Tipping point

Job Sees The Light - Thirty-first in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Bible stories give us glimpses of human nature that cause us to sigh or smile— knowing sighs and rueful smiles.

Job 30:1 NIV In Chapter 30, perhaps we can identify with Job’s wincing and his hurt pride, and with the devilment and gloating of the young men.

Bear in mind, though in this passage dogs are not viewed as laudable, the Bible does establish them as worthy creatures (Isa 66:3). They are helpers in watching over the flock, retrieve game for man, and help in many other ways.

The laughs of the young men are knowing laughs. They understand what it is to suffer and to be discounted by people who feel they are better. Now, it is their turn to scoff.

Job 30:2 NIV Commentators differ over the meaning of verse 2. Some have analyzed Job as a man who rejected the young men as unfit for labor. How could he benefit from these malnourished waifs? Who could?

Job 30:3-8 NIV These impoverished, homeless youth are banished from society, and to Job they have no value whatsoever.

What might we readers make of Job’s dim view of his fellow human beings? Did he not say previously that he delivered the poor who cried for help and the fatherless who had none to help him? (Job 29:12) Did he not proclaim that he was a father to the needy? (Job 29:16)

Well, it is one thing to give a hand out to a poor person, but another to offer a job. It is one thing to view with sympathy the less fortunate, but it is another for these underdogs to view Job with derision, as though he is on their level or even under it!

Each person in any society is at a tipping point. That point is very near for some, and distant to others. If a man hires those who cannot advance his work, he will come closer to his own tipping point, sooner not later. Or, if the Lord vanquishes a man’s store, he will come upon his tipping point at once.

If a nation implodes, all citizens will reach that point swiftly. If Job cannot turn from his despair, he will tip over to a worse fate.

How can we avoid crossing our own point of downfall? Cling to the Lord for dear life!

Job 30:9-14 NIV Anyone, even the dimwitted, can see that Job is vulnerable. Why not jump on God’s bandwagon and hurt me even more than the Lord already has? The best is gone, why not take the rest? It won’t be hard.

Job 30:15 NIV Job keenly feels his demise and he is worn out.

Job 30:16-19 NIV But was it God who crushed Job? On the other hand, whether or not he is at the root of our dilemma, he does have the power to reverse the circumstances of our tumble or fall.

Job 30:20-23 NIV Job accuses God of cruelty. This is the lowest point of his life so far.

Belief in the goodness of the Lord is how we rise above our trials. This belief enables us to hold on. Without our voice and expression of love for God and our testimony of knowledge and trust of the Holy, we are cast off in a rudderless boat in hurricane waters. Say it: “There is no unrighteousness in him” (Ps 92:15) And if we should try to wait on the Lord without hope, it is the same as dreading him.

Can things be worse when you are in the worst time of your life? Yes, if you shrink back from your faith, they can be even worse.

Job 30:24-26 NIV Here, Job is saying that he has been a better friend to the downcast than God has been to him. Though he was caring and responsive to the ruined man, God disappoints and ignores him.

Job 30:27-28 NIV Job has not failed to cry out to God, as we have read over many chapters. He has addressed his friends and tried to answer their criticisms, but has rather presented his case before the Lord and entreated him for enlightenment and help. Nevertheless, his moment of release has not yet come. He must continue yet a while in misery and hopelessness, the latter which betrays his near loss of faith.

Job 30:29-31 NIV Job has not lost his faith, but he is overwhelmed by his reversals. He must be at this point before the Lord can show him his misconception. We will see in the next chapter that he has a deeper problem than his wreck and ruin: He is spiritually blind!

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