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Saturday, September 23, 2023

9-23-2023 Remembering Job

Most people know about the ‘patience of Job’.  Many know what happened with Job – possessions, family and finally self.  But how many actually know why these things befell the man of God.  I say man of God based on the fact that God praised Job calling him perfect and upright (Job 1:8-10, Job 2:3).  However, Satan issued a challenge “If You take your protection away from him, he will curse You.” (Job 1:11, Job 2:5).  So, God told Satan to give it his best shot, but you can’t touch the man, Job (Job 1:12, Job 2:6).

Satan attacked Job but was limited by God’s word.

Sabeans stole Job’s oxen and donkeys and killed the servants tending them.  One man survived to tell Job (1:14-15).

Fire came down from heaven and burned up Job’s sheep and servants and one man lived to come to tell Job  (1:16).

Job’s camels were ‘rustled’ (stolen) and servants slain yet one survived to tell Job (1:17).

Then Job is told how his children were having a party when the roof collapsed killing all, (1:18-19).

This all came rapid fire.  As Job received news from one messenger, the next came in.

Job’s reaction was to mourn his losses but he blessed the Lord and did not sin (1:20-22). 

Later, God gave Satan permission to attack Job again, but this time he was allowed to attack Job BUT he couldn’t take Job’s life (2:6).

After all this, Job’s wife encouraged him to curse God and die yet Job did not sin with his lips (2:9-10).

(How much can a man take? The patience of Job)

The rest of this chapter through Job 35:16, Job & his buddies “discuss” God.  All four knew the law, punishments and blessings from God and why.  Because of his sorrow, Job wishes that he had never been born (Job 3:1-11).  Eliphaz gives his discourse of why God lets things happen to people (Job 4:1-5:27)  Then Job responds (Job 6:1-7:21.  Bildad gives his opinion of what is happening (Job 8:1-22).  Job responds to Bildad (Job 9:1-10:22).  Then Zohar adds his two cents (Job 11:1-11:20) and Job’s responds to Zohar (Job 12:1 – 14:22).  Job and the three men spend the rest of the time ‘discussing’ how we know people sin and what can be done about it (15:1-32:1).  Finally young Elihu comes into the fray as he is angry at all four men as Job kept declaring his righteousness and the three couldn’t get Job to accept his guilt (Job 32:1-37:24). 

Even in the midst of his ‘discussion’ with his friends, Job challenges God.  If I were able to find God and come to His seat, I would lay my arguments as to why this shouldn’t have happened.  I would like to know how He would respond (Job 23:1-5).  Job says that he would speak in his defense, then wait to see how God would answer him.

God does respond to Job’s challenge.  Where were you while I (God) was creating everything?  Father paints a pretty clear picture of His majesty, His authority and His power (Job 38:1-41:34).          

Finally Job gets the picture.  I have heard about You, but now I have seen You (Job 42:1-6).  If you will, Job has had a personal encounter with the Almighty God, YAWEH.  He is no longer mimicking what ‘others’ have told him, but he now has found God for Himself.  He had a personal encounter, even as Paul did with Jesus (Acts9:3-6).

As I said at the start, most people remember the patience of Job.  That he suffered all that loss but didn’t turn against God.  If you read the book, according to the Law, Job did not sin.  But, because all these issues that befell him, his buddies knew that bad only comes upon sinners. God blesses those who keep the law, therefore, Job must have sinned for these events to have come upon him.

Job had a personal encounter with the living God and came to understand the relationship he needed with the Father.  I repeat ‘personal’.  Dare I say that from that moment on, Job referred to God as “You” and not “He or Him”.

So, just what is our personal relationship with the Lord?

Job said he had ‘heard’ all about God (42:5).  He had been taught the Law.  According to the Law that means his dad should have taught him what he knew and the priests or elders would have added in to expand Job’s knowledge.  We can be confident that Job most likely did not have the Tanakh, that is the Torah (5 books of Moses), the Neviʾim (Prophets)  the Ketuvim (Writings) readily available for him to read.  Without a personal relationship with God, Job had to rely on others to keep him informed.  But now, Job has talked with God, man to Supreme Being.

The disciples had a @3 ½ year experience to learn from Jesus.  That is they learned from the “horse’s mouth”.  No disrespect intended here but if we believe God created all thing through His Word (Gen. 1:1-31 – God said 9X) and the Word was with God and was God and became flesh (John 1:1-14), we believe in the unity of God – the Godhead.  We may begin to understand that Job now understood because God, Himself, was enlightening him. 

So, I ask again, what is our relationship with the Father?

Do all that we know aboaut God come from what people have told us (including preachers)?  Do we read the bible just as a book – good reading?  Makes me a well-rounded person, right?  Do we asks the Holy Ghost to guide us as we read the bible?  Hopefully we have accepted Jesus but then do we quench the Holy Ghost abiding in us?  Paul tells us not to quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).  That is, do we allow the Holy Ghost free rein operate in our lives?  Oh, He’s good for when I’m in trouble and need help or when I am sick and I believe Him for a healing.  But just how much of my personal life do I share Him?  Do I seek His direction in all that I do?

How’s my prayer life.  “Our Father which art in heaven …  Is that the extent of our prayer?  Do we pray for others?  Do we pray for situations of which become aware of?  Do we actually bare our hearts open to our Lord and Savior in our prayer time?  Do we share with Him our hurts, our desires, joys?   When we speak (pray) in an unknown tongue, we speak to God and the Spirit speaks mysteries.  In so doing, God edifies us.  But, because I don’t understand what the Spirit says, I also ask for understanding so I might edify not just myself, but those around me as well (1 Corinth. 14:2-4, 14-15).  Paul declares that he speaks in tongues more than all, but also suggests that we ask for understanding so we might edify others (1 Corinth. 14:18-19).  Do we desire to approach Father with all our concerns?  The Holy Ghost is that connection, but do we ask for understanding so we can then be a blessing to others?

 Paul says to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:16) as part of a  list of things to strengthen our relationship with Father.  “Without ceasing”?  Does this mean staying on our knees 24/7?  Of Course not.  But it does mean having a continual attitude of prayer.  When in doubt, don’t just jump and hope it works out.  Seek guidance from the Holy Ghost and be sure of what to do.  This means praying (at least in our heart) in our native language and/or in our heavenly-given Spiritual language.  As we allow the Holy Spirit free rein in our lives, when to pray, how to pray, praying will become a most natural condition of our lives.  We can pray anywhere, anytime and yes, we do need our “quiet time” when we can commune, alone, with our Lord.

As we grow, we discover that more and more of God’s nature becomes more evident in our lives. 

We are made in the image of God and God’s image is love (Gen. 1:26-27, 1 John 4:6-8).

So what do we learn from Job?  God is in control in all that befalls us so we can trust God, giving Him the praise and glory for whatever comes our way.  By the way, did I mention that God blessed many times over for his trouble ().  We seek Father’s guidance (through the Holy Ghost, who is within us) so we can know how to handle whatever we face.  We trust God to see us through to the end because He can and He will, because we have developed a relationship with Him.

And developing that relationship is what we learn from Job.

This means that for today, Father wants a one on one relationship with all His children.


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