Job 1:21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
One of the most quoted, or I should say misquoted texts of the Bible is the famous phrase that was spoken by Job in a time of great trial in his life. I have heard many people through difficulties and tragedies in their life quote this scripture. I don’t know if you have ever heard of a radio personality by the name of Paul Harvey, but to quote a famous saying of his I want to share with you “the rest of the story”.
You surely have heard of the saying, “hindsight is 20/20.” Often in life we may say things in the midst of what we are dealing with, or what we may be going through at the time, but as time goes by we may then often see a completely different picture. As we do we then realize what we may have said or thought about that situation at the time may not have been correct. Often in life you may think what you are saying is accurate at the time, but when you have then lived a while you may realize that things are not quite the way they seemed. So it is with Job.
No one seems to want to study the entire book of Job to find out the “rest of the story.” They tend to only focus on the first couple of chapters in the book, and therefore they get an incomplete picture of what all happened in Jobs life, and more importantly why it happened. So let’s begin at the beginning where the confusion seems to always start when you are talking about Jobs life.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
Job 1:7 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Job 1:8 Then 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 fears God and shuns evil?”
The first thing God asks satan is, while he was roaming the earth he must have come across Job. This is the term for the word “considered”. God was not throwing Job to the lions; God was saying satan surely had seen His servant who walked before God with a heart for Him, shunning the work of evil in his life. This does not mean Job had not given place for satan to come against him, it does mean that in Job’s relationship to God, Job had such reverence and honor for God, that he personally had lived a godly life not giving in to evil practices.
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, “Is it for nothing that Job fears God?
Job 1:10 Have you not made a hedge around him and his household and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock have increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But extend your hand and strike everything he has, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!”
Job 1:12 So the LORD said to Satan, “All right then, everything he has is in your power. Only do not extend your hand against the man himself!” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
There are a couple of very key elements to point out in these verses as this conversation between God and satan continues. God was able to protect Job just as He is able to protect us who walk by faith and not fear, as we will address this in a moment with Job. Realize that when satan suggests to God that if He would strike everything he has then he would no longer serve God.
First question, do you really believe that God is going to take satan’s advice? That would be like a mob boss coming to a parent and telling that parent if you will strike them down, or let me beat them up, take everything they have, they won’t love you anymore. How many parents who love their kids are going to tell the mob boss, “Yea, that sounds like a good idea to me, go ahead and do what you want with my kid, just don’t kill them”. Yet we think God who loves us more than we love our own children would do so?
God did not strike Job. God does tell satan that he had the right to come against him as far as what he had in the natural, but he could not take his spirit for his spirit belonged to God. Why did satan have the right to come against Job in the natural? Realize that when Adam fell in the garden the authority that God had given Adam was now given over to satan. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that he is the god of this world. Man has a choice as to whether he is going to walk by faith in his God, or give way to satan through fear. When you walk by faith you give God access to every part of your life. When you walk in fear you now give satan the opportunity to take advantage of your life. That is why he works to deceive people and lead them into fear.
Job 1:16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Here again is something may believe is proof that God was doing this, but the phrase, “fire from God” actually refers to lightning. Writers in the Old Testament would often attribute this to God’s doing, but scripture reveals in Ephesians 2:2 that satan is called the prince of the power of the air. He brings destructive storms just as he did against Jesus and His disciples when they were in a boat heading across the sea and a storm came against them.
Jesus after being awakened by His disciples rebuked this storm and it left. Then He looked to His disciples and wanted to know why they had not used their faith to come against this storm. If God sends such things against His children who fear Him, then why did Jesus rebuke this storm? Because it was a work of satan, not a work of God.
Job 3:25 What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come to be.
Job reveals here in chapter three that he had been living with a certain fear for some time. That fear was all the things that had happened to him. What he had always feared had now come to pass. Fear gave satan the right to come against Job in the natural, but because Job did reverence God and served God for who He is and not what Job had, satan could not touch his spirit, for his spirit belonged to God.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
Job was experiencing a time of dread in his life because Job had not yet come to the place of fully understanding the love God had for him. One who fully understands the love of God will walk by faith, for faith works through love. This lack of understanding God’s love gave way to fear, and this opened the door for satan to torment Job. Because of this fear Job then made a statement in the midst of his darkest hour that was based on what he was going through at the time. In Job 1:21 he declared that the Lord had given and the Lord had taken away. It is true that Job said this, but that does not make it a true statement. Let’s look at the rest of the story.
Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said:
Job 42:2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
Job 42:3 You asked, “Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
God later in a conversation with Job who had been listening to wrong counsel from his friends has God reveal Himself as One whom Job did not fully understand. Job had uttered those words in chapter one that the Lord was the One who had taken what he had away. But after God questions Job as to whether he actually knew everything about God, Job admits here in chapter 42 that he did not know everything about God. It was not God doing this to Job, and therefore Job states in Job 42:3 that what he uttered he did not understand. Who has not at times said something in the midst of a painful or difficult situation but then later on realize what they said was not true.
Job 42:10 And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
The Lord then tells Job to go and pray for his friends. This got Jobs focus off of himself. Ministering to others takes faith. In doing so God got Job back in faith. In doing this God restored Job back with twice as much as he had before. Remember, fear gives satan access to our life, but faith opens the door for God to work in our lives and see His will fulfilled. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy; the Lord has come to give us life and that more abundantly!
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker