The Book of Job-Chapter Twenty-Seven:
"Job's False Confession"
This is not how I want the story of Job to proceed. It is too frustrating for me that Job have another spiritual relapse at this point. But he does, and this may be the worst of all. Having just arrived at a high point of worship and realization of the Power of God (in fellowship with Bildad, no less) Job now appears to slowly agree with his friends on ALL counts. Maybe he's just worn down at this point. Seeking release and relief. Confession is good, but NOT when false. He's starting to believe his friends may have been right about him (and the Lord) all along.
Verses 1-2: "Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;"
You can get close to God and still not fully trust Him (believe me, I know). And Job STILL has the Lord pinned as the source of his agony. Misinformation is not a good place to begin a confession.
Verses 3-7: "All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous."
I hear desperation and the taint of self righteousness creeping in. How did this happen? The same way it could happen to you or me today, beloved. For one thing, he's speaking from exhaustion and weakness, no longer from knowledge and humility:
Verses 8-11: "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God? I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal."
Job, what are you doing? Is this an attempt to become popular again by agreeing with those philosophies you have spent most of this book refuting? O, boy!
Verses 12-14: "Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it; why then are ye thus altogether vain? This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread."
Job, this is exactly what they have been saying about YOU. Do you concede all this to be true now?
Verses 15-17: "Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep. Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver."
What "innocent" folks would that be? Didn't you and Bildad just agree in the pervious two chapters that none of us can really "measure up" before God? So you've changed your mind now, brother? Some men are safe from all harm through their righteousness. And the wicked are more like bugs:
Verse 18: "He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh."
This is difficult going. It seems to me that truth and error are mixing now. And maybe other elements not fully made clear yet.
Verse 19: "The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not."
Heaven awaits the righteous. In that way death is a reward. But the reward of the unrighteous is vain and hollow. (But which are you, Job?)
Verse 20: "Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night."
You've known terror, Job. Fear of loss and then having all those fears come true.
Verse 21: "The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place."
You've known storm and wind, also. Seen them drag away so much that was dear to you. And in just moments.
Verse 22: "For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand."
Is this what God did to you, Job? Is that what you are saying? Is that how it feels to you?
Verse 23: "Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place."
This is what your friends have been doing to you ever since your physical world came apart. Are you joining them now and confessing to everything they've been saying about you? Are you condemning yourself? Are you that wicked man after all, Job?