You have an adversary

Job Sees The Light - Second in a series

Job 1:2-3 Hover over this Bible passage to read how blessed Job was.

Job 1:4-5 Job saw himself as righteous— He stood before the Lord in the place of his children to make atonement for them.

Job 1:6-7 The Lord knew that Satan, his son who turned from righteousness, had been surveying Job and his possessions, and begrudging him for his privileges. Perhaps Job reminded the Adversary of the riches and honor he had enjoyed before his fall.

Job 1:8 The Lord saw Job as perfect and upright, as one who feared God and turned from evil. But Job was blind to God’s immense glory and did not fathom the depth of his wisdom, mercy, power, love and sovereignty. We discover this in the book’s final chapter as Job confesses:

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:6)

Mission accomplished! As we will see in this blog series, the Lord, by taking his son, Job, through a severe and inscrutable trial, brought him to a new birth. And since the journey began when Job was self-deceived, it was an especially laborious and painful task. The self-assured man is practically unbendable.

We can only hope the Lord will do the same for us, realizing it is the nature of man to be foolish, self-absorbed, prideful, short-sighted, and never aware of the magnitude of distance between the creature and the Creator.

The Trial Begins

Job 1:9-11 The Accuser challenges the Lord of Hosts. He would like for Job to be tested. Much could be written about this passage and the prospect of Satan demanding to sift God’s children, but for now we will only point out that God is not the accuser. Though He sees all our shortcomings, he never accuses us about them, but only gently brings them to our minds.

Job 1:12 God grants permission to Satan to decimate Job.

Job 1:13 Satan chose the birthday of the oldest son to begin his rampage (Job 1:4). "That son is the first sign of his father's strength." (Deut 21:17) That day symbolized Job's blessedness and hope for the future. One of Satan's goals in attacking us as well, is to make us feel cut off from our future hope and doubtful about our claim to it.

Job 1:14-15 His destruction of Job’s possessions and family begins with the creatures that help to manage his ranch and their overseers. Satan uses neighboring tribes to do his work. This deflects the blame from himself and his minions.

Job 1:16-17 Next the sheep so needed for food and raiment and the camels for their services in travel and their overseers are killed. "Fire from heaven" is blamed. Satan wants man to blame the Lord for his losses.

Job 1:18-19 Finally, Job’s children are destroyed by a tornado or twister, on the day of the oldest son’s birthday. Satan can control the weather if the Lord allows.

Job 1:20-22 Despite everything, Job does not question nor blame the Lord.

Job: In a class with Noah and Daniel

Job Sees The Light - First in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

The Book of Job is a steep climb and broad crossing from wonder at the inscrutable trials of a godly man— to the Lord’s complete deliverance of him from spiritual darkness.

In this blog series we will travel verse by verse or by passages with Job and his friends, up the rocky face of God’s permissive will and across endless miles of mental darkness to the glorious new birth that was the appointed end.

Job 1:1

The meaning of his name

Scholars have concluded that the name, Job, could mean “hated” or “turn,” connoting repentance, or “where is my father?” or that it bears no literary significance.

Where he lived

Job lived in Uz, perhaps so named for a great-grandson of Noah. Noah’s middle son. Shem had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. (Gen 10:22) Aram fathered Uz. (Gen 10:23)

AN ASIDE: Arphaxad was the grandfather of Eber who was the progenitor of the Hebrews: Eber > Peleg > Reu > Serug > Nahor > Terah > Abram. So maybe Job and Abraham were distant cousins.

Historians say the land of Uz may have been in Bashan, or east of the Sea of Galilee or on the edge of the Arabian desert.

When did he live?

