The book begins with a glowing description of the main character Job. I particularly like how Good News Bible puts it: He was a man who worshiped God and was faithful to him. He was a good man, careful not to do anything evil. What a man!
He wasn’t just a religious man but also a prosperous one. Actually, he was said to be the most influential person in the Middle East, back in the day. So this man had it all: The ‘fear’ of God and ‘a fat bank account’. What can go wrong?
But all of a sudden, a little thing called peripeteia happened to him. In simple English, he suffered a sudden tragic reversal in fortune. Well, the truth is the adversary, the devil sought to devour him. He envied his piety and prosperity and sought to inflict pain on him to the end that he loses faith in God. However, his devilish might notwithstanding, he couldn’t get to him without a loophole.
You see, the believer cannot be possessed of/by the devil because his body is God’s temple. He also cannot come under the devil’s authority because he has been translated into the kingdom/dominion of God/light. However, the believer can subject himself to the devil’s affliction if he lets down his guard.
Back to Job…So the devil needed an inlet and he found one – fear. Fear is a potent weapon in the devil’s arsenal. Listen to Job’s confession after the successive series of … that befell him – 3:25-26:
Everything I fear and dread comes true.
I have no peace, no rest, and my troubles never end.
His life was ruled by the fear of the unknown…He consistently conceived them in his mind till the devil made it a reality for him.
Interestingly, all along, Job thought God was the mastermind of his misfortune. In fact, he gave God the glory for what the devil did:
…The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Many believing folks are like Job. They think God has a hand in the unpleasant things that befall them.
I once heard a true-life story of a clergy who paid a condolence visit to a woman who lost her baby. In his way of consoling the bereaved, the clergy said: Take heart. Your baby’s death is God’s will. You can’t but submit to it. That unguarded statement dealt a blow to the woman’s faith in God.
Some will say “God was surely involved in Job’s misery. He gave the devil the permission after all”. And of course, they make reference to the supposed conversation about Job between Satan and God. Now imagine the scenario: Satan strolled into God’s presence and had a dialogue with him? God and the devil having a tete-a-tete and struck a bargain over one of God’s children? Unthinkable!
…What communion hath light with darkness?
What you find in Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-7 is a documentation of a spiritual reality as perceived by the documenter. Obviously, the writer was not present when these opposing forces were having their exchange. He must have gotten his …via a vision and in a vision, things seen are mostly not clearly understood and therefore requires revelation.
God never had a hand in Job’s desolation. It was all the devil’s mechanization.
God delivers from evil. He is never involved in it.
Here is another conspiracy theory: God made Job go through the hellish experience just so He could try his faith. What kind of God is that? God made me lose my job so I can be committed in church? God took my child from me to see if I’ll still serve him regardless? That’s not the God I serve!
Have you not heard?
…It is not possible for God to be tested by evil, and he himself puts no man to such a test-James 1:13
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above – James1:17
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all – 1John 1:5.
Can you, as a father, ask that your son be kidnapped, punished and coerced into casting aspersion at you just to test how loyal/faithful he is to you? I think not. How much more the father of mercy and grace.
Ask yourself: What does stand to gain from such action. What pleasure does it bring to him to see his beloved suffer needlessly? If (hypothetically) God ever needed to test your faith/salvation, then his redemptive work wasn’t foolproof.
What was God’s role in Job’s temptation?
It’s the same role he plays in all temptation:
…You saw that the Lord ended Job’s suffering because the Lord is compassionate and mercifull – James 5:11b.
God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but he will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it- 1Cor 10:13.
God doesn’t tempt anyone. He is merciful. He provides a way of escape. He delivers from evil. This is my God!
For the most part of the book, through his dialogue with his friends, Job, in his limited knowledge, thought it was God dealing with him and testing his mettle. But he was wrong. He came to the realisation of the truth after God had upbraid him. Hear his confession at the end – Job 42:3&5:
…I have talked about things that are far beyond my understanding.
I heard about you from others; now I have seen you with my own eyes.
He was ignorant of God’s involvement!
Rather than allow the devil to have a swell time over things that concerns us, we can exercise our authority in Christ over him and get him to take his hands off your things.
He is a good father. All the time!
Image Credits: rainbowtoken.com, Manna Ministry