Welcome to the Mountjoy Ministries Blog

This blog was authored by Bryan W. Sheldon, author and Bible teacher. His books are listed below. The studies in the blog are offered in the desire that they may be helpful in directing readers to the truths contained in the Bible.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Surveying Scripture - The Book of Job (Continued)

We continue our study in the books of experience (Job to Song of Solomon). Having considered the early chapters we now look at the rest of the book.

MAIN ARGUMENT : Chapters 337

Three men have come to visit, followed by a fourth; for they have heard of Job’s trouble. They are true friends wishing to sympathise. They sit in silence for a week.  They are dumb in the face of such a calamity. Then the speeches begin. We get words, words, words, for 35 chapters.

20 chapters are attributed to Job.

4   chapters are attributed to Eliphaz.

3   chapters are attributed to Bildad.

2   chapters are attributed to Zophar.

6   chapters are attributed to Elihu, the young man.

There are fourteen speakers in the book altogether – the Lord,     Satan, Job, Job’s wife, Job’s four friends, four messengers, a spirit and a horse. We must remember that the debate that takes place is among those who know nothing of what has taken place in heaven.

The arguments presented by these friends are not to be dismissed.  They are good men, with much wisdom, drawing on such resources as  they have – their own experiences, the experiences of others, what they have heard from their fathers, etc.

Eliphaz : God is perfectly pure and righteous (4.17) and man brings trouble on himself (5.7).

Bildad :   Charges Job with godlessness (8.6 ff) for God never perverts justice (8.3)

Zophar :  Charges Job with boasting (11.2-6). God knows iniquity when He sees it (11.11).

Elihu :     God is greater than man (33.12) and only repays man (Job) what he deserves (34.11).  

But they, like Job, are in the presence of something they do not     understand. In this book there are some wonderful chapters.  

Chapter 5 on chastisement;

Chapter 9 on justification;

Chapter 23 on testing;

Chapter 28 on wisdom.   

There is wisdom here, there is truth here. It may be truth generally but it does not help Job. Human wisdom is insufficient to light up the path of the godly. Oswald Chambers said, ‘You cannot think your way out of a spiritual difficulty, you need revelation’. It is God who has the necessary information and expertise: “He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). They all fall silent, one by one:

Then God Speaks.

THE ANSWER OF GOD—Chapters 38-42

The answer is to do with the character of God. In the first two chapters God is introduced and referred to by his name ‘YHWH’.  In the middle section (the main argument) He is referred to as God, or God Almighty, that is, ‘Elohim’. If, as many suggest, Job is a very   ancient book, it is likely Job did not know God as YHWH. See Exodus 6:3 : I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord (YHWH),  I did not make Myself known to them.

 What is the difference between the two aspects of God?

God as Elohim is linked with creation and providence.

God as YHWH is linked with revelation, redemption and restoration.

Note well – Satan appears before YHWH (not Elohim); the test was initiated by YHWH;  and in the end it is YHWH that answers, for in the last chapters it is the YHWH name of God that is used.

Further note that this precious Name, is the name that often reflects the blessing of God for His ancient people.

YHWH-Jireh (YHWH who sees and provides) (Gen.22:14)

YHWH-Rophekah (YHWH Your healer) (Exod. 15:26);

YHWH-Nissi; (YHWH my banner) (Exod. 17:8-15)

YHWH-Shammah (YHWH is there) (Ezek. 48:35)

YHWH-Rohi (YHWH my shepherd) (Ps. 23:1)

YHWH_Sabaoth (YHWH of hosts) (Rom. 9:29, James 5:4)

YHWH-Shalom (YHWH is peace) (Judges 6:24)

YHWH-Tzidkenu (YHWH our righteousness) (Jer. 23:6; 33:16)

 1.    The answer is complete (and final)

God does provide an answer – there is no question that God cannot deal with.  But the answer does not come at the beginning, or in the middle, but at the end.  It is when you have run out of answers that God’s wisdom is seen. The final unveiling of all answers is yet future.  now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12).

The wisdom of God will be demonstrated in eternity. The first speaker in this book is YHWH, and the last speaker in this book is YHWH. Similarly, In the beginning was the Word(John 1:1), and at the end will be the Word. The Word is the alpha and also the omega, the first and the last (Rev. 1:11; 22:13).  When God has spoken Job has to say, I lay my hand on my mouth.” (40:4). He is silenced. And when God has finally spoken none will speak except perhaps to say ‘Amen’.

2.     The answer is convincing

God’s argument is to take them into the mysteries of creation. If it is Elohim, the God of creation that they know, then God will answer them in terms that they understand:

“Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep? … “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.” (Job 38:16–18, )
Do you know how the clouds are  balanced, Those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” (37:16,)

Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?” (38:22)

“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?” (Job 41:1)

"Did you give the horse its might" (39:19
God exults in His creation.

Learn wisdom. If God bestowed such infinite skill and wisdom on a single snowflake, will He deal casually with the crown of His  creation?  If the minutest detail of any animal declares divine wisdom, will He act carelessly with man?   

God is saying,

Trust Me!

3.     The answer is compensating

 Job began with 7000 sheep – he ends with 14000.

 He began with 3000 camels – he ends with 6000.

 He began with 500 yoke of oxen – he ends with 1000.

 He began with 500 donkeys – he ends with 1000

He began with 7 sons and 3 daughters – he has another 7 sons and 3 daughters.   

Note: persons are not ‘lost’ like animals.   

Also from one who had so recently been full of boils comes daughters described with the words, ‘In all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job’.


The book of Job teaches us that God can use suffering to accomplish His will and demonstrate His infinite wisdom?  By it Satan was defeated and God glorified.

A Closing Thought

Satan is absent at the end of the book!