The Trial of Job's Faith by the World, the Flesh & the DevilVolume 1, Number 14
Created Date: June 17, 2004
Posted Date: June 17, 2004
Vol 1 - No 14, June 17, 2004
The trial of Job's faith by the world, the flesh and the devil.
According to "The Student's Commentary" Job probably lived after Abraham and possibly during Moses' early life, so they could have been acquainted. The book of Job is believed to be the oldest book in the world and could have been written by Job himself, or by Moses. The lesson therein has applied to God's people since then and will apply until the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,, and without faith it is impossible to please God, , we know Job had received the Word of God by faith. We first observe Job's faith manifested in the burnt offerings he presented to God continually for his family, . God had required burnt offerings for sin be offered by any man to be in a right relationship with Him since Abel. The fact that Job was in a right relationship with God is revealed in - "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?"
In response to the Lord's statement, Satan, the great adversary of God's Word and accuser of mankind, alleged to God that the only reason Job feared Him was because He had blessed Job with many possessions,. But God knew Job's heart and in His infinite wisdom allowed Satan power over all that Job had, except for the caveat that Satan could not touch Job's person, that is, his flesh. Satan proceeded to destroy all that Job had but in spite of this Job's faith stood firm and he blessed God and did not sin - .
Then in a subsequent meeting between God and Satan, God pointed out that Job had maintained his integrity (which was his faith in God's Word) in spite of what Satan had taken from him. Satan, ever the aggressor, then claimed that if Job's health was taken from him he would curse God to His face. God granted Satan permission to do anything to Job but kill him. So Satan went out and struck Job with sore boils from the sole of his feet to the top of his head. Job, in pain and absolute misery, was left with absolutely nothing, sitting in ashes on the ground and scrapping his wounds with a piece of broken pottery,.
Up until this point Job had to deal with the devil's doing and resultant physical suffering but next he came up against the world in the form of those close to him. In fact, he came to find himself absolutely alone with no one to turn to that would comfort him. He was left with only the Word of God and his faith therein to keep him going. The person who should have been with him both in sickness and in health proceeded to kick him viciously in an emotional way while he was down and hurting, as we read: "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die" -. Those are vicious words but in them Job learned the truth of what was in his wife's heart. She no doubt had enjoyed being the wife of either the richest, or one of the richest men in the world and had basked in all that was hers before this tragedy. Her love was for what she had with him not for Job himself and the God he loved and feared. Then came Job's so-called friends to bring more emotional suffering upon him. They were subtler in their approach than his wife as they explained, in man's greatest wisdom, why Job was suffering. But their sophisticated criticism was mistaken because they were not aware of what had gone on between God and the devil. What they said cast doubt on Job's beliefs, added to Job's distress and by doing so tried his faith even further.
Job's experience is the pattern in extreme to all living after him of what can be expected when faith is placed in God's Word. Some things have changed since Job's time because of further revelations, but other things have not and our faith is still tried by the world, the flesh and the devil as permitted by God. Fortunately for us we don't normally get it all at once as did Job. The author of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament explains to us why God's people suffer. This explanation appears, most appropriately, in a passage immediately following the description of the witness of faith of God's people in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews - "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." -.
Job feared God and his faith in the Word of God stood true throughout trial and testing. He knew he was being refined, as gold is refined from raw ore because he testified "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." -. Job's testimony is that God's Word was more important to him than the food that kept him alive physically, that was his faith because "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
The Apostle Paul reveals to Timothy, and to us in"&.all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Then, he continues: "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." -8. Paul goes on to write in the 16th verse that no one stood with him, but all forsook him, at his first answer. This means Paul stood before Nero, the emperor at that time, to answer false criminal charges against him, and he was alone except for God's Word and the faith he had therein.
God restored the physical and material blessings to Job after his testing and trials but what is most telling is the fact Job was not looking for those earthly things, he was looking for life eternal with God. This we know because he is quoted as saying - "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 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: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.". Job's words were indeed written and engraved forever for all of us. His eternal testimony was that he had faith that if he died and his flesh was destroyed he would yet live to see his redeemer in the later day. So we know that he was aware that he would be raised from the dead and that he would see his redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the earth. How could Job know this except the Word of God had revealed it to him? And so it was the Word of God, in which Job placed his faith, that carried him through the suffering he endured from the world, the flesh and the devil.
Today we place our faith in the Word of God as revealed to the Apostle Paul and look past the world, the flesh and the devil and say with Paul: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." -.