Read Job 27
Job’s Final Word to His Friends
27 And Job continued his discourse:
2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3 as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4 my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5 I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked,
my adversary like the unjust!
8 For what hope have the godless when they are cut off,
when God takes away their life?
9 Does God listen to their cry
when distress comes upon them?
10 Will they find delight in the Almighty?
Will they call on God at all times?
11 “I will teach you about the power of God;
the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 You have all seen this yourselves.
Why then this meaningless talk?
13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
14 However many his children, their fate is the sword;
his offspring will never have enough to eat.
15 The plague will bury those who survive him,
and their widows will not weep for them.
16 Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17 what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.
18 The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,
like a hut made by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a tempest snatches him away in the night.
21 The east wind carries him off, and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22 It hurls itself against him without mercy
as he flees headlong from its power.
23 It claps its hands in derision
and hisses him out of his place.”
In Job 27, we read the continuation of Job’s final words to his friends. He has shifted from talking about God’s incomprehensible awesomeness (using that word in its truest form) in Job.26, to discussing himself in the very next chapter. While this entire passage is quite interesting, the first six verses really capture Job’s mindset in this moment.
First, Job believes that God has “denied [him] justice” and “made [his] life bitter.” While this isn’t in God’s nature, who, as we read in Psalm 37:28, loves justice and will not forsake His people. Not only here, but God’s promise to never leave nor forsake His people is found throughout Scripture. With that much repetition, it doesn’t seem to be something He takes lightly, does it? While we know that God doesn’t forsake His people, He will not deny them justice eternally, Job is relatable to many here. Since most of us can likely relate on some level to having bad things happen in our lives, immediately we can connect with Job here. So where does he go from here?
In verses 3-6, Job tells us how he is going to respond to this present, bleak situation, “…my lips will not say anything wicked…I will not deny my integrity…I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it.”
In response to his circumstances, Job chooses to maintain his innocence and integrity. This move is one we can all look to. Job here shows us the reality that sometimes things are hard, and sometimes we want to just throw in the towel, but this is no reason to fall into sin, proving those who accuse us right. Job here is actively living out what Paul writes to the Ephesians, “In your anger do not sin,” or what the Psalmist says in Psalm 4:4, “Tremble and do not sin.” It’s okay that Job is angry, processing his current situation. In fact, when we are angry in the face of unjust circumstances, we reflect God’s heart, but when we then use this as an excuse to sin, we reject that same heart.
So, in light of this, what do we do? We follow Job’s example as far as we can. Even when we get angry, we do not sin. We run to God, and we sit in His presence, even when He’s the One we’re angry with. We voice our anger to Him and we follow His way. Without a doubt He will be pleased with that showing of faith.
- How do you respond in the face of injustice and suffering? Take note of your response the next time something unjust happens. (Don’t overthink “unjust,” it’s just anything that takes advantage of, exploits, or harms you or another.)
- Do you have someone to go to when times like this come along? Discuss what you’ve noticed in yourself.
- With this personal inventory in mind, what habits or patterns can you change?
By the Way
For another example of someone enduring unjust circumstances, read the different accounts of Jesus’ trial in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 18-19. Note how Christ handles this injustice. How does it compare and contrast to Job?
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