God is Always in Control

Job 12:23 (ESV) … “He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away.”

He makes nations great, and he destroys them. He has entire control over them. The sources of prosperity are in his hand, and at his pleasure he can visit them with famine, pestilence, or war, and diminish their numbers and arrest their prosperity. Dr. Good renders this very improperly, “He letteth the nations grow licentious;” but the word שגא never has this sense. It means, to make great; to multiply; to increase.

he enlarges nations, and leads them away again. Marg. leadeth in. So the word נחה means. The idea is, that he increases a nation so that it spreads abroad beyond its usual limits, and then at his pleasure leads them back again, or confines them within the limits whence they had emigrated.[1]

In His sovereignty over people, no matter what their status, God is in control. Job’s argument is that all kinds of people experience difficulties in life because God can do what He pleases. He is no respecter of persons and is not impressed by a person’s rank, wealth, or social status.[2]

[1] Barnes, A. (1847). Notes on the Old Testament: Job (Vol. 1, p. 252). London: Blackie & Son. [2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Patient (p. 50). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.


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