Job 27: 1 – 23
1 Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said: 2 “As God lives, who has taken away my justice, and the Almighty, Who has made my soul bitter, 3 As long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 my lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. 5 Far be it from me that I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live. 7 “May my enemy be like the wicked, and he who rises up against me like the unrighteous. 8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life? 9 Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him? 10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call on God? 11 “I will teach you about the hand of God; what is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 Surely all of you have seen it; why then do you behave with complete nonsense? 13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty: 14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15 Those who survive him shall be buried in death, and their widows shall not weep, 16 though he heaps up silver like dust, and piles up clothing like clay—17 He may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. 18 He builds his house like a moth, like a booth which a watchman makes. 19 The rich man will lie down, but not be gathered up; he opens his eyes, and he is no more. 20 Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night. 21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone; It sweeps him out of his place. 22 It hurls against him and does not spare; He flees desperately from its power. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.
Cannon fodder, means someone who is expendable or in simpler terms, a tool. It is a very flexible term that is used widely in reference to politics and athletics, but most frequently in combat. The term is a military term that dates back to the civil war, troops would be sent out as distraction to the cannons, or simply as "food for the cannons" in other words, fodder means food, thus cannon fodder means cannon food.
Currently we see a similar technique used by the terrorist group ISIS. These fighters have used civilians as human shields, booby-trapped cars and carried out suicide bombings to slow advances by their opponents and avoid coming under attack. Thousands of civilians were held captive by the group in Fallujah, which Iraqi forces recaptured in June after a four-week offensive.
Just recently ISIS fighters seized some 2,000 civilians to use as "human shields" Friday as they fled their stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria, US-backed forces and an outside monitor said.The abductions came as Russian and Syrian jets pounded rebel positions in Aleppo, an AFP correspondent and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
The Arab-Kurdish alliance known as the Syrian Democratic Forces expelled most of the ISIS fighters from Manbij last week, but dozens continued to put up tough resistance. On Friday, they withdrew from a district in northern Manbij heading for the ISIS-held town of Jarabalus along the border with Turkey, taking the captives with them."While withdrawing from a district of Manbij, Daesh [ISIS] jihadists abducted around 2,000 civilians from Al-Sirb neighbourhood," said Sherfan Darwish, spokesman for the Manbij Military Council, a key component of the SDF.
"They used these civilians as human shields as they withdrew to Jarabulus, thus preventing us from targeting them," he said, adding that women and children were among those taken.The Britain-based human rights group, which relies on information from sources on the ground, also reported that ISIS had abducted around 2,000 civilians as they fled Manbij.It said ISIS confiscated residents' cars, forced civilians into them and then headed for Jarabulus.
The jihadists, who have suffered a string of losses in Syria and Iraq, have often staged mass kidnappings in the two countries when they come under pressure to relinquish territory.In January, ISIS abducted more than 400 civilians, including women and children, as it overran parts of Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria. It later released about 270 of them.
Back in the 90’s I was asked by the Senior Pastor if I would be willing to go on a missionary trip to Romania. At this time there was a civil war going on in this country. I was curious as to why I would be asked to go? If I accepted I would join up with some missionaries from Sweden and Austria to take bibles, food, and clothing into the war ravaged country.
My first thought was that I was considered ‘expendable’ or they needed some cannon fodder. If they wanted me to give up my Pastor position why didn’t they just tell me and I would go away. So, I prayed and asked the Lord what He would want me to do? I didn’t get an answer either way. Since He did not tell me ‘no’ I went. My life belongs to Him so if I get killed, I get killed. I am glad I went because I saw and experienced things that I believe I never would have experienced ever in my life time. It was a venture that I will remember forever.
1989 marked the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. A mid-December protest in Timișoara against the eviction of a Hungarian minister (László Tőkés) grew into a country-wide protest against the Ceaușescu régime, sweeping the dictator from power.
