“The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
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 12:6-10
What struck me is Jobs’ answer to his friends. He knew even the animals would “testify” against the ungodly humans for their oppression and abuse of Gods’ creatures. (read Henrys’ commentary below)
How many times I thought “If animals could talk”. The people from biblical era lived very close to nature. Is it possible that they were so “connected” that they could understand the “beasts” much more than we do in the modern age, therefor Job told them to “ask” the animals? These verses don’t tell them to “observe” and to “consider” as in Proverbs 6:6. It clearly states “ask”.
Even Isaiah said “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted” (Isa 49:13)
“Upon his afflicted” means to me everything that belongs to the Lord, which is all creation according to Ps 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” and Isaiah told it to REJOICE!
In my earlier years, I regarded this as a figure of speech, as poetry. Not anymore.
I quote from MATTHEW HENRYS’ COMMENTARY:
“He appeals even to the inferior creatures for the proof of this—the beasts, and fowls, and trees, and even the earth itself; consult these, and they shall tell thee, v. 7, 8. Many a good lesson we may learn from them, but what are they here to teach us?
1. We may from them learn that the tabernacles of robbers prosper (so some); for, (1.) Even among the brute creatures the greater devour the less and the stronger prey upon the weaker, and men are as the fishes of the sea, Hab. 1:14. If sin had not entered, we may suppose there would have been no such disorder among the creatures, but the wolf and the lamb would have lain down together. (2.) These creatures are serviceable to wicked men, and so they declare their prosperity. Ask the herds and the flocks to whom they belong, and they will tell you that such a robber, such an oppressor, is their owner: the fishes and fowls will tell you that they are served up to the tables, and feed the luxury, of proud sinners. The earth brings forth her fruits to them (ch. 9:24), and the whole creation groans under the burden of their tyranny, Rom. 8:20, 22. Note, All the creatures which wicked men abuse, by making them the food and fuel of their lusts, will witness against them another day, Jam. 5:3, 4.
2. We may from them learn the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, and that sovereign dominion of his into which plain and self-evident truth all these difficult dispensations must be resolved. Zophar had made a vast mystery of it, ch. 11:7. “So far from that,” says Job, “that what we are concerned to know we may learn even from the inferior creatures; for who knows not from all these? v. 9. Any one may easily gather from the book of the creatures that the hand of the Lord has wrought this,” that is, “that there is a wise Providence which guides and governs all these things by rules which we are neither acquainted with nor are competent judges of.” Note, From God’s sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures we should learn to acquiesce in all his disposals of the affairs of the children of men, though contrary to our measures.
III. He resolves all into the absolute propriety which God has in all the creatures (v. 10): In whose hand is the soul of every living thing. All the creatures, and mankind particularly, derive their being from him, owe their being to him, depend upon him for the support of it, lie at his mercy, are under his direction and dominion and entirely at his disposal, and at his summons must resign their lives. All souls are his; and may he not do what he will with his own? The name Jehovah is used here (v. 9), and it is the only time that we meet with it in all the discourses between Job and his friends; for God was, in that age, more known by the name of Shaddai—the Almighty.
IV. Those words—(v. 11), Doth not the ear try words, as the mouth tastes meat? may be taken either as the conclusion to the foregoing discourse or the preface to what follows. The mind of man has as good a faculty of discerning between truth and error, when duly stated, as the palate has of discerning between what is sweet and what is bitter. Job therefore demands from his friends a liberty to judge for himself of what they had said, and desires them to use the same liberty in judging of what he had said; nay, he seems to appeal to any man’s impartial judgment in this controversy; let the ear try the words on both sides, and it would be found that he was in the right. Note, The ear must try words before it receives them so as to subscribe to them. As by the taste we judge what food is wholesome to the body and what not, so by the spirit of discerning we must judge what doctrine is sound, and savoury, and wholesome, and what not, 1 Co. 10:15; 11:13.”
There’s also a debate whether Job is the oldest book in the bible. I’m not debating the age of the book. What is clear to me is that it was probably written before the Mosaic law.It doesn’t mention an “offering” or any of the customs introduced via the Mosaic law.
I found the wisdom of Job again, during my research and preparation for an article about the possibility for rhinos to have survived for 150 mil years, without evolution theories. (Something I’m not into debating, but comment from a fellow blogger stirred me to revisit my notes and journals about the “issue”. I do believe it’s possible without buying into an evolution theory . More on that will follow in a future post)