You have an adversary

Job Sees The Light - Second in a series

Job 1:2-3 Hover over this Bible passage to read how blessed Job was.

Job 1:4-5 Job saw himself as righteous— He stood before the Lord in the place of his children to make atonement for them.

Job 1:6-7 The Lord knew that Satan, his son who turned from righteousness, had been surveying Job and his possessions, and begrudging him for his privileges. Perhaps Job reminded the Adversary of the riches and honor he had enjoyed before his fall.

Job 1:8 The Lord saw Job as perfect and upright, as one who feared God and turned from evil. But Job was blind to God’s immense glory and did not fathom the depth of his wisdom, mercy, power, love and sovereignty. We discover this in the book’s final chapter as Job confesses:

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:6)

Mission accomplished! As we will see in this blog series, the Lord, by taking his son, Job, through a severe and inscrutable trial, brought him to a new birth. And since the journey began when Job was self-deceived, it was an especially laborious and painful task. The self-assured man is practically unbendable.

We can only hope the Lord will do the same for us, realizing it is the nature of man to be foolish, self-absorbed, prideful, short-sighted, and never aware of the magnitude of distance between the creature and the Creator.

The Trial Begins

Job 1:9-11 The Accuser challenges the Lord of Hosts. He would like for Job to be tested. Much could be written about this passage and the prospect of Satan demanding to sift God’s children, but for now we will only point out that God is not the accuser. Though He sees all our shortcomings, he never accuses us about them, but only gently brings them to our minds.

Job 1:12 God grants permission to Satan to decimate Job.

Job 1:13 Satan chose the birthday of the oldest son to begin his rampage (Job 1:4). "That son is the first sign of his father's strength." (Deut 21:17) That day symbolized Job's blessedness and hope for the future. One of Satan's goals in attacking us as well, is to make us feel cut off from our future hope and doubtful about our claim to it.

Job 1:14-15 His destruction of Job’s possessions and family begins with the creatures that help to manage his ranch and their overseers. Satan uses neighboring tribes to do his work. This deflects the blame from himself and his minions.

Job 1:16-17 Next the sheep so needed for food and raiment and the camels for their services in travel and their overseers are killed. "Fire from heaven" is blamed. Satan wants man to blame the Lord for his losses.

Job 1:18-19 Finally, Job’s children are destroyed by a tornado or twister, on the day of the oldest son’s birthday. Satan can control the weather if the Lord allows.

Job 1:20-22 Despite everything, Job does not question nor blame the Lord.

Job: In a class with Noah and Daniel

Job Sees The Light - First in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

The Book of Job is a steep climb and broad crossing from wonder at the inscrutable trials of a godly man— to the Lord’s complete deliverance of him from spiritual darkness.

In this blog series we will travel verse by verse or by passages with Job and his friends, up the rocky face of God’s permissive will and across endless miles of mental darkness to the glorious new birth that was the appointed end.

Job 1:1

The meaning of his name

Scholars have concluded that the name, Job, could mean “hated” or “turn,” connoting repentance, or “where is my father?” or that it bears no literary significance.

Where he lived

Job lived in Uz, perhaps so named for a great-grandson of Noah. Noah’s middle son. Shem had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. (Gen 10:22) Aram fathered Uz. (Gen 10:23)

AN ASIDE: Arphaxad was the grandfather of Eber who was the progenitor of the Hebrews: Eber > Peleg > Reu > Serug > Nahor > Terah > Abram. So maybe Job and Abraham were distant cousins.

Historians say the land of Uz may have been in Bashan, or east of the Sea of Galilee or on the edge of the Arabian desert.

When did he live?

Some reasons for viewing Job among the ancients include:

  • According to rabbinical tradition he lived in Abraham’s times. Some view him as Melchizedek to whom Abraham tithed.
  • There is no reference in Job to the book of the law, nor of the levitical institutions, priesthood and sacrifices. Sacrifices are mentioned in the beginning and the end of the book. But no priest is indicated. It is the primitive way of approaching God by a sacrifice.
  • Nothing is said of the history of Israel, nor is there a quotation from the writings of the prophets.
  • We move evidently in this book in a time before the law was given and before Abraham’s seed constituted a nation. (Arno Gaebelein)
  • He lived while God was known by the name of God Almighty more than by the name of Jehovah for he is called Shaddai--the Almighty, more than thirty times in this book.
  • He lived while divine knowledge was conveyed, not by writing, but by tradition for to that appeals are here made, xxi. 29 xv. 18 v. 1. And we have therefore reason to think that he lived before Moses, because here is no mention at all of the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, or the giving of the law. (Matthew Henry)

Was he a real or fictional man in Scripture?

Real. Scripture says “this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (Job 1:3)

Job is cited in the book of James as an “example.” James wrote, Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)

Would James have instructed the brothers in long suffering or any vital trait based on a fiction? Would he have classed Job among God’s prophets (Jas 5:10) if he were merely a book character? Would he have said that these brothers had seen what the Lord finally brought about if God actually did nothing?

Ezekiel, too, mentions Job and classes him with Noah and Daniel. (Ez 14:14-20) That is something to ponder: The saints will be preserved. (Ps 41:2, Psa79:11, Psa 86:2, Psa 121:7, 2Ti 4:18 et al)

The Many Faces of Remembering

Remembrance and its opposite - Twelfth and final in a series

A single verse found twice in Scripture summarizes what we should recall about the Lord: Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. (1 Ch 16:12; Ps 105:5)

As we do, when our spirits are low we will rise up with wings as eagles (Is 40:31) and keep the faith, sustained by our memories of God's mighty acts and wonderful words.

Much more could be stated and explicated about what Christians should remember about the Lord, but perhaps we are at a stopping point; we can rest here knowing he has promised never to leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5), and he has engraved us on the palms of his hands so how could he forget us? (Is 49:16) He who cannot lie promised us eternal life even before the world began (Tit 1:2), and in Christ all of God's promises are yea and amen. (2 Cor 1:20)

If you are presently suffering in a lengthy trial, remember this: God does not always plow to sow; a joyous time of reaping a harvest is coming for the faithful doer. (Is 28:24)

For those in Christ, there is no opposite to being remembered. You will be fully disciplined, tested, taught, guided, helped, strengthened and perfected.

For the rebellious, there is no opposite to being remembered, but remembrance is severe judgment. God keeps records. (Mal 3:16-18; Rev 20:11-13)

For man, the opposite of remembering God's ways and wonders is anxiety, sorrow, darkness and confusion, but remembrance brings peace, gladness, hope and praise.

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (Psa 77:11)

Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. (Is 26:8)

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. (Ps 143:5)

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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