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My Servant Job
Steven Ray Bragg
Not For Sale
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My Servant Job
By Steven Ray Bragg
American Missionary Serving in The Philippines
The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job” (Job2:3a)?
Currently I’m writing my second book THE ENEMY IS ROARING ~ THE LORD IS BLESSING. This story of Job is taken from the book.
Job is a good illustration of what I mean by the title of the book. Job was a man of incredible wealth. His family was large and enjoyed the good life of prosperity. Job was a man of faith with an extraordinary close relationship with God. God knew his name and boasted about Job’s faith in Him. This for me is the best possible faith: for God to know my name and enjoy my faith; imagine that to be true for any of us. Amen.
In spite of Job’s faith, or maybe because of it, he lost everything: wealth, family and health. He lost it all suddenly and dramatically. Job’s life was shattered; his faith tested.
While going through the trail, little did Job know this was a deliberate test of his faith. God Himself allowed Satan to test Job. Only God knew the depth of Job’s faith. God knew Job would stand the test and both prove himself faithful and prove God’s glory and sovereignty.
Truly Satan, was roaring in the life of Job. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT). Like a roaring lion the devil thought Job would be easily devoured.
Job’s faith was under assault. In chapter 4 of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite tries to encourage Job in his enormous trial of loss. Although not all of Eliphaz counsel was true or good, I think this encouragement reveals insight about Job. Eliphaz tells Job "In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you” (Job 4:3-5 NLT).
Often, even with people of strong faith, when trouble strikes we can lose heart or become terrified. I describe these times as THE ENEMY IS ROARING. It is when our hearts are attacked and we become terrified that the roaring lion attempts to devour us.
Eliphaz goes on to describe Job’s enemy, Satan. The enemy can only roar. He has no teeth. God is sovereign, and His protection and blessing are imminent. "According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it. By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end. The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the whelps of the lioness are scattered” (Job 4:8-11). Job’s faith was steadfast. He was not prey. Satan’s attempt to devour Job was to no avail. His faith proved authentic. The accuser was silenced.
The testing of his faith was indeed a life changing ordeal. The apostle Peter says these tests have purpose. “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7 NLT).
Fire: that’s a good description. Peter calls them test of fire. James calls them test to build endurance; test of maturity, or that lead us to maturity. “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (James 5:11). Peter concludes the outcome of the test is faith more precious the gold. Then he goes on to say “the reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9 NLT).
The ROARING OF THE ENEMY was the testing of Job’s faith. Also through his trial, “THE LORD IS BLESSING.” For Job, the blessings of the Lord are his inspirational faith for those in trial even to this day. The author of Hebrews put Job in the category of faithful people and described them as “men of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38a). He is eternally honored in the Word of God that will never perish. Through his test, we get a window of observation into the glory and sovereignty of our God. For Job, he received a double blessing on what was already one of the most blessed lives.
More About Job
Job is an illustration of God causing events to His purpose. In this story God causes, tests, allows and ordains events.
In answering the accuser, Satan, God says "All right, you may test him," the LORD said to Satan. "Do whatever you want [allow] with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically [ordain]." So Satan left the LORD's presence” (Job 1:12 NLT). Then later God allows and ordains; grants Satan even more power to test Job with his health. "All right, do with him as you please," the LORD said to Satan. "But spare his life" (Job 2:6 NLT).
The interpretation and application of Job’s story is difficult at best. However, some things are clearly understood. God caused the testing of Job and allowed his suffering with limit and divine purpose. Satan was the agent of the testing and suffering. In the end God blessed Job. God was sovereign and deliberate in all.
God was deliberate in setting up the testing of Job by asking Satan if he had considered Job. God knew Satan would accuse Himself and Job. This was no surprise to God. He knew the entire situation and the outcome. That’s who Satan is - the Accuser. “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—the one who accuses them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10b)
Job’s testing results, or God’s divine purpose made known: Satan came to know that Job’s faith was genuine. Satan had accused God of bribing Job’s faith with favoritism. Indeed, God favored Job, but it was because of Job’s faith not to receive Job’s faith. Job was faithful in both blessing and adversity. Job came to understand God in a greater way. “Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You.’ You asked, 'Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me” (Job 42:1-3 NLT). You and I, as we examine Job’s trial come to understand God better, also. Job’s life reveals to us a window into God’s nature and sovereignty.
The Honor to Defend God
The testing of Job’s faith proved that his faith was genuine. But more than that, Job’s faith defended the honor of God. Satan accused God of favoritism. He accused God of being unjust. Job’s faithfulness proved Satan’s accusation against God wrong. Like a Knight defending his King. Job defended the honor of the Lord God Almighty. OH TO BE GIVEN SUCH A DISTINCTION AND PRIVILEGE.
When others see us in prosperity or suffering a trial, will they see the God we proclaim? Will they see our God as faithful, sovereign, good and just or will they see by our action that we believe He is none of these?
Faith in God’s Purpose – Testing or Trial
Like Job, as a result of the experience of knowing God, I have come to a greater faith through the process of testing and trial. I call these times The Enemy is Roaring. Satan roared in the testing of Job. I’m sure he thought he had both God and Job over a barrel. When God granted him even more authority over Jobs health, he must have roared with delight. “Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.” (Job 2:4) Satan thought Job would give up even his faith in God to spare his own life.
The lessons here have many applications. One, God knew Job’s faith and knew he would endure the trial faithfully. Two, Satan came to know man can worship God because of love or faith not for what he can receive. Three, the relationship of Job and God was genuine. Four, deeper faith and better understanding of God comes through testing or trial. Five, God has purpose and design in trial. Six, whatever the trial, God is deliberate, absolute and sovereign. Seven, better to stand strong in faith then fold. In each trial we come to know even more that God is sovereign and He is faithful. No matter what, we can trust Him! We cannot help but trust Him; He is God! Amen!
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