All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
October 8, 2009
The Book of Job
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2009 by Merle E. Koepke
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The book of Job is a very interesting book among all the books of the Bible. There are two different views of what the Book of Job is all about. There is the view of those who teach from their mind.
Those who read it and try to understand it with their natural mind, will see it as "a book of suffering without a cause"(how that God expects His people to suffer even when there is no cause). This is an Old Covenant teaching, for those who operate from their mind.
Then there are those who teach from their spirit. For those who understand the New Covenant, and can listen to their spirit, they should see the book of Job as an example of "how Christians will suffer if they do not understand their position in Christ and walk in love." Therefore, it would be much better to understand the Book of Job in light of the New Covenant, rather then in view of the Old Covenant.
We do not need to try to understand the Book of Job from man's view of the Old Covenant. Many have taught that over the years. It is easy for anyone who is not listening to the Holy Spirit to understand it from that point of view.
In the following analysis of the Book of Job, let us see it from the New Covenant point of view. Which is also, God's point of view.
In Isaiah 53:4-6 it says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows..." That does not sound like God wants us to bear our griefs and sorrows. Then in Matthew 8:17 it says, "...Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." Then in 1 Peter 2:24 it says, "...by whose stripes ye were healed."
When we consider the complete Bible and what it says about griefs, sorrows, infirmities, sicknesses, and disease, etc. it surely does not look like God wants us to bear them ourselves, being that Jesus already bore them for us.
Christians need to have a better understanding of God, and the Scriptures.
Chapters One & Two
In the first three verses of Job, Chapter One, we are given a slight amount of history, as to who Job was and when and where he lived. Verse one says, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." Some historians try to identify the land of Uz, but the Bible does not give a true account of where this land or country was located. The Bible does not give any specific reference to when Job lived, yet we can see that it was most likely after the flood of Noah. It is not important where Job lived, or when Job lived. What is important, is understanding the Book of Job in light of the whole Bible, not just the Old Covenant.
In view of the complete Bible, we see certain things that are not seen clearly in the Old Testament.
1). "The LORD" is the Creator of all things (John 1:3, Col. 1:16). All things are subject to the LORD, including Satan, the Devil.
2). Satan is "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4). Satan can do nothing unless he is permitted to do so by the LORD (Job 1:12).
3). The LORD does not speak according to man's ideas of who is righteous and who is not righteous. The only righteousness God accepts is the righteousness of His Son, Christ Jesus, which is imputed upon all who are His own by faith in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:10, 20-23, 4:3, 2 Cor. 5:21).
4). Righteousness is based upon what God did for us in Christ Jesus when He suffered and died and arose again from the dead. By His death and resurrection, He became "the Lamb of God that was slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).
5). God sees all things from His view of eternity, not from man's view of earthly time. In eternity, everything is in the "now," there is no night. It is always light in heaven (Rev. 21:23). In Isaiah 46:9,10 the LORD said, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me...Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." God is always "now" (Ex. 3:14), and speaks "things that be not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17).
Speaking of Job, it says, Job "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1). This is repeated in Job 1:8, 2:3. Three times it is mentioned that Job "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."
Yet, Job had a problem which caused him to lose all that he had, including his possessions, and his children. What was it that brought about all this loss and suffering? Is God unrighteous? Will God destroy those whom He loves?
In Job 8:3 it asks, "Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?" Job 34:12 says, "Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment." Job 37:23 says, "Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict."
Fear & Self-righteousness
Job was a "self-righteous" religious man, trying to gain the favor of God by his own works of righteousness. Self-righteousness is a product of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil," not of "the tree of life" (Gen. 2:9,16,17). Until we understand the difference between "the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil," we will never understand God and how He works with man on this earth. Satan will always have control over those who think they can gain favor with God by their own righteousness.
God's favor comes by grace through faith and not of our own righteousness (Eph. 2:8,9, Heb. 10:38, 11:6). We cannot gain favor with God by our own righteousness. Our self-righteousness opens the door for Satan to control our lives and our actions.
Also, Job was living in fear. In Job 3:25, it says, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Fear is a spirit sent from the Devil to torment those who are not walking by faith. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it tells us, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." If at any time there is fear, there is a demonic spirit involved. When Christians understand this they will understand how that the Devil controls the lives of those who do not know their position in Christ Jesus.
Studying the Scriptures closely, you will never find even one verse where it would indicate that Jesus had any fear of anything. Jesus walked in love. In 1 John 4:18 it tells us, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." Christians are to walk in love as Jesus walked, without fear of anything. Fear is a spirit which is not from God.
