Job’s Problems

May 25, 2018 at 11:53 AM 3 comments

I’ll state right at the start that I do not consider myself an “expert” on the trials of Job, from the Old Testament. There is much that speaks to me and a great deal that causes me to pause. Was God “right” in allowing what He allowed? Why did God seemingly give into the demands of our arch-enemy, Satan? Was Job really guilty of sin and brought things on himself? Did Job suffer from pride, which ultimately became his justly earned downfall?

If you’ve ever taken the time to read the book of Job, you understand that it is not necessarily an uplifting book. It certainly begins and ends that way, but the path between that start and finish is remarkably sad. It seems so unjust.

In chapter one of Job, God gives us a peek behind the spiritual curtain that we are normally not invited or allowed to witness. Here we see that the angels (specifically, “sons of God”), come before God Almighty. Satan is with them.

Consider the first five verses of Job 1. Here, God describes for us (through the human author), Job, his character, his integrity and his considered righteousness.

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters.3 He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. (ESV)

Imagine someone describing you or me like that. It is tempting to believe that this is just over-the-top hyperbole on God’s part, but clearly, there was a deep sense of godly awareness from Job to God. It appears that He endeavored to live his life in a way that pleased God. He went above and beyond in his relationship with God. The seeming result of that is that Job was very blessed. In fact, commentators tell us that Job was likely the richest man alive at that time. Commentators also believe that Job lived during the time when the book of Genesis was written (or before). This has remarkable implications because it means that a non-Hebrew (Gentile) had such a love for God and lived a life that bore that truth out in daily living.

Of course, Satan also took notice of Job and didn’t like what he saw. From his vantage point, Satan understood that God had certainly blessed Job mightily. Satan accused God of “protecting” Job by building a hedge around him so that Satan couldn’t do what he wanted to Job (vv. 9-11). Note the actual implications of what Satan was saying. Satan was admitting that God was sovereign and that Satan could only do certain things if he was allowed to do those things by God. In essence, this is one of the main points of the book of Job; God’s fully sovereign nature.

This one point alone should impact us very clearly with the understanding that nothing in life happens by coincidence or accident. There really is no such thing. God is fully in charge and even when He allows Satan or Satan’s minions (both spirit beings and humans), leeway to do what they want to do, it is still under the full auspices of God’s sovereignty. The entirety of the book of Job points repeatedly to this one overarching fact. God is sovereign, whether anyone likes it or not.

It is also important to realize that God Himself brought up Job’s name first, not Satan. God directed Satan where He (God) wanted him to go. Of course God knew that Satan was chafing under God’s sovereignty where Job was concerned. Satan was itching to do what he could to cause Job to fail and fail badly by ultimately “cursing” God. This was the plan and the apostle Peter, obviously familiar with the book of Job reminds us that one of Satan’s purposes is to roam around to find someone he can devour. I like the way the NIV puts it.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)

Notice that word “prowls” in the above sentence, coupled with “roaring lion.” The concept here is of a big cat on the hunt. Their stealth as they prowl is absolutely remarkable. They can sneak up on their prey and then openly attack completely by surprise. Hence Peter warns us that we need to be “alert” and “of sober mind.” It won’t do to go through life with a carefree, lackadaisical attitude because Christians are ultimately in the thick of the battle. Any soldier who goes into battle and doesn’t have his/her mind on the danger at hand will not last long. Of course, in a soldier’s place, they understand all too well the dangers, which makes them more alert.

In our case, we have to constantly remind ourselves that we are part of the battle that is occurring all around us that we cannot see. The battle is for souls of people and Satan does not want to lose. He wants to ensnare every individual he possibly can so that they will share in his same fate – the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20).

So Satan’s goal as far as Job was concerned was to cause him to fail miserably. The bulk of the book of Job tells us exactly how Satan attempted to do that. First, Satan was given permission by God to kill Job’s sons and daughters. Moreover, Satan was allowed to essentially bankrupt Job. Verses 20 through 22 of Job 1 provide Job’s reaction to this evil onslaught.

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (ESV)

Notice that in all of this, Job did not sin. Moreover, he did not wrongfully attack God accusing Him of doing something wrong. This was Satan’s goal and due to Job’s righteous response, it is clear that Satan’s claims against Job failed and failed miserably. But of course this isn’t good enough for Satan. Instead of admitting that he was wrong (something Satan cannot do, like many politicians and terribly evil people today), he doubled down and changed his attack. Now Satan wanted to get even more personal with Job. He wanted to attack him on his person. This, Satan thought, would be the end of Job. He would cave. He would remonstrate God. He would ultimately sin.