On 21 December, President Nicolae Ceaușescu had his apparatus gather a mass-meeting in Bucharest downtown in an attempt to rally popular support for his regime and publicly condemn the mass protests of Timișoara. This meeting mirrored the mass-meeting gathered in 1968 when Ceaușescu had spoken out against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Treaty countries. This time however, the people turned angry and riot broke out. During the events of the following week, marked by confusion and street fighting, it is estimated that 1,051 people lost their lives. To this day, the real number of casualties are unknown and so are the identities of the individuals responsible for them. Those responsible for the casualties are still called "the terrorists". Ceaușescu was arrested in Târgoviște. After a summary trial by a kangaroo court, he and his wife were executed on the 25th of December.
My team of Christian adventurers came to the large city of Timișoara and witnessed the hundreds of dead people. I found it interesting that these people were shot down in the streets as they were on their knees praying the ‘Our Father’. Originally the soldiers and the secret police were doing the shooting. However, in time the soldiers started to refuse to kill innocent people. So, they then turned on the secret police and the fighting began between these two groups.
A Pastor from the city of Kluge which is close to the Russian border somehow had heard that we were in his country and made a journey to where we were staying. He informed us that his city was in dire need of food since the uprising. So, we each took our flatbed truck – 7 trucks all together – that were filled with food, clothing, and bibles and drove across the Transylvania Mountains – past Dracula’s home town – to Kluge. We came up with the idea to paint each truck with the ‘Red Cross’ sign. As a result everyone just waved us through ever stop point. The only way I can explain this experience is to liken it to the US soldiers welcoming by the people when they freed Paris.
What Job had said in chapter 26 was a sufficient answer to Bildad’s discourse; and now Job paused awhile, to see whether Zophar would take his turn again; but, he declining it, Job himself went on and said all he desired to say. In verses 1 through 6 he begins with a solemn defense of his integrity and of his resolution to hold fast to it. He then goes on to express the pain and terror they imposed upon him with their false charges. In his final comments in verses 11 through 23 Job explains his view of the miserable end of wicked popular, prosperous, and powerful people, and the curse that comes their way and ultimately upon their families.
1 Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said: 2 “As God lives, who has taken away my justice, and the Almighty, Who has made my soul bitter, 3 As long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 my lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. 5 Far be it from me that I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.
Job speaks highly of God, in calling Him the living God (which means ever living, the eternal God, that has life in Himself) and in appealing to Him as the sole and sovereign Judge. We can swear by no greater, and it is an affront to Him to swear by any other. Yet he also speaks words which are against Him, and unbecomingly, in saying that he had taken away his judgment (that is, refused to do him justice in this controversy and to appear in defense of him), and that by continuing his troubles, on which his friends grounded their censures of him, he had taken from him the opportunity he hoped about clearing himself. This is wrong to think of our Holy God like this for He Is righteous in all His ways and takes away no man’s judgment.
Sadly Job also charges that our Holy Maker God had caused him to become bitter. Our Father had not appeared for him, but had appeared against him, and, by placing such grievous afflictions upon him had quite embittered his life and all the comforts of it. We, by our impatience, do this to ourselves and then complain of God that He is the One responsible.
On the one hand he would not, for the entire world, deny the charge these visitors laid against him if he knew himself guilty, but would declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and take to himself the shame of his sin. On the other hand, since he was conscious to himself of his integrity, and that he was not such a man as his friends charged him on being, he would never betray his integrity, nor blame himself with that which he was innocent of. He would adhere to this resolution as long as he lived
He would always be an honest man, would hold fast his integrity, and not curse God, as Satan, by his wife, urged him to do. He would always maintain that he was an honest man; he would not remove, he would not part with, the conscience, and comfort, and credit of his integrity; he was resolved to defend it to his last breath.
Having solemnly protested the satisfaction he had in his integrity, for the further clearing of himself, Job now expresses the dread he had of being found a hypocrite.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked, and he who rises up against me like the unrighteous. 8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life? 9 Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him? 10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call on God?
