The Book of Job: Fear vs Faith
The book of Job (Yōb) is commonly used to promote a patently false teaching that goes something like this:
Just as good things happen to bad people, so do bad things happen to good people, and we can ever know why. Since the rain falls on both the just and the unjust, it is all a mystery and must remain unexplained. That is why we, as responsible people, should have insurance policies, healthcare plans, savings accounts, retirement benefits, and backup plans. After all, God helps those that help themselves...
In truth, this book is chock-full of clear and powerful insight into how things work in both heaven and earth. In sharp contrast to the popular portrayal of a sinless and faithful servant of the Most High who suffers silently and helplessly at the whim of an invisible, incomprehensible and slightly sadistic god, Job is the impressive story of the journey of a man who has a dramatic, life-changing encounter with the Living God (Job 42:5).
Use the notes, below, to rapidly walk through the 42 chapters of the book of Job to see for yourself what this story is really about.
|1||Job 1:1||Job was a moral man, the kind you would want for a neighbor|
|2||Job 1:3||He was wealthy|
|3||Job 1:4||His children were party animals|
|4||Job 1:5||Thus did Job continually|
|5||Romans 4:21||Contrast Job with Abraham, the father of all who believe|
|6||Hebrews 11:6||Without faith it is impossible to please God|
|7||Mark 11:24||Believe that you have received|
|8||Job 1:6||Satan and God are in the same place at the same time. Who is in charge?|
|9||Job 1:6-7||Satan's actual role, not the Hollywood/Religianity version (see 1Peter 5:8)|
|10||Job 1:7||Where had Satan been spending his time? (Clue: it wasn't Dantés Inferno)|
|11||Job 1:10||Satan said, "God, you're protecting him and his wealth comes from you."|
|12||Job 1:11||Satan said, "You be the one to hurt him!"|
|13||Job 1:12a||God informed Satan that all Job had was in Satan's hands, already. There was no hedge around him. (see items 3-6)|
|14||Job 1:12b||Satan went out from ("left") God's presence|
|15||Job 1:13||The sons: all party, no prayer|
|16||Job 1:15||Robbers stole oxen, donkeys and murdered those who tended them|
|17||Job 1:16||Fire from God (see Luke 10:18) killed the sheep and shepherds|
|18||Job 1:17||Chaldeans stole camels and murdered those who tended them|
|19||Job 1:19||A great wind collapsed the house and killed the sons|
|20||Job 1:21||The famous quote, "The LORD gave, the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Who is in charge? (Clue: not Satan.)|
|21||Job 1:22||Despite his affliction, Job didn't sin by charging God with wrongdoing. It was the man's lack of faith, not the abundance of his sin, that placed Job in Satan's hands.|
|22||Job 2:1||Here we go again... second wave.|
|23||Job 2:5||Satan said, "God, you hit him and he'll curse you."|
|24||Job 2:6||God told Satan that Job was still in Satan's hands, but Satan would be disallowed from killing the man."|
|25||Job 2:7||God did not strike Job with oppression. Satan did. Satan was previously authorized...|
|26||Job 2:9||The wife said, "This isn't worth it. You've done nothing against God and yet these tragedies have come upon us. Get it over with: curse God and die." (see Job 2:5) Even with horrible council from his wife Job did not sin against God. Every man is tempted when... (see James 1:14)|
|27||Job 2:10||As in 1:21 Job expressed his limited knowledge of how things work. But, to his credit, he never charged God with wrongdoing!|
|28||Job 2:11||The three friends|
|29||Job 3:25||Job declared, "What I feared most has happened to me." (Fear was the door! Fear, the antithesis of faith!)|
|30||Job 3 thru 31||Regarding what is written between 3:1 and 32:1 God said of Job's friends, "You three have not spoken what is right." Ignore their religious babble, but pay heed to Elihu's word from 32:2 - 37:24. Regarding any and all of Job's words prior to 42:1, God said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2)|
|31||Job 32:2a||Enter Elihu|
|32||Job 32:2b||According to Job, what had occurred to him constituted punishment, and the only reason for punishment was wrongdoing/wrong living/sin. Job sought to justify himself instead of God ("I haven't done anything wrong!").|
|33||Job 32:3||The three friends couldn't explain any of it, either, but condemned Job anyway. (Can anyone relate to that?)|
|34||Job 33:9-10||Elihu said, "Job, you claim to be sinless, and you claim God is punishing you." (Get it, yet?)|
|35||Job 33:12||Job, you are wrong|
|36||Job 33:13||You claim God doesn't answer|
|37||Job 33:14-17||But God does answer men|
|38||Job 34:10||Far be from God to do wickedness|
|39||Job 36:11||If you obey God you will spend your days in prosperity (what is prosperity?)|
|40||Job 36:24||Magnify what God does, not what the Devil is doing|
|41||Job 37:23||God does not oppress men. Don't ever accuse Him of it! But don't think for a moment that the Devil operates "unauthorized"!|
|42||Acts 10:38||Maryah Yeshu Meshika (Jesus) healed those who were oppressed by the Devil|
|43||Job 38:1||Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice..." Who was speaking? Who heard His voice? As a result, what do we now know about Job?|
|44||Job 38:2||Devising doctrine in words without knowledge (see 1:21 and 2:10)|
|45||Job 40:2||God said, "You know nothing of Me."|
|46||Job 40:4||Job said, "Poor, poor, pitiful me."|
|47||Job 40:7||God said (paraphrased), "Knock it off!" (Pull your pants up)|
|48||Job 42:2-3||Job said, "You're right. I spoke without knowledge." (Brothers and sisters, please tell me you get this!)|
|49||Job 42:4||"I am sorry, God. From now on I'll ask You first and You instruct me."|
|50||Job 42:5||Job said to God, "Up 'til now I've only heard things about you, but now I see you as you are." (Do you realize what just happened to this man?)|
|51||John 3:3||Jesus told Nicodemus, "If a person is not born again, it is impossible for that one to see the Kingdom of God."|
|52||Job 42:6||I see You and, as a result, I repent - I turn from me to you!|
|53||Job 42:7||God told the three friends, "You three have not spoken what is right." (Don't pay heed to what they said!)|
|54||Job 42:10||Job's losses were restored doubly - in this life, not the hereafter|
|55||Job 42:16||Job then saw four generations of sons, contrasted with the results of his fear displayed in 1:5|
In Satan's first wave of his attack against Job, the man's oxen and donkeys were stolen, the "fire of God" fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, three raiding parties made off with the camels, killing the remaining servants, and a mighty desert wind collapsed his oldest son's house, killing all Job's children (who were in the house at the time, partying). Horrific! See Job 1:13-19.