Once again, God gives Satan permission to actually harm Job in his person. This points one more time to God’s absolute sovereignty over all Creation. Satan can do nothing to you or me unless God allows it. This is such an important point that we actually need to spend time contemplating its ramifications. There is another point that you are possibly thinking about as well and we will do our best to answer it. The question, “Why does God allow this type of evil to come to a person in the first place, especially when that person is apparently completely dedicated to God?” That question has an answer and it is brought out in the book of Job. It does not come right to the point though, but stretches out over the course of the 42 chapters contained within it.

But an important point in this article is that God is sovereign. Satan can do nothing unless allowed by God to do something. That should cause us to rejoice, because it is very clear from Job 1 that Satan has the power to kill. He has power over nature. He can cause armies to rise against other armies or individual people. In short, Satan has tremendous (but not absolute) power, which is only kept in check by God Almighty. We must never forget both of those very clear points. If God did not protect us, Satan would destroy us and he would do so before we had the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel of grace. God keeps Satan on a leash and that is very important to understand.

There is nowhere in Scripture where we learn that Satan can actually read our minds. He likely has very good deductive reasoning skills. Think about all the times you pray aloud. Yes, you are talking to God, but Satan is hearing what you are saying. IF you pray just in your mind, it is doubtful he hears that. However, just because Satan knows what we pray (by hearing it if we pray aloud), this does not necessarily mean that he will be able to successfully thwart our prayers. Just look at the book of Daniel to see all the times Daniel prayed aloud. Yes, on one occasion (Daniel 10), after Daniel prayed, there was a three-week delay in getting a response to Daniel. Why? Because the angel who had been sent to bring the response to Daniel was waylaid by the Prince of Persia. Clearly, this “prince” was/is a very powerful demon who was able to keep the messenger angel away from Daniel for 21 days. It was only after Michael the Archangel came to help was the first angel allowed to continue on his journey to Daniel. Recall also when the angel was getting ready to return he told Daniel that the Prince of Greece would be on the scene soon. These small glimpses into the spiritual realm are fascinating.

But again, God allowed the angel messenger sent to Daniel to be waylaid by the Prince of Persia for three weeks. Why was it this prince had the power to keep God’s will from happening? He didn’t. He was allowed to keep the angel messenger from getting to Daniel for one main reason. Ultimately, Daniel’s faith would be strengthened by having to wait on God and His timing. There are other reasons as well, like pointing out that God has a timing in place, which also points to His sovereignty. God was not in heaven wringing His hands as He noticed the messenger angel being kept from getting to Daniel. It was allowed by God Himself in order to strengthen Daniel and create within him greater patience.

I find it fascinating that between Job and Daniel, we have two individuals who are not known to have sinned. Hear what I’m saying. They did sin certainly, but their sins are not really identified in Scripture. In fact, Job was called “blameless,” which does not mean sinless. It means thoroughly upright in character and integrity. Clearly, the fact that Job felt he must sacrifice to God on behalf of himself and his children tells us that he was aware of potential sin at least. He was a sinner. Daniel was a sinner. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. But if you know Christ and have received salvation from Him, then like Job and Daniel (salvation is always by faith), we recognize our own failure to live lives that please God. We understand that we are sinners saved solely by God’s tremendous grace.

Satan hates us for that reason alone. Human beings are the only creatures God created that can be redeemed. Satan and the fallen angels cannot be redeemed, nor can animals, because they were not made in God’s image. Only human beings were made in God’s image and can therefore receive salvation. Satan fully hates that with every ounce of his being. His hatred knows no bounds, which is why God and God alone keeps Satan on a short leash, only allowing Satan to do things that are fully in line with God’s plans and purposes and reflect His sovereignty.

I want to talk more about Job next time. It can tend to be a bit depressing to discuss all of the things that occur in that book. In fact, at times, it seems overwhelming. How did Job withstand it? More importantly, what was God’s purpose in it besides confirming His sovereignty over all His Creation? We’ll discuss but in the meantime, please become more aware through Job 1 the absolute sovereignty that is God. Nothing, no one can overrule His sovereignty and whether we ever fully understand it in this life or not, God’s purposes are always accomplished in spite of how bad the circumstances appear to us.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , , , .

Music That Moves the Emotions Job’s Enlightenment

3 Comments

  • 1. Job’s Enlightenment | Study - Grow - Know  |  May 30, 2018 at 10:35 AM

    […] Last time, we briefly discussed the fact that Job experienced problems in his relationship with God. Unbeknownst to Job, whom the Bible labels a “blameless” man; that is one who endeavors to do what is right before God. It does not mean Job never sinned. It means the overall tone and character of his life was one that was lived with the intention of pleasing God; doing what was right. […]

  • 2. LW  |  May 25, 2018 at 10:09 PM

    Great reminders…Wow…you could do a huge series on this book and only scratch the surface! I want to recommend a wonderful book based on the book of Job. It is called “Beyond Suffering “ by Layton Talbert. Excellent resource!

    • 3. modres  |  May 26, 2018 at 8:18 AM

      Thank you for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out.


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