Job was bothered even at the thought of being a hypocrite, for he looked upon the condition of a hypocrite and a wicked man to be certainly the most miserable condition that any man could be in. He then gave the reasons of it. Back in chapter 8 Bildad and then Zophar in chapter 11 had condemned it and Job here concurs with them, and reads the death of the hypocrite’s hope with as much assurance as they had done; and this fitly comes in as a reason why he would not remove his integrity, but still hold it fast.
Job’s friends tried to persuade him as we learned in chapter 4 verse 6 that all his hope was but the hope of the hypocrite. He disagrees with their finding and says that knowing what a hypocrite is he would be repulsed to be such a person.
The hypocrite is totally deceived. He has gained a lot of things in this world by his hypocrisy such as the praise and applause of men and the wealth of this world. Upon this gain he builds his hope, such as it is. He hopes he is in a good place for another world, because he finds he is so for this, and he blesses himself in his own way. Yet the hypocrite will at last be dealt with the consequences of his actions for God shall take away his soul, sorely against his will as was pointed out by our Master and King Lord Jesus in Luke’s Gospel chapter 12.
What will his hope be then? It will be a useless lie; it will not give him anything to stand on. The wealth of this world, which he hoped in, he must leave behind him. The happiness of the other world, which he hoped for, he will certainly miss out on. He hoped to go to heaven, but he will be shamefully disappointed. His prayer will not be heard. He will plead his earthly profession, privileges, and performances, but all his pleas will be overruled as meaningless. Our Great and High Judge The Lord Jesus Christ will say to him, ‘Depart from me, I never knew you.’ So that, upon the whole, it is certain that a hypocrite, with all his gains and all his hopes, will be miserable in his dying hour. God has told us that he will not hear the prayers of those who regard iniquity in their hearts.
11 “I will teach you about the hand of God; what is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 Surely all of you have seen it; why then do you behave with complete nonsense? 13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty: 14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15 Those who survive him shall be buried in death, and their widows shall not weep, 16 though he heaps up silver like dust, and piles up clothing like clay—17 He may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. 18 He builds his house like a moth, like a booth which a watchman makes. 19 The rich man will lie down, but not be gathered up; he opens his eyes, and he is no more. 20 Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night. 21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone; It sweeps him out of his place. 22 It hurls against him and does not spare; He flees desperately from its power. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.
We now witness that this argument going forth between Job and the three men who came to see him is reaching its climax. Job lets them know about the things that he agreed with and those points in which they still disagreed. He agreed with them that wicked people are miserable people, that God will surely deal with cruel oppressors, and one time or other and one way or other, His justice will be enacted upon them for all the affronts they have put upon God and all the wrongs they have done to their neighbors. Now on the things they differed, Job held that, in many cases, judgments do not fall upon wicked people quickly, but are deferred for some time. That vengeance strikes slowly as he had already described in chapters 21 and 24; now he comes to show that it strikes surely and severely, and that reprieves are not pardons.
Look with me at verse 11 where Job remarks, ‘I will teach you’. What is it that he would teach them?- "That which is with the Almighty,’’ that is, "the counsels and purposes of God concerning wicked people, which are hidden with him, and which you cannot hastily judge of; and the usual methods of His providence concerning them.’’ This, says Job, will I not conceal. What God has not concealed from us we must not conceal from those we are concerned to teach. Things revealed belong to us and our children.
So we next need to ask is ‘How he would teach them? By the hand of God, that is, by His strength and assistance. Those who undertake to teach others must look to the hand of God to direct them, to open their ear, and to open their lips. Those whom God teaches with a strong hand are best able to teach others.
Their own observation confirmed the things which he was about to teach them. They have heard, and seen and known the truth that Job’s affliction was not due to him being wicked. Truth, rightly understood and applied, would cure us all of that thinking which arises from our mistakes.
In the world wicked people may be wealthy and have preferment over others, but in truth their portion with God is ruin and misery. They are above the control of any earthly power, it may be, but Almighty God can deal with them.
