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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Job Experience # 9

Now Job's grief was just as great, and just as heart-breaking, and just as hard to live with, as anyone's would be who had suffered such a lose. But Job endured. Yes, satan had unleashed his fury, but Job endured. And at the time of  his greatest grief and heartache, Job fell down and worshiped the Lord and said: "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." And the Word tells us that "in all this" Job did not charge wrong or injustice to God, he did not blame God, which is another way of saying: " ... we know that all things work together for good (for God's ultimate good) to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). Thus Job worshiped the Lord with these words:

Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

Beloved, as Job uttered these words, which came from the very depths of his heart, satan's first attempt to stop God's purpose in Job's life went down in defeat. Now these are the first words that Job spoke after he was informed of the great calamities which had come upon him; and so brethren, when Job uttered these words, satan went down in defeat - satan's deadly and powerful plan to cause Job to err from "God's Way" was defeated.

satan had prophesied:
"... he will curse Thee to Thy Face."
But instead, Job humbled himself
under the Mighty Hand of God;
And worshiped and said:
"Blessed be the name of the Lord."

"Again ... satan smote Job ..."

However, we find that satan was not through with Job, for in chapter two of Job we are again taken into the realm that is unseen, as the Word of God solemnly states: "Again ... satan came ... to present himself before the Lord." Again satan was summoned by the Lord, by the Eternal-One, to give account of himself, for God knew that His enemy was still seeking to devour the purpose that He had for Job's life. Consequently, our Sovereign Lord, Who is always progressing towards His End, permits satan to further afflict Job; and, remember, whenever God permits satan to afflict one of His own, He always has eternal purpose in view.

So satan, "again,"  moves against Job,and this time satan afflicts him not only in spirit and soul but also in body. Job two, verse seven, says that satan "smote" Job with loathsome and painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Now, the Holy Spirit has a definite reason for using the word "smoke" when He describes satan's attack upon Job. Some of the most powerful struggles and intense spiritual conflicts recorded in the Word are behind the use of this word "smote" - conflicts and struggles which have far-reaching effects and results in the Divine plan. Therefore, let us take note of three such instances in other portions of the Bible in order that we may understand the conflict that Job suffered.

1. "...these made war with Bera king of Sodom ... and in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and "smote" the Rephaims ..." (Genesis 14:2, 5). Here we find satan showing just how far he will go in his war against God's purpose in Christ, as he ruthlessly causes a war between the evil powers under his control: - the kings of the earth, which represent satan's control over fallen man; the Rephaims, which are the descendants of the giants of Genesis 6, the monsters of iniquity, who were, and are, the seed of the serpent; and Sodom, which speaks of perversion and also represents that which satan sets into motion in order to pervert the Right Way of the Lord. And behind this war, which satan inspired between those under his control, was satan's attempt to cause Abraham to compromise with Sodom and thereby corrupt "The Seed", which is Christ. But Abraham said to the king of Sodom, "I will not take anything that is thine." And after these things, the Word of the Lord came to Abraham saying: "Fear not, Abram: I Am thy Shield, and thy exceeding great reward" (Genesis 15:1).

2. "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will "smite" all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I Am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and When I See The Blood, I Will Pass Over You, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I "smite" the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:12, 13). These scriptures point to the Cross, and they speak of the Power of the shed Blood of Christ Jesus our Lord. They speak of the great unseen warfare that took place when God, through the shed Blood of the Lamb, saved and delivered His people out of the bondage of Egypt. Egypt represents the world that is under the rule of satan: it represents a bondage which, if not broken, ultimately means slavery and death and destruction.

Furthermore, God used satan's own power, the destroyer and his evil angels, to "smite" the firstborn of Egypt, "the chief of their strength." In Genesis 49:3, where Jacob is speaking of his firstborn, we find why most nations and families considered the firstborn to be the chief of their strength: "... you are my first-born; my might and the beginning of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power". The destroyer could not touch God's people because of the Blood of the Lamb, but the might and strength and dignity and power of Egypt's firstborn was destroyed. God also executed judgment upon all the gods of Egypt. The destroyer (Exodus 12:23), satan himself, set out to enslave God's people, and to destroy the purpose God had for their lives; but, in the end, satan could only destroy his own evil. Thus, through it all, the Lord saved and delivered His own people unto Himself, in order that they would build and become His holy habitation.

He (God) cast upon them
(upon Egypt and upon all the gods of Egypt)
the fierceness of His anger,
wrath, and indignation, and trouble,
by sending evil angels among them ...
And smote all the firstborn in their land,
the chief of all their strength ...
But made His own people to go forth like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
And He led them on safely so that they feared not:
The enemy said,
"I will pursue, I will overtake ...
my hand shall destroy them."
But the seas overwhelmed their enemies ...
Thy Right Hand, O Lord,
hath dashed in pieces the enemy ...
Thou in Thy mercy hast led forth the people
Thou hast redeemed:
Thou hast guided them in Thy strength
unto Thy holy habitation.
(Psalm 78:49-53; Exodus 15:9, 10, 6, 13).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 10)

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