December 9 Read Job 13
Job continues with his speech in reply to Zophar. Most of this part of his discourse is directed at God. Job vacillates between one who trusts in God and one who blames him for his problems. Notice his strong word of faith in verse 15. Even if God would cause him to die, Job avows that he will still trust in God. Is our trust that strong? Could we go through such a trial, as Job did, and remain steadfast in God? In our own strength we could not, but by faith we can hold to him who cares for us in all things. Sing Psalter 203.
December 10 Read Job 14
As Job continues in his address to God, he turns to the frailty of man’s condition. Through his trials he has seen that man is like the tender flower. It grows, it withers, and it dies. He knows that man is no different. But Job has also seen from creation the tree that grows and dies, and out of its root comes forth a new sprout. He knows that for the child of God there is hope after death. This is his comfort, though it is hard for him to lay hold on during these trials. May we see that death is the passageway to eternal life for those whom God has chosen from eternity. May this be our comfort and our hope. Sing Psalter 281.
December 11 Read Job 15
Once again Job’s three friends begin a cycle of speeches against him. Eliphaz once more says that Job must have sinned greatly, and that Job needs to confess his sin. As we read through this chapter, we see much from which we can take instruction. We need to apply the truths of this chapter to our lives. We do so in the confidence that Christ has died upon the cross for our sins. Sing Psalter 83.
December 12 Read Job 16
As Job continues down this path on which God is leading him, he bursts out with the words of verse 1 against his friends. But then he goes in the right direction. He turns to God and pleads for him to help him in his distress. But his pleadings must be tempered and turned into prayers to reach God’s ears. We, too, need this help. This help only comes through the intercession of Christ, who sits at God’s right hand. We should read these words of Job when in distress; then we should turn in humble prayer to our God through Christ for deliverance. Sing Psalter 167.
December 13 Read Job 17
We once again are reminded of the depths of the trials to which God has brought Job. His whole body testified of this trial. Job at this point sees no way of escape other than death. He gives a description of death that is instructive for God’s people. But death is not the answer; it is not the way of deliverance. Job will be brought to his deliverer just as we must be. Our deliverer is Christ who saved us from our sins on the cross. May we look at death as only the way to be united with him in heaven. Sing Psalter 219.
December 14 Read Job 18
Now it is Bildad’s turn to speak again. In our words today, we might say that Bildad pulls no punches. He lays out all the ways that a wicked man is oppressed by God. He then makes the point that that is exactly the way God is treating Job. Therefore Job must be wicked. He also says that Job has not been listening to him and his friends as they try to show to him his troubles. Once again we see true words, but words misapplied. This is not Job, as we will see in the next chapter. This is a man without Christ. Sing Psalter 201.
December 15 Read Job 19
In this chapter Job first gives a thorough description of his afflictions in the body and the results of them. Some might easily say that a person afflicted like this should take his own life. Not Job, as we will see. Then Job complains that his friends are persecuting him and not comforting him. We can clearly see this in verse 22. Then Job bursts out in the beautiful confession of faith in verses 23–27. Job knows that he has a redeemer, one who will buy him out of all this trouble. It will take some time before Job sees all, but we have the beginnings of his spiritual healing here. May we take this confession of faith on our lips when we fall into trials and temptations. Sing Psalter 31.
December 16 Read Job 20
Zophar jumps ahead of Eliphaz with an answer to Job’s beautiful confession. It was as if the confession was not even heard or at least considered. Zophar accuses Job of not listening to them. He goes on to say that God always punishes the wicked, and since Job is being severely punished, he must be wicked. We must not make the same mistake. God brings upon his people chastisements and trials to strengthen their faith. As we read this book we must always consider the first two chapters as we comment upon it. True, Job and his friends did not have those chapters, but they did know the goodness of God for his people. Sing Psalter 386.
December 17 Read Job 21
While Job has not yet understood God’s intent in his trials, he begins to think and speak more clearly about God’s ways. God is leading him on this path to instruct not only Job, but also his friends. In this passage we have excellent instruction in God’s ways leading to the final judgement. All men have a way in this life ordered by God. Some live a life of ease and others of hardship. All die and go to the grave. Then Job states a truth that is often ignored. There is a day of judgment for all, even for the wicked. Job knows that he is not one of these, and he castigates his friends for picturing him as one of the wicked. Sing Psalter 29.
December 18 Read Job 22
For the last time it is Eliphaz’s turn to castigate Job for his supposed misdemeanors. He starts out by saying that Job is charging God with evil. He then charges Job with the evils for which God is punishing him. Eliphaz is making these charges based only on the evidence of Job’s afflictions. “What else could it be?” was his conclusion. Eliphaz ignored Job’s commentary on God’s providence in which these kinds of things come upon both the good and evil by God’s pleasure. The final part of his speech is a plea for Job to go to God and repent. It was good advice if Job had committed the sins with which Eliphaz charged him. But he did not. Sing Psalter 140.
