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Devotions > What We Can Learn From Job

17 Sep 2012


In the entire Bible we have recorded only one place where God speaks to Satan about a man or woman.  But this one place is remarkably intentional and focused with clarity upon the life of one righteous man, Job.

Job 1:8 (AMP)
8 And 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 [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]?    (emphasis added)

God pulled back the curtains of heaven and revealed this conversation to us for one principal reason.   In the vein of the entire body of the scripture, this revelation is without doubt primarily for the purpose of revealing to us a portion of the nature of God.

The bible provides for us additional background information regarding God’s epic dispute with Satan.   In the garden, shortly after the fall of man, God spoke to Satan and informed him that his head will be bruised by the seed of the woman. (Gen. 3:15)   Of course Satan is fighting an entirely unwinnable battle.    For Satan, as a created being, to challenging or to stand proud against a challenge by the omnipotent creator God is an exponentially unwise and unprofitable expedition. 

Have you ever wondered how Satan can be on one hand at times so very clever and on the other hand sometimes seems to be so completely clueless regarding the power and wisdom of God?     But wait, what about the mass of created beings of the human type?    How often are we acting upon logic that completely disregards the power and wisdom of God?   How often does our thinking pay no regard to the omnipotence or even the revealed will of God?

From God’s perspective Job was wise.    God said that no one measured up to the standard of righteousness set by Job.   God said of Job he is blameless and upright and he continually fears God!    The Hebrew word translated abstains or shuns evil carries the meaning of actively turning away and intentionally keeping away from evil.  One example of Job’s proactive intent to avoid evil is found in Job chapter 31.

Job 31:1 (NLT)
1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.

As we get the righteous nature of Job fixed firmly in our minds the Author of this ancient book quickly takes us to the conversation between God and Satan and the resulting approval of God allowing Satan with some restrictions to test the faith and righteousness of Job.   

Promptly we see our natural tendency to assume righteous men will always and at all times be protected from all harm and only the sinful will find themselves befallen into disappointments, disasters and death, destroyed.    God is teaching us that He is not like a simple equation or even a complex recipe.  He is God and His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Moses and Jesus had this in common; they each discovered what God desired for them to be doing by spending time in His presence, by seeking God in humble submitted prayer.    When they learned what God desired for them to be pursuing,  they also received absolute confidence that what God had instructed them to do was a part of what God was doing to accomplish His purposes.  

Without time in humble submitted prayer we will be no better at determining the reasoning, direction and plans of God than the friends of Job.    Do we really believe that God in omnipotent and omniscient?   Do we really believe that His eternal plan includes us?   Are we clever enough to realize in our heart of hearts that we will not be able to come up a reliable plan to serve God out of our own thinking?

In the book of Job as we listen to Job’s three friends, we see virtually all natural human reasoning being expounded.    But God did not consider these words with interest or humor.  In the passage below we see the response of God to the natural thoughts and words of Job’s friends.

Job 42:7-9 (NLT)
7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.
8 So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.”
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

I hold to the idea that our natural thinking our natural planning our natural promotion is sin.  While these are very hard words and ones that I struggle at times to live up to, nevertheless they represent truth as revealed by God’s word.

God has called some of us to serve Him to prepare for His coming revival.   This I know.   Exactly how, we will not discern by simply thinking and acting on our thinking.     We must receive our daily instructions as we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways.   Oh that God would grant us grace to pursue these with Jesus’ Gethsemane passion!  

Jeff Williams