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                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

           The Great Debate: Third Cycle Of Speeches (22-31)


1) To examine the conclusion of the "great debate", and the feeble
   efforts of Job's friends to convince him that he is deserving of his
   great suffering

2) To observe how Job maintains his claim to innocence while stating
   his complaint that God is not hearing him


Eliphaz once again takes the initiative, rebuking Job for his claims of
innocence.  Accusing Job of great wickedness, for the first time he
specifies sins of which he believes Job must be guilty to have suffered
so greatly.  Charging Job of cherishing wicked ways and trusting that
God doesn't see it, Eliphaz ends with another appeal for Job to return
to God that he might enjoy renewed prosperity (22:1-30).  Job's
response is to once again express his longing to find God so he can
present his side.  While maintaining his claims of integrity and how he
has treasured God's words, he admits he is awed by God's dealings.  He
wonders why the wicked often sin with impunity, but then says what he
thinks should and will eventually happen to them.  He concludes his
response to Eliphaz with a challenge to show him where he has spoken
falsely (23:1-24:25).

Bildad's third speech is short, adding little.  Speaking briefly of
God's greatness, he posits how anyone can be righteous before God
(25:1-6).  Job replies with questions which imply that he considers
Bildad's counsel to have been of no help.  Perhaps to illustrate how
they have not been much help, Job demonstrates his own ability to
describe God's greatness (26:1-14).

Zophar remains silent in this third cycle of speeches, so Job continues
with his discourse.  Though he feels that God has taken away his
justice and made his soul bitter, he refuses to accept his friends'
counsel and maintains his innocence.  He accuses them of nonsense and
describes what God will do with the wicked (27:1-23).  Job then says
where true wisdom is to be found, that it comes from God Who has
revealed it to man (28:1-28).  As his words draw near to their end, Job
recounts how it was in the past when he blessed by God and respected by
men (29:1-25).  In contrast, the present finds him being mocked by
others, suffering in pain, with God not answering his plea to be heard
(30:1-31).  He concludes by listing various sins, which if he had
committed them, he agrees he would have been guilty of punishment.  In
this way he again maintains his claim to innocence and not deserving
his great suffering (31:1-40).  For Job and his three friends, this
ends the "Great Debate".



      1. He rebukes Job again for his claims of innocence (22:1-3)
         a. He affirms that God is self-sufficient, needing nothing
            from man
         b. Therefore Job's claim to be blameless is no way enhances
            his standing before God
      2. He accuses Job of great wickedness (22:4-11)
         a. God is not punishing Job because he fears God
         b. It is because of Job's great iniquity, of which Eliphaz
            gives examples
         c. For such reasons Eliphaz says Job is being punished
      3. He charges Job of cherishing wicked ways, trusting that God
         doesn't see it (22:12-20)
         a. How can Job say that God does not see what he is doing?
         b. Will Job continue to keep to the ways of wicked men?
         c. Yet the righteous rejoice when the wicked are cut down
      4. He exhorts Job to return to God and enjoy renewed prosperity
         a. Acquaint yourself with God, receive instruction from Him,
            you will be at peace
         b. Return to Him, and He will bless you, be your delight,
            answer your prayers
         c. Job's plans would then be successful, and able to save
            others (cf. 42:7-10)

   B. JOB'S REPLY (23:1-24:25)
      1. He reasserts his longing to find God and present his case
         a. Heavy with bitter complaint and groaning, he wished he
            could find God
         b. He desired to speak his case before God, confident that he
            could reason with Him
         c. But God is nowhere to be found
      2. Maintaining his claims of integrity, he is awed by God's
         dealings (23:10-17)
         a. He has not turned aside from God's way
         b. He has treasured the words of God
         c. But the manner of God's dealings with him have terrified
      3. He wonders why the wicked often sin with impunity (24:1-17)
         a. The wicked often oppress the poor and helpless, forcing
            them to live off the land
         b. God does not seem to answer the cry of the oppressed, and
            punish the wicked
         c. There are those who use the darkness to carry out their
      4. What Job thinks should happen to the wicked, and will
         eventually happen (24:18-24)
         a. They should be punished and remembered no more
         b. He expresses confidence that God will eventually take the
            wicked away
      -- Job concludes with a challenge to show were he has spoken
         falsely (24:25)


      1. He proclaims the greatness of God (25:1-3)
         a. Dominion and fear belong to Him, He makes peace in His high
         b. His armies are innumerable
      2. Can anyone be righteous before God? (25:4-6)
         a. No one can be pure in God's sight
         b. If the moon and stars pale in God's sight, how much more
            man, who is no more than a maggot or worm in comparison to

