Job 12:13-16 (NIV) 13 “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. 14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released. 15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. 16 To him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are his.
On verses 13-16: There is no one like our God. No one can match His wisdom or power (v13). Whatever God says goes (v14). He is sovereign over creation (v15). Neither the gullible nor the crafty are any match for Him (v16).
Job 12:20-21 (NIV) 20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders. 21 He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty.
On verses 17-25: Here Job uses poetic language to describe how God disempowers the powerful. Why would God give power to people only to take it away? It’s so that people would realize that “To God belong wisdom and power” (v13), that no one would boast in their own strength, but only in the Lord. Paul puts it this way:
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 (NIV) 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Heavenly Father, there is no one like You. All wisdom and power belong to You. Whatever You say goes. Whatever You decide stands. Thank You for those times when I realize the limits of my own power or other people’s power. It’s a reminder that You are the only absolutely powerful one. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!