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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Job 26

 

 

Verses 1-14

BILDAD'S WORDS FUTILE IN JOB'S CASE

(vv.1-4)

Job begins a reply that continues through six chapters, and his friends are totally silenced. His language is amazing, specially considering the length of his discourse. He asks Bildad, "How have you helped him who is without power?" (v.2). For Job fully admitted his utter weakness in the face of his sufferings, and what he needed was help, not condemnation. If it was true that Job lacked wisdom (as Bildad intimated), where was there any wise counsel in Bildad's words? Job admitted that he did not know why God was dealing with him as He did, but his friends gave false answers to this question, so their advice was totally unsound.

"To whom have you uttered words?" (v.4). They would say they were speaking to Job, but their words were really not for him at all, but for an evil person. "And whose spirit came from you?" For Job did not consider that it was the Spirit of God who was moving Bildad.

GOD RULING IN THE DEPTHS

(vv.5-6)

Bildad had spoken of God's greatness, but Job goes far beyond him in giving such honour to God. He speaks of various spheres in which God's greatness is seen, beginning here with those in death and under the water. This is the sphere of "things under the earth" spoken of in Philippians 2:10. They tremble before God. Sheol (the state of souls and spirits as separated from their bodies) is naked before Him, in contrast to our own ignorance of those in Sheol. The state of destruction is chaos to us, but it is laid bare before God in its actual condition. He is superior to what is low and infernal.

HIS AUTHORITY IN THE HEAVENS

(v.7)

Though in contrast to the depths, the heights are also in the hand of God. "He stretches out the north over the empty space." Had astronomers in Job's time observed that in the north there is a large space in which no stars are observable? We understand it is common knowledge among astronomers now. "He hangs the earth upon nothing." Mythology had all sorts of foolish explanations as to how the earth is sustained. But Job's assertion is perfectly accurate, as science has confirmed since his day What amazing power must be involved in God's maintaining the earth it its orbit, and all the planets and stars!

CLOUDS AND WATERS ARE IN HIS CONTROL

(vv.8-10)

Here is God's amazing power seen also in His drawing up waters and binding them in clouds (v.8). Tremendous amounts of water are contained in clouds, yet the clouds are not broken through this, - until of course the time comes for God to release the water in rain upon the earth. In recent times we have heard of as much as three feet of rain coming as a deluge on earth in one day! How that rain was sustained in clouds until the time of its release is an astounding miracle.

Clouds too are symbolical of the obscurity by which the throne of God is covered (v.9). Psalms 97:2 tells us, "Clouds and darkness surround Him: righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne."

In verse 10, another version speaks of "the dim verge of the horizon" as being the boundary of light and darkness. This is "on the face of the waters." If one looks across the sea, the horizon appears to be a boundary beyond which all seems dark. Thus the greatness of God faces men with marvellous mysteries that awaken many questions that human wisdom cannot answer.

THE EARTH AND THE SEA

(vv.11-12)

The term, "the pillars of heaven" evidently refers to the earth with its great mountains reaching toward heaven, pillars that often tremble when an earthquake strikes with its awesome demonstration of the power of God.

That power is seen in the sea also when it is stirred by fierce winds. Even on the small "Sea of Galilee" the disciples were filled with fear of being overwhelmed by the storm (Mark 4:27-38), and the oceans experience far greater storms than Galilee. But if such storms awaken both fear and awe at the power of God, God's rapid breaking up of the storm is also a cause of wondering awe (v.12). The disciples of the Lord Jesus found this too when "He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." (Mark 4:39).

SUPREME IN HEAVEN

(v.13)

"By His Spirit He adorned the heavens." We surely know this is true today God, by His Spirit, raised the Lord Jesus from death and set Him at His own right hand in glory. Heaven is therefore adorned with the glories of One who has won the victory over sin and death. Not that Job was thinking of this adornment, but God had it in mind from eternity "His hand pierced the fleeing serpent." Satan conceived the notion of ascending into heaven and being "like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:13-14), but the Most High pierced this proud serpent with a word of solemn conviction. God alone rules in heaven.

But though Job has far outdone Bildad in declaring God's glory, he adds, "indeed, these are mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him." In contrast to that small whisper, Job asks, "but the thunder of His power who can understand?" (v.14). Does it not put us all in our place?

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Job 26:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/job-26.html. 1897-1910.

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