Job 11-14 – Friend #3 (and foreshadowing)

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RedeemerSo far two of Job’s associates, Eliphaz and Bildad, have attempted to help Job understand what is happening to him.  Eliphaz began by accusing Job according to human experience – utilizing his own flawed perspective to explain Job’s situation.  Next Bildad came at Job from the position of human tradition – attempting to unravel this mystery from what has gone on in the past.  Both failed to shed any light at all upon Job’s plight – instead making him more miserable in the process.

Finally, after the first two failed, Zophar the Naamathite felt it was time for him to step into the conversation and attempt to accomplish what the others had failed up to this point.  All three friends were attempting to convince Job of his sinfulness and hypocrisy, and show him that he was reaping what he had sowed.  Zophar began by accusing Job  of sin (11:1-4); an proceeded by reasoning  that he, in fact, was not reaping enough for all that he had done! (11:5-6). He went on to explain that man was helpless before God (11:7-12), and that if Job would only stop sinning and pray, he would be blessed.  He reasoned that Job must be wicked because he was obviously suffering the judgments of the wicked (11:20).  Through all of this, Zophar’s arguments were centered on the standpoint of human merit.

As before, Job speaks in his own defense – refusing the own sin in this matter and rejecting what Zophar accused him of.   By now, Job is clearly frustrated with the poor counsel of these “friends” and even petitions to speak directly to God Almighty Himself (12:3).  Job felt his friends were totally lacking in understanding what he was going through (or the “why” behind it).  He could see by now that they possessed no sympathy for his feelings – nor could clearly see his heart.  So far all they had accomplished was heaping false accusations upon him and making him feel worse.  He refers to them as “physicians of no value” (12:4) and (as we have seen) they are actually provoking Job to say things he normally would not say.

For example, next (in chapter 13) Job launches into another tirade of wrong statements about God:

  1. You hide Your face from me (vs 24)
  2. You count me as an enemy
  3. You harass me like a leaf driven to and fro (vs 25)
  4. You pursue me as dry stubble
  5. You write bitter things against me
  6. You hold me accountable for the iniquities of my youth (vs 26)
  7. You put my feet in stocks (vs 27)
  8. You look critically upon all my paths
  9. You set a circle around the soles of my feet
  10. You cause me to waste away like a rotten thing or a moth-eaten garment (vs 28)

Three friends – three levels of accusation and condemnation – all spoken out of a limited revelation of God.  Without the Word to guide them, nor the Holy Spirit to counsel them – Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar all use their own experience, tradition and merit to try to explain to Job what is happening to him.  They spread the blame from God to Job – all the while never even hinting to who we know is the real culprit behind what is happening… Satan.  Because of this – Job has digressed from a “righteous man” who did not “sin with his lips” into a man who speaks in bitterness, falsely accusing God of wrong over and over again.

One could hardly blame Job – with no Scripture to teach him, nor Spirit to guide him – coupled with an ungodly wife and “friends” such as these.  It is almost as if he is powerless to prevent what is happening to him… and can only guess and stumble his way through circumstances.  If only he had someone who could speak to God on his behalf… a Mediator who could stand up for him and present him clean before the Lord Almighty (Job 9:33).

As we continue reading – the three friends will stand up again and each try to explain to Job what is happening to him, who is responsible and why it is so.  Take time to notice, not only the empty defense of the companions, as well as Job’s further accusations against God as the suffering continues – but the subtle foreshadowing of what Job is really lacking… a Mediator, a Redeemer, a Savior – as best described in the following verse:

“For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, and at last He [the Last One] will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin, even this body, has been destroyed, then from my flesh or without it I shall see God, Whom I, even I, shall see for myself and on my side! And my eyes shall behold Him, and not as a stranger! My heart pines away and is consumed within me.” – Job 19:25-27

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Job 8-10 – Friend #2

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blaming GodAfter Job ends his rebuttal back at Eliphaz, Bildad the Shuhite steps into the fray.  Unlike Eliphaz, who spoke from human experience, Bildad comes at Job from human tradition.   He accused Job of speaking words of no more value that a strong wind, capable of destroying everything in its path (Job 8:1-2).  Bildad then takes the typically easy route to take when someone is in a crisis – blaming all that is happening on sin and punishment from God.  He says Job’s children were destroyed (by God) because of their sins, and that Job himself would not be suffering if he were righteous and prayed to God (8:3-7).  His defense to Job for his arguments was that this is obvious from human tradition and nature all around them (8:8-12).  To wrap this wonderful speech up, Bildad accuses Job of being a hypocrite who had forgotten God, since God would not destroy a perfect man, but the wicked shall be destroyed (8:13-22).

