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Yesterday I discussed a part of the chapter on Job from the book:  Are you rea.dy for your Hea.ling? By Dr Fr.ed Chil.ds.  The post was getting too long so I decided to share the last part today. 

“God Speaks

For 36 chapters God is silent and He listens to the debate between Job and his 3 friends.  In job 38, God speaks for the first time and the mood and direction of the debate immediately changes.  Job 38:1-2 (NIV) says:  1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:  2Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”

The question God asks is a general condemnation for everything that had been said for 36 chapters.  God plainly said that what Job and his friends spoke was without knowledge and darkens counsel about who He is.  It only takes 1 question from God, and Job’s fiery tongue of blame and self-pity turn to humility in verse 3 and then repentance in verse 6.

Five steps to our deliverance

Step 1: Commitment – Job 13:15 (NIV) says:  15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”

Without the aid of the Bible to tell him who brings sorrow and destruction to our lives, Job thought it was God that “slayed” him.  People who do not know or practice what the Bible says, tend to blame God first whenever calamity arises.  Yet Job stated early on that he would remain committed to God no matter the circumstances.  Following Job’s example, we must stay committed even when we can’t figure out the reason or understand the meaning of our circumstances.  We must continue to pray and believe in healing, even when we are sick.  We must trust Him for deliverance even when there seems to be no hope.  We must continue to tithe and give even when we feel that we are not blessed.  We stay committed because of God’s Word, not because of circumstances.  God is still God and will deliver us if we stay committed.

Step 2: A personal revelation of God – Job 42:5 (NIV) says: 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

Hearsay is at the root of all wrong views about God.  Without the aid of a Bible to tell him about God or the work of the Holy Ghost to lead him into all truth, Job was still able to receive a fresh, new revelation of God by observing the creation of God.  There will always be those who claim that healing is not for everyone because they knew someone who prayed and believed and they were not healed.  This is hearsay.  The truth is the opposite.  Despite what some have to say and the way things appear, if we receive our own personal revelation, we will believe for the impossible and say the unspeakable, calling things that are not as though they were.

Step 3: Repentance – Job 42:6 (NIV) says:  6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

The reason that Job repented was not for what he did, but for what he said.  The Bible clearly states that Job sinned not, yet he was guilty of speaking words that he should not have spoken.  A necessary step in deliverance is for us to align our words with the word of God.  Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) tells us that:  21The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  If we are to have life and deliverance we must speak it first.  In Mark 11:24 (NIV), Jesus said:  24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Many people short circuit God’s restoration plan for their life by negative speaking.  God still works through words. Psalm 19:14 (NIV) says:  14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer”  If we can have acceptable words, then certainly our words can be unacceptable as well.  We must guard our words.  Job himself said in Job 6:25(KJV):  25How forcible are right words!…”

Step 4: Forgiveness – Job 42:10 (KJV) tells us:  10And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:…”

Prayer is not to be delegated.  If you want deliverance you must pray for it.  Again let us turn to New Testament light to interpret the Old Testament.  Mark 11:25-26(NIV) states plainly:  25-26 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  Job has just been in a heated argument tainted with name calling and harsh statements.  Job is struggling with offence.  If God is to hear the prayer of Job, he must first empty the heart of ought towards others.  There is no better way to forgive and forget the offences of others than to pray for them.  If there is someone you are having a hard time forgiving or if someone has done something horrible to you, don’t look at them through the eyes of the offense.  Instead, look at them through the eyes of Jesus, who loved them so much that He died for them.  It will then be easy to pray for them and forgive them.  God turned around Job’s captivity only after Job prayed for his accusers.  The same is true for people today; we will never find restoration until we have emptied our heart of an unforgiving spirit and prayed for those who have offended us.  Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV) actually lets us know that those who have done injustice to us, are in reality, the key to our blessing:  11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Step 5: Service to others – Again I quote from Job 42:10 (KJV)10And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:…”

The last step of Job’s deliverance occurred when he took his eyes off his needs and focused on the needs of others.  Philippians  2:4-7(NIV) says:  4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”  Here we have the example of our lovely Lord.  We are told to be conformed to His image.  The example He sets for us is of a servant.  The greatest blessing you will experience is when you put the needs of others before your own.  God used Job to meet the needs of others and by doing so his needs were met.

The promise of no suffering?

