Job 34:20-37 “Surely It Is Meet To Be Said Unto God, I Have Borne Chastisement, I Will Not Offend Any More”

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Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
Job 34:22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
Job 34:23 For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.
Job 34:24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.
Job 34:25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
Job 34:26 He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
Job 34:27 Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:
Job 34:28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.
Job 34:29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:
Job 34:30 That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.
Job 34:31 Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:
Job 34:32 That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
Job 34:33 Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.
Job 34:34 Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.
Job 34:35 Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.
Job 34:36 My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.
Job 34:37 For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

Introduction

In our last study we saw how Elihu commanded us:

Job 34:4 Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.

He commands us to say that as opposed to condemning God as being an unjust and unrighteous God, as we all do when God first brings us into judgment:

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.

These things happened to Job, and they are written for our admonition, because the ultimate goal of the ages has come upon those who are being judged in this age:

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

But Job is an example of those who are being judged in this age, and as such he “thinks he stands” long before he, as the prodigal son, comes to see himself as nothing more than a self- righteous sinner who is guilty of the ultimate sin of condemning his own God to “make himself righteous” (Job 40:8):

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.

Obviously Job, typifying each of us, does not at first see himself as being self- righteous, so the only conclusion left to him is that “God has taken away my judgment”, and this is being expressed right here in the midst of his being judged for that self- righteousness.

But this is “common to men”, and it was this very fact which provoked the apostle Peter to remind us:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial [ of Job] which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

So it is while we are being judged that we think that “God… has taken away [ our] judgment”, while in reality we are in the midst of our own judgment and chastening at the hands of a loving heavenly Father:

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?

Thus Job typifies those who are being judged now, and as such is derided by those who are not being judged at this time and are, instead, prospering in this age. As Job demonstrates so graphically for us, it is very hard for us to suffer the shame and humiliation and false accusations of our “old man” at the hands of our brothers and sisters in Babylon.

So Elihu, speaking in God’s stead, is pleading with us, through this experience of Job, to realize the insanity of placing our unjust judgment of our own Maker above the righteous judgment of God upon our “old man”. He tells us that in doing so we actually “hate [ what is] right”, and we are doing nothing less than “condemn[ ing]” our own God and Creator.

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.

Truly Elihu is speaking in God’s stead, because God acknowledges that the rich and the poor, the wicked and the righteous, are all “the work of His hands”, and “condemning [ God]” for doing that is exactly the charge which God Himself levels at us when we do so:

Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

The lesson for us all is that we must come to see that we just naturally hate and disdain our Lord’s ways. We are told plainly that God’s ways are not our ways, and we all just naturally want our own way instead of God’s ways:

Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

With all of this in mind, Elihu asks us rhetorically:

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.

The rich and the poor are “the work of His hands”. We just read, that God makes wicked men for the day of evil”.

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

That is God’s very point in telling us that He makes light and darkness, good and evil.

Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

So then, all evil of all time is also nothing more than “the work of His hands”, as He reveals to us in the story of the evil Joseph’s brothers did to Joseph selling him into slavery in Egypt thinking, like Job, that it was all their own idea, when in reality their evil deed was all “meant” by God to bring about the good He was working to save both Joseph’s brothers and Egypt.

Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
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.

The scriptures teach us that God is working all things after the counsel of His own will to the extent that all the light and all the darkness, both His “creation… are both alike to Him”. These words are just as true for us today as they were for King David when they were penned:

Psa 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Psa 139:3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
Psa 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Psa 139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Psa 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
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.

God makes clear that our very “thought[ s] afar off” are actually nothing more than “the work of His hands”.

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

So truly it is insanity to “reprove… contend with… [ and] condemn” our own Maker and Creator. So Elihu reminds us of how foolish it is to call our own God, wicked or ungodly:

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.

In our study today, Elihu continues to demonstrate how futile it is for us to withstand our Creator, and how effortlessly God deals with our pride, our hatred of His ways and with our rebellions against Him and His ways.

Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

Unlike the story of Jacob wrestling with Christ all night only to come away lame, when God dealt with rebellious Saul of Tarsus, the humbling of Saul appears to have been effortless, and the results appear to have been instantaneous:

Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Saul of Tarsus little understood that even his “evil ways of man” which he had committed again Christ’s Christ, were also “the work of [ God’s] hands”, so He could then convert rebellious Saul and use Saul to become the mighty apostle Paul, who was then used by God to spread the gospel of Christ all over the known world of that day and to write 14 books on the New Testament.

Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
Job 34:22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

We have just noted in the Psalm above:

Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
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.

Job 34:23 For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.

The sense of this verse is that God does not need any length of time to judge what is in mankind, but rather is quite capable of judging us all at any time that suits His purpose and do so justly.

The New World Translation is not a literal translation, but it is the translation which actually reflects the sense of the majority of the literal translations:

(NWT) God does not [ need to] examine a person further, that one should approach Him in court.

