Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity
27 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
“Let my enemy be as the wicked,
and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off,
when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry
when distress comes upon him?
Will he take delight in the Almighty?
Will he call upon God at all times?
I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
why then have you become altogether vain?
“This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword,
and his descendants have not enough bread.
Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
and his widows do not weep.
Though he heap up silver like dust,
and pile up clothing like clay,
he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,
and the innocent will divide the silver.
He builds his house like a moth's,
like a booth that a watchman makes.
He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more;
he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
Terrors overtake him like a flood;
in the night a whirlwind carries him off.
The east wind lifts him up and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
It hurls at him without pity;
he flees from its power in headlong flight.
It claps its hands at him
and hisses at him from its place.
Job 27 Commentary
by Hank Workman
In an interesting discourse, Job maintains his innocence while pleading with God. Throughout his responses back to these men and his thoughts made known, he has stated again and again of God’s power. He knows and trusts God’s ever watching eye over his situation. He is aware and believes in the sovereignty of God. He knows God can do anything. As Job clings to his own integrity, holds to the fact he has done no wrong as his friends have bombarded him with accusations. Job pleads for a rescue.
The first 6 verses are bold as he uses the strongest words possible to force the hand of God who has made his life bitter. It really is a bit unsettling when you think of it. He is clinging to his innocence, his integrity but also accusing God of deserting him and leaving him without answers. Yes, he believes in God’s sovereignty and knows He can rescue him from all this, but also is leveling his thoughts toward the justice he deserves. He feels God has denied him any justice whatsoever in this situation but knows in the end God is just. He’s being completely raw in his thoughts.
So yes, it’s a bit unnerving to consider these thoughts – but how often do we carry out the same thinking and words?
Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon called A Vexed Soul Comforted. He addresses those who have been embittered by life:
“Child of God, are you vexed and embittered in soul? Then, bravely accept the trial as coming from your Father, and say, ‘The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it. Shall we receive good at the hand of God and not receive evil? Press on through the cloud which now lowers directly in your pathway. It may be with you as it was with the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. ‘They feared as they entered the cloud,’ yet in the cloud they saw their Master’s glory and they found it good to be there.”Charles Spurgeon
I love these words of Spurgeon because we’ve all been there. We’ve all had those moments when we felt we were simply ‘flapping in the wind’ over some situation. We’ve wondered where God was at in the middle of our hardship and trial. We’ve questioned His ability even to actually step in and help. For each of us, it could come through a prayer unanswered, a death of someone we love, an outcome we never expected. The reality is if we stay in these unsettling outcomes our life and heart can become embittered toward God.
This is a dangerous place to be. Although Job was raw in what he states, he was honest in his feelings. I sometimes think that is the key to finding answers. We must be honest with ourselves as to how we are feeling and move through that. And the key is to continue to move through that of which has been the hardship. It looks different for each of us – but pressing through the cloud of difficulty and even disillusionment can bring a deeper revelation of God. Many times, that’s exactly what He wants to give us in the middle of such tumultuous events.
Job 27 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Have you ever just unloaded your heart out of both sides of your mouth? On one hand, you are so angry that God would allow horrific circumstances in your life, but on the other hand, you know He is completely just and will always rule fairly. This is where Job has landed. It’s a tough place to be.
“The juxtaposition is jarringly ironic. Even as Job confesses his faith in the living God, he matter-of-factly accuses this God of deserting him, of leaving him in the lurch… Job does not say, ‘as I live,’ but ‘as God lives,’ even though this God has hidden His face and denied him justice.”Mike Mason
Have you ever been there? I definitely have. It kind of feels like a tug-o-war on the heart. Which side will prevail?
One thing is for sure – Job is no hypocrite – at least not nearly to the degree his friends are accusing him of. Would a hypocrite boast about the power and wrath of God Almighty? I would actually argue that his contradicting statements are more of a comfort than a setback. He’s venting, and we all need to do that once and awhile.
But he is also expressing the depth of his heart while affirming who he believes God is. Hypocrites don’t do that. They usually aren’t authentic or humble. They are proud and arrogant. Hypocrites despise reality and will do whatever it takes to hide their true identity. Job has been completely transparent in his struggles.
In a weird way, I think Job’s words about God are a comfort to his heart. He’s reminding himself of who God is, and that’s never a bad thing. Even if that may seem to contradict his current situation, his strong faith keep churning out the truth about God’s character. Job is wrestling! At this point, each chapter seems repetitive, but if you’ve ever been in a deep struggle with God, you know this is what it’s like. The scenario plays out like a high-speed roller coaster.
Job isn’t contradicting himself, and he isn’t a hypocrite. He’s just a human trying to figure out an inexhaustible God. I will at least give him this much – he is persistent! Where do you need to persist in your faith? Where are you facing a paradoxical struggle? What can you remind yourself about God that will calm your heart?