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

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