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.
Job 33:33 If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

Introduction

In our last study we saw that God had sent Elihu to speak “in God’s stead”, and Elihu had told Job how God speaks to man:

Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice [ meaning time and again] , yet man perceiveth it not.
Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;

Elihu is confirming the revelation God had given Eliphaz earlier:

Job 4:12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Job 4:14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Job 4:15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
Job 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
Job 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Job 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

This was how God spoke to Abraham, Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar:

Gen 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
Gen 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
Gen 41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
Gen 41:8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
Dan 2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

It was certainly one way God had spoken to Job:

Job 7:13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;
Job 7:14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:

So dreams and visions are one way God communicates with man. But Elihu, speaking for God, also tells us why God speaks to man: “That He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.”

Job 33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
Job 33:17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.

Here is verse 17 in the Bible In Basic English version:

(BBE) In order that man may be turned from his evil works, and that pride may be taken away from him;

And here is that same concept of God turning mankind from the pride which is innate to our flesh:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

So the scriptures actually teach us that God deliberately created mankind in “marred… vessels of clay” for the purpose of giving mankind an evil experience which would serve to humble mankind and teach him that he has nothing at all to offer God, and that man would not even be the sinning machine which he is except that, too, is part of the plan and purpose of a sovereign God who is working all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11).
It is Job’s pride, as a type of you and me, which motivates him to defend himself against the false accusations of his friends and to falsely accuse His own Maker. “The pride of life” is one of the most powerful and also one of the most insidious signatures of our sinful flesh:

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

That is the very order in which “the mother of [ us] all” succumbed to the temptations of the tempter:

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [“lust of the flesh”], and that it was pleasant to the eyes [“lust of the eyes”], and a tree to be desired to make one wise [“the pride of life”], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

At last we are learning what is the Truth, and the Truth is that no one yet has ever died outside of the will of God:

Job 33:18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.

Rather God’s wrath is his chastening, and Elihu, speaking on God’s behalf, makes it clear that God’s wrath which is being poured out upon Job’s old man. Here is what we are told:

Job 14:13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Job 16:9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
Job 19:11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.

Here are Elihu’s words which tell us what is God’s purpose in pouring out His wrath upon Job and upon each of us:

Job 33:19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
Job 33:20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
Job 33:21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
Job 33:22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

Now compare these words of Elihu to these words by the writer of the book of Hebrews:

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

So terrifying dreams and visions are but one way God chastens us for the purpose of showing us His righteousness, and contrasting his righteousness with our self- righteous pride.

Job 33:23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:

Elihu is the type and shadow of the seven angels to the seven churches. He is Job’s interpreter, who has declared to Job that mankind is not just, but God is righteousness, and it is insane to contend with God.

Job 33:12 Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.

Then Elihu goes on to reveal to us all a wonderful Truth which concerns all men of all time:

Job 33:24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
Job 33:25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:
Job 33:26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.

Add to these gracious words these words of Isaiah:

Isa 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Isa 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The purpose for all of that God has done to Job, and the purpose for any and all of God’s wrath upon any of us, is to humble us and to bring mankind to his knees. When that purpose is accomplished and we say with Job, “I am vile… I will put my hand on my mouth”, then God “renders to man His righteouness”. “His righteousness” is God’s righteousness. Of himself, man has no righteousness:

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.
Psa 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
Psa 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

So long as we continue to contend with our Lord, we yet unbelieving and we remain under God’s wrath, but when we are brought to “Godly repentance”, that wrath is lifted, and God’s mercy is then poured out upon a truly contrite spirit:

Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
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.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

It is “the sorrow of this world” which “reproves, contends with and condemns” its own God. Elihu is speaking for God to inform us that God is looking for that “contrite heart” so He can deliver us from the death that is the fate of our, contentious, rebellious and self- righteous old man we once were.

Job 33:27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
Job 33:28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
Job 33:29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,

Here is the purpose for the wrath of God, which Job, as the type and shadow of all of us, is enduring. This is the purpose for every plague and every stripe we must endure. It is all judgment designed to bring us to this state of repentance. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
I want to thank Larry Groewald for pointing out that the word “oftentimes” in verse 29 is actually translated from two Hebrew words, ‘H7969 shalosh, three’, and ‘H6471, paam, times’, which mean ‘times three’ or “three times”. The number three in scripture denotes the process of judgment through which our heavenly Father is bringing us all to Himself. This process is revealed in this verse in Deuteronomy:

Deu 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

The judgments of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ are revealed in three stages also. Those three stages are the seals, the trumpets, and the vials. So Job is simply affirming this Biblical principle of how God works with us. He does so through a process which is revealed to us through His use in His word of the number three, or the revelation within His word of anything which is a three step process. The only time in all of scripture that these two Hebrew words, which appear together many times, are translated as ‘oftentimes’ is this one verse of Job 33:29. So let’s look at a few of the translations of this verse as these words are most often translated.

(ASV) Lo, all these things doth God work, Twice, yea thrice, with a man,
(ACV) Lo, all these things God works twice, [ yea] thrice, with a man,
(Darby) Lo, all these things worketh * God twice, thrice, with man,
(DRB) Behold, all these things God worketh three times withinevery one.
(KJ2000) Lo, all these things works God twice, three times, with man,

Job 33:30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

It is not possible to hear the voice of our Lord, whether it is through terrifying dreams and visions or through God’s chastening wrath upon our old “first man Adam”, as long as we are contending with Him and condemning Him for His ways.

Job 33:31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.
Job 33:32 If thou hast any thing to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.
Job 33:33 If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

Twice Elihu tells Job “Hold thy peace”. That is what God told the complaining Israelites at the Red Sea, as they were condemning Him for bringing them into thatseemingly impossible situation:

Exo 14:10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
Exo 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
Exo 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
Exo 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

We know that God took down the hedge He had around Job. He sent Satan to destroy all Job’s possessions and all of his children. Then He sent Satan to afflict Job with boils from his head to his feet. He sent Job’s friends to falsely accuse him while He terrified Job at night with dreams and visions. While it is humanly impossible to endure such chastening without complaining, nevertheless that is what we must in our own time learn to do if we are to be changed from the vile men we are into the sons of God who will be His instruments for the salvation of all men. Next week Elihu will continue to instruct us concerning what God is doing to bring us to reprove us and to bring us to our knees for our own good and for our own salvation.

Job 34:1 Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
Job 34:2 Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.
Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
Job 34:4 Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.
Job 34:5 For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.
Job 34:6 Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.
Job 34:7 What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?
Job 34:8 Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.
Job 34:9 For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.
Job 34:10 Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.
Job 34:11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.
Job 34:12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
Job 34:13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
Job 34:14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
Job 34:15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
Job 34:16 If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.
Job 34:17 Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?
Job 34:18 Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?
Job 34:19 How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.

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