The purpose of this study is not to convince you that we can go through life without suffering, for that’s not the case.  But it is intended for you to see ways in which we do and do not need to suffer.  The things that job suffered are an example of the things we do not need to suffer.  Jesus is out example, not Job, and He never suffered any of Job’s sufferings.  However, there were things that Jesus did suffer.  Hebrews 5:8-9 (NIV) speaks of Jesus’ suffering:  8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”  Using Jesus as our example, we find that obedience follows suffering and the end result is maturity or perfection (completion).  The 3 ways that Jesus suffered are necessary for us to go through if we are to mature and fulfill our ministerial call.  These are:

  • Temptations of the flesh (usually brought about by Satan)
  • Persecution for the Word’s sake (usually by other people)
  • Consecrated for others (picking up and bearing our cross).”
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I got this e-book from Pastor A, who we saw for healing a while back:  Are you rea.dy for your Hea.ling? By Dr Fr.ed Chil.ds.  I’m still reading it, but there is a very good chapter about Job in there and I would like to quote from it.  You see I’ve been thinking about all the stuff that went wrong recently and wondering why and what can I do about it.  I cannot compare my life at all with Job, but it’s been really hard to deal with for me, and I need to get some clarity about it all.  This helped me a lot:

In the book Dr Fr.ed Chil.ds says that:  Job had limited knowledge of God and there are five reasons for that:

  1. “Job had no written Word of God so he had no references to teach him about God.  Job had no Bible.
  2. Living east of Palestine in the days of Isaac and Jacob means that Job was not a member of the chosen family.  As Ephesians 2:12 (NIV) says:  12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”
  3. Job had no preacher or prophet to instruct him.
  4. Job had no covenant because he was not of Abrahams seed.
  5. Job did not have the Holy Gost to lead or guide him.  Job was spiritually dead.

 How did Job acquire his knowledge of God?

Job learned about God through both his conscience and through creation (or nature).  Job lived in the days of Isaac and Jacob who had a promise of which he had no part.  Like all humans he had a conscience that allowed him to differentiate between what was right and wrong.  Job learned a limited amount about God through God dealing with his conscience.  Job was also capable of discovering certain principles of God simply by observing creation, or nature.

Romans 1:19-20 (NIV)  tells us that even without God’s word, man can still learn about God through the things we observe in nature or creation:  19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Nonetheless we can still learn to some degree.  For example, 1 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV) says:  14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him?”   If we can learn the length of a man’s hair from observing nature, then so could Job.  But it’s only correct to state that Job’s understanding of God was less than complete and accurate.  Neither conscience nor nature provided Job with much light or knowledge about God, but it was all he had. 

So let us use the New Testament or greater light to interpret the book of Job.  The only New Testament scripture pertaining to Job is James 5:11 (KJV) which says:  11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

Notice first what James does not say.  James never speaks of Job’s suffering, but tells us to be inspired by Job’s patience and endurance and by something called the end of the Lord.  New Testament patience is defined as remaining constant during external pressure or circumstance.  Job was patient.  He never stopped worshipping God nor did he curse God.  That was what the devil wanted Job to do and Job did not yield to it. What then do we see about the end of the Lord?  It reveals that He is pitiful (compassionate) and of tender mercy.  The end of the Lord tells us that if we endure He will bring us back to the top.  The lives of Moses, Caleb, Daniel, Joseph, Esther, Ruth, and David do not inspire us because of how they suffered, but how they ended up!

Interestingly, God never addressed Job’s sufferings

Take note that not one time does God address the suffering of Job.  The reason is both astounding and simple:  the book of Job is not about suffering.  It is about how the Lord brings deliverance, redemption, and restoration to all who endure.  The message of the book of Job is not about how Job suffered, but how a man with no Bible, no prophet, no preacher, no promises, no covenant, and was spiritually dead (Job was not born again) had his health, wealth, and family relationships restored back to him.  We (on the other hand) have the Bible, prophets, preachers, promises, covenant, and the Holy Ghost living inside and guiding us.  The first and oldest book of the Bible was not written about suffering, but of restoration.

Our misconceptions and Job’s 5 mistakes:

There are 5 implausible things that Job and his friends say in the debate.  Sadly many preachers still use them to teach others about God.  Remember this debate rages between 4 men who have little to no knowledge about God.  Pastors, theologians, and Bible scholars for years have used these 36 debate chapters to define God and yet these men had very little knowledge of God.

How did these 4 men come to their conclusions?  Men will always arrive at erroneous conclusions when they interpret God in light of their circumstances void of the Bible.  The study of this debate will serve to illuminate the mistakes and wrong perceptions that men have of God when they interpret God through their circumstances and not through His Word.