The problem with Bildad’s conclusions are basically the same as Eliphaz (and many people today)… an incomplete understanding of the character of God.  While the premise of God being fair and not wrongly punishing a righteous man is true, Bildad’s error was in his assumption that God was the One punishing Job to begin with.  Instead of seeking the real root of the attacks, Bildad jumped straight into condemning Job for sin and heaping guilt upon him.

In response – Job continues to prove that fact that he knew very little about God as well.  He states that although it was true that man could be justified before God, he had no earthly idea how that happens (9:1-12).   Either way, Job concluded that he would indeed pray and ask God for this seemingly unattainable pardon, yet next reveals that he was even doubtful that God would answer him (9:13-15).

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.  Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.  For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, – James 1:5-7 AMP

According to James, when we ask from a position of doubting it is impossible to receive what we ask for from the Lord.  So Job’s situation is not only explained, but probably made worse by his weak stance on praying in faith.  All of this points back to his limited revelation (as stated from the start).

After this – Job then opens his mouth and continues his downward spiral by accusing God of a whole list of  things – none of which the Lord had done.

  1. He breaks me with tempest. (9:17)
  2. Multiplies my wounds without cause. (9:17)
  3. Will not permit me to catch my breath. (9:18)
  4. Fills me with bitterness. (9:18)
  5. Destroys the blameless with the wicked – (insinuating that he is blameless and God is unfair). (9:22)
  6. Laughs at the trial and calamity of the innocent. (9:23)
  7. Gives the earth into the hands of the wicked. (9:24)
  8. Blinds the judges. (9:24)
  9. There is no negotiator between God and man – (since God is unfair). (9:33)
  10. He threatens me with His rod. (9:34)
  11. Terrifies me with fear. (9:34)
  12. Condemns and contends with me, and does not show me the cause. (10:2)
  13. Oppresses me. (10:3)
  14. Despises & rejects the work of His hands. (10:3)
  15. Shines upon the counsel of the wicked. (10:3)
  16. Destroys me. (10:8)
  17. Has poured me out like milk. (10:10)
  18. Curdled me as cheese – (hate it when that happens!). (10:10)
  19. He hunts me like a fierce lion. (10:16)
  20. Renews witnesses against me. (10:17)
  21. Torments me until I cannot even take a little comfort. (10:20)

As we have seen – it was Satan who did all of this to Job… not God. (Job 1:12-19; 2:6-7). 

PLEASE DO NOT GET YOUR DOCTRINE FROM JOB OR HIS FRIENDS!

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Job 4-7 – Friend #1

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Three FriendsSo Job has had quite an ordeal… seeing Satan literally steal everything from him. His three friends hear about what Job is going through and come to offer “assistance”.  Eliphaz the Temanite; Bildad the Shuhite; and Zophar the Naamathite – all get word and set a time together to come and help their friend in any way they can (Job 2:11).  The text then tells us that “when they lifted up their eyes from afar off, they knew him not” and this caused them to weep for Job (2:12).  Perhaps they could not recognize Job due to the swelling from the boils and the mourning process – but either way it was obviously a tragic sight, causing them to simply sit down by his side – without a word.

Job sits for 7 days and 7 nights in silence – mourning this loss and trying to figure out what in the world was going on.  Then, out of the silence, Job begins to speak – not praising God – not any words of faith at all… but to “curse the day of his birth”.  Obviously, there is grace for Job in his current situation – but it is at this time where Job’s limited understanding of his situation comes to fruit and we see the “logic” only get worse.

After listening to Job curse himself, Eliphaz clears his throat and speaks up.  For two chapters, (4-5) we hear this friend do his best to explain the situation to Job.  Unfortunately, it becomes evident rather quickly that Eliphaz knows even less about God then Job does!

