Monday, October 02, 2006

Pastor Jim Lawless - 7/10/94

Job Chapter 2

INTRODUCTION:

EXPOSITION OF THE SCRIPTURE:

JOB 2:1 “AGAIN THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE SONS OF GOD CAME TO PRESENT THEMSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, AND SATAN CAME ALSO AMONG THEM TO PRESENT HIMSELF BEFORE THE LORD. “ - Again there is a calling to account in Heaven among those closest to God, and again Satan is in their midst. That Satan is able to enter into the very presence of God may give many people trouble, but it is probably due to the fact that he stands already judged and condemned. As such, he can and is used of God for an abundance of purposes. Instead of merely protecting His people from the wiles and power of Satan, God accomplishes a greater blessing for us. He enables us to OVERCOME Satan and all of his angles. Much the greater blessing!

JOB 2:2 “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, FROM WHENCE COMEST THOU? AND SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, FROM GOING TO AND FRO IN THE EARTH, AND FROM WALKING UP AND DOWN IN IT.” - Once again the conversation between God and Satan begins by dealing with the place of Satan’s greatest effectiveness.

JOB 2:3 “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 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?” - The Lord repeats the testimonial He had given earlier in behalf of Job. A man’s past is a done thing and cannot be changed. God knows this plus the fact that anything done in the present does not change the past. Of course repentance changes the direction of the future, but it does not change the past.

Side Note:
* We often hear a person say that being “justified” means to be given a position that is, “Just as if I’d never sinned”. Such a statement is ridiculous. If a person has the position of “having never sinned”. There would be no need for further repentance, there would be no need of Spiritual growth, and there would be no need for any further worship. Being “justified” means that a person’s guilt has been put under the blood of Jesus Christi and his is able to come into the presence of God and be there without fear of reprisal for his sin. He is not made absolutely perfect, as he would need be if he was as a person “having not sinned”. Job stood before God “justified” by faith as well as any person before him or since his time.
End Side Note:

“AND STILL HE HOLDETH FAST HIS INTEGRITY, ALTHOUGH THOU MOVEDST ME AGAINST HIM,” - God then brings His testimonial up to date. It is absolutely marvelous that the word “integrity” is used here. In Hebrew it is, (bethemmawtho), “to his integrity”. The idea of “integrity”, which by the way shares the root meaning with the word “perfect” in the very first verse of this book, does not carry the meaning of sinless perfection, but sees Job as the completed work of God’s grace. As ambiguous as that may seem, it speaks with the greatest favor of God’s relation to this particular human being. Sadly history has not given us to be aware of many people of this stature. We despair of finding any even in our own day of greater revelation and even the indwelling Spirit of God.

The Lord even moves to give Satan a reson for why He thinks of Job so highly. Job has kept his integrity even though the Lord has allowed Satan to move so vigorously and treacherously against him. The fact that Job had held to his total trust of the Lord was the basis of his integrity. There can be no real integrity without this kind of trust and obedience.

“TO DESTROY HIM WITHOUT CAUSE.” - This is the basis of any evil intent against the Lord’s people. There is absolutely no cause on Satan’s part when he attacks the Lord’s people. When Satan is able to gain against the Lord’s people it is because those same people give him a foothold. As the old saying goes, “Let Satan get his foot in the door and he will take over the whole house”.

In a very real way, when people let Satan get the edge it is the result of self deceit and self-betrayal. The Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit has given every Christian the edge, but when anyone fails to use these resources, they have betrayed themselves in the fullest sense.

JOB 2:4 “AND SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, SKIN FOR SKIN, YEA, ALL THAT A MAN HATH WILL HE GIVE FOR HIS LIFE. JOB 2:5 BUT PUT FORTH THINE HAND NOW, AND TOUCH HIS BONE AND HIS FLESH, AND HE WILL CURSE THEE TO THY FACE.” -

“AND SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, SKIN FOR SKIN,” - This seems to be a proverb which would mean that “a man would give up his skin in order to save his skin” Even though this makes little sense, it is easy to understand with what the Devil says next.

“YEA, ALL THAT A MAN HATH WILL HE GIVE FOR HIS LIFE.” - Satan is saying in effect that a man’s own skin is the most precious of his possessions. The accusation is that Job would willingly give up his animals, his servants, and even his own children for the sake of saving his own skin. It is also a back-handed insult to God.

“BUT PUT FORTH THINE HAND NOW, AND TOUCH HIS BONE AND HIS FLESH, AND HE WILL CURSE THEE TO THY FACE.” - Satan does not give up easily. He continues to push for a more terrible attack upon Job. Notice that Satan knows that the Lord will turn him loose on Job, with limitations, but he knows that God’s permission puts the responsibility squarely upon God.

JOB 2:6 “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, BEHOLD, HE [IS] IN THINE HAND; BUT SAVE HIS LIFE.” - The Lord then gives Satan full control over Job’s life with the exception of his life. Let’s remember that Job himself does not know of this limitation so he will come to stare over into the chasm of death and have to take his stand with the Lord as he looks death dead in the face.

