The Truth about Job

      Many Christians miss interrupt the book of Job. God does not take back his blessings or turn us over to Satan without cause. That unjustified act would make God just as evil as Satan. Yet, that is exactly what many Christians believe God did to Job. To refute that false belief, let's take a quick look at these first couple chapters in Job, to see what was really happening and also who was saying what. The author of Job says that Job’s substance was large enough to make him the greatest man in the East. What he doesn't say is just as important. The author does not say that Job's vast wealth was a blessing from God. (Job 1:3) We can take the author's statements at face value, since the author was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write "Job" and it is he who is speaking here. However, when Satan speaks, we cannot take his words to be factual and it is Satan who says, that Job obtained this great wealth because God had blessed the works of Job’s hands. (Job 1:10) Show me a single quote, from Satan, in the entire bible, where he has not twisted the truth into a lie! He lied to Eve. He lied three times to Jesus, in the desert. He also lied to God about Job's situation here. In John 8:44, Jesus says there is no truth in Satan. He says Satan is a liar and the father of lies. Plainly put, Jesus said, that Satan is incapable of telling the truth. Why, then, should we believe what Satan says to God in Job 1:10 when he says, “You have blessed the works of Job’s hands”? The answer to that question is obvious. We shouldn't believe this statement, made by Satan because it was a lie. Now, let's unpack the scriptures, so we can see why I say that it was a lie, because understanding this is key to gaining a deeper understanding of Job.

    In Job 1:12, God said, “Look (Behold) Satan, everything he has, is in your power”. The verb “is” in this sentence denotes a present state of being. In other words, God was reminding Satan of the truth, which was this. Everything that Satan had called a blessing from God really came Satan, himself. God was simply setting the record straight here by reminding Satan of that fact. Job's wealth and even his children were in Satan's grasp, and God knew it. God also knew that these "so called blessings", which Job was deceived into believing were coming from God, were really coming from Satan, as an enticement, to keep Job headed down the self-works trail. Most Christians, however, believe these lying words of Satan here and thus miss the real truth. Satan had already started his ruse, at the beginning of the conversation, when he ask God to let him take away those "so called blessings", as a test of Job's faithfulness. You see, Satan began trying to deceive even God, from the very first time he opened his mouth. He routinely fools many of God’s people, into thinking, that their gain is a reward, for their good works. So, it was with Job. Knowing this, God simply allowed Satan to take away from Job, that, which had been in his control all along. Job's acquired property and even his godless children were a hindrance, not a blessing. When Satan took away these hindrances, He was actually doing Job and God a big favor, by removing what had been deceiving Job and thus preventing him from developing a deeper relationship with God.

     Satan used the same type of scheming tactic during the second meeting between he and God. This time it had to do with Job's health. Satan, again tried to trick God into believing that Job's health was in God's hands. God corrected Satan again by saying in Job 2:6 that Job's health was already under Satan's spell. Backing up several verses, God started this second conversation, by calling attention to Job's faithfulness, even after Satan had so vilely destroyed his world. (Job 2:3) Once again, this verse is also widely misunderstood by many Christians. They believe that God is telling Satan that he, Satan, had convinced Him to destroy Job. Here is what I believe is a major reason for misinterpreting what God is saying here. The old English verb "movedst", in the Kings James, or "incited" in the NIV, is routinely taken out of context. This causes many to interpret the last sentence in this verse to mean that God actually was convinced by Satan to destroy Job, for no reason. That's not what this verse is saying. The Hebrew word for "movedst" is "cuwth", which means, "lure, incite, entice or instigate (in a bad sense). Yes, Satan did "entice" God to destroy Job without cause, but that doesn't mean that God did what Satan was enticing Him to do. Obviously, He didn't do what Satan wanted Him to do, because Job was not destroyed. Instead, he wound up in a better position than ever before.

      What the story of Job is actually telling us is this. Instead of Satan using God, God used Satan against himself, to free Job. At the beginning of this story, the deceptions of Satan, through the adding of wealth and the absence of attacks on Job's health were lures from Satan, not blessing from God. These lures keep Job from drawing closer to God. Each time Job made a sacrifice, Satan throw him another bone, making him think his self-righteous good works were actually paying off and buying him favor with God. It was only when God tricked Satan into removing these barriers, that Job's unfailing commitment to God, was able to finally allow him to recognize that God had something much greater in store for him. In short, Job had to be emptied of that which kept him in bondage to Satan's deceptions, before he could receive the true blessings of God. Since I, myself, have traveled down that path, I can assure the reader that it is not a pleasant journey. However, it is a journey which can produce enormous benefits. A closer relationship with God, himself, is first on that list of benefits. Job 42:5 "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee".              

     His written word confirms everything I am saying here. Yet, I realize that what I am saying here is contrary to what many bible teachers teach. I too, like many other Christians, believed on God for years, but knew very little about him. I, like Job, was caught up, in a self-centered way, of relating to God. I had been born of His Spirit, but I wasn’t knowledgeable enough in His word to begin to understand Him. We humans easily become so intent on chasing the tangible things, of this world, but fail to spend enough time, developing the most important relationship we will ever have. Christians, hear about God from their parents, from a pastor, from an evangelist, in a church meeting, or summer camp, and over the years, begin to think they know God. The fact is, most Christians know very little about the nature of God. Satan is a master at giving Christians enough rope to hang themselves by twisting the truth just a little. Most Christians receive God’s saving grace, but afterward spend very little time learning about who God is. The bible is about him, not us! We, too often, spend our time, on self-improvement programs, centered on improving our position in this world, instead of the world to come. All too often Christians use their self-righteous performance, as a measuring stick, instead of using the perfect pattern of Christ. I know I fell into this trap, and still do, in some areas of my life. In this void, created by ignorance, as we become wrapped up in self-improvement projects, ever learning, but never coming to the realization of the truth, it becomes very easy, just like Job, for us to mistake the stolen enticements, offered to us, by Satan, for the blessings of our Lord. Remember, he enticed Jesus with a gift of the entire world, and he would, no doubt, have given him everything, that he, himself, had stolen, in order to derail his destiny. As a Christian, do you think you would be able to turn down control of the entire world? Don’t lie! Most of us would be justifying acceptance of this Trojan horse, by telling ourselves how much we could do for God, if we controlled the entire world. Really? Then why did Jesus turn it down?



Wayne Wade