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Posted By Nan

Job 1:13-22
It happens.
First the oxen and servants tending them.
Job does not react.
Then the sheep and servants tending them.
Job does not react.
Then the camels and the servants tending them.
Job does not react.
Then all his children are killed.
What a terrible blow for any parent, especially one who loved his children so much.
And finally Job reacts.
He shaves his head and tears his clothes – these are the signs of mourning.
Then he …
What does he do?
Does he cry? No.
Does he express anger? No.
Who would he be angry with? Most of his animals were killed by people, except the sheep, which were killed by bolts of lightning. But he did not react when his animals were killed. His children he did react to and they were killed by a mighty wind. So does that mean he should be angry at God? Is that what satan wanted?
So what did Job do?
He worshipped God.
He acknowledged he came into this life with nothing and will leave this life with nothing.
He acknowledged God gave and God took away and in this response to this he says:
“May the name of the Lord by praised” v21.
He did not sin by accusing God of wrongdoing.
Such faith. Most of us struggle with this issue. We may eventually praise God, but when really bad things happen there will inevitably be a time when we will express anger at God. Yes, I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances because that is God’s will for us in Jesus Christ, but it is extremely hard to do, and Job had lost all his children. Such a devastating thing. Despite that devastation he was still able to bow down in praise to God. He truly was a righteous man.
 

My apologies but I will not be posting a blog this saturday due to work and study pressures.

 
Posted By Nan

Job 1:8-12
It is easy when we have plenty of what we want and need, and do not have to worry, but find life problem free, to turn away from God and start believing we have done it ourselves. In those times we often neglect to pray, we start to believe we have built this security ourselves. When things start getting harder, going bad, then we turn back to God and pray and earnestly seek His help. Of course we can also get angry with God when things get bad and demand, out of a sense of entitlement, that He fix things and give us what we want. Job did not turn away from God because things were good. He continued to praise God for the blessings in his life. He was concerned that his children not sin and was diligent in making sacrifices to atone for his sin, that of his children, and any sin none of them was aware of. He maintained faith in God despite being wealthy.
Job was truly righteous.
Satan’s contention was that could it be said Job’s righteousness was for the sake of righteousness or for the reward Job would get from God.
Classic for satan’s way of operating. He works best to sow doubt in people’s minds, to imply, insinuate, suggest. In Genesis 3:1 he asked Eve “… did God really say…?”
This is a tactic those who inadvertently do his work employ. That little sowing of doubt to undermine the credibility of others. And we fall for it en masse. Such is our insecurity that casting doubt on someone else, especially God, often achieves the aim of causing us to lose faith in those we should maintain faith in and causes us to doubt God.
We often fall for the doctrines and discourses that tell us that wealth, prosperity and a trouble free life are the mark of God’s favour. We judge others suffering in life. What did they do wrong? Why is God punishing them? We believe it when it happens to us and get angry at God. The point of this part of Job is that satan would have us believe these things and those who worship doctrine and the attitudes of others stumble on those lies. When we worship God the bad things don’t feel nice, in fact they often are very painful, but they are not evidence of God’s displeasure, or Him being harsh. They are about worshipping God through all events in our lives and trusting Him, no matter what and accepting that we don’t always get answers to why these things happen to us. And getting those answers is not important.

 
Posted By Nan

Job 1:6-8
In contrast to the happy family gatherings of Job and his family on earth, there is a gathering in heaven of the angels, come to report to God. The satan accompanies them. In Job the Hebrew uses the term ‘the satan’ to refer to satan. It means the accuser and accuse he is about to do. In Revelation 12:10 satan is referred to as the one who constantly brought charges against God’s people before God. His punishment is to be cast down into the fiery pit.
One thing that is evident from reading these verses is that we may live on earth, but suffering has its origin in the spiritual realm. In the verses following this we all see also that satan was not able to just go and cause suffering, he had to ask the permission of God. God truly is in control.
Another thing that we can see from the way God spoke of Job was how much He loved him and how highly He regarded him.
Although we can see much suffering has its origin in the spiritual realm, we need to see it for what it is. It is not, as was commonly believed by the Old Testament Jews, a punishment for sin. Here in Job we have a righteous man who causes God great delight. His suffering was not a punishment. We humans love to know why. We want that assurance of being able to understand why something has happened and assign blame. We need to realise suffering does not always have an obvious cause or an obvious answer. This is something the study of Job will be revealing.
 

 
Posted By Nan

Job 1:1-5
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. Uz was somewhere to the east, its location no longer known. He was not an Israelite. He was just a man who loved God. Not only did he love God, he delighted in Him. His delight was in honouring God through his life. He aimed to be blameless and upright, to fear God and shun evil. He was a sinner of course, but he sought to acknowledge his wrongs and seek forgiveness. He did not harbour resentments in his heart and he lived an ethical life. His delight was in God and in honouring God. In response God blessed him. He had seven sons, a sign of completeness in ancient times. He had considerable wealth and power. He could have ordered people around, manipulated them, taken what he wanted. But he didn’t. He desired to live a life that honoured God and did not value his wealth above God. For him wealth was a blessing God could give or take away.
Job loved the children God had given him. He was a man who loved people and delighted in the relationships God had given him. He raised his children and taught them to honour God also. They had great love for each other and included each other in their special occasions. He was very concerned about his children and their walk with God. In that way he is not unlike Christian parents who love their children, teach them to walk with God and desire their salvation. Job took his role as father seriously and took responsibility, as was the custom in those days, for the spiritual walk of the entire household, even though they were grown up and living in their own households. Job was diligent in arranging the sacrifices necessary to atone for any wrong doing his children may have committed.
Job was a righteous man. He loved God and delighted in following Him and honouring Him. There is nothing fancy or complicated about a life spent following God. It is that simple. Job had no theological qualifications. He loved God and sought to honour God in every aspect of his life. Loving and following God is that simple and that complicated. Job was single minded in his honouring of God. He put God above all else. But we so often complicate our walk with God. It can be so easy to put other things above God. It can be so easy to get distracted with anger, resentment, jealousy, fear, ‘fun’ and put God aside. We lose the simple and make it complicated. If there is one thing we can learn from Job it is to love God and seek to honour Him. Nothing more, nothing less.
 

 
Posted By Nan

Today I am commencing a study on the book of Job.
Job looks at the justice of God in light of human suffering. The Israelite way of looking at suffering is a contrast to the Ancient Greek view, which was to ask how God’s justice can be defended, especially when the innocent suffer. The answer was that God is not almighty, or He is not just, or man is innocent. The Israelite view was that God is almighty, just and no human is innocent in His sight. This was the orthodox theology of Job’s friends. They concluded that every person’s suffering was indicative of guilt in the eyes of God, but in light of human experience this did not make sense because the righteous were also suffering. Here was a clash between orthodox theology and the righteous sufferer. So Job and other righteous suffered at the hands of well intentioned friends.
This book is a difficult one to understand and it has been noted by biblical scholars that there were sections that were not translated out of the original Hebrew presumably because they were so difficult to understand. They deal with an age old question. How can God allow the innocent to suffer? Modern day experience matches that of Job, where well intentioned friends offer their theories, which often are not helpful and misrepresent God. In the end Job appeared to have had too small a picture of God. His questions were stilled by the presence of God being mightier than any need for explanation. It is my prayer that we may all reach the end of this study with an enlarged picture of a God so great there is no need for explanation.
There is much for us to learn from this book and I look forward to the journey.

 

 

 

 
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Nan
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