December 19 Read Job 23
Job does not answer Eliphaz’s charges. Rather, he responds to the call for repentance. The words of this chapter are a beautiful description of God and his attributes toward his people. Even though he is not finding God, Job knows that God knows him and knows his actions. Job begs God to show himself so that Job can be healed from the afflictions placed upon him. Notice verses 14 and 16. Here Job confesses—differently from many men—that these afflictions are completely in God’s hand. May this be our confession when faced with affliction in this life. Sing Psalter 329.
December 20 Read Job 24
Job takes up the age-old argument that we find not only in life, but also in Scripture. It is the argument of Asaph in the Psalms. The argument is simple. The wicked do many abominable things in this life. These wicked things are deserving of great judgment. The wicked quite often seem to prosper while the righteous suffer. Job draws the conclusion that these wicked men are punished secretly in this life but more openly in the judgment to come. We should read through the list of sins, make sure we are not walking in them, and repent of those sins of which we are guilty. Then we will find the peace of trusting in the blood of Christ. Sing Psalter 202.
December 21 Read Job 25
Bildad seems to tire of the argument, as he makes no reference to it. Instead he charges Job with thinking too much of himself in relation to God. Bildad has a point that we do well to heed. How do we treat God? How do we consider God and his mighty ways? Do we really mean it when we pray, “Our Father who art in heaven,” or “Our dear heavenly Father”? Sing Psalter 278.
December 22 Read Job 26
Job is becoming exasperated with his friends and their supposed comfort. He retorts in reply to Bildad that he too knows about God. He knows that God is great. He understands God’s infinity and his lowliness. We can learn much from Job’s description of our great God. We do well to consider this often as we go through life. We see that Job did know God. He may not have understood his lot at this time, but he knew and confessed the greatness of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 157.
December 23 Read Job 27
It seems that Job stopped his discourse in the previous chapter to see if his friends would answer him. When they do not, he continues his parable. The word parable here is not used as Jesus did in the New Testament, but rather means a hard saying or argument. Job’s argument is the one that he has been following all along. He says that his friends are wrong. He is not wicked, but he has hope that God will heal him. The wicked, says Job, do not have this hope. Do we have this hope when we are afflicted? Do we pray for the confidence to know that God will remove our burden from us? This we must do. Sing Psalter 206.
December 24 Read Job 28
Job understands that there are things that are hidden from man in God’s counsel. Man may strive industriously to seek the treasures hidden in the deepest part of the earth, but he must not seek to know the hidden wisdom of God. Job goes on to say that God’s wisdom is more precious than any of those minerals hidden in the ground. He concludes with the beautiful words of the last verse. Like Solomon, Job confesses that the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom. After that commodity we must seek. We must use our time and talents to seek to know the fear of Jehovah. One of the ways that we do that is to turn from evil and follow in God’s paths. Sing Psalter 191.
December 25 Read Job 29
Once again Job seems to pause and wait for the others. When they do not speak, Job continues this long discourse. He now wishes that he were back in the days before the calamities came upon him. He recounts how he was physically wealthy and looked up to by all who were in the land around him. He also demonstrates his ability in protecting the downtrodden. In verse 5 he even states that God was with him. Has God left him? No, but that is Job’s perception. Is that our perception in times of trouble? Job will find out that the Almighty has not left him. We too can and will have that experience. Sing Psalter 212.
December 26 Read Job 30
From the heights of yesterday’s chapter, we go to the depths in this chapter. Job recounts all the adversity that has come upon him. He attributes it to God, but it seems that he does it in a complaining manner. The word why? seems to jump out at us as we read this tale of despair. There are moments when we know Job has not lost his faith (verse 24), but the why? soon returns. Do we ask why? of God? Do we not know the answer? That answer is, “For his own glory.” May we seek the glory of God in all that we do and say. Sing Psalter 213.
December 27 Read Job 31
Job finishes his defense to his friends by enumerating several areas of life, both private and public, in which he has not transgressed. As we read through this chapter we see examples of how we must live. When God has blessed us with material wealth, there are many temptations for us to live as the world does. We must flee from such temptations and walk in a way pleasing to our God. This is not the way to our salvation; this is the way because of our salvation. Let us walk in a sanctified way throughout all of our lives. Sing Psalter 24.
December 28 Read Job 32
In this chapter a new voice is heard. Elihu has been sitting by, listening to the argument that had been raging. After Job and his three friends had exhausted themselves with their words, he asked for a turn. He has not spoken before because, as he said, it was not his place because of his youth. He first of all rebukes Job for justifying himself rather than God. He then rebukes the three men for accusing Job of many sins without evidence of those sins. What can we learn from this? We must learn that God uses men of all ages to lead his church. As Paul told Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth.” Our youth must prepare themselves to take their places among the ministers, elders, and deacons of the churches. Sing Psalter 325
December 29 Read Job 33
After rebuking the other three friends of Job, Elihu now turns his attention to Job himself. Here too we find a word of rebuke. Elihu charges that Job has said to God that his afflictions were not fair, and God was not fair in placing them upon him. Basically Elihu charges Job with justifying his actions rather than God. In doing so Elihu speaks to Job and to us about God’s sovereignty. As is said in Psalm 100, “It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” In doing this Elihu wants Job to consider what he has said and see that he has been foolish. Do we acknowledge the sovereignty of God in all that we say and in all that we do? Sing Psalter 268.
