job

ACCUSING SPIRIT

The temptations of Job are not inspired by God, but rather by Satan. Yet God knows Job enough to trust him, even as Job trusts God. Unwavering performance is the mark of their relationship; they trust each other. One spirit does not believe this is a reality.

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. Job 2:1-5

Earthly events have origins in the spiritual realm. We should be able to see this in all the events of the bible. Esther and Mordecai experienced the manifestation of spiritual warfare in political realms. David saw demonic attacks from Saul and from his own son Absalom. For Job the demonic temptation challenged his physical health.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Job 2:6-10

Job as lost his fortune and his children. Now he is losing his health, and all he has left is his wife. But she speaks like an enemy, tempting him to abandon his faith in God. We need to be equally yoked in marriage, sharing our joy and sorrow with a partner who equally trusts our provider. Job may be able to lead his wife to grow by being a godly example and a spiritual leader for his house. He will accept the will of God. For now, all he has left are his wife and his friends. What will their value be to him?

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. Job 2:11-13

When I speak of a balanced life, it includes having fellowship with people who share our faith. They are the conduit of the Holy Spirit, our source of encouragement. If they only know defeat, and offer no words from God, what do they offer more than our enemies?

After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. Job 3:1-5

Job has suffered enough to provoke anger at having been born. I am a bit less enthusiastic about birthdays as I approach number 66. I think route 66 will get even harder for the coming generations though. We have left godly ways so far behind as a nation that many have earned some trials. Job did not earn trilas as a punishment for sin though.

As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. Job 3:6-10

Why should we endure such hardship as life brings us? Is there some good point to our journey out of the womb? Job considers how life might have been easier if it never began.

Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves; Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. Job 3:11-16

Rich or poor, death brings rest to all who enter there it might seem. While suffering from afflictions in this life we may begin to long for Death. My father declared that aging is not for cowards.

There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? Job 3:17-22

Be warned though that not everyone will welcome death. Job may think so in his suffering, but others have gone out in fear as death approached them. Job sees that everything he had feared and prayed against has happened to him.

Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came. Job 3:23-26

Why does God allow man to have light to see the fears that have surrounded him? Job may have preferred a sudden death, with no warning instead of long suffering. Job will have his faith tested and demonstrated in this experience. These trials are just his entrance exam to a better life to come.

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