Eliphaz had heard enough to convince him that regardless of Job’s past outward goodness in helping the poor, instructing the needy, and upholding the weak (4:3-4), he was a wicked man who had committed many sinful acts in secret and now he was reaping what he had sowed.  This “friend” argued that all of Job’s past public and private acts of goodness were for show and to cover up his real self (4:5-6).  He called attention to the fact that by observing what had happened to other wicked men, one could see that Job’s reaping was only normal and something to be expected.  His questions were provoking – Who ever perished, being innocent?  Where are there examples of the righteous being cut off?  His incorrect reasoning was that God is the one who causes wicked men to perish, so if Job was reaping the results of wickedness, it was proof of his great sinfulness and hypocrisy (4:7-11).   He argued that God was justified in punishing Job for his wickedness (4:12-21), that if he were a righteous man God would hear his prayers and deliver him (5:1-2), that trouble is bound to come, but not the fullness of it upon the righteous (5:6-7), that if Job would seek the Lord, He was able to deliver him (5:8-16), and that the evidence of God’s chastening upon him was proof that he was being chastened by God (5:17-27).

From first glance it may appear that Eliphaz spoke truth.  Many things he said were partially correct, yet the problem is that he spoke completely out of his experience.   Like many ill-informed Christians today, Eliphaz completely attributed the attacks from Satan as “chastening from the Lord” – and then proceeded to move from that faulty premise – into condemning Job.

The opening statement from Eliphaz is recorded for us in Scripture in order to teach us the error of attempting to define any situation by our own limited experience.  Eliphaz made the assumption (as do many today) that Job was being afflicted by God – completely unaware of what we know transpired in chapters 1-2… and that Satan was the real culprit.  The lack of tact by Eliphaz toward Job is repeated over and over again by well-meaning Christians who do not possess the knowledge of the Word in their hearts, and instead seek to interpret circumstances by what they “think” they know.

The result of this ignorance on Eliphaz’ part was to only stir Job into deeper troubles.  For, in his response/rebuke of Eliphaz, Job moved from simply blaming God for his plight – to actually accusing God of wrong doing (which he had not done up to that point).  Out of the frustration brought on by Eliphaz’ lack of sympathy, Job accused God of shooting poisoned arrows at him and terrorizing him.   That is not what God does with His children and only continues to reflect Job’s unfortunate downward spiral due to a lack of revelation.

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Job 3 – Fear

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fearSo far we have determined a few major points in the story of Job that, if we give heed to them, will prevent us from falling into the same trap as he did.  We have seen that Job is a very successful man – who loves God and is living out that love to the best of his ability.  We also understand that Job is dealing with partial revelation when it comes to the character of God.  (You and I DO NOT have that same excuse!).  Next we watch as Satan comes before God and attempts to entice Him (“thou movedst Me against him” Job 2:3); a bait which God does not take – instead He reveals that Satan already has access to Job.

Satan accuses – God defends – it never changes.

Obviously something in the life of Job has caused a change in his situation.  Satan’s first accusation against him is that he only loves God due to the blessing in his life.  This blessing (as pointed out by Satan) is due to a hedge of protection that God has erected around him and his belongings (1:9-10).  (This appears to be the normal state of those under the Blessings of God – protection and provision).   Then God (ignoring Satan’s attempt to get Him to strike Job) points out that this “hedge” is no longer doing its job (something Satan failed to notice).  Immediately, Satan goes out of the Lord’s Presence and attacks Job (2:6-7).

So what caused this change in the hedge?  All we can really do is speculate – since Scripture does not give us this answer.  But, we can get a pretty good idea based on what the rest of the Bible teaches us regarding God, Satan and our human situation.

Let’s take a look at a few clues regarding Job and how he is operating.

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.” – Job 1:5.

It is apparent that Job lived in a state of fear for his children’s sake.  He constantly was afraid that they would sin while gathering together – and incur the wrath of God upon them.   To counter this – Job would continuously offer sacrifices for them.  This is done out of Job’s partial revelation of who God is… not based on a solid relationship with Him.

Next notice what Job says in chapter 3…

“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” – Job 3:25

It is quite clear from these two verses early on in the story of Job, that he lived in great fear.  At first glance it is easy to dismiss this as “just being human”, but Jesus would later point out to us that fear is a deadly culprit.

It is what caused Peter to sink…

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” – Matt 14:28-31

As well – when Jesus heard the report that Jarius’ daughter had died, He immediately linked fear with doubt and unbelief.  “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” Luke 8:50

Jesus made a point to contrast fear and belief.  The natural process of fear is to lead to doubt and unbelief.  If left unchecked – it causes people to sink and hedges of protection to come down.

Again – while many like to point out that this is conjecture – it seems to make much more sense (in light of the whole counsel of Scripture) then to place blame on God for the calamity Job has found himself in.  It was Satan who came and accused Job – and it was Satan who “stretched forth his hand” against Job – all God did was point out the fact that the hedge of protection He had set up around Job was not an issue any longer.  Scripture repeatedly teaches that it isn’t God who removes these hedges – but ourselves.

With all that Job has gone through by the end of chapter 3 – it is a wonder that he is still holding it together.  Had he been aware, I’m certain that he would have repented and had that hedge set right back up – but unfortunately he didn’t see it.  So far he has done a good job keeping his lips from sin (1:22; 2:10), but, as we shall next see, at the message of doubt and discouragement handed down by Job’s wives and his friends, Job does eventually crumble and step into sin – which only exacerbates the situation.

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Two Statements from Job

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thats-what-he-saidIn the first 2 chapters of Job we see proof of Job’s limited revelation into the character of God. In chapter 1 – we are told that Satan attempts to get God to persecute Job (which God does not do). Satan ends up doing it himself – and Job’s entire life come sunder satanic assault. At the end of this first assault, Job makes the following statement; “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away”Job 1:21 AMP. Now, thanks to our inside knowledge, we know that the Lord has taken nothing from job… it was all Satan. (In fact – the Lord actually protects Job by limiting Satan from actually killing Job). This statement from Job has been touted by Biblically illiterate Christians for generations as an excuse to remain under the Curse, yet it is spoken out of Job’s limited perspective. (This is not counted against Job as sin due to there being no Law to count against yet (Job 1:22; Rom 5:13).

The second misstatement from Job happens in chapter 2. Satan has returned to the Lord and then hurries off for his next round of attacks on Job. While Job refused to blame God – this round of attacks was too much for his ungodly wife… who encouraged him to “curse God and die”Job 2:9. Under this wave of affliction, Job makes his second revealing statement; “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”Job 2:10 KJV. As we have already seen numerous times throughout the revelation of Scripture, God does not send evil. Job is speaking out of his limited perspective – and we Christians today would be best to not repeat it as from the Lord.

Finis Jennings Dake has a great commentary regarding these two misstatements from Job:

“Job was like many others who think that sickness, disease, calamity and other evils come from God, and Satan has nothing to do with them. Some declare that these are the heritage of believers, and those who go through them are in the perfect will of God. It is true that Christians experience tests of faith, persecutions, injustices and trials of life but they are not required to suffer sickness, disease or poverty in order to be saved and in the will of God. The tests Joseph went through in Egypt (Gen 39-41), Stephen suffered of the Jews (Acts 7), and Paul experienced (2 Cor 11) – were all caused by evil men – not by God. God was not responsible for them – He helped them go through the things heaped upon them by Satan and his agents. We do not need to experience sickness, disease, poverty, and accidents in order to learn what we should know, from God. We have been given examples in the Word to go by – Job, Asa, Hezekiah, and many more. One can best glorify God by learning through these and becoming an example himself – one experiencing God’s blessings by being kept from such troubles and sufferings. There are enough sinners and unbelievers giving us examples without Christians going through needless sufferings”.

It is important to remember that in making these two incorrect statements about God, Job did not sin with his lips (1:22; 2:10). But, as we shall soon find out, eventually Job does allow his circumstances to lead him into sinning. Job made choices in his life through which he inadvertently allowed Satan access… and next we will explore one of those open doors.

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Job 1

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HedgeOfProtectionSo as we begin reading in Job 1 – we are introduced to a man named Job… who lives in the land of Uz (located south of Edom and west of Arabia, extending to the borders of Chaldea). Job is described as a man who was “perfect and upright, and one who feared God, and eschewed evil”. Now – since there is no actual LAW yet (as given to Moses) – then we can surmise that the description being used for Job is not the same as would be used later on, once man is made aware of sin by the Law. So, here, Job is described as righteous in God’s eyes (according to the level of revelation he had). This is important! It doesn’t mean Job made no mistakes nor does it mean he did everything “right” – but (just like Abraham) he was doing the best that he could with the information he had available to him.

