The Story of Job

Part of Chronological Bible Study more Here if you wish to follow along

More Notes @ JOB from my Pastor Here

Jobs struggles and the Divine Speeches

God inspired this book to reveal answers to questions that arise from God’s nature and His ways with human beings. Specifically, what is the basis on which God deals with people? Elsewhere in the Old Testament we find God typically repaying good with good and evil with evil, but that is not how He dealt with Job.
“How can a God who elsewhere in Scripture is described as the very essence of love and grace initiate or even allow suffering in the lives of His saints? How can His attributes be reconciled with His actions, especially when those actions appear to run counter to all He claims to be?”  “The book of Job deals essentially with man’s relationship with God, centering on two questions. The first question is, Why does man worship God? . . .“The second question is, How will man react to God when God seems unconcerned about his problems?
 There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.  
Job was no ordinary man. He was not even an ordinary good man. He was an exceptionally admirable person because of his character and conduct .“Blameless” (Heb. tam) means complete. Job was not sinless.“Upright” (Heb. yasar) refers to behavior that is in harmony with God’s ways. He had seven sons and three daughters. 3He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. 5When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice. 

Job’s character is important because this book reveals that the basis of the relationship between God and people is essentially God’s sovereign grace and our response of trust and obedience. The basic problem the Book of Job sets forth seems to be the relationship between God and man.
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.  “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.   Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” 8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”  Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.  You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!  But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

God permitted Satan to test Job twice. The first test touched his possessions, including his children (1:6-22), and the second his person (2:1-10). God permitted Satan to afflict Job to demonstrate and to purify Job’s motives for worshipping God and for living a godly life (cf. James 1:2-4). The writer takes us behind the scenes in this periscope (1:6—2:10) so we can know why Job’s calamities befell him, the very question that Job and his friends debated hereafter.
In each test we first see Satan accusing Job in heaven and then attacking him on earth. The Scriptures consistently affirm that God tempts no one (James 1:13). That is, He is not the source of temptation and, therefore, the author of evil. He does not seduce people, trying to get them to sin. However, it is equally clear that God allows us to experience temptation from other sources for our welfare (James 1:2-18). The primary sources of our temptation are the world (1 John 2:15-16), the flesh (James 1:14), and the devil (Job 1—2).

Satan determined to prove that Job would not obey God if he got no blessing in return. He believed selfishness prompted Job’s obedience rather than love. Satan also believed that God would not get worship from Job if He stopped blessing him.
“The primary purpose of Job’s suffering, unknown to him, was that he should stand before men and angels as a trophy of the saving might of God . . . “From the outset, the writer reminds us that, no matter what happens in this world and in our lives, God is on the throne and has everything under control.”
Job grieved but worshipped. These two activities are not incompatible. He saw God’s hand in the events of his life. Moreover he had a proper perspective on his possessions. His faith did not relieve his agony; it caused it. Many people believe that if one has enough faith, he or she will always be happy. Job’s experience does not bear this out. We should have a deep-seated joy no matter what happens to us knowing that we are in the Lord’s hands and that He has permitted whatever happens to us (Phil. 4:4). But we may not always be happy, namely, enjoying our circumstances.

“Anybody can say, ‘The Lord gave’ or ‘The Lord hath taken away’; but it takes real faith to say in the midst of sorrow and suffering, ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord.’’’
Many people reach the same level in the strata of grief that Job did here. They long to die but do not contemplate suicide. Job evidently did not entertain the option of suicide because suicide implied that one had lost all hope in God.
This experience of great pain is the will of God for some people. We must not make the mistake of misjudging those who are going through this “valley of the shadow of death” as Job’s friends did.
Job began to talk to God, losing faith in him. Satan often does this to us during times of suffering. All suffering may not be a direct result in sin, but we have to make sure we don’t sin because we suffer.

TThroughout the three cycles of speeches Job’s friends did not change their position. They believed that God rewards the righteous and punishes sinners in this life, the theory of retribution.
 They reasoned that all suffering is punishment for sin, and since Job was suffering, he was a sinner. They believed that what people experience depends on what they have done (cf. John 9:2). While this is true often, it is not the fundamental reason we experience what we do in life, as the Book of Job proceeds to reveal.
As the speeches unfolded, Job’s friends became increasingly vitriolic and specific about Job’s guilt. This was true of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar

