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Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Job Experience # 5

"My Servant Job"

The Book of Job, as well as every other book and letter in the Bible, has its own unique purpose in the Full Purpose of God in Christ. And right from the beginning, the Holy Spirit makes it clear that Job's sufferings are not taking place because of something he had done or had not done. Job is not suffering because he had displeased God or because he had sinned. In fact, quite the opposite is true, for the Word of God makes it clear that Job's sufferings are allowed by God Himself. And for that reason, we need to keep in mind, as we are searching into that which Job endured, that God is Omniscient: He is All-Knowing - He knows all the past! He knows all the Present! He knows all the future! Everything past, present, and future is all known to God. And when God allowed the enemy to attack Job, God knew that Job would endure! God knew that satan would be defeated through Job's experience! God knew that Job's sufferings would bring forth eternal results in His Purpose! And God knew that the Book of Job's experiences would sustain and comfort all suffering Christians throughout the ages!

So in the very first verses of the Book of Job, the Holy Spirit tells us that Job "was blameless and upright, and one who (reverently) feared God and abstained from and shunned evil [because it was wrong]" (Job 1:1). We also have God Himself speaking of Job in the most intimate of terms, as He calls him: "My servant Job" (Job 1:8). In this portion of Scripture, God uses the most personal and possessive of pronouns, He uses the word "My"; and in using the pronoun "My," God is stating unequivocally that Job is His possession. God is saying, "Job is Mine!" Job belongs to Me! Job is My possession!" And God not only says this of Job at the beginning before Job's afflictions begin, but He also makes this same statement four times in the last chapter of Job as Job's sufferings are reaching God's End.

So, right from the beginning, God proclaims that Job is "My servant," Job is My bondslave; and a bondslave of God is one whose will has been swallowed up in the Will of God. And we shall find that it is very significant that the first time God makes this proclamation of Job, He is making it to satan himself. Now Job is an ordinary person just like us, so how could this statement ever be made of him or us?. Well, there is only one answer. God has Another Whom He calls "My servant" (Zech. 3:8), and this One is His Perfect Bondslave, the One Who "took upon Him the form of a servant (bondslave)," Jesus Christ our Lord (Phil. 2:7). And it is because we are in Him, and of Him, that we, or any other child of God,such as Job, can be called "My servant."

We have said that God first made this statement about Job to satan himself; so let us return to the scene of the intense warfare that is taking place between God and His archenemy, satan - an unseen warfare in which Job's spirit, soul, and body is the battleground. In the Book of Job, the Holy Spirit grants us an extraordinary look into the realm that cannot be viewed by earthly sight; it is a realm that cannot be truly comprehended nor perceived by the human nature, intellect, or senses. Remember, this invisible realm can only be accurately revealed by the Holy Spirit, and the interpretation of this unseen realm can only be interpreted by the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit interprets all things by and in and through the inspired, written Word of God - the Holy Bible. In the Scripture, we know that most of the time we are called on to view this unseen realm by faith; but in the Book of Job, God has chosen to reveal something of this unseen realm. Therefore, it is essential that we grasp, by the Spirit, what He wants us to know and to experience.

The Lord always has a very significant reason for granting us such a revelation into the unseen realm; and, in this instance, we believe He has done so in order to prepares us for more effective intercession. Therefore, when this warfare begins between God and satan, it is of great consequence that the Holy Spirit records that Job is praying and offering burnt offerings unto the Lord on behalf of his family. In the Word of God the burnt offering, which is a type of Christ's Perfection, was offered wholly to please God. It was a sweet-smelling sacrifice, a type of the perfections of Christ. This sacrifice was always wholly for God's satisfaction and pleasure, and it was always offered in a state of worship, consecration, and prayer. Also in Job, chapters 41 and 42, as this warfare is reaching God's climactic End, let us take note that Job is praying, for the Holy Spirit records that Job is called upon by God to pray on behalf of his friends.

So when this warfare begins, Job is praying. And furthermore, it is quite possible that this warfare is the result of Job's praying. The Book of Daniel, and many other instances in the Word of God, makes it clear that nothing stirs the enemy of God into action more than prayer. Thus, in Job 1:5, we read:

"And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually"

And the very next words that the Holy Spirit solemnly puts on record are these: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan also came among them." If we lift out a few statements from these scriptures, we shall see that the battle lines had been drawn: "Thus Job did continually ..." (Job continually prayed on behalf of). "Now" (at that time, at that season) "there was a day when ... The Lord ... and satan ..." The Lord ... and satan - two irreconcilable foes AND THE BATTLE HAD BEGUN!

So, as we look into this heavenly scene, we find that the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan also came among them. The context of these scriptures indicate that the "sons of God" are angels, the ministering spirits of God; and they have taken their station before the Lord to give account, and to receive their instructions. It seems that Job's prayers not only stirred satan into action but the angelic hosts as well.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 6)

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