Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results

Buy the book for this study on Amazon

©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 12:13-16 (ESV)

Posted on May 13, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 12:13-16 (ESV) - With God are wisdom and might;
    he has counsel and understanding.
If he tears down, none can rebuild;
    if he shuts a man in, none can open.
If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
With him are strength and sound wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.

Question to consider: What do you think it means for God to be sovereign?

In yesterday’s passage Job responded to the shallow wisdom of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar by demonstrating that true wisdom comes from years of experience and that life isn’t so simple as to categorically say that people experience peace and comfort because of their righteousness, and people experience calamity because of their great sin. Job argued that every living creature would disagree with that philosophy because life does not play out that way.

Today, Job contrasted man’s wisdom with that of God. Man begins in ignorance and gains wisdom over time through a lifetime of experiences. God embodies wisdom, might, counsel, and understanding. God does not learn anything because He knows all things, and nothing occurs outside of His control. I had a friend once who expressed the sovereignty of God like the director of a claymation movie. By this, he meant that every tiny move made by every molecule in the universe is directly controlled by God. 

I think Job offers a different perspective. Considering his words from yesterday about creation and his words today about God’s actions, I believe Job was saying that God acts at key points in history to bring about His covenantal promises. Beyond that, God’s creation acts according to its nature and desires. When God acts, no one can stop Him. So if God tears down, no one can rebuild. If He imprisons a man, no one can help him escape. If He stops the rain, crops die and lands dry up. If He unleashes the storms, the land is overwhelmed. God has the strength and wisdom to bring about His sovereign will. When Job said that the “deceived and deceiver are His”, he meant that even the enemies of God cannot thwart the will of God. The starkest example of this was in the knowledge that Satan, the one who embodies deception, could not act against Job without God’s permission.

Ultimately, we know that God’s promise is to make a people set apart for Himself and dwell among them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes and make sin and death a thing of the past. The Law was never meant to accomplish this goal but to point people to their need for God’s Anointed One who would come and bear the sins of the world. God’s promises to Job’s grandfather (or great-grandfather), Abraham, were fulfilled in Christ who has ushered in the heavenly kingdom by an everlasting covenant and will one day return to judge the living and the dead to complete this kingdom here on earth.


Dear heavenly Father, we ask that You help us to find peace in Your sovereign rule and yet act according to the abilities and passions You have given us in Christ. Help us to be a blessing to those around us so that they may glorify You on the day of Christ Jesus. Amen.