Job goes on to tell his friends that what they are saying is narrow-minded and not always correct.  Job says there is no real wisdom apart from God.  Job knew that the wicked ultimately perished but he still did not realize why he was perishing. He knew he was not sinless, only Jesus was sinless, but he was faithful to God.  He grew impatient with the Lord and began to doubt him. He began to pity himself and was confused as to why he was so conflicted. He felt he was innocent and wanted to plead his case to the Lord.
Job says to his friends that life is not fair and that he wants to be spared God’s wrath. It takes more than just knowing God to please him.  Job reproved his friends calling them miserable comforters because they could not put themselves in his shoes and they just talked to talk. Job came very close to bragging about his past deeds. He tells all his accomplishments and was prideful, trying to explain and defend himself but not really acknowledging the blessings were from God. His friends continue to lead him falsely stating that God was not answering Job and relieving this suffering. 
We take God for grated sometimes and interpret his silence as him being unconcerned for us. Our faith is more important that our desire to know why this is happening to us.
Finally, God spoke to Job and gave revelation that Job had been demanding for so long. Yahweh spoke directly to Job, and Job had the opportunity to respond directly to God.
“God challenged both Satan and Job by confronting them with his wondrous works”
The Lord Challenges Job
 “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.
God’s role in His speeches was not that of the defendant on trial whom prosecutor Job was charging with injustice. Rather He was the prosecutor who was asking the questions of Job, the defendant. He asked him more than 70 unanswerable questions and proved him both ignorant and impotent. 77 questions that God asked Job in chapters 38—41 Since Job could not understand or determine God’s ways with nature, he obviously could not comprehend or control God’s dealings with people.
“In the end the point is that Job cannot have the knowledge to make the assessments he made. It is wiser to bow in submission and adoration of God than to try to judge him.”
God’s first speech “transcends all other descriptions of the wonders of creation or the greatness of the Creator, which are to be found either in the Bible or elsewhere.” God’s first speech began and ended with a challenge to Job. Job had found fault with God for allowing him to suffer when he was godly. He had said he wished he could meet God in court to face Him with His injustice and to hear His response. Now God asked Job if he still wanted to contend with Him after God had reminded him of His power and wisdom.

Job’s first reply to God 

Earlier in the book Job had hesitated to confront God. Gradually he became more confident and demanded an audience with God. Still later he spoke almost as God’s equal boasting that he would approach God as a prince. Indeed, I am completely unworthy  how could I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth to silence myself. However, Job did not confess any sin. Therefore God proceeded to speak again. He, not Job, found it necessary to speak “even twice”
 “Yahweh confronts Job with the major flaw in his accusations. In defending his own innocence so emphatically and lashing out so vehemently at God because of his suffering, Job has essentially charged God with acting unjustly.  “It is important to observe that Yahweh does not accuse Job of any specific sin, thereby agreeing that Job has lived a righteous life.  Nevertheless, if the relationship between himself and his servant is to be restored, Job’s self-righteous attitude must be altered and his complaint against God’s just governance of the world must be corrected.” In criticizing God Job had placed himself in a position over God. Therefore God now reminded Job that he was not superior or even equal to God. If he were superior or equal, Job could deliver himself from his own misery, which he could not do. Because Job was inferior to God, he had no right to criticize God for behaving as He did.
God wants us to understand Him as best we can within our finite human limitations. That is evidently why He spoke to Job, and that is why He preserved this record of His revelation in Scripture

Job’s second reply to God 

Job’s words reveal the changes that God’s revelations had produced in him. He was aware as never before that God had all power and all wisdom. This resulted in an attitude of awe and submission He saw that it was foolish for him to question God’s actions. Job admitted sinning because he suffered, but he did not admit that he was suffering because he had sinned. Job forgot his cry for vindication since he had received something much better: a revelation of the person of God and renewed fellowship with God.
He had lost all, but he had found God and was now content. He had stopped asking, “Why?” since he had come to know God. We do not need to know why if we know God. This is one of the great lessons of this book.
Suffering is sometimes a mystery. We must affirm both the mystery and God. . . . Each time we have trials in our life our faith grows stronger. God wants us all to be closer to him. We may not always understand what is happening or why but always turn to the Lord and his plan will be revealed.
The book closes as it opened…. Job evidently forgave his friends as God had forgiven him  and prayed for them as a priest. Job stood as a mediator between his friends and God. He had previously felt the need of a mediator himself. Rather than judging Job, God accepted him because he was indeed His “servant,” not the rebel that his friends accused him of being. Notice that God began to prosper Job again after he interceded for his friends, not just after he repented. His willingness to pray for his enemies showed the genuineness of the transformation that had taken place in his heart. He no longer felt antagonistic toward God but accepting of his enemies.  The Lord increased all that Job possessed twofold. Job lived 140 years after that. Living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died an old man who had lived a long, full life.

Some of the practical lessons the Book of Job teaches include the following. A person may serve God faithfully, whether his circumstances are bleak or filled with promise, for he has the assurance that God is for him, seeking his ultimate good. A person can triumph over suffering through faith in God.
And yet, even in the face of suffering, man can worship God, confident that His ways are perfect and that pride has no place before Him
We can trust God even when we have no explanation for what is happening to us. When we feel anxious we should seek to get to know God better by consulting His special revelation, the Bible
How many times have we had struggles and trials in our life that have left us feeling helpless, hopeless or in despair?  The Lord says ‘Fear not for I am with thee’
As hard as it is we don’t know Gods plans for us and the trials that your are experiencing are for something God has planned in the future, we can’t know the outcome, we just need to trust in the Lord that it will be revealed in his time not ours

Many Blessings to you,

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