Job describes that wicked people may, in some instances, prosper, but that ruin follows them. The children of evil people perhaps are very numerous and are raised to honor and great estates. In them the parents hope to live and in their preferment to be honored. But the more children they leave and the greater prosperity they leave them in, the more room do they leave for the arrows of God’s judgments to be leveled at them, by His sore judgment - sword, famine, and pestilence. It is almost like the wicked people are arranging for their children to be cannon fodder at some future date.
Some of them shall die by the sword. Others of them shall die by famine – ‘His offspring shall not be satisfied with bread’. He thought he had secured for his kids large estates, but it may happen that they may be reduced to poverty, so as not to have the necessary supports of life, at least not to live comfortably. They shall be so needy that they shall not have the basic proper nourishment.
There have been certain plagues that wiped out a large portion of earth’s human population. One that comes quickly to mind is ‘The Black Death.’ We also know from history that wars ultimately cause famine and then serious diseases. So we see here the reference to this horrible situation that causes those that remain after slaughter and famine shall be buried in death, that is, shall die of the plague, which is called death, and be buried privately and in haste, as soon as they are dead, without any solemnity and even their widows shall not weep; they shall not have any opportunity to mourn.
In times of somewhat peace this verse also denotes that these wicked men, as they live for their own self-serving desires, die unlamented, and even their widows will think themselves happy that they are finally free of them.
Are you one that is interested in sports? This year our city’s football team drafted second. They chose a quarter back that the fans are hoping will lead the team to the ‘Super Bowl’. This young man just out of college became an instant millionaire. What do all most all of the pro athletes do with this sudden wealth? They buy their parents a new home. Then they buy one or two super expensive cars. And finally they begin to purchase tons of new clothing. Am I right?
We see the same thing going on here with the wealthy wicked people. They have an overabundance of money [silver]. Then they accumulate so many clothes that they become a burden to them as the example of the weight of a pile of clay. I have one friend who was a pro football player who like all others also receives free clothing from advertisers. He had so much clothing he gave me a bunch of items that were still in their original plastic wrappers.
There is a statement that says money talks. It does to me. It says ‘Goodbye!’ I have young couples that come in for premarital counseling. I ask them when they are going to get married. A few have responded that they are going to save for a couple of years before getting married. First of all I ask them then why are they coming in so early for marriage counseling seeing that they are going to get hitched years from now. I am also curious as to how if they love each other so much that they can wait that long to be together. I would say that 98 out of 100 couples are able to wait is because they are already sexually active. To the rare exclusion of a couple who says that they are not sexually active I add that they might want to reconsider their plan. As you and I and many others have experienced is that when you think you want to save for a house some kind of emergency pops up and you have to start all over your savings. At that rate you will never have the opportunity to get married.
Good and honest people ultimately shall have the wicked persons money and clothes and will divide it among themselves. In some way or other Providence shall so order it that good men shall come honestly by that wealth which the wicked man came dishonestly by. My youngest daughter went to a state college. At school her roommates though that I, her dad, must be wealthy because she had so many nice clothes. In truth my daughter was smart and thrifty. She would go to the Salvation Army’ store and buy in many cases new clothes for just a few dollars. Here rich people families finally by death or some other event to some non-profit groups who allowed others to get clothes that use to belong to the rich.
I was watching the news a few weeks ago which was covering the raging fires out west. One is particular was burning thousands of acres in California. Of particular interest the news station showed some pictures of the ‘Hearst Estate’. Hearst Castle is located near the unincorporated community of San Simeon, California, approximately 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 43 miles from San Luis Obispo at the northern end of San Luis Obispo County. The estate itself is five miles inland atop a hill of the Santa Lucia Range at an altitude of 1,600 feet. The region is sparsely populated because the Santa Lucia Range abuts the Pacific Ocean, which provides dramatic seaside vistas but few opportunities for development and hampered transportation. The surrounding countryside visible from the mansion remains largely undeveloped. Its entrance is adjacent to San Simeon State Park.
