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February 13, 2011 – Job 12

Click here to read Job 12 on BibleGateway.com

There’s a common historical debate that’s been going on for a couple centuries, every since man first started recording his past on the ole clay tablets. How much of history is manmade and how much is in God’s hands? To paraphrase Santayana, history seems to be just the same ole thing happening over and over again.  Is there a plan and purpose behind it all?


In our passage today, Job is careful to recognize the directing hand behind all of history as God. Starting in verse 13, Job goes into a long stanza about how God has power over it all; religious leaders (v. 19), politicians (v. 17 and 20), world leaders (v. 21 and 24), the rise and fall of nations (v.23), and even weather-related disasters (v. 15) are all in God’s hands. Whatever happens in this world, ultimately God is in control.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the news of the day. As Jesus said, we hear of wars and rumors of wars from every corner of the world. There are natural disasters that wipe out whole cities, and in some cases we may not even hear about it. The world seems violent, uncertain, and unfair.


But Job, despite the troubles he is going through, sees clearly the reality of the world. Verse 13 sets the stage for the whole proclamation: “True wisdom and real power belong to God; from him we learn how to live, and also what to live for.” (MSG) Often we can get so focused on the problems of the world that we grasp at anything that may help: political promises, education, even religious leaders can become idols if we hope that they or their message can solve the world’s problems or give us some guidance.

The truth is the only answer comes from the One who made the world with a Word. The real power in the world is not in heads of state, armies, spy networks, educational systems, economic growth, or anything else we may lean on. Only the Master of the Cosmos can give purpose to our lives. Job knows that even though every thing seems out of control, the One who makes and topples nations has his life under control.

That’s real power.

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