by Tad Lindley
Several years ago I was meditating on the book of Job and God spoke to me very clearly about it and about my own life. What follows is the text of that message in several parts. Please cut this out and save it so that you can have it side by side with Part II next week. If I am able to convey to you what God spoke to me, it will have a powerful impact on your life.
In the book of Job God asks about 86 questions. Most of them come in the back of the book when God gives Job a grueling 82 question interview. In the beginning of the book God has a conversation with the devil and he asks Satan four questions (Job 1:6-8).
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, “Whence comest thou?” (Question #1)
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
And the Lord said unto Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Question #2)
Devil: Job is just using you
Look closely at question #2. God is bragging on this man Job. He is literally rubbing the holy life of Job in Satan’s face as if to say, “Pow! Take that, devil!” But Satan has none of it. In essence he tells God, “Look, Job is just using you for all of his blessings. Take away the blessings and he’ll curse you to your face!” Read it for yourself:
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, “Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” (Job 1:9-11)
God: (Yawn) You’ve underestimated my man Job
What happens next is hard for me to fathom, but God literally gives the devil permission to try to destroy Job’s faith. Job, having been completely unaware that God was bragging on him, and even more unaware that the devil was out to destroy him, found himself one day going about his business. A servant came sprinting up to him obviously excited about something and gave him the terrible news: The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (Job 1:14-15)
While that servant was explaining the tragedy another servant came, and then another, and soon they were lined up four deep. The news got worse: the sheep and the shepherds were burned up, the camels and camel herders were taken by the Chaldeans, and last and worst, a great wind collapsed the house where his ten children were feasting and they all perished. In less than 15 minutes, the devil had taken every blessing from God that Job had, save his wife and his health.
Take that devil
Look at what Job did in the face of all of this. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:20-22) Instead of cursing God to his face, he fell down on his face and worshipped God! Take that devil!
God taunts Satan
Again the devil shows up to visit with the Lord. And the Lord gets right down to it; he brags on his man, Job. And the Lord said unto Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
And Satan answered the Lord, and said, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.”
And the Lord said unto Satan, “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” (Job 2:3-6)
At least he still had his wife…
It was bad enough that there were ten fresh graves in the cemetery, but now Job was struck with boils from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. He tried to scrape them open to relieve the pain. Careful reading of the book shows that flies came and laid eggs in his boils and maggots infested his skin (Job 7:5). At least he still had his wife, but then she told him to “curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) His children were dead, everything he owned was stolen or destroyed, and now his wife was egging him on to commit suicide.
To be continued next week.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.