It goes on to say that he was a very blessed man – big family, wealthy and influential in the region… the “greatest of all the men of the east” (vs 3). Then the Bible gives us a better glimpse into Job’s perspective by telling us about his daily sacrifices for his children. It isn’t saying that he raised his children to know God – nor that he was being a good parent… but instead it hints that he was doing his best (with what he knew) to protect his children “in case they had sinned and cursed God in their heart” (vs 5) while partying the night before. Obviously – Job’s revelation of who God was and the effects of sin was quite rudimentary at this time.

So after being introduced to this man and his limited revelation of God – Scripture provides us with a “fly on the wall” view of what appears to be a standard practice in Heaven… that is the angels coming to present themselves before God… only this time Satan comes with them. God asks him where he has been (not as if He didn’t already have an idea) – to which Satan responds that he has been on the earth – roaming (“like a roaring lion”1 Pet 5:8). (Satan hasn’t changed – he was seeking for people to devour back then and he is still doing that today!). God remarks about Job and how well he is doing (compared to the average man at that time, as described in the account of Noah)… to which Satan reply’s by accusing Job of only loving God out of obligation or blessing’s received.

Now this is where people start to confuse things… Satan whines that God has “put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.”Job 1:10 AMP. Now this character of God should be no surprise to us – having seen Him do this over and over again! It has always been God’s desire to increase His people… and Satan’s desire to steal that increase.

Next Satan attempts to get God to afflict Job. “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.” (vs 11). Let’s be clear here – Satan is trying to get God to curse Job… but God isn’t about to do that! Satan cannot manipulate God in this way! Instead – how does God respond? He tells Satan that “all that he has is in thy power” (vs 12) – and then God limits Satan’s realm of influence over Job’s physical life.

And with that, Satan leaves to go find Job…

Now people make a giant leap of assumption that this means that God actually invited Satan to come behind this “hedge” that God had set up to protect Job – in some effort to teach Job lessons. The problem with this theory is that it doesn’t match the character of God that we have seen thus far in Scripture (or anywhere else either). God is Protector, Provider, Defender… not Destroyer. To claim the above is to read into what the Scripture says based on preconceived notions about how God, Satan, and the universe works.

So then – how does Satan gain access to behind Job’s hedge? Since it doesn’t say that God moved it – nor does Satan possess the power to move it himself (otherwise why ask God to do it?) – there must be another explanation… and I believe it is Job himself who removed the “hedge” God put into place. As we have already seen, Job was a man of limited revelation about God and the Blessing… but that fact doesn’t change the way the Blessing works! People had (and have) a choice in the matter… and those choices made bring consequences (despite whether we understand them or not). When God first spoke to Abraham – he could have ignored that voice and chosen to remain in Ur. Had Abraham decided to do that then he would not have been blessed and become the “Father of nations” as God wanted.

I believe it is the same with Job. Somehow Job had wandered out from behind this “hedge” that God had set up to protect him… and even Satan was unaware of this fact!

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”Ecc 10:8 KJV

So God points out to Satan that this “hedge” has was using as an excuse for why Job was so blessed – had actually already been removed by Job… and that provided Satan free access to “all that he had”. With that knowledge – Satan immediately left the Presence of the Lord and sought out Job with great delight. It is then that Job begins to lose all that he had – at the hand of Satan (not God).

In fact – God would not even consider that – at Satan’s suggestion. That just isn’t how God operates.

Now before we stop here, let’s look at a place in Scripture where, one other time, Satan attempted this very same thing:

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”Luke 22:31-32 KJV

This is Jesus speaking to Peter, informing him that Satan is trying to do to him what he did to Job. (Satan has no new tricks!). But the important part of this is that Jesus didn’t rebuke Satan… nor prevent (or permit) Satan from getting at Peter to “sift him as wheat”. (In fact – it doesn’t even say that Jesus responded to Satan at all!) No – Jesus simply prays that Peter will stand strong in faith… because it is in faith that we resist Satan… which sends him running. (James 4:7).

