The first time I ever read the book of Job AND understood it was in 1988 after a totally devastating event in my life. I felt like I WAS Job and I could relate to him so easily. Prior to this time of understanding…. To be perfectly honest the book of Job scared me. I didn’t understand WHY God allowed every thing to happen (Did I mention in the overview that this was the question we all ask at least once in our lives?) and it made me fear HIM. If God allowed this to happen to Job and for Jesus to die for us… what would HE allow to happen to me??? Prior to 1988, I had soooo totally missed the point that God uses all things for our good (Romans 8:28). Satan must get PERMISSION from God to do ANY thing (you’ll see this as you read Job)!! God REDEEMS us. He wants us close to HIM. HE wants us to CHOOSE HIM!! HE has already chosen us!! (Ephesians 1:3-5). HE wants us to grow more in his image (sometimes it is the easy way and sometimes it is the hard way). AND.. WE have Jesus Christ, and HIS Word to fight with and fall upon. … PHEW!!
This story is written as a narrative and creates a great “picture” as we read along. As I think about the chapters we have read thus far in Genesis, the thing that stands out to me with Abel, Noah, and Enoch was that God saw their hearts and liked what HE saw. God had a relationship with each of them and they WANTED to be faithful. God saw who they were and how deeply they wanted to know HIM, yet NONE of them were perfect or sinless.
Job appears to be no different from the ones I’ve mentioned above. In vs. 5 (NIV) (caps and red are mine for emphasis) it states:
When a period of feasting had run its course, JOB would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
Chapter 1 — Verse 6. Satan STILL has to give an account to the Lord. God is Superior. — Verse 7. Where does Satan hang out for fun? Roaming around on earth. Remember Satan is not in Hell (YET!!) see 1 Peter 5:8 —
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Verse 9 –Satan is TRYING TO CONVINCE GOD that the ONLY reason Job loves HIM so much is because God has blessed him greatly. ( I can picture Satan speaking to God saying something like “NOT ONLY will Job not love you if you take away ALL he has, but he will curse you!!) STOP and think about this for just a moment…. If Satan is speaking to God like this….. he will stop at saying NOTHING to us to “kill, steal, and destroy us”!!! See John 10:10 (NIV):
The thief comes only to STEAL, KILL, AND DESTROY; I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.
Next…. God ALLOWS Satan to TEST Job.
I have to remember in my challenges and direct warfare in this life that Satan does NOTHING … NOTHING…. to me/ to us without God allowing it. It ALL has reason and purpose that we may never understand on this side of heaven. BUT the bottom line is that GOD is STILL in control and sitting on the throne, regardless of what Satan is allowed to throw at us.
Chapter 2. (Testing, testing) ….Test 2. So things didn’t go the way Satan planned with the first test so NOW Satan says…OK, you can take everything away from man BUT mess with his HEALTH and you will lose him! So God ALLOWS Satan to give him boils so bad from head to toe that he uses broken pottery to scratch them. (OH MY HEAVENS… that had to be so painful). Notice God will NOT allow Satan to take Job’s life!!!!
Chapter 3 – Job wishes he had never been born! Why would this be a life God made?
ENTER Job’s “friends”
- Eliphaz the Temanite, (a descendant from Esau and you will have the opportunity to read this in more detail in the genealogy pages later). No wonder he gives bad advice, look at Esau (first born to Isaac, brother was his twin Jacob)
- Bildad the Shumite, a descendant of Abraham who will appeal to family traditions.
- Zophar the Naamathite, not sure where from, will use his OWN point of view to explain God. (I know lots of people like Zophar… how about you??)
Eliphaz gets the first conversation of “encouragement” (really???). He suggests that Job is suffering because he is being punished from a sin he must have committed, and that if he takes his case to the Lord and repents all will get better. Is can be easy to be an Eliphaz! We surly have thought that about ourselves or someone we know!
Job is in the pit of his life and Eliphaz is pointing out all the possible stuff that may have gotten him there. Eliphaz says “Who, being innocent has ever perished?” God eventually will rebuke Eliphaz for his false advice.
There is a difference between TRIAL and CONSEQUENCE for Sin. The Bible repeatedly talks about purification through fire (trial) ! Burn out the impurities! It refines us! Pure gold when in a fire, becomes more valuable, and yet moldable by its handler!
A craftsman was once asked when purifying silver “How do you know when the metal is Hot enough in the fire” The craftsman said, “when I look at it and can see my own image in the reflection”
God is the craftsman.
Sharing HIS love,