I think it shameful that whenever something bad happens to a Christian, folks want to say things like “well, they must be in sin, so God’s punishing them” or “they must be in line for something big, because God is using satan to test them.”
Neither or these premises are true. In fact, both are patent, deadly lies.
Consider the following:
1. Because of sin, satan had access to Job, as he did ALL men – see Understanding the Book of Job by Tom Tompkins.
2. Job was operating in fear – he offered sacrifices because he thought his kids were living lives unpleasing to God (Job 1:5 AMP).
And when the days of their feasting were over, Job sent for them to purify and hallow them, and rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed or disowned God in their hearts. Thus did Job at all [such] times.
Now, before you say, “well, what about feasts and sacrifices,” I submit to you the first sacrifice was done by God, Himself (Genesis 3:21) and were also offered up by Cain and Abel, and even Noah – all before the law. As for the feasts mentioned in Job, they obviously weren’t feasts for God, otherwise, Job wouldn’t have offered his fear-based sacrifices. But I digress…
He confessed indicted himself on this charge (Job3:25 AMP)
For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.
For more on this, see The Error of Job by Keith Williams.
3. satan neither asked for nor received “permission” to touch Job. Indeed, it was God who prevented satan first from touching Job. It is an important observation, here, that satan first tried to put words in God’s mouth (speaking of the “hedge”), then tried to tempt God to put His hand upon Job (Job 1:9-12 AMP)
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing?
10 Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.
12 And the Lord said to Satan (the adversary and the accuser), Behold, all that he has is in your power, only upon the man himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
…and then killing him – Note, again, how the devil tried to get God to do something outside His character (Job 2:4-6 AMP)
4 Then Satan answered the Lord, Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has will he give for his life.
5 But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse and renounce You to Your face.
6 And the Lord said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.
Note, too, that in Job 1:12 and 2:6, when God says “Behold, he is in your hand,” that is a statement of fact (see point 1), not a permissive clause! I have challenged even “heavy-hitting” theological minds to produce the permissive clause in either Hebrew or English – no takers.
4. Job 1:21 (AMP) is SITUATIONAL, not DOCTRINAL.
And said, Naked (without possessions) came I [into this world] from my mothers womb, and naked (without possessions) shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed (praised and magnified in worship) be the name of the Lord!
When you take a situational text and build a doctrine around it, that is the worst kind of eisegesis.
Sadly, Job is become the standard-bearer or “poster-boy” for religious thinking. God will not use satan as a tool to chasten His children or to otherwise prove a point. satan is a defeated foe, PERIOD. One of the main reasons the Body of Christ fails to operate in its Kingdom authority is because we’ve bought into this religious lie.
God neither permitted Job’s trial nor Paul’s thorn (2 Corinthians 12:7). If God afflicts you, then you are absolutely wrong for asking for healing or deliverance.
But, wait, Psalms 34:19 says it thusly,
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
God will not thrust you into a mess to deliver you from it – that would make him capricious. From this Scripture it is clear that God delivers; He does not afflict!
Please understand, I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m trying to show that the doctrines built around Job’s trial (and Paul’s thorn, for that matter) are doctrines of bondage and have done more to harm the Body of Christ than virtually any other.
James 1:17 says,
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Sickness, pain, poverty, affliction, suffering, and oppression are not good gifts, therefore they cannot come from God. Watch the text, here, too: it says there that God is unchanging – this means He is the same throughout Scriputre!
Jesus said in John 10:10,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
There is nothing abundant about sickness, pain, poverty, affliction, suffering, suffering or oppression. To suggest they are components of abundant life is a Scripturally untenable position.
The doctrines around Job’s trial and Paul’s thorn are designed to snare the believer into fear which, by the way, doesn’t come from God, either.
2 Timothy 1:7 says,
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Bottom Line: for the child of God, the chastening of God comes from the Word of God,
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Book of Job is regarded as the oldest book in the canon of Scripture. Job likely did not have neither the promise of Abraham nor the law of Moses. He certainly had neither Jesus nor the Holy Spirit. You saint, on the other hand, have both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So, when the devil attacks, you need to understand clearly that God did not orchestrate it. If, indeed, God did orchestrate satan’s attacks, then you’d be outside His will to resist. Now give that a minute to sink in…
© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)