Hearst Castle featured 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world's largest private zoo. Zebras and other exotic animals still roam the grounds. Invitations to Hearst Castle were highly coveted during its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. The Hollywood and political elite often visited, usually flying into the estate's airfield or taking a private Hearst-owned train car from Los Angeles. Among Hearst's guests were Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Bob Hope, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Dolores del Río, and Winston Churchill.
Today Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan, between 1919 and 1947, for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. The California Park Commission voted to approve its inclusion in the California State Park System, which was approved by the California State Legislature in 1954 with a proposed admission charge of $1 per person ($9 adjusted for inflation) and a 50¢ bus ride. However, ironing out the details with the Trustees of the Hearst Estate and the Hearst Corporation took several years. Agreement was finalized in 1957, and it opened in 1958. Since that time, it has been maintained within the Hearst San Simeon State Park where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts "millions of travelers each year.
I think history would reveal that Hearst families were not wicked people. Yet they provide for us a perfect description on how wealth ultimately ends. By the way thanks to the heroic actions of firefighters this property was spared.
Destruction awaits these evil people, though they lived long in health and at ease for a good part of their lives: The rich man shall lie down to sleep, to repose himself in the abundance of his wealth (Soul, take thy ease), shall lie down and seem to others to be very happy and very easy; but he shall not be gathered, that is, he shall not have his mind composed, and settled, and gathered in, to enjoy his wealth. He does not sleep so contentedly as people think he does. He lies down, but his abundance will not suffer him to sleep, at least not so sweetly as the laboring man. He lies down, but he is full of tossing’s to and fro till the dawning of the day, and then he opens his eyes and he is not; he sees himself, and all he has, hastening away, as it were, in the twinkling of an eye. His cares increase his fears, and both together make him uneasy and in the end of his life, we see how miserable he is in death and after death.
Another Midwesterner of note was Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) He was an American entrepreneur, known during his life as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. First making a name for himself as a film producer, he then became an influential figure in the aviation industry. Later in life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle which was caused in part by a worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder.
On November 24, 1966 (Thanksgiving Day)Hughes arrived in Las Vegas by railroad car and moved into the Desert Inn. Because he refused to leave the hotel, and to avoid further conflicts with the owners, Hughes bought the Desert Inn in early 1967. The hotel's eighth floor became the nerve center of Hughes' empire and the ninth-floor penthouse became his personal residence. His reclusive activities (and possibly his drug use) made him practically unrecognizable. His hair, beard, fingernails, and toenails were long—his tall 6 ft 4 in frame now weighed barely 90 pounds, and the FBI had to use fingerprints to conclusively identify the body after he died.
Death, to a godly man, is like a fair breeze to convey him to the heavenly country, but, to a wicked man, it is like an east wind, a storm, a tempest, that hurries him away in confusion and amazement, to destruction. He is miserable after death. His soul falls under the just indignation of God, and it is the terror of that indignation which puts him into such amazement at the approach of death: For God shall cast upon him and not spare. While he lived he had the benefit of giving mercy to others; but now the day of God’s patience is over, and He will not spare, but pour out upon him the full vials of His wrath.
The sinner, seeing the wrath of God break in upon him, would greatly desire to flee out of God’s hand of judgment; but he cannot: the gates of hell are locked and barred, and the great gulf fixed. Those who will not be persuaded now to fly to the arms of divine grace, which are stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them.
You and I have experienced the final statement of this chapter from our Holy Spirit - . 23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.” When you are pleased with observing something the natural thing to do is clap your hands. If you hear someone say something that you do not agree with you ‘boo’ At the movies I am sure you have personally witnessed when the good guys win the people applaud. On some occasions especially during a comedy I have heard the people ‘boo’ the villain. So shall people do when they watch evil people try to make up lies that as excuses for all their sins against their fellow man. They will applaud when the wicked finally get their just deserts and boo when they try to put their blame on others.