Understanding Job part 1

And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has in in your power, only do not lay a hand on his person.”   Job 1:12

The book of Job is probably one of the most misunderstood books of the bible. Many people use the book of Job to help explain how miserable they are in life. Everything seems to go wrong for them, and they say, ‘I must be like Job.’ It could be true, but you need to consider these points:

– Job was targeted by Satan because he was ‘a blameless and upright man,’ and there was ‘none like him on earth.’  God was basically saying that Job was the best man He had on the earth at the time.

– Job was very blessed by God in material things.  They only reason all that was his was taken away was so God could prove that Job’s commitment was more than skin deep.

– God restored twice as much to Job in the end.  The period of Job’s suffering was believed to be about 9 months.

Another thing we need to understand is that MOST of the book of Job is NOT biblical.  Let me explain:  Most of the book of Job is dialog between Job and his friends.  Job’s friends tried to explain to Job the reason for his suffering, but God says that what they said was not right:

“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.'” Job 42:7

Now we can learn from the errant monologues of Eliphaz and his two friends, but we need to do it with the understand that they are biblically incorrect.  Even Job was rebuked by God in the end, so we can’t even bank on everything he has said.  But, all of the narrative in the book of Job is inspired and, of course, everything that God says, and even Elihu, what he says, can be considered since it seems that he is the author of the book of Job and since God didn’t rebuked Elihu like He did to Job’s other friends.

So, what is the lessons of the book of Job?  One lesson is that God desires for our commitment to be a true heart commitment and not a commitment to God just because of what He can do for you.

Another lesson is that we need to trust God no matter what the circumstances are and know that He has our best interest in mind no matter what is happening.

Another interesting lesson that we can learn is what Satan is capable of doing; and also how he is powerless to do anything against what God has protected.

God said to Satan, “Behold all that he has in in your power.”  God lifted his ‘hedge’ of protection from Job and Satan went to work.  Look what Satan was capable of doing:

– caused Sabeans raiders to kill servants and steal the donkeys.

– he cause fire to come down from the sky and kill all the sheep.

– he caused Chaldeans to come kill the servants and steal the camels.

– he cause a great wind to blow down the house of Job’s eldest son. The house collapsed and killed all of Job’s children.

– he struck Job with a very, very painful disease.

Now, the bible indirectly shifts the blame on God for all this happening, (Job 42:11) but it is only because all this would not have been possible unless God had lifted His protection from Job.  The truth is, though, that Satan did all this evil to Job, not God.  Satan’s limited power caused all this evil to happen.

Satan has limited power, but he does have power.  He uses what he can to kill, steal and destroy in the earth.  And, if you look in the world, he is doing a pretty good job of it.

So, because of this, it’s very important to learn to ‘dwell in the secret place of the Most High,’ because it’s only there where God guarantees safety for us (read Ps 91).  God demonstrated that protection to David by keeping him safe in all that he did.  The promise of Ps 91 remains true for us today.

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