Biblical Healing (6): What About Job?

Something that often hinders peoples faith for healing is the Job situation. But what was really taking place with Job? Remember that the Bible was written with progressive revelation. In-other-words, the completed revelation of who God is and His perfect will for humanity is found in the New Testament with the death, burial, and ressurrection of Jesus: the completed work of Christ. Jesus said to Philip,

“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:7-8).

In Jesus we see the “brightness of His [God’s] glory and the express image of His [God’s] person” (Hebrews 1:3).

We also must keep in mind that in the Old Testament God was dealing with fallen man. The human race was completely out of fellowship with God. The nature of man was lawlessness and selfishness. We had no idea who God was or how to fellowship with Him as a species, and for the most part weren’t looking for Him. We were busy with other beliefs and gods, and God was on the outside of His creation looking in. That’s not to say that God left no way to find out about Him (Romans 1:18-23), but with the background noise of this life and the desire to fit in with our societies, made it hard to listen or even seek the God of creation. Of course, there have always been some who learned to know YHWH. Adam and Eve passed down what they knew to their children; Which we see with Abel and those in the fifth chapter of Genesis. Of course Noah and his family new how to worship God. It is believed, and I concur, that Noah’s son Shem was Melchizedek that blessed Abraham (I won’t go into Melchizedek now but perhaps in another blog). With the Abrahamic covenant, God solidified His plan of salvation. God had found someone, Abraham, who offered his son as a sacrifice believing that God had to raise Issac from the dead to fulfill His covenant (Hebrews 11:17-19). This gave God the legal right to offer Jesus on the cross by faith, as long as God could raise Jesus from the dead, which He did.

Where does Job fit into this. It is believe by many Bible scholers that Job was a contemporary of the patriachs (Abraham, Issac and Jacob). If that is so, Job’s knowledge of God doesn’t even include the Abrahamic covenant (most likely). Job was going on what was passed down from Noah and his family. Keep in mind that Noah died about fifty years after Abraham’s birth; and Shem lived for about thirty years after Abraham’s death. So both Noah and Shem may have been alive when Job lived. When reading Job, we are reading about things that refer to pre-flood and recent post-flood events. Job’s world view is based on the recent destruction of the flood and not on New Testament influence. He had a limited revelation of God, but he walked in the light that he had, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3).

What throws many people a curve ball when reading Job is that Job was a righteous man and God allowed Satan to attack him. True. But why? Are there extenuating circumstances? God also allowed Adam and Eve to be tempted. He also allowed Jesus to be tempted. Allowing a tempation is not the same as causing it or wanting it to happen. If you have children, then you’ve experienced watching them make ill decisions. I’ll take it a step further. Sometimes we inadvertantly open the door to the devil and let him in (Ephesians 4:27). Believe it or not, God is not the legalist, the devil is. God’s looking for repentance, mercy, and reconciliation, but the devil is looking for anything to accuse you with (real or imagined). In fact, devil means accuser and slanderer.

When analyzing Job’s case, it’s not as clear cut as first read. Most things in our lives are dynamic: One thing leads to another, our wisdom and understanding is limited, during our lifetime we are constantly learning, there are spiritual laws we’re learning, and many times there are warning signals before an unhappy event, but we don’t recognize them until afterward. Job is no different than you and me with the exception we have the written word of God to learn from, the Spirit of God to help us, and we can be born again through Jesus Christ. We definately have the advantage.

When reading Job, it starts out with Job “regularly” offering sacrifices for his children because, he said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts” (Job 1:5). It wasn’t that his children did curse God, he was afraid that they may have. And even if they did curse God, it was the responsibility of Job’s children to repent and offer sacrifice. But Job was operating in fear and not faith. Speculation and not fact. We see in the third chapter Job saying, “for the thing I grealy feared has come upon me. And what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25).

Consider this scripture in light of what Job said: “The fear of a man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Job was in a constant state or fear. This is why he was constantly offering sacrifices for his children when he didn’t even know if they had sinned. Furthermore, the disaster’s and illness of Job was a fear that hung over his head. Why was he so afraid? I don’t know. The scriptures don’t say. But consider the fears in you own life. How many of have come about? How often have you confessed your fears and not faith in the promises of God. You may say, “What promises?” Exactly! Faith in God is limited to the knowledge of His will for your life. For example: No one can believe God for salvation and the remission of sins if they don’t know God has made it available for them. What did Job know? I don’t know except to be faithful to God no matter what. And that’s what Job did – remain faithful even when he didn’t understand what was happening.

We know through the scriptures that our words have a great effect on our lives. We know that it is through words and deeds that we release our faith: Our faith in God or in something else.

Job was releasing his “faith” with the fearful sacrifices. Actually, from God’s point of view it was doubt and fear that Job was releasing.

This may sound as an over simplication of what took place with Job, but this is the very foundation of spiritual life. Study it out. Consider a couple of scriptures to start with:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). And

“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:2-10; emphasis mine).

