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Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Job Experience # 10

3. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, "smitten" of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4, 5). More than any other passage of Scripture, Isaiah 52:13-15 and Isaiah 53 reveal the details of the innermost workings of the Cross of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And it is even more wonderful when we realize that Isaiah was used to record these innermost details over 600 years before Christ was crucified. This portion of Scripture is very remarkable, for it is written in the past, present, and future tense, for example: - He was wounded for our transgressions - and with His stripes we are healed - He shall see the travail of His soul. In other words, all the work accomplished through the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is "from everlasting to everlasting" - the Cross is always a present accomplishment from eternity past throughout eternity future.

Therefore, the greatest and most important battle in all the battles of the ages was being fought through and upon the Cross of Christ. Through the Cross: "God disarmed the principalities and powers ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Christ and in the Cross" (Col. 2:15). The religious leaders of that day thought they put Jesus on the Cross! Rome thought they ordered the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazarene! And satan and all his evil host thought they were crucifying the Christ of God. But, beloved, the Word of God says: "... it pleased the Lord (the Lord purposed) to bruise (to crush) Him ..." The Cross of Christ always was, and is, and ever shall be, the most important factor in the Full Purpose of God in Christ: "...when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall MY SERVANT justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:10, 11).

Isaiah 53:4 says, "Yet we did esteem Him stricken, "smitten" of God, and afflicted ..."; and the context of this scripture indicates that we are mostly ignorant of, and probably never will fully understand, the Fullness of the Atoning Work of the Cross. But, beloved, we can by faith believe it! We can rejoice in it! We can walk and live in the reality of it! And we can spend eternity learning of the Fullness of the Atoning Work of the Cross of Christ.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening of our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like a sheep have gone astray,
Each of us turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall upon Him (Isaiah 53:4-6)

And so, after considering these examples of the word, "smote," we see that when the Holy Spirit states that "satan ... smote Job," He is emphasizing the importance of the warfare that is taking place in the unseen realm between God and His enemy. A warfare that will result in God's End through His Way:

"You have heard of the endurance of Job."

"And much Time Having Elapsed ..."

Thus, satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with loathsome and painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And Job took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself, and he sat down among the ashes, an unclean place without the city. (Job2:7-9; taken from the Hebrew-Interlinear Bible).

Then, much time having elapsed, his wife said to him, "Are you still holding fast to your integrity? How long wilt thou persist saying, 'Behold I will wait yet a little longer in hope and expectation of my deliverance?' Renounce God, and die." "

The majority who interpret this portion of Scripture are very hard on the wife of Job. They seem to forget that up to this point Job's wife had suffered through the same calamities that satan had brought upon Job: - Along with Job, she had suffered the loss of their home and lands; and most grievous and painful of all, her mother's heart had been broken by the death of their children. And then, for what seemed like an unendurable length of time, she had watched her husband suffer pain, grief, and affliction. The Septuagint Bible seems to catch the essence of her grief and sorrow as it speaks of what must have been in her heart: "...those sons and daughters, whom I brought forth with pangs and sorrow, and for whom I toiled in vain, are vanished from the earth; and (Job) thou thyself sittest among the putrefaction of worms, all night long in the open air, while I am wandering about or working for wages, from place to place and from house to house, wishing for the setting of the sun, that I may rest from the sorrows I endure ..."

No wonder Job's wife broke under the strain of the calamities that befell them; no wonder she could not endure such sufferings; on the contrary, we believe that it was only as Job depended on God's "tender mercy" (James 5:11) that Job endured until God had His End through His Way.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 11)

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