Aug 29, 2018
If you delve into the topic of suffering or healing, it won’t be long until you meet Job. His story is usually pointed to as proof that God uses sickness to teach you a lesson. Persecution for a religious stance is not sickness. It is a fight against the god of this world, and as followers of Jesus it comes to us. We must not confuse the two in a discussion on Job.
But there is a huge flashing neon sign, THE BIG PICTURE, believers fail to see. Let’s take a look at Job.
Job lived after the flood and before the Law. One of his friends seems to be a descendant of Esau, Eliphaz the Temanite. To understand the first chapter of the book of Job, we need to understand what happened in the Garden. It will help us clarify the idea of God as sovereign. God is sovereign, but He gave the earth to man. Adam. The agreement went like this: it is yours; if you need help, let Me know. But Adam never asked for help. He gave the earth to Satan. He didn’t know the consequence of breaking his agreement with God and entering into one with Satan because Satan kept that part a secret.
Here is what happened. God became a third party on the outside of earth’s dominion. God honored Adam’s decision and did not step in to override it. Then Adam found out he lost his dominion because Satan, his new master, wasn’t about to let him keep it. He wanted it and took it. Man was demoted with no authority. God promised Adam a future Redeemer to set him free.
In the first chapter of Job, Satan shows up in heaven. Not long ago, he had suffered defeat through the flood when God stepped in and said, “Enough.” Recently, however, he was feeling smug after the rapid increase of rebellion and the Tower of Babel. Then God pointed out Job.
Satan complained. He had never gotten a shot at Noah, and here was God continuing to set up bubbles over men. He considered the bubbles of blessing and favor illegal. He most likely considered the flood illegal. The earth was his, his resources under his rule. God said, “Fine. All he owns is in your power.” There was no disagreement.
But Job stood loyal to God anyway. Then Satan reminded God Job’s flesh was of the earth, Adam’s seed. It was under his dominion. “Fine. But you cannot kill him.”
This was rough. Job got tired. Angry. Confused. He blamed God because he didn’t know his real enemy. He pleaded for a Mediator. He longed for the promised Redeemer. But he remained loyal to God, trusting.
God ended the suffering under Satan’s hand. The point had been proven to Satan. The spirit of a man chooses, not from his stuff, not from his flesh. The spirit of a man is God’s if that man chooses God. God had done nothing illegal.
God’s next step was the Law and a full blown covenant of blessings to anyone who chose Him. There were Gentiles that wanted in. And it was a proven legal system on the earth. There would be no more Jobs. No more of Satan’s whining of an unjust God who did not abide by His word.
The covenant was imperfect, but it was a beginning. The next step was Jesus. Satan had no idea what Jesus’ death would mean. God kept the consequence a secret. If Satan would have understood, he would have never killed Jesus. Paul called it a mystery. Jesus in us our hope of glory.
What was the result of Jesus’ death on the cross? A new covenant agreement based on better promises. Jesus’ death included all the benefits of the old covenant plus a reborn spirit and a promotion as co-heirs with Jesus. Man got his dominion back. It is his free, if he knows it, wants it, knows how to use it and enforces it.
Our struggle is in enforcing our rule, opposing Satan. We are enforcing his defeat. We live in the acceptable year of the Lord. Jesus told us what His first coming brought in Luke 4:17-21. Part of it is to set free the oppressed. God has provided that there should be no more victims like Job.
Job became famous. He lived to be over 200 years old. He saw his great-great grandchildren. This hadn’t been witnessed since Abraham’s great grandfather. He was a celebrity for a reason. He remained in God. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or the assurance of forgiveness and without any spiritual authority.
We have so much more than Job had.
If there are still those out there suffering like Job, they may not know their enemy. They may be blaming God or think He wants to teach them something. No. He doesn’t use sickness. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher. We have new wine. Jesus said we can’t put it into old wine skins. Let's not live in the past.
If there are Jobs today, they may not know their authority, their rights, who they are or can be in Jesus.
How about we tell them? His blood is able to give us life abundantly, and it heals all our diseases.
Image by Sasint courtesy of StockSnap
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