What happened with Peter is exactly what we are seeing Satan do to Job… and as we shall see – Job fails to close whatever opening Satan had into his life, instead opting to listen to his ungodly wife and ignorant friends (who had even less revelation about God then Job did!).

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

Understanding Job

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jobJob is easily one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible. Unlike any other, this book has the ability to expose a readers preconceived notions about God and confront those ideas with stark reality. If not careful, it is very easy for anyone to allow their own prejudices and misunderstandings to cloud over what the text is actually saying. Instead, as we progress into this book, it would be imperative for you to leave those engrained perspectives at the door and allow the scripture to speak for itself.

Here are some examples of “preconceived notions” that people typically bring into their understanding of the book of Job:

  1. God is in control of everything” Obviously He is not, or else the world would be a paradise. One need only look around and see that this world is not under His complete control. Suffering, death, darkness, sickness, and being lost is the default setting at this time. These are not exceptions that are being permitted by God on a one by one basis; these things are the norm in a fallen world. Jesus came to change that, and that is an intervention against the norm. Chanting the mantra “God is in control of everything” is just religiosity gone wild. It is a myth we made up for children so they could go to sleep at night. Adults know by experience and scriptural knowledge what is the Truth. The word “control” does not even exist in the original language. It is indeed fishy that an entire doctrine is build up around a word that cannot be found in the word.

  2. Sovereign means control” Read the dictionary, it never means control, it means potential controlif we choose to exert it. We are all sovereign in our own spheres, or else we could do nothing. Sovereignty simply means “to do what you want to do within your sphere and the limitations of your power and ability” (and then only when you choose to). It does not mean you are a slave who has to work out the tedious day to day operations of the universe. It certainly does not mean to micromanage anything. The word sovereign also does not even exist in the original language. Again, it is fishy that an entire doctrine is build up around a word that cannot be found in the word.

  3. Satan is not sovereign” Of course he is. He has the same powers and rights to operate in this world as anyone else. He can do anything he wants within the power and ability God gave him from the start. He is called the “god of this world” and in several places said to have power. (2 Cor 4:4).

  4. Satan has to ask permission to do things” There is no evidence of this anywhere. In line with #3, nothing in creation is set up to prevent this “roaring lion” from devouring anyone he can get to. He is compared to a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour (1 Pet 5:8). Lions do not ask God for permission to get a gazelle. Lions have permission by the mere fact of their existence. This is also true of Satan. If we do not resist, be sober, and be vigilant we may be devoured. Satan, like all free agents in the universe, can do anything he wants limited only by his own power and ability. Can God step in and stop him? Of course! But this is the exception and not the rule. This is an intervention against the norm.

With that being said – let’s also take a quick glance at some of the surrounding details regarding Job and his situation.

  • Most Bible scholars agree that this book is probably one of the oldest parts of recorded history in the Bible. Although it is hard to date it with certainty – it is safe to say Job probably lived between Abraham and Moses. (Some even place him as the “Job – son of Issachar” listed in Gen 46:13 – but that is only a guess). Either way, Job was a real guy who really went through these accounts – verified even by James in James 5:11.
  • Another point to note is that Job lived BEFORE THE LAW. The Law was given by God to Moses (Exodus 20) – it is clear that Job lived before that time due to the fact that no mention of Jewish rites, worship, manners, customs, or laws are in the entire book. Based upon that (along with language, etc), we can surmise that Job had a very limited perspective of God. His “righteousness” that is used to describe him in the opening chapter is from the same cloth as the righteousness of Abraham… not based on fulfilling a Law or a full understanding of obedience – but more so on the mercy of the loving God who was forbearing sin for the present time.

So now, as we begin to journey through the book of Job – let’s actually spend time looking at what the text plainly says, and avoid forcing our own ideas onto the words to paint a picture we can understand. The main point of this book (and perhaps why it is even included by God in our Bible today) is NOT to demonstrate to us how a good man can withstand suffering and calamity – but instead it is to show us who is the author of said suffering and that the end result is a blessing from God. (After all, no other author in the Bible who mentions Job, describes him as a broken sick man, but always as a conqueror).

That seems to match what we have seen about God all throughout the Scriptures thus far, don’t you think?

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

 

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