December 30 Read Job 34
It appears that Elihu has paused and has given Job time to answer the charges from the previous chapter. It also appears that Job remains silent, probably because he sees his sin and his conscience is accusing him as well as his friend. After that time of silence Elihu again takes up his discourse. From verse 10 to near the end of the chapter, Elihu points out many of God’s attributes and how because of those attributes God is just in doing what he has done. Then he gives Job advice that we should all heed. He encourages Job to seek repentance for his sin, and to seek God’s love. This is what we must do throughout all of our lives. As Paul says, “We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Repentance is the only remedy, and in repenting we seek the balm afforded us by Christ’s death on the cross. Sing Psalter 109.
December 31 Read Job 35
Once again after pausing, Elihu reprimands Job and his friends for their unholy speeches against God. In this short chapter he focuses on how to treat God especially in the way of worship. How do we worship God? Do we seek to be fed, or do we worship to glorify ourselves? Worship is a beautiful act that God has given to us to glorify him. Through a right manner of worship, we will find rest for our souls. Let us seek to make our worship only God-glorifying as we approach his throne each sabbath. Sing Psalter 278
January 1 Read Job 36
Elihu’s speech can be broken up into four parts. We now come to the final part. In the first three parts he has shown that Job and his three friends have been wrong in their determination of why Job was suffering these things. He looks at the negative aspects of the whole trial. When Job and his friends remain silent, he turns to the positive aspect. That positive aspect is that God is God and all that he does is good. By his providence upon his people he cares for them and leads them in a good way. He warns Job, his three friends, and us that to justify man rather than God is not the way to look at the works of God. Then he shows through nature that God is sovereign, just, and right. May we heed God’s word to us both in Scripture and in his creation. Sing Psalm 287.
January 2 Read Job 37
In this chapter Elihu finishes the discourse started in the previous one. He continues to show how God has given to us much instruction concerning his being in the creation. When we hear the thunder and see the lightning, do we think of God’s power and justice? Are we content to say it is raining or snowing, or do we consciously think that God is raining and snowing upon us. Elihu makes many applications from the creation that we would do well to consider. When we consider that God is creator of all things in the manner which he ordained, we will understand more of what he has in store for us. When we take away the greatness of God in creation, we take away the greatness of God in our salvation. This is Elihu’s message because it is God’s message. We do well to take heed to it all of our lives. Sing Psalter 375.
January 3 Read Job 38
After Elihu completes his speeches, leaving Job and the other three men quiet, God appears before them. He addresses Job only as the one who is the object of the lesson begun back in chapter 1. God appears as judge, and the charge is laid out in verse 2. After presenting the charge, God shows by much unanswerable evidence that Job is guilty. The method used is a serious of rhetorical questions about God and his work. He begins at creation and continues through various aspect of the creation. Let us read this for our instruction, but also to know that God is the sovereign God maker of heaven and earth. Sing Psalter 285.
January 4 Read Job 39
In this segment of God’s explanation of his dealings with man and Job in particular, God turns to the world of creatures. The creatures are kept by the providence of God in all of their ways. Throughout this chapter we are led to see that the way of creatures is a good way ordained by God. Solomon saw that good way, and he instructed his son and us to consider the ways of the minutest animal and see that God cares for it. We too should observe creation and see God’s dealings with it and how those dealing show us how our loving God cares for us. Sing Psalter 286.
January 5 Read Job 40
In the last chapter God asked of Job many questions concerning creation. Now God pauses to ask Job to answer. Job knows that he has no answer against God and holds his speech as it is nothing in comparison to God. God then goes on and gives Job a chance to compare himself to the Almighty. As Job knows that he must be quiet, God goes on and shows Job yet another example from creation. Men are not sure what the “behemoth” is, but it is a powerful beast known to Job. God was its creator, and therefore God is even more powerful. None of us can stand up to God, and none of us should try in our lives. Sing Psalter 405.
January 6 Read Job 41
God closes his case with another example from his wonderful creation. Like the behemoth of the last chapter, we are not altogether sure the identity of the “leviathan” of this chapter. It obviously was a large and fierce creature that was difficult if not impossible for man to tame. In considering this beast, Job and we must conclude that we can not tame God and use him for our benefit. God is God, that is, he is the sovereign one. He is king; of that there is no doubt. Sing Psalter 266.
January 7 Read Job 42
This is not an “all’s well that ends well” chapter. Nor is it a “they all lived happily ever after” ending to a fairy tale. Here we have God’s working out his counsel in the lives of men and especially in the lives of his people. Job confesses his sins, and his friends are rebuked and told that they too must seek repentance. In the end God blesses Job and restores to him his possessions and gives to him more sons and daughters. May we consider the patience of Job, as James instructs us to do, and be edified. May we seek God in all that we do, ever confessing his sovereignty in all things. May he alone be glorified in our lives. Sing Psalter 204.