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Chapter 12:17-25 (ESV)

Posted on May 14, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 12:17-25 (ESV) - He leads counselors away stripped,
    and judges he makes fools.
He looses the bonds of kings
    and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
He leads priests away stripped
    and overthrows the mighty.
He deprives of speech those who are trusted
    and takes away the discernment of the elders.
He pours contempt on princes
    and loosens the belt of the strong.
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
    and brings deep darkness to light.
He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
    and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in the dark without light,
    and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Question to consider: How does God bring about His will in a world filled with sin?

Yesterday, we covered the idea of God sovereignly intervening in human history to bring about His will of redemption. In today’s passage, Job continued to describe how God acts with those who deal in justice, in ruling authorities, in religious authorities, and among the princes who carry out the king’s authority in the world. Those who are looked to as wise or as leaders in the world are restrained by God in what they can carry out.

Isaiah would say of God’s Anointed One, “Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.” (Isaiah 52:15) The author of Hebrews wrote of those who acted according to their faith in God that they “...conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews 11:33-34)

When it comes to the wisdom of this world, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21)

When Job wrote that God “brings deep darkness to light,” he was referring to God’s ability to expose the sin and corruption of this world as He causes nations to rise and fall. As Christians, we are God’s instruments in this. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.” (Ephesians 5:11-14)

When considering the question of how God intervenes in the world, we can see that God uses a multitude of faithful servants (whether angelic or from among men) to carry out the will of His kingdom in the midst of those who live according to the world’s system as slaves to their urges and passions. As Paul wrote to the Philippians, “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:18-20)


Dear Lord, thank You for paying the price for our citizenship in Your kingdom. Help us to be Your instruments of righteousness that go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that You have commanded us. Amen.