JOB 2:7 “SO WENT SATAN FORTH FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND SMOTE JOB WITH SORE BOILS FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN. JOB 2:8 AND HE TOOK HIM A POTSHERD TO SCRAPE HIMSELF WITHAL; AND HE SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES. JOB 2:9 THEN SAID HIS WIFE UNTO HIM, DOST THOU STILL RETAIN THINE INTEGRITY? CURSE GOD, AND DIE.“

“SO WENT SATAN FORTH FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND SMOTE JOB WITH SORE BOILS FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN.”
- There is not a person anywhere who does not remember when, at a tender age, they suffered a boil on their body, usually in the most disadvantageous place on the body. There is hardly a more painful and uncomfortable affliction that a person would have to bear. However, though many of us can easily sympathize with Job, having boils all over his body would be driving a person to the very brink of despair, and would probably be too much for the vast majority of people. Can you imagine a situation where you could neither sit, stand, or lie down without being in extreme pain and discomfort? This was the exact predicament of Job.

“AND HE TOOK HIM A POTSHERD TO SCRAPE HIMSELF WITHAL;” - This gruesome task must remind us that Job did not have any medical science to which he could gain help and relief. There were no salves which would relieve the tremendous itching which boils bring about, and there were no “pain killers” to take when the sensations became unbearable. By scraping his body with a scrap of pottery, Job was able to relieve the terrible itching and cut off the top if the boils infection. This would, however, cause a loss of infectious fluids and blood.

“AND HE SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.” - Some say that this action spoke of Jobs tremendous sorrow. Of course he would have to deal with depression. A person cannot suffer in this way without at least flirting with the very edge of despair. I can see something else here, however. In not too long ago times ashes were used quite extensively in backwoods and isolated places as a coagulant. With the running sores and bleeding which would naturally result from the scraping of the boils, Job would have to find some way to coagulate the entire surface of his body. What better way than to sin in the middle of an ash heap, of course they were cool, and find some relief from the loss of fluids as well a mild way to stave off the reoccurring itch. Job was doing the very best that he could.

THEN SAID HIS WIFE UNTO HIM,” - For the first time, and almost the last, the wife of Job enters the picture. She will appear again in 19:17. Here she seems to have little sympathy for her husband. This may well have been as a result of the grief that she felt for the loss of her children. Such a loss would be a severe blow to a woman. She may also have decided that serving her husband’s God was a little too much for her to do after blaming Him for the loss of her family. Many a pastor knows the difficulty of dealing with women in these circumstances. It seems that Job’s wife, along with the messengers, were the only ones to escape some kind of physical harm.

“DOST THOU STILL RETAIN THINE INTEGRITY?” - Some have tried to make Job’s wife’s words of love. They contend that she was so moved at his suffering that out of extreme empathy she call for him to give in to Satan’s desire and then die and be moved from his misery to the bliss of God’s presence. This statement, however, would argue against such an idea. True love would never call for a person to deny the very center of their being. All that made the Lord speak such words of testimony would be shattered in one moment weakened by pain and suffering. Real integrity is so priceless that it cannot be sacrificed for any amount of comfort, riches, or fame; much less the simple life of a true believer. When all else had failed him, Job still clung to the most priceless of his possessions, integrity.

“CURSE GOD, AND DIE.“ - (bawrek elohim vawmeth), “Bless God and die”. Although the lexicons admit the use of this verb for “curse” mostly means “bless”. Most of the versions of the Scripture translate it as “curse”. Only the Young’s Literal Translation translates the word as “bless”. This would make no sense at all to any serious student of the Bible. A person simply does not die as a result of blessing God. The only thing that can possibly be said is that the piel form of the verb, mostly an intensive form of the verb, would make a change in meaning. That is, what would seem to be a blessing, when said in an intensive manner, is really a curse. Modern “cussing” is an effective illustration.

Whatever we make of this word, (bawrek), we must understand that Job’s wife meant for it to cause death, suicide, as it were. We must also deal with the next verse in which Job completely rejects his wife’s counsel. Something else needs to be considered.

With all of the other suffering that Job had to endure, why did he have to endure his wife as well? Perhaps it is best to say that Satan spared here simply for this moment when she reaches into the very soul of her husband and, instead of being a comfort, she becomes a scourge.

There has been a great amount of teaching during the last few years which, using the advice of Pilate’s wife in Matthew 27:19 as the basis for their teaching, that a man should pay special heed to the advice of his wife. If this be true, as a constant truth, then Lot and Job would both have been in an awful tenuous position. In reality, a wife’s advice should be closely considered, but not taken blindly as if she had some special insight not given to anyone else. Sound advice is a precious thing, but bad advice can well lead to great, overbearing sorrow.

JOB 2:10 “BUT HE SAID UNTO HER,” - Even in the midst of his agony Job was thinking very straight. He completely rejected his wife’s counsel. In so doing he “puts her down” very harshly.

