Book of Job
When we open the Book of Job, the first verse holds Job in a very favorable light, for we read:
Job 1:1, 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.
Job was perfect and upright, and yet, when we continue reading we discover that Job, had to be emptied of his own ability, and his natural life and behavior, in order for God to fill him with His righteousness. God knew that He could empty everything of Job, his family and possessions. along with his great wealth. This story, when understood properly, is the experience of every Christian who is seeking to do the right thing to be useful and pleasing to God. This is why we read:
Isaiah 64:6, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; and we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
There are many Christians who find themselves in the same trials and situation as Job was in. His friends tried to console him, yet at the same time, they thought that he was suffering because of God judging him for his sins.
The name Job means to be hated or persecuted. We read at the beginning of this book, the names of Satan, God, and the son’s of God. God gives us this picture as a glimpse into the heavenly realm so we mortals can see how God initiates the calling of one who He wants to empty of his natural life and fill him with His righteousness. God is the motivating factor, because He asks Satan to consider His servant Job.
Notice chapter 1:7, that God initiated the attention of Job to Satan. But why? What was the purpose of God to do so? The answer to that question is hidden and not given until we read about it in the Apostle Paul’s epistles.
Colossians 1:25, “Wherefore, I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God.” 26, Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now has been manifest to his saints.
We are fortunate today because we have the entire Bible. The book of Job was probably written during the time of Abraham when sacrifices were given and people had only a limited knowledge of God, not as we do today. During Job’s day, he knew of God and the covenant given to Abraham, and by the hearing of the ear, Job 42:5. There was no book with chapter and verse as we have today.
The Bible is a book of progressions, starting with the writings in Genesis to the Book of Revelation. We can see the progression in Genesis with the trees, the river flowing to water the ground, and the gold and the stones for a foundation. The progression is from a Garden in the Book of Genesis to a city that was built into the New Jerusalem, as stated in the Book of Revelation. Job lived at a time of limited spiritual understanding. In Job’s time, the human conscience knew of right and wrong and blessings as well as curses, but they did not know of the writings of the apostle Paul and terms like regeneration, transformation, and glorification. We are blessed today because we have the complete Bible and with God’s help can understand terms like incarnation, vessels,transformation,resurrection, ascension, and glorification. We also have the terms like the old man and the new man, the dispensation of grace, and the mysteries of God. We can’t understand Job’s dilemma without the Apostle Paul’s Epistles and the mysteries hidden from the ages.
Ephesians 3:2, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3, How that by revelation He made know unto me the mystery; ( as I wrote afore in a few words, 4,Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ ). 5, Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
Sin and Death Entered Into the World
In the Garden of Eden there were two trees among many, The Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree of Life represents mans dependence upon the Spirit and Life of God. The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents independence of the Spirit and life of God. Adam was placed before the Tree of Life for his nourishment. The man was allowed to make his choice but disobeyed the instructions given him, Genesis 2:16-17. They were then put out of the Garden, the Tree of Life was closed, and a curse was placed upon the ground. Paul then elaborates on what was revealed to him concerning the events that happened in the Garden hundred’s of years before Moses and the original Exodus from Egypt.
Romans 5:12, ” Wherefore, as one mans sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all have sinned.”
In the Garden, Adam had a flesh body with a deadened soul within him. God then breathed into Adam’s nostrils and Adam became a living soul, Genesis 2:7. Because of Adam’s sin, all men, including Job, are subject unto death, and the spirit within them became deadened, and void of the very life of God, unless of course God would intervene. Scripture tells us that there is a spirit in man, Job 32:8; Proverbs 20:27; 1st Corinthians 2:11. The deadened spirit within Job, as well as all men, will have their deadened spirit quickened and made alive, Romans 4:17; 8:11. To be quickened is a term, used by Paul, to have the deadened spirit within man, made alive, and raised by the very life of God,Romans 6:13. We are vessels to be filled with the Spirit of God.
Job could only worship God with his deadened spirit with his natural life, and his natural love. Job said, he only heard of God by the hearing of the ear. God called attention to Job because He knew that He could allow Satan to empty him of his natural life and accomplishments.
Romans 8:29, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn of many brethren.”
The Emptying and the Stripping of Job
God’s intention was to remove Job’s perfect and upright person and to strip away his own achievements. God wanted to tear down the natural perfection, uprightness and integrity of Job that He might build up a renewed man in attaining His Divine nature and attributes. We need to keep in mind that Job had only the knowledge of good and evil. Now, by God’s stripping, God would be able for Job to have access to Himself as the Tree of Life which was once closed off to Adam as well as Adam’s descendants. God’s purpose was to drain everything of Job that pertained to his natural life and form Job into a man of God. 1st Timothy 6:11-14.
Job’s Natural Being Needed to be Dealt With
God used Satan to do His handy work. We need to consider how God’s ways are so much higher than Satan’s ways and mans ways. When I first read this story, my impression that God was using Satan to buffet Job in a cruel way. Yet, in Acts 14:22, we are told, that it is through much tribulation for His chosen ones to enter into the Kingdom of God. So Satan, who was holding Job in bondage, seems to have shot himself in the foot, as the saying goes, because Satan, at the end of the story is never heard of again.
The Comparison of the Natural Life of Job and the Godly Life of Paul
Job never cursed God with his mouth but he probably came close to it, Job 3:1. Job regarded not the day he was born. Isn’t this the cursing of his mother? 3:3. Where is the uprightness and integrity he thought he had? In verses 4-10 Job says that he preferred the night and abhorred the light. In verse 11, Job says that he preferred death and not life. He didn’t curse God but he was extremely bewildered by the events in his life. He looked at his situation through the eyes of a man, not understanding that God was refining him, Zechariah 13:9. We need to remember that Job never had the dispensing of God’s Spirit within Him as his helper, or the direct teaching by the ministry of God, until the 38th chapter. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, Paul tells us that he counted everything as a loss and dung to gain Christ, Philippians 3:8. Paul says, to live is Christ and to die is gain, Philippians 1:21.
Many Christians are living as in the age of Job. They have a zeal for God by using their own knowledge or someone else’s teaching. Job didn’t have the comforter in his day, John 14:16, because Christ had not been yet glorified. During Job’s day, God initiated Satan to deal with Job. Today, through the Bible, God exposes our shortcoming as we examine ourselves using God’s Spirit along with our studying of the text. The removal of whatever is negative within us exposes our natural life and sweetness which will eventually conform to God’s righteousness. Just as the Bible is a progressive work, we are progressing as we utilize the leading and the cooperation of the Spirit. God is love, and we know that love /charity, never fails, 1st Corinthians 13:8.