Job's Pride and Self-righteousness
Job became a self-righteous person. Job openly confessed his own righteousness. In Job 31:33, Job said, "If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom." Job knew the importance of confessing his sin, and was proud that he did not cover his known sins. In Job 31:39, Job said, "If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life." Job was justifying his actions, and his self-righteousness.
In Job 32:2 it tells us, "Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God." Why did the LORD send Elihu to speak to Job? Because Job "justified himself rather than God." Self-righteousness and self-justification are not of God, but of the Devil. When Christians justify themselves, God cannot help them.
Look at what Elihu said of Job in Job 34:5, "For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment." Elihu, then speaking by the Spirit of God, said in Job 34:34-37, "Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me...Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom...My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men...For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God."
Job, in his self-righteousness "hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom" (Job 34:35). In Job 35:2, Elihu again spoke of Job's self-righteousness, saying, "Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's?"
Even after the LORD sent the young prophet, Elihu, to speak to Job and his three friends, Job still did not repent of his self-righteousness, and speaking words without knowledge. Therefore, the LORD Himself spoke to Job in a whirlwind, saying in Job 38:2-8, "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?...Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me...Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding...Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?...Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof...When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?...Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?"
All throughout Job 38 and Job 39 the LORD rebuked Job for his self-righteousness, and his speaking words without knowledge.
After the LORD sent the prophet Elihu, and Job did not confess, the LORD Himself spoke to Job. Then Job began to see his wrong. In Job 40:1,2 it says, "Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said...Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it."
The LORD is speaking to Job saying, "who is it that contendeth with the Almighty to instruct Him? Who is he that reproveth God?" Then in Job 40:4,5, Job answered the LORD, saying, "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth...Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further."
Job still did not repent. Job only admitted his problem that brought about his suffering. Then the LORD again spoke to Job, saying, "Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me...Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?" (Job 40:7,8).
The LORD asked Job, "wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? The LORD then continued on, saying, "Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?...Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty...Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him...Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place...Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret...Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee" (Job 40:9-14).
In the whole next chapter, the LORD describes the work of Satan among religious people. He uses the creature called "leviathan," to describe Satan as the head over all world religions and their operations. Leviathan is type of a serpent, as Satan himself is called a serpent (Rev. 12:9.14.15, 20:22). In Job 41:34, the LORD ended talking about "leviathan, the old serpent, the Devil, saying, "He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride." The Hebrew word "melek" translated "king" identifies Satan, called the "king" of Tyrus, in Ezekiel 28:12. Satan becomes "king" in the lives of those who walk in pride. We must remember, in James 4:6 it says, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
Job's problem from the beginning was his self-righteousness. He tried to justify all that he did, based it upon his own righteousness.
After forty-one Chapters of Job's captivity, Job repented, saying, "Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me...I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee...Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:4-6).
Following Job's repentance, the LORD instructed Job to pray for his three friends. Job obeyed the LORD and prayed for his three friends. It says, "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before" (Job 42:10).
What was it that caused Job's trial and suffering? It was a spirit of fear sent by Satan, and Job's pride and self-righteous attitude. Once Job confessed his "speaking words without knowledge." and repented, the LORD was able to help Job and deliver him from the snare of the Devil.
The LORD's Confession to Satan
In Job 1:8 and Job 2:3, The LORD said to Satan, Job is "a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" What bases was the LORD using for this statement? From heaven, the LORD sees the end from the beginning. God has already declared the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9,10). In Job 2:3, the LORD was not speaking to Job, He was speaking to the Devil. The LORD does not condemn those that love Him. Therefore, the LORD was not speaking of Job's condition at the time of Job, Chapters One and Two. He was "speaking the end from the beginning." We could say, the LORD was speaking "those things concerning Job that were not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17). The LORD knew that after Job would admit and confess his attitude of self-righteousness, and repent, He could restore to Job all that he lost.
At the beginning of the book of Job, Job did have a problem with his attitude. In Job 1:21, it tells us that Job said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." That was what Job said. Then it says in Job 1:22, "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." In all of what? In the statement that Job made in verse 21. That does not mean that Job never charged God foolishly. Job did charge God foolishly (as seen) later in His statements concerning his own self-righteousness.
Job's attitude, concerning his self-righteousness opened the door for Satan to destroy in his life. Job did charge God foolishly, by exalting himself in his self-righteousness (Job 40:1,2).
