I love to share my faith with non-believers and seekers alike, who have questions about the Christian faith, what we believe and why we believe it. In light of the postmodern perspective that many people adhere to these day, I would like to give a biblical perspective as a contrast to those who say that there is no absolute truth. I believe that the truth can be found in God's word the Bible. http://media4lifeministries.com
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The Integrity of Job
Many times when I have a conversation with unbelievers and skeptics they will bring up the book of Job. Their argument is, why did God single out Job and bragged about him to Satan?
Job did all the right things and loved the Lord, yet He allowed Satan
to take everything that Job had, his family, servants and possessions.
would God do that to someone who loves Him. Isn't He suppose to be a
loving God? At first glance I admit, it might look that way, here is a
guy just going on about his day thinking about his sons and daughters
when tragedy strikes him out of nowhere. In one day he looses it all,
his sons and daughters and his livelihood. Everything that he worked and
lived for, up in smoke. Job had no clue what was going on and why this
came upon him. He did not have the benefit that we have when we read the
story in the Bible.
The first two chapters give us a unique look behind the scenes, a look into the spiritual world unseen from the human eye. "Now
there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before
the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan,
"From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From
going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."
Job 1:6, 7. Satan was most likely prowling the earth as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.
the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there
is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who
fears God and shuns evil?"Job 1:8. Poor Job, he had no idea that God and
Satan had a conversation about him. It almost seems like God may have
been bragging a little bit about Job. Satan seized the moment: "Have
You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all
that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and
his possessions have increased in the land. "Does Job fear God for
nothing? "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and
he will surely curse You to Your face!" Job 1:9-11.
is interesting to hear Satan say that God had a hedge i.e a protection
around Job, he was blessed by God in all he did. I believe that
believers in Jesus Christ
have a hedge around them just as Job did. Satan in his arrogance
challenged God by stating, hey if you take everything away that he has,
he will not love you and curse You to Your face. Satan thought that Job
or for that matter any other believers only love God when He blesses
them, but turn from Him when tragedy or tribulations arise. God in His
sovereign will gave Satan the permission to hit Job with afflictions.
the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only
do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence
of the LORD." Job 1:12.
the moment when Jobs world would be turned upside down. We read that Job
lost his seven sons and three daughters in one day as well as all of
his livestock. What a terrible day in the life of poor Job. Yet in all
this tragedy, he did not curse God. As a matter of fact, he praised God.
Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the
ground and worshiped. And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken
away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin nor
charge God with wrong." Job 1:20-22.
don't think that was what Satan intended, he was hoping that Job would
blame God and turn from God. The opposite happened, although deeply
grieved, he did not forsake or denounce the Lord. I can only imagine
that Satan was a bit furious. Some time later Satan appeared before God
again and we have the same conversation in chapter two of Job.
the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the
LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking
back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered
My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless
and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds
fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy
him without cause." Job 2:2, 3.
need to read this verse very carefully, God allowed it because Satan
incited Him and God allowed Satan to destroy everything that Job had. I
believe what we can glean from this is, that without God's permission,
Satan can't do a thing to harm believers. This second time around Satan
wanted even more.
Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man
has he will give for his life. "But stretch out Your hand now, and touch
his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And
the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his
life." Job 2:6. It was Satan's desire to physically harm Job in hope that he would curse God.
Again, God only allowed Satan to strike Job, but not to kill him. "So
Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with
painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head." Job
2:7. Here is Job, covered in painful boils and now even his wife asked
him to curse God. "Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to
your integrity? Curse God and die!" Job 2:8.
ancient times, people thought that the person that was punished so
severally must have done some kind of sin to deserve something like
that. This time even his wife wanted him to curse God and die. But Job
just answered: "You
speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good
from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not
sin with his lips." Job 2:9.
now Job does not curse or blame God for his sufferings. Now I don't know
how I would have reacted if I were to be in the shoes of Job. As the
story goes on, three of his friends come to comfort him, but as it turns
out they were no comfort at all. They either blamed Job for everything
that happened to him, because they thought that he must have sin in his
life and lost favor with God. In the end however it turns out that these
three wise men weren't all that wise. At the end God intervenes and
rebukes his friends. What happened to good old Job? God restored
everything to Job and more, He restored everything ten fold.
think we as believers can learn a lot from the story of Job. We do have
a hedge around us that protects us from many things of the world. At
the same time, we are not immune from pain and suffering. Many
Christians are going through various hardships, from persecutions and
tribulations to financial issues to many other tragedies in their
life's. We are not exempt, but ultimately, God is in control of all
things and nothing happens without a purpose and His permission.
Sometimes God uses sufferings and tribulations for His divine purpose
and to work in people's life's. I may not understand why sometimes, but
God knows and nothing is done without a reason and a purpose.
Even the Apostle Peter was subject to Satan on more than one occasion. "And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat." Lk 22:31.
had to go to some trials, He denied the Lord three times and he had
hardships and was imprisoned and crucified upside down in Rome, just as
the Lord told him when He was still with them. So were many of the other
disciples. All of the Apostles except John died a martyrs death. The
Apostle Paul experienced many afflictions, beatings, imprisonment and
ultimately death by beheading. This is what Paul thought about
sufferings in his lifetime:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."Rom 8:18.
looked at the eternal not the temporal. In this life, Christians who
follow the Lord will face opposition, trials and tribulations. The Lord
told us so. "These
things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the
world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome
the world." John 16:33.
Christians have an enemy that is relentless, the world, the flesh and
Satan. I believe that most of our afflictions are not caused by Satan
but by our own flesh. The flesh is warring against the Spirit. Many
people want to blame Satan for everything that is going on in their
life's, but I think many times it's just the flesh and the world. Of
course we should never underestimate Satan, he is called the prince of
this world and if Christians are living in the world as if the world
were their home, then they are subject to Satan. The Bible speaks of
Satan as the accuser of the brethren, he accuses us day and night before
God. (Rev 12:10)
and pains are not easy, but they do strengthen a believers faith and
draws them closer to the Lord. That's what happened to Job, Peter and
Paul as well as many others throughout history. In the end everything
turned out well for Job and Satan was proven wrong.
what Satan wishes to happen to the believers today. He wants us to
curse God as soon as some kind of trial, sufferings or pain come our
way. Most of us may never face the kind of tragedy Job was confronted
with, although there are many that have had tragedies of various degrees
in their lives. The question becomes , if any one of us who believes in
Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior gets confronted with tribulations and
trials similar to Job's, will we keep the faith and integrity that Job
I hope and pray that none of us
will ever face something like Job, but if we do I hope that we will
stand tall and firmly rooted in the Lord. There is a spiritual warfare
raging. Satan knows that he only but a short time left. We need to fight
the good fight and stand against every fiery dart that the enemy may
throw at us.
No matter what happen in this
life, the destination of the believer is to be with the Lord. God will
never leave us nor forsake us as long as we abide in Him, no matter what
may come our way. Satan is already defeated and he will try anything
to distract or harass the believers. We need to stand on the promises of
God. We as believers are secured in Christ and nothing can take that
away. The book of Ephesians is all about our position in Christ through
the Holy Spirit.
I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor
height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate
us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" Rom 8:38,
We are secure in Christ and we
are not of this world. The world can't touch us, unless we allow the
cares of this world to dominate our lives. As long as we abide in
Christ to live after the spirit rather than the flesh and we resist the
Devil and his temptations and lies, we can overcome every obstacle and
tragedy that we may face. All things here on the earth are temporal and
will fade with time, our destination as believers is eternity. We need
to set our eyes on the eternal and look up, our redemption draws close.
Maranatha Lord Jesus.