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Bible Commentaries
Job 12

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-25

Chapter 12

So Job answered him and said, No doubt but you are the people, and wisdom is going to die with you ( Job 12:1-2 ).

He's about had it with these guys who think they know all the answers, and they're not really ministering or reaching him at all. Now, it's very frustrating to try to explain yourself to people and have people in a mindset where they are determined they know all the answers about you, and yet they don't understand it at all. Oh, how frustrating that is. To talk with people who are of that mind bent. "Oh yes, I understand completely what's going on." "Hey, man, you don't understand a thing." And all of these words of wisdom. "Well, yes, you're the people; wisdom is going to die with you."

But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: who doesn't know these things you're talking about? ( Job 12:3 )

I know all of these things. You're not teaching me anything new.

I am as one who is mocked of his neighbor, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn ( Job 12:4 ).

You guys are mocking me. You're laughing me to scorn.

He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease ( Job 12:5 ).

You guys have it easy. All right. So you can despise me because I'm about ready to slip in the pit. Just because you're at ease, you can say these things. But if things were reversed, you wouldn't find these words so easy on your lips.

Now Job points out a fallacy of their whole arguments. Because their arguments have been predicated upon, "Surely if you are righteous, you're going to be blessed of God. And that the blessings of God are more or less proof of your righteousness. Or the plague that you're experiencing is the proof of your sinfulness." So you've got the converse. If a man is plagued because he is sinful, then he would be blessed because he is righteous. And so Job now points to the fallacy of their whole argument, and here it is:

The tents of the robbers prosper, and they who provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly ( Job 12:6 ).

So, you tell me that it's because I'm so wicked that I've lost everything. But look, the tents of the robbers prosper.

But ask now the beasts, and they'll teach you; fowls of the air, they will tell thee: Speak to the earth, it'll teach you: the fish of the sea shall declare it unto you. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind ( Job 12:7-10 ).

He said, "Nature will testify that God has wrought all of these things. Because the soul of every living thing is in the hand of God. And the breath of all mankind." Did you realize how totally you are dependent upon God for the sustaining of your life? There is a weird disease that some people have, or it's a weird something, malfunction of their body. They have to think to breathe. Now wouldn't that be horrible to have to think to breathe? But they don't breathe in a reflex way, but they have actually have to think to breathe, and they almost die when they go to sleep. In fact, when they go to sleep they quit breathing, and then they wake up for a few seconds and think, "Oh, I'd better breathe," they take a breath and then they drop back to sleep again. And they follow their sleep patterns. It must be miserable to have to think to breathe. I'm glad I don't have to think to breathe; it's just automatic. But the Bible teaches that your breath is in the hand of God.

You remember when Belshazzar was having his great feast for one thousand of his lords, and the handwriting came on the wall and he began to shake. And they called for the wise men and the counselors. None of them could tell him what the writing said, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." And so finally the queen said, "During the time of your grandfather's reign, there was a man of great wisdom, who was one of the counselors to your grandfather. He's of the Hebrews who were brought here into captivity." So they ordered Daniel to come into the room. And here Daniel saw the whole scene of debauchery, drunkenness. The golden vessels that had been in the temple that had been sanctified for the service of the house of God, and they were drinking their wine out of them and praising the gods of gold and silver. And so Daniel began. This old, stately, beautiful man of God began to rebuke that pagan king, Belshazzar. And he said, "God has brought you into the kingdom and given you glory and honor and power, and you've ruled over the great kingdom of Babylon that God had given to your grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar; established in him, but it has been given into your hands. And yet you did not regard God, but you've exalted the gods of gold and silver. And the God in whose hand your very breath is, you've not glorified." These people realized how totally dependent man is upon God for his very existence.

Paul said concerning God, "In Him we live, we move, we have our being." We are dependent upon God. Our very breath. And yet, with that very breath, how many times we're cursing God. God gives us the very breath we use to curse Him. It's unreal.

Do not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. Behold, he breaks down, and it cannot be built again: he shuts up a man, and there can be no opening. Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sends them out, and they overturn the earth. With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leadeth counselors away spoiled, and makes the judges fools. He looses the bond of kings, and girds their loins with a girdle. He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthrows the mighty. He removes away the speech of the trusty, and takes away the understanding of the aged. He pours contempt upon the princes, and weakens the strength of the mighty. He discovers deep things out of the darkness, he brings out to light the shadow of death. He increases the nations, and destroys them: he enlarges the nations, and straitens them again. He takes away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them to stagger as a drunken man ( Job 12:11-25 ).

God is sovereign. He rules over all. Man's soul, man's breath, is in His hand. And who can withstand God? Who can withstand the purpose or the work of God? "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 12". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-12.html. 2014.
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