Monday, February 8, 2021

God is Just to All

 The Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. Many use Job as a lesson for believers from the position that when adversity comes no matter how horrific it may be, somehow God is behind it. Believers are taught that because God allowed Satan to do certain destructive things in Jobs life that it was God's will. The Bible tells us that Satan is the accuser (Revelation 12:10) so he made some accusation against God and Job, "Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil.So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land." (Job 1:8-10)

Notice first that God always speaks highly of His children. He protects His children and blesses His children. This is Gods true nature and it holds a very important key when it comes to fully understanding what is about to transpire in the life of Job. Next, we see Satan firing his accusations against God and Job. Due to his hatred towards God and man, Satan then puts a challenge to God, "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" 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 1:11-12) Although Satan wanted God to do damage to Job, it was not God, it was Satan!

After all the havoc that Satan leashed on Jobs family and possessions it wasn't enough. Satan returns to God and continues his accusations, but once again we see the true nature of God revealed, "Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause." (Job2:3) This time Satan makes his accusations more personal towards Job, "So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job." (Job 2:4-7) Again, Satan wanted God to do damage to Job, and again it was not God, it was Satan!

We see clearly that Gods true nature is to bless not curse, but why would God allow Satan to bring such devastation upon Job? Does God use Satan to do His dirty work? Does God use destruction, disease and sickness to chastise His children? Is it because God is sovereign (and He most certainly is) and He gets to do whatever He wants? Before we see the real reason behind this satanic attack on Job, let's see another characteristic of God as reveal by a young man named Elihu, "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) and "As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not afflict." (Job 37:23)

God is absolutely just. He does not do wicked things. He does not commit iniquity. He does not pervert justice. He is abundant in Justice. He does not afflict. Everything that God does is on absolute legal grounds. He does not pervert justice for anyone, including Satan. So why would God permit Satan to do the things to Job that he did? Job himself reveals exactly why, "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 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) If fear does not come from God, where does it come from? Fear is a product of the fall and is from Satan. Adams response to God immediately after the fall was, "...I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:10)  The apostle Paul tells us, "do not give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:27) Fear in Jobs life was legal ground for Satan to do what he did to Job, For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me." Now we can clearly see why God permitted Satan to bring such devastation upon Job. Remember, God does not do wicked things. He does not commit iniquity. He does not pervert justice. He is abundant in Justice. He does not afflict!

The true nature and character of God is revealed throughout the Bible. For instance, He reveals His nature to Moses, "And the LORD passed before Moses and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation." (Exodus 34:6-7) We see again that He is just. Think about this from another perspective. God chose to redeem humanity in Christ "before the foundation of the world." (Ephesians 1:3-6) So God knew that Adam would commit treason before He created him. When the fall came, God immediately made known His plan of redemption for humanity. (Genesis 3:14-15) If God's will is for humanity to suffer at the hands of His enemy, Satan, then we have to ask ourselves why did God spare Cain's life and not kill him immediately after he murdered his brother Able? God tells us when He spoke to Cain before He murdered Able, "...sin (Satan) lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it" (Genesis 4:7)

God gave Cain the solution to do what was right, but Cain's anger was stronger than Gods advice. His anger gave place to Satan and murder was the result. Jesus tells us that "Satan is a murderer" (John 8:44) not God! As a matter of fact, "...through death, Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil." (Hebrews 2:14) Luke tells us, "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) John tells us, "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8) Jesus Himself quotes a prophetic word spoken by Isaiah the prophet concerning Himself, "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." (Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19) Does any of this sound like a God whose will is to have disease, sickness, poverty or any other devastation to come upon His children? Absolutely and emphatically not!!!

If it is God's will to have humanity, especially His children suffer at the hand of His enemy, Satan, whether it be to chasten them or any other reason, then why would Jesus come to destroy the works of the devil?  As you can see, this thinking is complete ludicrous. If we say that the things that happened to Job is because God is sovereign (and He most certainly is) and He does whatever He wants due to His sovereignty, then we have to also believe that God operates outside of and or ignores His own Word. This thinking is also erroneous, "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips." (Psalms 89:34), "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalms 119:89), "I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name." (Psalm 138:2) By looking at the conclusion of the Book of Job, we see God's true nature in action.

From chapter 38 to chapter 41 God questions Job from the realm of creation and the realm of animals. He then tells Job to save himself, if he can. He compares the power of Job with that of the behemoth and that of a leviathan. Finally in chapter 42 Job confessed his lack of understanding and then repents. In response to Jobs confession and repentance, "the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10) "Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning." (Job 42:12) "After this 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 42:16-17)  God's will and nature is to is bless and give life. It is Satan who steals, kills and destroys. As shown above, Job gave Satan a legal right to do the things that had come upon him, but once Job had confessed and repented to God, Satan lost all legal ground to Job and God could legally bless Job again.

For God to bring eternal redemption to humanity, He himself would take the liability for the fall of man. It was Jesus Christ the Son of God who suffered as a substitute for humanity, the just for the unjust. Satan used humanity to take the life of a sinless, innocent man which opened the door for God to redeem humanity on absolutely legal grounds. Now all who confess the Lordship of Jesus become a child of God. They are a New Creation. Satan is defeated and the believer has authority over him. However, we must be careful not to "Give place to the devil" but live by faith in the realm of the spirit with all the benefits that are legally ours provided by redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. It's all legal and it's all ours, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) PTL

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