Job 34:24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.
Job 34:25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
Job 34:26 He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
Job 34:27 Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:

We, as the anti- type of Job, are the object of these words, when we are reproving, contending with and condemning God for pouring out the seven plagues of His wrath upon the carnal, self- righteous, proud and rebellious mind that is common to all who are by birth “in Adam”. He “knows [ our] works” because he made us in this marred, carnal, proud, hate filled, condition which is common to us all.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

“In the night” means ‘In our spiritually darkened, proud, self- righteousness. “He… destroys” our carnal, hate- filled mind, and “strikes [ us] in the open sight of others” because we actually believe that He has no right to evaluate us as “wicked men” when we, in our own self- righteousness, know fully well just how “many wonderful works [ we] have done in His name”.

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

God tells us that all our works are a stench in His nostrils. But what He emphasizes, for our edification, is that it is “[ our] righteousnesses” which are “[ our iniquities]”:

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rag s; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Self- righteousness has never before been revealed to be the egregious sin which is so detested by our heavenly Father. The “righteousness which is in the law”, heretofore was the highest virtue to be pursued.

Deu 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

Rom 2:17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
Rom 2:18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Rom 2:19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But even after the prophets spoke of faith as being superior to the works of the law, it was still not revealed that the law was not for a righteous man but for the godless and sinners until after Christ came to “reform” the law:

Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Joh 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
Joh 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

If indeed “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”, what came by the law? The scriptures do not leave us to guess:

Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

But as self- righteous Job, we see ourselves righteous because of all of our “many wonderful words” of the law, and we truly are enmity against God’s seven plagues being poured out on our self- righteous, God- condemning ways.

Job 34:28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.

It is our self- righteousness that makes poor Lazarus, whose menu consists of the crumbs from our table, and it is our self- righteousness, which makes the prayer of the publican, who recognizes himself as a sinner, worthy of being justified rather than we in our own insidious pride and self- righteousness.

Job 34:29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:

When God favors Lazarus over the rich man, the publican over the self- righteous Pharisee, the prodigal over the self- righteous elder son, the lost sheep over the “ninety and nine which need no repentance, and the blind over those who still say they see, He is giving quietness to our new man, while at the same time making trouble for our old, proud, self- righteous, “first man Adam”.

“Whether it be done against a nation or against a man only” reveals to us the principle that in God’s word, “whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only”, God is giving quietness, making trouble or hiding His face, it is always speaking of all these things being done against “the old… first man Adam… the man of sin… the beast” within each and every man “in his own order” (1Co 15: 23 and 45-5).

Job 34:30 That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

In other words, God has given mankind an experience of evil, self- righteous, hypocrisy for the express purpose of humbling that proud, self- righteous hypocrite within us all, “Lest the people [“whether… a man or a nation”] be ensnared”.

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.

It it the truth of God’s word that mankind must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mat 4:4), that all things are ours, things present and things to come (1Co 3:21-22), and it is true that it is those who “keep the things written therein” who are blessed by acknowledging that the seven plagues of the seven angels must be fulfilled within our lives before that proud, self- righteous, man of sin within us is ever humbled by those seven plagues. Only then can we say this to God:

Job 34:31 Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:
Job 34:32 That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

Surely it is fitting that we all endure God’s chastening judgments. It is God’s chastening which judges us all. All judgment is chastening, and the scriptures tell us it is so:

1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world [ in the second resurrection, the “great white throne judgment” (Rev 20:.

The first to be judged are the blessed and holy of the first resurrection:

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

This proves that the lake of fire is God’s chastening judgment. And what do God’s judgments, including “the great white throne… judgment”, always produce? Here is what God’s judgments will always produce:

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments [ the great white throne judgment… the lake of fire] are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

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?

A God who chastens and scourges “every son whom He receives” is not restrained in any way by what we think of His ways.

Job 34:33 Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.

Here is this verse according to the ACV:

Job 34:33 Shall his recompense be as thou desire, that thou refuse it? For thou must choose, and not I. Therefore speak what thou know. (ACV)

Job 34:34 Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.
Job 34:35 Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.

Job is the proud, self- righteous, first man Adam within us all, and we have all “spoken without knowledge… words [ which were] without knowledge or wisdom”.

Job 34:36 My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.
Job 34:37 For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

Elihu’s words are directed at that doomed, proud, enemy of God within us all. Our complaints against God’s ways are called what they are; ‘rebellious words… against God’. This is the judgment of Babylon’s proud lies within us all:

Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was pided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Job’s reproofs, his contendings and condemnations against God, become bolder right up until the time of the end of His Trial. But the hail that is the Truth of God’s Word will destroy and “wipe away the refuge of lies” which is all the lies and self- righteousness which are Babylon the great within us.

Isa 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Again it is demonstrated that God’s judgments are for the purpose of chastening us to forsake ungodliness and to live godly lives in this age.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching [ Greek, paideuo, chastening] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Next week we will hear more from Elihu, speaking for and revealing to us the mind of God and His Son concerning His “judgments… in the earth” which “are not in great extremity”, which allows us to open our mouths against God:

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?
Job 35:4 I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.
Job 35:5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.
Job 35:6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?
Job 35:7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?
Job 35:8 Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.
Job 35:9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.
Job 35:10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
Job 35:11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?
Job 35:12 There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.
Job 35:13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.
Job 35:14 Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.
Job 35:15 But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:
Job 35:16 Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.

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