Monday, October 28, 2019

So, What About Job?

One of the statements that believers make concerning the life of Job is, "It was God's will for Job to suffer." When looking at the Book of Job, the first thing that we must understand is that the Old Testament revelation of God is incomplete (Ephesians 1:9, Colossians 1:26). We must also understand that Jesus Christ alone completely reveals the will of God in all matters. (John 5:19-20, 14:7, 9) Also, a careful examination of Scripture clearly revealed that sin and Satan are the actual causes of all the bad things happening to humanity through man's constant rejection and rebellion toward God.

The thought behind Job's condition is that although God may not have directly caused all the bad things that happened to Job (Job 1:6-19, 2:7) it must be His will because He let Satan have his way with Job. This type of thinking creates serious error concerning the true nature of God. It indicates that God uses or lets Satan attack people for some mysterious divine purpose that only He knows; that God operates in any way He desires even if it contradicts His Word; when God allows something to happen, whether good or bad it must be His will and therefore what happened to Job was God's will. Just because God permits something to happen, in Job's case, many terrible things, does not mean that it is God's will. We must understand that all the bad things that happen on the earth are clearly not God's will. If they were then we would have to blame God for all of the sin, injustices, losses, tragedies, pain, destruction and even demon activity because it must be His will. Honestly, to think like that is nothing more than a demonically influenced view of God, it is flat out Anti-Christ. So why did these things happen to Job?

First, we need to consider Job's statement after the terrible things happened him, "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me." (Job 3:25) The Apostle Paul tells us in his second letter to Timothy, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) Notice that Paul tells Timothy that he is dealing with a spirit of fear. A spirit of fear is not from God but from Satan. How do we know this? The Apostle John tells us, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18) and "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16) As we see, God is love not fear.

Paul tells the church at Ephesus, "Nor give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:27) Job gave the devil an open door to attack him through a spirit of fear in the areas that Job feared and dreaded. Notice that both accusations and attacks against Job were limited. "And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD." (Job 1:12) and, "And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life." (Job 2:6) It is quite apparent that Job was dealing with fear and dread of losing certain things but not everything, such as his own life. Therefore, Satan was not permitted to take his life.

Also, to show that Job (and I might add his friends) had no idea why these things were happening, they did exactly what Adam and Eve did when they were confronted with their sin (Genesis 3:12-13), they looked for someone or something to blame. (Job 3 - 31) Finally, a young man named Elihu spoke up and corrected Job and his three friends for playing the blame game. Let's look at what Elihu states, concerning the true nature of God. "Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to commit iniquity. For He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way. Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice. (Job 34:10-12)

There are some things that Elihu point out that are very important to grasp. Elihu considers what is taking place to be wicked and God does not cause wickedness. Next, he reveals that God repays or permits things to happen to people based on their works and their ways. Finally, Elihu says, "Nor will the Almighty pervert justice." God is just and responds accordingly toward man in every situation because He shows no partiality. (Romans 2:11) In other words, every person either meets or fails to meet the conditions that God has established and by this they receive the reward of their actions good or bad. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul gives us a great example of this. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:7-8) The words may be different but the principle applies throughout the entire Bible and will continue throughout the history of man until Christ returns.

Next, Elihu says, " As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress." (Job 37:23) Look how these words describe the true nature of God, "...He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress." The word oppress in this verse means that God does not afflict, depress, browbeat, deal with harshly, hurt, ravish or weaken. We can certainly all agree that Job was experiencing all of these things, but they were not God's will for Job.

Finally, we see at the end of the Book of Job his repentance (Job 42:1-6) which took away the devil's place in his life and placed God in the position of authority over his life. We also see the true nature of God (Job 42:10-17) that of blessing. Unfortunately, many believers who truly love the LORD, have been trained to accept bad things happening to them as God's will, which causes serious doubts concerning the true nature of God and reduces the full redemptive work of Christ to nothing more than the born again experience and then muddling through life here on earth until one dies.

There are several reasons why so many Christians think this way. One, being a lack of true Bible faith not being taught or preached, mostly due to a lack of faith among church leaders. If Christians leaders would put faith in the integrity of God's Word, teach and preach it to the church, the world would see the true nature and power of God in the church and run to Christ for the abundant life that is only through faith in Him. So, what about Job? "Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters...Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days." (Job 42:12-13, 16) PTL...   

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