Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Lie Job Believed

The Book of Job is undoubtedly one of the Bible’s most confusing to believers. It is so confusing, perhaps because Job himself was a confused man. But before you attempt to unravel the truths in this powerful biblical tale, you need to know three things about Job:

1) The meaning of Job’s name says it all.

Almost the first thing mentioned is his name. It means ‘Hated One’. Ayoub, in the Semitic languages. And it serves a potent introduction to what is about to happen to this very righteous man. He is of course hated by Satan, not by God!

2) Satan approached God’s throne in heaven and that doesn’t happen anymore.

Let’s not mince words… Satan walked up to our Father in Heaven and they made a deal! This book is said to be the oldest in the Bible. It’s difficult to understand why Satan would even be able to go up there and even more strange is that we see God seemingly negotiating with him.  Thankfully, Jesus said something very illuminating… “I saw Satan fall lighting from heaven”. This state of affairs were Satan accuses God’s children – in Heaven, to God – does not happen now, certainly not after Jesus defeated death and sin on the cross and was resurrected.

3) God did NOT dangle Job as bait on a hook to Satan.

Somehow the majority of English translations miss this. A careful study of the Hebrew words in Job 1:8 will reveal otherwise. But if you don’t have time to look up every word or brush up on Hebrew syntax, use Young’s Literal Translation (it’s really great for such things):

“Hast thou set thy heart against My servant Job because there is none like him in the land, a man perfect and upright, fearing God, and turning aside from evil?”
God didn’t dangle anything. Instead He rebuked Satan for selecting a singularly righteous man who, in Yahowa’s words, was ‘perfect’.


These three important facts set the stage for a great tragedy that could be straight out of a soap opera. Here was, by modern standards, a poster boy of success – a very moral philanthropist who loved God, had 7 dashing sons and 3 daughters who were the talk of the land, and was very, very, very rich. He seemed to have it all. And then it all falls apart.

What kind of an example would this set in the ancient world? Would it prove that Yahowa is just another fickle god, like the pantheons of gods that worshipped everywhere? How could He do this to such a man who served Him?

Oh, but first of all He wasn’t the culprit. Here Job got it wrong. He didn’t understand he was under satanic attack. Sure God seemed to limit His protection for a time one of those peculiarities of this story. But it was not God who unleashed deadly blows of havoc on Job. It was Satan.

While that may have been a big part of Job’s lie, it wasn’t the biggest. Did you notice how Job was so afraid, not only of unintentional sin on his part, but that even his sons and daughters would sin accientally as they partied every night? This is not a picture of a man at peace nor does it give the impression that Job understood God’s very character!

In your life – just as in Job’s – His blessings, His love, His protection, His favor on you are an unconditional act of His grace. If that was true millennia ago, it even truer for us today, for us who stand on this side of the cross. This inheritance paid for by Jesus’ blood is a thousand thousand times more secure than before the coming of Christ.

Job thought he had angered God. He reasoned that this was why God had punished him. For all Job’s mental musings in the darkness of his cave of mourning and grief, he could not find what his fault had been! And for almost the entire book he is groping like a blind man, asking ‘Why God, what did I do?’

It was precisely Job’s amazing blessings combined with his righteousness that made Satan itch with a desire to discredit God by wrecking, if he possibly could, this righteous man’s faith and life. God of course had His reasons in the end for letting it be as we’ll see later.

Satan stole Job’s health. Satan killed his children. And Satan destroyed his riches and very life. Not God. Leave it to Jesus set the record straight and to finally reveal the true character of our Father, a character that has never changed.   

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
So when you face closed doors, obstacles, troubles and failures – you bet, those might (or might not) actually be divine ordinances directing your steps elsewhere. But let there be no doubt… disease and death, hunger and terror, these are never tools God brings on His children; God’s beloved Son had to die brutally on a cross for us to be redeemed from such horrors and grant us such an inheritance.

God is the author of life and love in your life, so do not worry about His favor on you, like Job, always afraid you might step unknowingly out of bounds. Be at peace, be assured and let your heart rest. In fact, there is nothing you can do to make it otherwise!

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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