   B. JOB'S REPLY (26:1-31:40)
      1. He declares that Bildad's counsel has been worthless (26:1-4)
         a. Bildad (and the others) have not helped him
         b. Have they been speaking to someone with no wisdom?
      2. He demonstrates his own ability to describe the greatness of
         God (26:5-14)
         a. By depicting God's greatness over the dead, and over the
         b. Such greatness is but the "mere edges" of God's ways
         c. No one can understand the true greatness of His power
      3. As he continues his discourse, he maintains his integrity
         a. Though God has taken away his justice, and made his soul
         b. He will not speak wickedly, but he still claims innocence
         c. He knows that there is no hope for the wicked or hypocrite
      4. He will teach his friends what God will do to the wicked
         a. As a rebuke to his friends for what they have said to him
         b. The families of the wicked will suffer the consequences
         c. The wealth of the wicked will be consumed by others
         d. God will eventually remove the wicked from his place
      5. He gives a discourse on the true source of wisdom (28:1-28)
         a. Precious minerals may found through diligent mining
         b. But true wisdom and understanding comes only from God, who
            has declared it unto man
      6. As he continues his discourse, he recalls the good days of his
         past (29:1-25)
         a. When God watched over him, and blessed him
         b. When he had the respect of others, and administered justice
            for the poor, the fatherless, the widow, the blind and lame
         c. When he looked to the future with hope
         d. When others kept silence to hear his counsel, and he was
            like a king
      7. He then reflects upon his present condition (30:1-31)
         a. He is now mocked by the sons of those he once disdained
         b. His is now their "taunt-song", their byword, as they abuse
         c. He bemoans his agony and the treatment he feels the Lord
            has given him
         d. Would God not remember how he wept for others in trouble?
         e. But all he sees is evil and days of affliction
      8. One last time, Job maintains his integrity (31:1-40)
         a. He has made a covenant with his eyes, not to look upon a
            young woman
            1) For he knows the ultimate end of the wicked
            2) For God does see and knows all that he does
         b. He is willing to accept just punishment, if he has ever...
            1) Been deceitful
            2) Committed adultery
            3) Mistreated his servants
            4) Neglected the poor, widows, and fatherless
            5) Put his trust in gold, or worshipped the heavenly bodies
            6) Rejoiced over the demise of his enemies, or cursed them
            7) Not cared for the stranger
            8) Tried to hide his iniquity
         c. He makes his final cry
            1) That God would answer him and tell him what he has done
            2) Willing to accept punishment if he has misappropriated
               his land or stolen it from others


1) Of what wickedness does Eliphaz accuse Job? (22:6-9)
   - Taking pledges from his brother for no reason
   - Stripping the naked of their clothing
   - Not giving the weary water to drink; withholding bread from the
   - Sending the widows away empty; crushing the strength of the

2) What does Eliphaz accuse Job of saying? (22:13-14)
   - What does God know?
   - Thick clouds cover Him so that He cannot see

3) What does Eliphaz ask Job? (22:15)
   - Will you keep to the old way which wicked men have trod?

4) What does Eliphaz counsel Job to do? (22:21-22)
   - Acquaint himself with God, receive instruction from His mouth

5) What does Eliphaz promise Job if he will repent? (22:23)
   - He will be built up, and iniquity will be far removed from him

6) What does Job ask for as he begins his response to Eliphaz? (23:3)
   - To find God that he might present his case to Him

7) What is Job's response to Eliphaz' charge of wickedness? (23:11-12)
   - I have kept His way and not turned aside, I have not departed from
     His commandments

8) And yet what does Job feel God has done to him? (23:16)
   - Made his heart weak, and terrified him

9) In Bildad's final speech, how does he respond to Job's claim of
   innocence? (25:4-6)
   - How can a man be righteous before God, who is no more than a worm
     in comparison?

10) In replying to Bildad, what does Job ask him? (26:3)
   - How have you counseled one who has no wisdom?

11) As Job continues his discourse, what does he steadfastly maintain?
   - His integrity, righteousness, and clear conscience

12) What does he then describe to his three friends? (27:13-23)
   - The true portion of a wicked man with God

13) As his discourse describes the difficulty of finding wisdom, to
    what does Job attribute its true source? (28:20-28)
   - It comes from God, who has revealed it to man

14) As he described the days gone by when he was respected by all, what
    things had he done? (29:12-17)
   - Delivered the poor and fatherless; caused the widow's heart to
     sing for joy
   - Put on righteousness and justice like a robe and turban
   - Provided eyes to the blind and feet to the lame
   - Was a father to poor and searched out their case
   - Broke the fangs of the wicked and plucked the victim from his

15) In the present, though, who mocks him? (30:1)
   - Young men whose fathers Job had disdained to put even with the
     dogs of his flock

16) As he draws near to the end of his discourse, what does Job cry out
    to God? (30:20-21)
   - I cry out to You, but You do not answer
   - You have become cruel to me; You oppose me with the strength of
     Your Hand

17) In summarizing his plight, what sort of things does he say?
   - I looked for good, evil came to me; I waited for light, then came
   - My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest; days of affliction
     confront me
   - I go about mourning, I cry for help
   - My skin grows black and falls from me; my bones burn with fever

18) What kind of covenant had Job made with his eyes?  Why? (31:1-4)
   - Not to look upon a young woman
   - Does God not see his ways and count all his steps?

19) List the things that Job says would make him deserving of God's
    punishment (31:1-40)
   - Walking with falsehood, or hastening to deceit
   - Heart enticed by a woman, or lurking at his neighbor's door
   - Despising the cause of his servants when they complained against
   - Keeping the poor from their desire
   - Causing the eyes of the widow to fail
   - Eating morsels so that the fatherless could not eat of it
   - Seeing anyone perish for lack of clothing, or the poor without
   - Failing to help the fatherless when it was in his power
   - Making gold his hope and confidence; rejoicing over his great
   - Worshipping the sun or moon
   - Rejoicing at the destruction of him who hated him
   - Not providing food and opening his doors to the traveler
   - Trying to hide his transgressions
   - Eating off the land without compensation, causing its owners to
     lose their lives

20) What is Job's final request as he ends his words? (31:35)
   - That he had someone to hear him
   - That the Almighty would answer him
   - That his Prosecutor had written a book
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