When the LORD spoke to Satan concerning Job, He was "speaking those things that be not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17). He had already declared Job as perfect according to Ephesians 1:4-7. Job was considered "righteous" by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not by his own works of righteousness.
Job lived before the law of Moses, therefore sin was not imputed before the Law. Romans 5:13 tells us, "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Yet, the righteousness of God continued from the foundation of the world, even upon those before the Law.
God had chosen Job from the foundation of the world, and had redeemed him by the blood of the Lamb. Yet, Job was without knowledge of what God had already declared as finished from the foundation of the world. Had Job known the total plan of God from the foundation of the world, he would not have tried to justify himself in anything he did.
Job was "eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:17). He was basing his position with God upon the knowledge of good and evil. Job loved God and hated evil. Job did not see himself as a "son of God," but rather as a servant of God.
Twice the LORD said to Job, "Gird up now thy loins like a man..." (Job 38:3, 40:7). What was the LORD saying to Job? Job was not justified by his own righteousness, but by the righteousness of the LORD Himself (who bore all our sins on the cross, that Job also would be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus).
Had Job known his position before God, he could have stood up against Satan and cast down all fear. Had Job not justified himself, but trusted in the wisdom and knowledge of God, based upon the revelation of "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" his suffering and loss could have been prevented.
As we go back to the beginning of the book of Job, there are things that should be considered in light of what we learn from the complete Bible (from Genesis through Revelation).
It starts off saying, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil...And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters...His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east" (Job 1:1-3).
When we understand that God sometimes speaks from His position in eternity, where there is no time (knowing the end from the beginning), we can better understand these verses. God says the same thing about Christians today, such as in Ephesians 1:3,4, where it says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ...According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
Are Christians already "...blessed...with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ...?" God says we are. The problem Christians have with reading their Bibles is trying to understand God and spiritual things with their natural mind. It does not work. We can only understand God and spiritual things when it is revealed to us by His Holy Spirit from our spirit. Job 32:8 says, "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.." In 1 Corinthians 2:14 it says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Christians cannot understand the wisdom of God with their natural mind. They must be taught by God to understand spiritual things.
In Job 1:1, the LORD was speaking of Job according to the same way God speaks of Christians in Ephesians 1:3,4, (the end from the beginning). Job did have a situation in his life that needed to be corrected. Once Job's situation was corrected, then the LORD could bless Job with more than he had in the beginning.
Looking at Job 1:6-12 we see certain things we should take note of. It says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." Satan still has free reign in the heavens above the earth where the LORD also meets with "the sons of God." This is a type and shadow also of the churches where Christians meet to praise and worship the LORD our God. When Christians come together to worship, Satan comes also. Satan has not yet been bound and cast into the bottomless pit for one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3).
Notice, Job 1:7 starts off saying, "And the LORD said unto Satan..." Have you ever considered why the LORD would ask Satan a question? The LORD knows everything, nothing can be withheld from the LORD. In Job 1:8 it says, "...the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job..." Who's idea was it that Satan would consider Job? Why would the LORD bring Satan's attention to Job? Job did have a problem that needed to be taken care of. "Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment" (Job 34:12). Somehow the LORD needed to get Job's attention to his condition at the time. If Job would have continued in his condition he would never have come unto the righteousness which is in Christ Jesus, whereby he could be saved.
In the second part of Job 1:8 it says, "...that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Here again, the LORD was speaking the end from the beginning concerning Job. The LORD knew that once Job confessed his sin, and repented, the LORD could restore Job to the position He spoke of in Job 1:8.
What did the LORD do to help Job come to the realization of his condition at that time? It says, "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD" (Job 1:12). This is similar to what the Apostle Paul said to the Church at Corinth, concerning a Christian who was committing fornication with his father's wife. The Apostle Paul said, "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 5:5).
The LORD is not the destroyer of anything. Satan is the destroyer. In Job 34:12 it says, "Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment." In Job 34:12 it uses the word "wickedly" translated from the Hebrew word "rasha." This word in the Hebrew carries the meaning of "condemn." The LORD will not condemn man for his actions or deeds under the influence of Satan. John 3:18 tells us that man condemns himself by not believing "in the name of the only begotten Son of God." God is the creator and giver of all life. Satan is the destroyer of all that God created for His glory. The LORD does not destroy, Satan is the destroyer.