Mistake # 1:  Job 1:21 (NIV) says:  21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  Since the Lord gave it, then He has the right to take it away.  But is that really right?  Let us view it through understanding of New Testament light.  Luke 9: 56 (KJV) says:  56For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…” John 10:10 (NIV) says:  10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

How many times have you heard this scripture quoted at a funeral or from behind a pulpit, crediting God for the loss or tragedy that has taken place?  Why is it that we continue to repeat Job’s wrong conclusion?  Errors like this occur when we use Job’s shortage of knowledge and call it light rather than using light to explain Job’s lack of knowledge.  God adds and multiplies, Satan subtracts and divides.  God is not a taker, but a giver.  When things come to our lives that add no sorrow we know the source is God.  As Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) says:  22The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.”

Mistake # 2:  Job 5: 17-18 (NIV) says:  17Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  God uses calamity and suffering to direct or bring good to our lives.  How many times have you heard someone ask the question after hearing about someone’s tragedy…”I wonder if that was the hand of God trying to save them or bring them back from the world?”  Let us again view it through the understanding of New Testament light.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) says:  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” God does not need to stoop to copy the devil’s tactics and ways to correct or instruct our lives.  God uses His Word, His Spirit, His ministry, and His saints to correct or instruct those He loves.  Ephesians 4:11-12(NIV) edifies us saying:  11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” God uses the Word, Spirit, and even ministry for correction and perfection, not calamity and hard times.

Mistake # 3:  Job 23: 8-9 (NIV) says:  “ 8 But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.  9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  Job’s lack of knowledge when negative circumstance surrounded his life mad him conclude that he did not know where God was or even how to find Him.  But New Testament light refutes that.  Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) assures us that:  5 …Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  We know when we face the storms of life we do not need to find God because He is already here with us, even within true believers.  All we need to do is call on or recognize His presence.  The Word says He is always here.  There are even Old Testament confirmations from those who walked in times of more enlightenment than the days of Job.  Deuteronomy 4:30-31 (NIV) says that:  30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him.  31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.”  Job never read the words of the Psalmist which declared in Psalm 139:7-13 (NIV):  7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  11If I say, Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”   We can justify that Job existed in the days before the Bible and the covenant.  What we can’t justify is our continued ignorance by repeating job’s mistakes in this age when a study of the Word of God plainly reveals Job’s mistakes about God.

Mistake # 4:  Job 2:10 (NIV) says:  10 He replied, You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

Job’s wrong conclusion:  Not only does God tempt us with good, but evil also.  New testament light corrects that faulty view of God.  James 1:13 (NIV) says:  13 When tempted, no-one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;” When evil comes into your life, don’t even think or say that God brought it.  Since Satan is the personification of evil, it is impossible for God to use Satan to tempt us. 

Mistake # 5:  Job 1:7-8 (NIV) says:  7 The LORD said to Satan, Where have you come from? Satan answered the LORD, from roaming through the earth and going to and fro in it.  8 Then the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  This is probably the worst misunderstanding of God in the life and Book of Job.  Bible scholars and ministers still today make this false assumption of God and base it on a faulty understanding of the book of Job.

Job’s wrong conclusion:  God calls Satan’s attention to Job’s life of love and devotion and then gives him permission to attack Job.  The Hebrew translation says:  “Hath thou set thy heart upon my servant Job?”  God was not goading Satan into attacking Job’s life.  God was letting Satan know that He as God was aware that Satan had his eye on Job.  God, who seldom interferes in the affairs of man, did not stop the attack.  However it is God Who has the keys to death, so He reminds Satan of his limits.  If Job’s suffering did not happen because of God and Satan working in collusion, then why did it happen?  1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says:  8 Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  Notice the similarity of Satan’s actions in Job and in 1 Peter.  He goes back and forth seeking whom he may devour.  If Satan has to seek for someone to devour, apparently there are those he can and those he can’t devour.  God’s hand of protection is a covenant promise for His people, so it’s possible there was never a hedge around Job.  If Job did have a hedge of protection there is another explanation of why it was down.  There is a law in Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) that says:  “ 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…”  What we think shapes what we believe, and what we believe is what we become.  Job admits in Job 3:25 (NIV):  “25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”  Fear will attract the devil.  Job received exactly what he had faith for.  The only difference between fear and faith is whose words you have faith in.  If we believe the words of God and what He has said, we receive what we believe by faith.  If we believe the words of Satan through the pessimist, we open the door for Satan to bring into our hearts and lives the things that we fear.  Fear is faith working in reverse, or faith that Satan perverts.”

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