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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Job Experience # 7

"Thus Job Did Continually"

So Job is one of the first of God's people to be involved in the unseen, spiritual warfare that has continued throughout the ages; and we have seen that Job was praying when this battle began. We believe it was Job's prayers that caused satan to turn his attention to Job at this time; for satan fears and hates the results of the effectual prayer of a righteous man, because satan sees his end in the results of prayers that are prayed with God's End in view (James 5:16). So, satan immediately sets out to stop, or hinder, such prayers.

However, satan did not set the appointed time for this warfare in which Job's spirit, soul, and body are the battleground. No! The battle took place in the sovereign timing of the Lord, for God "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Beloved, we need to come to a place in the Lord where we realize that God is never surprised. He is never taken off guard by anything. He knows all things past, present, and future, for He is the Lord. He is the Eternal One, and no matter what satan [the adversary, the opposer, the withstander of God's purpose in Christ] does in his attempt to stop it. God's purpose continues on exactly as He determined "in the beginning" (John 1:1-3; Eph. 1:1-14).

So Job is praying and although it is unknown to him at the time, as he is praying, Job enters the battle of the ages; and the unseen warfare intensifies! Job is praying, he is continually worshiping and praying, because he is concerned for his children. Do we find him praying for his children's health? Do we find him praying for their safety and protection? Do we find him praying for their prosperity? Do we find him bemoaning his own state or wanting out from under the pressure that every parent suffers when their children worry or trouble them? No, we do not find him praying this way. Now, we are not saying it is wrong to pray in some of these ways, for we need to cast all our care upon the Lord; but what we are saying is that Job had his priorities right, and when he prayed for his children, he prayed prayers that had God's End in view.

Consequently, we find Job concerned, first of all, for God's satisfaction; and more than anything else, this caused him to be concerned about his children's heart relationship with God: for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned (missed the mark that God has set before them) and cursed (renounced) God in their hearts." We know that Job was more concerned about God's satisfaction, about God's desires, than he was about anything else, because he offered "burnt offerings"; and the burnt offering which is symbolic of the Perfections of Christ, was offered wholly for God's satisfaction. The burnt offering typified Christ offering Himself without spot to God. It was a voluntary offering - Christ laid down His Life voluntarily and devotedly - He cried: "I delight to do Thy will, O My God" (Psalm 40:7, 8; Hebrews 10:5-10). The entire sacrifice was burnt upon the altar, which means the entire sacrifice was wholly and completely for God, such was the devotion of Christ's heart.

Before the burnt offering was sacrificed upon the altar, the worshiper laid his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and this symbolizes the completeness of our atonement; for there was a double transfer: the unworthiness of the offerer was transferred to the offering (Christ) and the acceptableness of the offering (Christ) was transferred to the offerer. "...wherein (in His grace) He hath made us accepted in the Beloved (Lev. 1; Eph. 1:6). "And the priest shall burn all upon the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor, a sweet and satisfying odor, unto the Lord" (Lev. 1:9). And in Ephesians 5:2, we find in Christ the reality of that which is symbolized by the burnt offering: "...Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for the sweet-smelling savor."

Thus Job the servant, the bondslave of the Lord, offered burnt offerings on behalf of his children. He prayed and stood in the worthiness of Christ, and even though disaster struck and his children lost their lives on this earth, they were not lost to God - because of Job's stand in Christ, they were "accepted in the Beloved." It was Christ's worthiness that caused both Job and his family to be "accepted in the Beloved"; and because of Christ's worthiness, we can take the same stand, and have the same assurance, that our loved ones are "accepted in the Beloved." Nevertheless, the loss of one's children is one of the hardest things that anyone must endure; and Job had to endure this pain fr the rest of his life on earth. But let us remember this, God knows the end as well as the beginning and Job has now been with his children, all of his children, and he has been with the family of God, for over 4,000 years according to our time; and according to God's purpose in Christ, he will be with them for eternity.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 8)

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