“THOU SPEAKEST AS ONE OF THE FOOLISH WOMEN SPEAKETH.” - Evidently both Job and his wife had heard words from “foolish women”. All of the lexicons list which the meaning of “foolish” also the meaning of “godless”. There is a relatively great amount of assurance that Job and his wife had heard the words of many “godless women”. Thus Job was harshly chiding his wife about speaking out as would a woman who did not know God. Job rejects his wife’s advice because it is the advice which does not consider God in its context. His wife belittled his sticking with his integrity; Job shows that it is his integrity which allows him to think so straight when he receives the straw which should have broken the camel’s back, the terrible advice of his wife. Job’s integrity keeps the camel’s back from breaking.

“WHAT? SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD AT THE HAND OF GOD, AND SHALL WE NOT RECEIVE EVIL?” - Job asks his own question, and in so doing, answers all the others. He is in effect asking if a man or woman can have integrity and expect to receive nothing but “good” from God. The answer is, of course, a resounding, “NO!”. Thus Job preaches to us out of his ministry that we should expect “good” when it serves God’s purpose to do so, and we should receive, just as graciously, “evil” when it serves God’s purpose to do so. This should be the death-knell to the “health and wealth” kind of gospel which is the bane of modern preaching and theology. One thing we can say about Job is that he definitely believes in the Sovereignty of God. When we challenge God’s logic, we quickly drown in our own foolishness and bitterness. We must have the revelation of Romans 8:28 in order to shed light where our intelligence shed no life. It says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” Job would agree that we really do not know what is really “good”.

“IN ALL THIS DID NOT JOB SIN WITH HIS LIPS.” - In the area that people so often sin, Job was completely clean. He said nothing to diminish God’s trust in him.

JOB 2:11 “NOW WHEN JOB'S THREE FRIENDS HEARD OF ALL THIS EVIL THAT WAS COME UPON HIM, THEY CAME EVERY ONE FROM HIS OWN PLACE; ELIPHAZ THE TEMANITE, AND BILDAD THE SHUHITE, AND ZOPHAR THE NAAMATHITE: FOR THEY HAD MADE AN APPOINTMENT TOGETHER TO COME TO MOURN WITH HIM AND TO COMFORT HIM.“ - Though further reading in the book of Job might cause us to think otherwise, it is right to call these three men “friends”. Their purpose was to bring comfort to Job; mourning with him over his personal loss and comforting him in his agony. You cannot really ask more from a real friend.

JOB 2:12 “AND WHEN THEY LIFTED UP THEIR EYES AFAR OFF, AND KNEW HIM NOT, THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICE, AND WEPT; AND THEY RENT EVERY ONE HIS MANTLE, AND SPRINKLED DUST UPON THEIR HEADS TOWARD HEAVEN.”

“AND WHEN THEY LIFTED UP THEIR EYES AFAR OFF, AND KNEW HIM NOT,”
- These three friends of Job were in for a shock. So pitiful was he that these close friends did not even recognize him as their friend Job. The shock threw them into a state of mourning.

“THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICE, AND WEPT; AND THEY RENT EVERY ONE HIS MANTLE, AND SPRINKLED DUST UPON THEIR HEADS TOWARD HEAVEN.” - The shock was so great that it would have been hard to tell which of the four men was the one under great stress of suffering, except for the physical plight of Job himself.

JOB 2:13 “SO THEY SAT DOWN WITH HIM UPON THE GROUND SEVEN DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, AND NONE SPAKE A WORD UNTO HIM: FOR THEY SAW THAT [HIS] GRIEF WAS VERY GREAT.” - These men who were friends show a great deal of wisdom here. They said nothing and remained with Job in the agony of his grief and suffering. They were quiet now but later they would have plenty to say. As we will hear from them we will be moved to say that they were much the wiser when they said nothing at all. There are many times when the mere presence of a friend is sufficient to bear the burden of the one in grief.

APPLICATION OF THE SCRIPTURE:

As we have continued to read about the losses and the suffering of Job, finally coming to its apex in the foolish counsel of his wife; we are made very much aware of why God would call him a man of “integrity”. GOD COULD ACTUALLY TRUST THIS MAN OF FAITH. We so often call men great for God when they preach great sermons, minister on difficult fields of service both at home and foreign, show himself to be a man of great intellect in matters concerning the Bible, write books which touch thousands with helpful, Biblical counsel, or preach the simple Gospel of Christ to millions of people around the world. However, the real men of God, both those from the areas mentioned above and those who occupy the pews of churches around the earth, are those with a godly integrity. In this day of hype for programs, money raising, and counseling of problems, it is very refreshing to meet Christians with integrity. In fact, we might well be surprised that the lack of integrity in many who call themselves Christians is the one evidence which cannot be negated that there are a lot more people who call themselves Christians than there are people who God calls a Christian.

1 comment:

Ronan Jimson said...

Hi reformedlawless, I want to introduce you to http://freearticle.name