Some reasons for viewing Job among the ancients include:

  • According to rabbinical tradition he lived in Abraham’s times. Some view him as Melchizedek to whom Abraham tithed.
  • There is no reference in Job to the book of the law, nor of the levitical institutions, priesthood and sacrifices. Sacrifices are mentioned in the beginning and the end of the book. But no priest is indicated. It is the primitive way of approaching God by a sacrifice.
  • Nothing is said of the history of Israel, nor is there a quotation from the writings of the prophets.
  • We move evidently in this book in a time before the law was given and before Abraham’s seed constituted a nation. (Arno Gaebelein)
  • He lived while God was known by the name of God Almighty more than by the name of Jehovah for he is called Shaddai--the Almighty, more than thirty times in this book.
  • He lived while divine knowledge was conveyed, not by writing, but by tradition for to that appeals are here made, xxi. 29 xv. 18 v. 1. And we have therefore reason to think that he lived before Moses, because here is no mention at all of the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, or the giving of the law. (Matthew Henry)

Was he a real or fictional man in Scripture?

Real. Scripture says “this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (Job 1:3)

Job is cited in the book of James as an “example.” James wrote, Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)

Would James have instructed the brothers in long suffering or any vital trait based on a fiction? Would he have classed Job among God’s prophets (Jas 5:10) if he were merely a book character? Would he have said that these brothers had seen what the Lord finally brought about if God actually did nothing?

Ezekiel, too, mentions Job and classes him with Noah and Daniel. (Ez 14:14-20) That is something to ponder: The saints will be preserved. (Ps 41:2, Psa79:11, Psa 86:2, Psa 121:7, 2Ti 4:18 et al)

A Framework for Emphases

Thanksgivings on Special Occasions - Seventh and Final in a series

Celebrating special days introduces punctuation that may serve to enliven the habitual practice of worship. Every essay needs at least a few sentences with exclamation points!

I’m in favor of celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas and of commemorating Good Friday, and of meeting together to fast for our nation as special occasions in the church calendar. Easter and Pentecost always fall on Sunday, and should have an honored remembrance.

The great divide of the church between Protestant and Roman Catholic in the 17th century led to multitudes of divisions. Even Luther and Calvin had differences including whether to observe feast days.

Here are four reasons why I think that such commemorations are good:

1. FOR GOD: Unity
It is good for brothers to dwell together in unity. Even though Christian churches and denominations go separate ways on many points of doctrine, we could dwell in unity on these holidays. Granted, the Orthodox Church celebrates these holidays on different dates, but at least they do celebrate them. Common times of celebration also facilitate family reunions.

2. FOR OTHERS: Evangelism
Laying special focus on the incarnation, birth, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the Lord and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost by commonly observing them in worship at traditional times in the calendar year permits a strong evangelical witness to the community and the world. Special days of thanksgiving support this witness. The world learns the basics of our faith in this way.

3. FOR THE CONFESSIONAL CHRISTIAN: Carrying forward the spirit of the law
The Westminster Confession explains that though God's covenant with man was administered differently in Old and New Testament days, it was one and the same covenant. (Chapter VII ) There is great enjoyment and edification when we view Old and New Testament truth as seamless.
       We understand that the substance of the types and ordinances that foreshadowed Christ were plainly revealed when the Word was made flesh. Because we perceive a continuum, we might also ask: Though the ceremonial aspects of 'the law' no longer are to be enforced, was the practice of special thanksgivings at appointed times of the year to be abandoned? Or, does this not suggest a framework for us to model?
       The Hebrews were commanded to join at certain seasons to remember the mighty acts of God and to rest from work. It is the nature of man to be forgetful and to discount or gloss over what is not stressed as being of utmost importance. By the Feasts, God reinforced to his people what they should be most thankful for. (See previous post.) Should we today not continue this pattern?

4. FOR OURSELVES: Joy and Rest
A Christian pastor and author has stated in regard to the Feasts of the Hebrews, “We see here also the great social good God intended in the Sabbath and in the Feasts; in other ancient cultures, there was no day off, and there were no holidays. Here, God commands both holidays and ‘vacation days’ - all centered on Him!” - David Guzik

Centered on Him, held in common, enjoyed in fellowship.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


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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