There are literally dozens of witnessing scriptures to varify this simple truth. Though it’s one of the hardest truths for us to accept and isn’t taught in many churches. We can’t tame the tongue because “the carnal mind is emnity against God” (Romans 8:7). But God knows how to tame our tongues. He will help us if we’ll let Him. He does it through giving us His word. We are to take the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17) and put His word in our mouths instead of our own. We are to make His word our word.

Satan’s Involvement

We also know, by the scriptures, that there are two spiritual families among mankind. There are those that belong to God through Christ who are born again into the family of God, and there are those who belong to Satan. Jesus told the people of His day, “You are of you father the devil” (John 8:44) because they were spiritually separated from God. This occured when Adam sold himself and his yet to be children to satanic fatherhood in the garden. Jesus made a way for fallen man to be born again, a spiritual rebirth, into the kingdom of God.

Sure, in a way there’s a brotherhood of humankind if you choose to see it that way. God is the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9). He is the creator of mankind. In that we’re all human, we have that in common. And we should treat each other the way God treats us. None-the-less, spiritually there are those that belong to the Father and those that don’t. There are those that are born again and those that are lost in sin; those that are spiritually alive and those that are spiritually dead.

Prior to being able to be born again, prior to the resurrection of Jesus, all of mankind belonged to the devil: “(For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:17-19).

I brought this up because in the Old Testament, God was working with people who belonged to Satan. God was always telling Israel, “I am the LORD your God.” Why? Because everone else was serving their father the Devil. They didn’t know they were serving the devil, but as “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan owned them. God wanted Israel to know that they have God as God.

Even Job. Job was a righteous man and didn’t go to the place of torment after he died (he went to the place later to be known as “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:19-31)), but spiritually he was separated from the presence of the Father. It wasn’t until Jesus came and we could be born again into the family of God, that Job and the other O.T. saints could be released from their spiritual prison (Ephesians 4:8) and be led by Jesus into heaven.

“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). Think about what was happening here. Satan is sneering at God because he has free reign to travel throughout the earth. By what authority did Satan get this privilege? Adam gave it to him when Adam sinned. God gave Adam authority in the earth, and when Adam sinned he unwittenly transfered his authority to Satan (Romans 6:16). Satan became Adam’s spiritually lord and father.

So we find Satan taunting God, but what does God do? He says, “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?'” (Job 1:8). What’s God doing? He’s setting Satan up to be beaten by a fallen man. He’s bating the devil. God’s going to humiliate him.

Satan reponded, “So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? 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. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!'” (Job 1:9). We can see that Satan didn’t know there was a kink in Job’s armor. He didn’t know that the sacrifices of Job for his children were even done in fear instead of faith. Job probable didn’t realize it either. But God did. Satan asked God to curse Job. But God didn’t curse him. God did, however, allow Job to be tested.

Self-Righteous Job

“So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job” (Job 32:1-3).

What got Elihu angry? (Job 32-37). Job had just given a rousing speech on how self-righteous he was with the attitude of, “Why did God allow this to happen? Look how righteous I am” (Job 26-31). Yes, Job was in rightstanding with God. But Job was relying on his good deeds to replace the mercy of God. The scripture says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). God loved Job, and Job was doing a lot of the right things, but it seems that Job was begining to become like the church in Ephesus to whom Jesus said, “You have left your first love” (Revelation 2:1-7). The Ephesians were doing all the right things, but somewhere they left God.

God Sets It Straight

Why did God allow Job to be tested? Testing reveals where we’re at. Our character and faith is revealed. Our strengths and weaknesses come to light. We find out who we are when we’re under stress. We mature spiritually and mentally when we work our way through the test by fighting the good fight of faith. And, often enough, it’s the only way for God to get our attention. We get our lives going in a direction we can’t turn away from and is going to destroy us. As a last resort, God allows trouble to come.

Satan is the destroyer (John 10:10). His deceits are what drag us away from wisdom of God. Job was heading in a self-destructive way, clinging to his self-righteousness, and God wanted to save Job. God always sees the eternal. So God stepped back and allowed Job’s spiritual father to have some free reign.

Does it please God to do these kinds of things? No. But Job was beyound listening. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:12-17).

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Job needed to get over into faith and out of fear. He needed to mature spiritually. And he actually tied Gods hands because of his unbelief.

Nonetheless, we see God in the end correct Job and heal him. Not only did God heal Job, but used Job to pray for his friends that they might not be judged for making false accusations against Him (Job 38-41).

“Then Job answered the LORD and said:
‘I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”
And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job. And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:1-10).

God restored Job: spiritually, socially, and materially. God’s the blesser and wants to bless all of humanity, especially His own children. As a general rule, we’re our own worst problem. Satan takes advantage of our weaknesses and exploits them to our own destruction (James 1:14-15). How can we navigate the affairs of life and stay true to the Living God? By abiding in the wisdom of the Word and a continuing prayerful fellowship with the LORD: just as Peter admonished, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

Jesus paid the price for our healing. Don’t let the devil trick you out of it.

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