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Job Misrepresented

This study was born out of a spirit that grieved after hearing a pastor deliver the following message, and I a paraphrase, “We are created in the image God and therefore have the ability to speak, i.e. create our future. As support for this look at Job, he bewailed his fate, in a manner declaring, ‘This is the story of my .life’, and what he feared therefore came upon him; Job 3:25  For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”

While listening to the message, so many thoughts from sadness to anger raced through my mind:

  • What a horrible twisting of scripture to achieve a desired outcome!
  • What an unfair, and wrong portrayal of Job.
  • Where is the complete message of scripture as opposed to a single out of context verse?
  • Why were there so many “amens”?
  • Where was God’s message in this delivery?

Well does 2 Timothy 4:3-4 say that ”the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”; this explains both the Pator’s liberty and congregation’s “Amens”.

Back to the address the opening paragraph. Let’s start at the very beginning i.e. “In the beginning of time. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3). And let’s contrast this with Deuteronomy 30:19; “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”.

God is the creator, in fact he is the only creator; we on the other hand have freedom of choice. God created life and it was very good. Man however through his choice corrupted that life. God then created a way of escape and since then mankind has had the freedom of choosing life or death. While we are called to “rejoice in the Lord alway” (Philippians 4:4) as well as to think only on those this which are good (Philippians 4:8) these in no way infer that through positive confessions we can control our future. Just look at Proverbs 3:5-6; we trust while not leaning on our own understanding and God does the doing i.e. He directs our paths; creates and moulds out future. The only type of doing that we as Christians are called to do is to reach the lost (Matthew 24:14, Mark 16:15), be obedient to Him (Matthew 7:21, Matthew 12:50, Ephesians 6:6, Hebrews 10:36) and flee sin (1 Thessalonians 5:22, Galatians 5:19:21, Romans 13:14, Hebrews 12:1).

Job 1:1 starts, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” Surely this is not the description of one who lived in fear? When you read the whole book rather than fearing the loss of his goods, the sense you get is that if there was anything that Job would fear it would be that God would forsake him. In short his declaration of fear would appear to more of one that should God leave him, that he would be undone. While there were momentary lapses of fear, Job 19:25-26 puts an end to all ideas that Job lived in this state, when he says, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God”

Some might debate what I’ve said but the scripture is very clear on the following. Job’s trials were not a result of his fears or confessions. In fact he was totally unaware of the reason for them. God allowed them as a testimony to Satan of Job’s dependence and submission to God as well as of the ultimate victory that a child of God would have in serving Him.

The saints of old were not self-made men and women because of their positive confessions but rather because they declared their complete dependency on God, acknowledged that there was no good in them, submitted fully to Him and drew close to Him. The following two verses sum this up:

  • For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not (Romans 7:18).
  • He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30)

In closing, our pastor is fond of saying that nothing less of a whole Bible make a whole Christian. When it comes to studying God’s word we need to make sure that we put our agendas aside and let the Holy Spirit guide us as He uses the entire counsel of God to establish God’s doctrines in us.

You want to live in victory and truth, being an overcomer through and in Him? Then Isaiah puts it well, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

“Wait on the Lord.”