Satan had obtained authorization from God to oppress Job. Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and we are then presented with the mechanics of his oppression; we are told how he did it: Sabeans (lit. "Sheba") stole the livestock, lightning destroyed the sheep and killed the servants, Chaldean (lit. "Kasdi") raiders stole the camels and killed more servants, and a mighty wind knocked down a house upon all Job's children, killing them.
In Satan's second wave, he struck the man with boils throughout his body. It is clearly written that Satan smote Job with boils. What isn't written is how he accomplished that. By what means? For all we know, Job's boils could readily have a physiological explanation, just like the events of the first wave. By being incited to meditate on his massive, massive losses - losses that would likely have ended in suicide, had God not drawn the line - boils could easily be the result of internalizing all the devastation the man had just suffered. An understanding of a relationship between so-called mental and emotional damage and physical illness has long since been established, though we have yet to fully comprehend it.
Job was visited by his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. These men didn't even recognize Job, he looked so bad. It is written that "they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was."
With no knowledge of how all this works, Job admitted:
What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
That is a primary purpose of fear and dread: To entice us to act on them, in response to them. Faith causes us to respond to God, and to Him, alone.
Job was insisting he had done nothing wrong, nothing to warrant such treatment from God. His friends were convinced that Job's suffering was the direct result of some misstep or misdeed, and laid into Job. Listen to what this man cries out, prophetically:
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Job insisted he had done nothing wrong, to the the point where his three friends gave up trying to convince him, otherwise:
So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
Elihu had sat back quietly out of respect for the three friends who were older than he. But now he was angry was angry:
Elihu ... became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him. Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.
Elihu launches into Job, informing him:
You have said in my hearing — I heard the very words — 'I am pure, I have done no wrong; I am clean and free from sin. Yet God has found fault with me; he considers me his enemy. He fastens my feet in shackles; he keeps close watch on all my paths.' But I tell you, in this you are not right...
Elihu continued with:
Someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones ... then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God's face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being. And they will go to others and say, 'I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved. God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.'
Elihu addressed Job's three friends, saying:
Job says, 'I am innocent, but God denies me justice. Although I am right, I am considered a liar; although I am guiltless, his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.' Is there anyone like Job, who drinks scorn like water? ... (He complains,) 'There is no profit in trying to please God.'
Elihu asks a powerful question:
... Do you say, 'My righteousness is more than God's'?
"Welcome, friends, to the Church of M.O.R.H (My Own Right Hand)! Remember our motto: God helps those who help themselves!"
For more on this, see my article titled, "The Church of M.O.R.H".
Here is what God has to say on the matter:
Do you have an arm like God's, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you!
All of Job's right living, his being upright and blameless, did not protect him against the attack of Satan.
... There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness...
Job knew the righteousness of right living, of doing everything right, and doing nothing wrong. God confirmed as much to Satan, calling the man "blameless and upright, who fears God and shuns evil". Job lived by all the rules. That is why he was so incredulous after these things had happened to him. And it is why he was so frustrated with his three friends who insisted he must have made a mistake somewhere along the way. He had not made mistakes, and yet tragedy struck him! Neither Job nor his three friends believed that 'bad things happen to good people'. Thus Job despaired.
But there is a righteousness that is credited to a man, accounted by God alone to a man. It is not the result of right living, of doing everything right, and doing nothing wrong. Rather, it is the righteousness of faith.
Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
... if a law had been given which was able to give life, truly righteousness would have been by The Written Law.
And be found in him, while I do not have my own righteousness, which is from The Written Law, but that which is from the faith of The Messiah, which is the righteousness that is from God.
But the righteousness of God is by the faith of Yeshu The Messiah unto every person who believes in him.
But God is merciful, and He revealed Himself to Job. He fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Job, "I myself will see him with my own eyes". Job told God:
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Satan had done what he could to prevent that from occurring. In the Book of Job, I tend to think of Satan as the (invisible) elephant in the room. Make no mistake: when Satan left God's presence for his first attack, he struck Job with all the ferocity and volume of a roaring lion! And that attack was extremely successful.
Shimeon Kaypha wrote:
Be alert, be reflective, because your enemy Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Amos told the children of Israel:
Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den when it has caught nothing?
Isaiah and Ezekiel also warn of the roaring lion laying hold of his prey.
I know what you are thinking: If you wanted to sneak up on someone, you probably wouldn't "roar" and give away your position, right?
But you aren't a lion. The roar of a lion can be heard for miles, especially in the dark of night. And it is no wonder; that roar can exceed the sound volume of a rock concert! This is not some gentle and soft "ding, ding, time to wake up" alarm kind of sound. It is of such volume and ferocity as to strike immediate confusion and paralyzing fear into its prey.
In the Book of Job, when God asked Satan where he had been, on both recorded occasions Satan replied:
From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.
It's what Satan does.
So what does God do?
You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.
Grace and Peace be with you,