Speaking for Satan

Job Sees The Light - Sixteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

A God-ordained trial such as Job endured, is not to be viewed as divine permission for onlookers to help bring the subject to a right view of things. Job's friends believe they are promoting God’s agenda by castigating Job, but they have no concept of what the Lord has determined to achieve, so how can they assist him?

Job 15:1-6 NIV Nevertheless, Eliphaz, in Chapter 15, striving to defend God in the courtroom brawl, takes the floor to cross examine Job. In his previous speech he was solicitous, but now he wants only to prove that Job is guilty.

The “east wind” in that land was the most violent. Job is being accused of attacking and weakening the foundational knowledge about God's very nature. Such an offense must be strongly opposed!

Job 15:7-14 NIV Job, you are not a discerning man. (But wasn't it Job who initially stated that man is by nature impure? (refs Job 15:14; Job 14:4)) We, your friends, have tried to comfort you with our words and you have shown no respect for our wisdom, even though we are your elders!

Job 15:15-16 NIV Next, Eliphaz repeats his previous insight that God “puts no trust” in his servants, “and his angels he charges with error.” (Job 4:18)

God takes a dim view of his angels who were created with mightier powers and better qualities than man, so how can man expect any greater consideration?

This line of reasoning rephrases Satan’s own complaint against the Lord. I was the most beautiful creature of all — I was anointed as a guardian cherub. Every precious stone adorned me… But I was driven from the mount of God — I, the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty… (Ez 28:12-17) —If God would do this to me, the highest angel, then he would surely do it to you, a mere man. Thus we detect the influence of Satan in the discourse of Eliphaz.

Satan wants us to identify in his rebellion against God and to doubt our prospects for salvation. Man needs assurance of salvation and to know that God is love. We must minister in this way to those in deep distress.

Job 15:17-30 NIV Job had pointed out that the evil are not always hounded by God (Job 12:6), but Eliphaz thinks differently. The evil man is a marked man and will be punished. In fact the two would agree: evil men are not always promptly punished, but in time, they will be. Arguments cause us to bicker over things about which we agree.

Job 15:31-35 NIV Eliphaz has begun to view Job as a reprobate.

In Proverbs we read that the wounds of a friend are faithful (Prov 27:6), but here we see that they can be deadly and cruel. We also read in Proverbs: The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? (Prov 18:14)

Will Job collapse under Eliphaz’s tirade? Stay tuned.

Contending with God

Job Sees The Light - Fifteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 14:1-2 NIV Job, in Chapter 14, strives with God. He will not address his friends at all.

Job reminds God, the Creator, what sort of creature man is. He is mortal, born of a woman, not sprung from the head of God. He is flesh, of few days, days full of difficulties. He starts life in the grandeur of youth only to fade and wither in old age. He dies.

Job 14:3-6 NIV Would God really interact with such a creature? Wouldn't he consider it a waste of his time? Why apply high expectations to a lowly, laughable bag of bones?

Why unleash trial and judgment on a creature who is at God's mercy? Man, by definition, is imperfect. He is wanting. He is a mixture– impure. And no matter how harshly you deal with him, you can never distill from this polluted creation a purified man. It's impossible. Not even you can do it, God!

Job feels that God has been overzealous with his faithful servant and needs to recognize the error of his ways. Stop bearing down on this broken man!

Job 14:7-12 NIV It is possible for a dead tree to revive, but a dead man, no. Not until a different time, a new day when the heavens have disappeared: Then man will be roused from sleep of death. A day of resurrection will come! Commentators agree that the resurrection is in view here; Job envisions it in his extreme misery.

Job 14:13 NIV Yes, this is actually what God will do. As surely as spring follows winter, so will the Lord remember his children, and at a set time.

The resurrection is a good hope, but better still is the wonder of interaction with God and the experience of his lovingkindness in this life. This is greatly to be desired.

Job 14:14-17 NIV Job is looking toward a day of restoration when things will be back to normal, and he will not be under God's magnifying glass.

Job 14:18-22 NIV Job was a mountain of a man, but God’s torrents wore him down. God does not even care whether a man and his sons remain in contact, Job reflects. He reduces a man to inner pain and aloneness. God, you have destroyed my hope! Shame on you! says Job, in effect.

Before we backslide to doubt and fury against God, we must run to him for strength. “We hide from God in God.” Trust in the Lord no matter what appearances are. The one who feels far from God must chose to advance deeper in to Him.

With what shall I come before the LORD?

Job Sees The Light - Fourteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 13:1-2 NIV An important test of faith is whether what one believes conforms his heart to love. This is well expressed by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13:1-3). Job and his friends are shown to be clanging cymbals in their dialog. And though they lived before the time of the law and the time of the Lord, man has always known what pleases God, being made in his image and likeness.

In Chapter 12 (our previous post), Job explained that he certainly understood the sovereignty of God. Here, he reaffirms this belief.

Job 13:3-9 NIV Job’s friends tried to convince him of his need for repentance; now, Job turns the tables. They, not him, are in greater need of self searching. If they could only hear themselves and their ignorant preaching then maybe they would come to their senses and shut up.

They think themselves the defenders of God's holiness when in fact they are casting shadows on Truth through their wicked accusations against his true servant. They view themselves as God's advocates but if He were to examine them, they would be found wanting and exposed as shallow and unfit to judge others because they are blind to their own faults.

Satan revels in brawling. If he can incite and encourage accusations, angry words and misunderstandings, he is achieving his ends. As much as God loves us, as tenderly, carefully and faithfully with perfect discipline, so in the opposite extreme does Satan despise us. If we could only realize the great hatred of Satan, perhaps we would refuse to bend to his suggestions. Why should we do his will? Why serve a cruel master? (Rom 6:23)

Job 13:10-11 NIV Job challenges his friends — have they no fear of the true Judge of judges? They ought to be in dread of God rather than putting themselves in his place.

Job 13:12-14 NIV Job's friends believe he is profane because he will not acknowledge sin in his life, and he sees them in the same light. They should just be quiet and give Job the floor, for he has determined that God must reveal his wrongs even though it may not be pleasant to know.

Job 13:15 NIV A famous verse is here.

Job 13:16 NIV We admire Job's trust despite the severity of his ruination. To the best of his knowledge he has been an upright man, but of course, his trust in the Lord is discolored by self-justification. We cannot come before the Lord in our own glory and strength.

Job 13:17-26 NIV For now, though, Job does not consider himself unrighteous in defending himself before God. By speaking up for himself he hopes to achieve some sort of reinstatement or release from his miseries.

Job earnestly, pitifully sets his case before the Lord. He knows he must have some relief. He must hear from the Lord! He cannot go on in his state of confusion and torment. He is open to discovery: Please God, tell me what I have done or am doing wrong! Otherwise, I will die.

Job is in darkness. Why has he lost nearly everything dear and all that he worked for? Confounded! There must be some explanation!

If we seek to know our wrongs, will God not reveal these? Is it not right to judge ourselves by the Lord's standards with his communing assistance? (1 Cor 11:31) Yes.

One thing is lacking here: patience to await God's timing in revealing his mind in this matter. Alas.

Job 13:27-28 NIV How impossible not to feel mistreated and cast out, under the circumstances!

Attention Readers

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Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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