In Isaiah 54:16 it says, "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy." Careful study of the Scriptures will reveal that God is not the destroyer, but Satan is the destroyer. In Exodus 12:23 it says, "the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." The LORD did not do the destroying on the night of the Passover. It was the destroyer that did the destroying.
Therefore, by what is written in Job 1:1-12, we know that Job did have a problem, and the LORD used Satan to bring Job's attention to his problem.
Yet there is another situation that we need to see more clearly in the book of Job. In Job 1:18,19 it says, "...Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house...And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee."
Why did the LORD permit Job's sons and daughter's to be destroyed by Satan? There is a principle established in Genesis 2:22-24 which is headship. Job was the father of his children. What Job did affected his whole household.
Headship is very important in God's creation. Christians must understand "headship." What the father does affects everyone of those who are a part of his family. Notice, even after the children leave the home and are living in their own houses. Headship still remains in effect.
Headship entails, "whosoever is the head is responsible for those under their headship." Also, those who are under the headship of another are also responsible to the one they are under.
The good part about headship is that Christ is the head of the Church "which is His body." Thereby, Christ is our righteousness, our redemption, our sanctification, etc. It is not who we are, but Who Christ is that counts in the eyes of God. Being that we are a part of the body of Christ, we receive from God all that belongs to Christ. Romans 8:17 says, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." We are joint-heirs with Christ, being that we are a part of His body here on earth. What belongs to the Head of the Body also belongs to the Body. Jesus said in John 16:15, speaking of the Holy Spirit that is given to us in the Body of Christ, "All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
Yet, there is also the other part of being in Christ, under His headship, that is, "how do Christians treat others in the body of Christ?" Are we treating others as members of the same body of Christ that we are of? Satan also destroys Christians who do not walk in love one to another and discern the whole body of Christ as one body.
Look what it tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30. It tells us of what happens when Christians do not discern the LORD's body properly. In talking about the taking of the body and the blood of the LORD in remembrance of Him, it says, "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord...But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup...For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body...For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
Satan destroys the flesh of those who do not rightly discern the whole body of Christ as one body (all members being equal). One of the two deaths spoken of in Genesis 2:17 is physical death of the physical body. This is what is being spoken of in 1 Corinthians 11:30, calling it "sleep." These Christians are no longer with us. Many of them have died physically, simply because they did not discern the LORD's body.
What does it mean by "not discerning the Lord's body"? If you study the context of 1 Corinthians, Chapters Ten and Eleven you will see, the Corinthians were not looking upon others as being equal members of the same body of Christ, "walking in love one toward another." There were divisions among them. Some thinking they were better than others. Some separating themselves from those who are not as wealthy as they are. The wealthy Christians were separating themselves from the poor Christians. This is not discerning the LORD's Body as one body in Christ, looking not upon our own needs but first upon the needs of others. Philippians 2:4 says "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
This means, they were not walking in love one to another. God is love, and Christians must walk in love one to another (1 John 4:20,21). When Christians do not walk in love, they yield themselves over to the control of the Devil, and he becomes their master. Satan controls Christians who do not walk in love. These are called "children of disobedience" in Ephesians 2:2. The two commandments that Jesus gave us are, "...thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30,31).
When Christians disobey the LORD our God (Who is the Head of the Body of Christ), they automatically obey the Devil. It is that simple, too simple for most Christians to understand. When they disobey the two commandments of the New Covenant, God cannot help them and keep them from the enemy destroying their flesh (physical bodies).
Why are there so many Christians sickly among us? Why are so many Christians dying before their time? Mostly because they are not rightly discerning the LORD's Body (other members of the Body of Christ as themselves).
This is what happens to those who are under the headship of someone else and do not love and respect those over them. In the case of Job, his children were not the problem. Job himself was the problem. Job was walking in pride of his self-righteousness.
The Scriptures tell us, "Pride goeth before destruction..." (Prov. 16:18). Job's pride and his self-righteousness brought him destruction to his family, his health, and his possessions.
Because of Job's pride and self-righteousness he lost almost everything he had. Job's wife was saved from the destruction that came upon Job. But, his sons and daughters, his possessions, and even his own health were destroyed and affected by his pride and self-righteousness.
This is only Part 1 a series of Mini-books on "THE BOOK OF JOB." Get the other parts of this series on Job. It will help you to understand what happens to Christians today who get into "pride and self-righteousness." Learn to be led by the Holy Spirit in your life. Do not walk after the flesh.
When we walk by faith and are led by the Holy Spirit we can walk the same as Jesus walked. That is God's plan for your life also.
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