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Monday, November 5, 2012

A Job Experience # 21

We have said that chronologically Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible; and the Lord has shown us that the Holy Spirit inspired the Book of Job to be written in poetic form because the Lord is dealing with the innermost being of man: the Book of Job reveals the depths of the Lord's dealings in the spirit, in the soul, and in the heart of man. And except for the experience of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which absolutely stands alone, for He alone is worthy, Job's experience, Job's suffering, Job's purging, is one of the most detailed experiences of a servant of the Lord recorded in the Word of God by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, since Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible, and since the Word of God is an Incorruptible Seed "... which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23), we believe that the Holy Spirit uses His account of Job's experience as a "seed" of travail in other parts of the Word of God, a "seed" of travail that grows, that "liveth," until God's full thought is realized. For instance, in Job 5:17 we find these words spoken to Job, by the Holy Spirit, through one of Job's friends; remember, Job's experience is corporate: "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening (child training) of the Almighty." And what a productive "seed" of travail this is, for we find this correcting and chastening "seed" growing in Psalm 94:3 and 4, as the psalmist cried out of the midst of his adversity what must have been in Job's heart also: "...how long shall the wicked triumph? How long? ..." And the Holy Spirit answers the psalmist's travail by calling into remembrance the living Words that He, the Holy Spirit, had spoken to Job many years before: "Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord ..." (Psalm 94:12).

But let us note that there is a slight but important difference between what was said to Job and what is said through the psalmist, for the same words that the Holy Spirit spoke to Job have now become the psalmist's own. The Living Word has now become a reality, a living expression in and through his innermost being; and in the midst of great adversity he is empowered by the Holy Spirit to pray and commune with his Lord, and what he prays is able to comfort the Lord's people throughout the ages: "Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord ..." If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations, Thy comforts, delight my soul" - Yes! The "seed" is growing.

Then, in Proverbs 3:11 and 12, we find this same "Living Seed" instructing the sons of God, instructing those who are destined for the throne ministry - the ministry with the greatest responsibility o all - the ministry of intercession.

"My son, despise not the chastening (child training) of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction; for whom the Lord loveth He correcteh; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."

And in Hebrews 12:5 and 6, we find the full harvest of this living ... abiding ... enduring seed, which is the Word of God, when the Lord Himself speaks directly to everyone of His maturing sons, sons who are being prepared for eternal responsibility with Him, both in their own generation and age, and in the ages to come, and in the eternity of the eternities.

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."

Beloved, only the Living Word of God has the creative, productive, and enduring power to begin by speaking to one such as Job, and then continue a living reality in all of God's sons.

Throughout the Word of God, particularly in the Books of poetry, such as the Psalms, Proverbs, Jeremiah, etc., the Holy Spirit quotes or refers to the Book of Job over and over again.

The Holy Spirit uses the deep travail that took place in Job as a creative word, a "living seed," in many other portions of the Bible. For those who wish to see how this "Living Word" grows and multiplies itself, we have listed many of these scriptures below. If anyone is led by the Holy Spirit to search into these scriptures, we want to encourage you to do it first by prayer. Let these scriptures be your prayer as you read them; and you will find the creative power of the "Living Word" multiplying in your innermost being. Pray these scriptures as you read them; and if these scriptures are found in a Psalm, read the whole psalm - or read and pray the chapters or the context surrounding them. There may not be much emotion in this kind of praying, but if we endure in our praying of the Scripture, the enduring Word of God will, at the same time, launch us further into a greater depth of eternal intercession with the Lord. And, beloved, this is not only true of the scriptures listed below, but this is also true of every portion of the Word of God which we are led by the Holy Spirit to read and pray.

Quoted or referred to in other books:

3:3-11 Job - Jeremiah 20:14, 15, 18
3:16 Job  -  Psalm 58:8
3:21 Job  -  Proverbs 2:4
4:3, 4 Job  -  Isaiah 35:3
4:8 Job  -  Prov. 2:8; Hos. 10:13
5:3 Job  -  Psalm 37:35, 36
5:10 Job  -  Psalm 65:9
5:13 Job  -  1 Corinthians 3:19
5:14 Job  -  Isaiah 59:10
5:20 Job  - Hebrews 12:5
11:18, 19 Job  - Ezek. 34:28; Mic. 4:4; Zeph. 3:13
21:30 Job  -  Prov. 16;4; Zeph. 1:15-18; 2 Peter 2:9
[this is a very short listing. There are as many more "quotes" in the Bible]

"And The Lord Turned The Captivity of Job"

Oh, Yes! - "the Lord turned the captivity of Job," and Job entered into the travail and intercession of the Lord Himself, a travail that will never cease bringing forth the Fullness of Christ. In Psalm 126, we find what must have been in Job's heart as he entered into the travail of the ages:

"When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,
We were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing:
Then said they among the heathen,
"The Lord hath done great things for them."
The Lord hath done great things for us;
Whereof we are glad.
Turn again our captivity, O Lord,
As the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

And this travail that began with the Lord during the captivity of just one man, the man who is called "My servant Job," increases until "the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion." And Mount Zion always represents God's Highest Purpose for His people. Beloved, this is "the comfort" of the Lord! This is reality! This is the Spirit of Prayer!

The Lord's final word about Job is found in James 5;11, where we are told of Job's endurance. We do not believe this is only speaking of that which Job endured until the Lord turned his captivity, although that would be enough for us to know that Job was faithful. No, we believe it is, in its furthest extent, speaking of the fact that Job's intercession has endured, and will continue to endure, until God has gained all that He purposed in Christ.

"Behold, 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)

Beloved, we have surely heard of the endurance of Job, and this scripture also tells us that all who endure are "blessed," all who endure until God has His End through His Way are blessed as Job was blessed. And how are we blessed? We are blessed because the Lord is full of compassion and mercy, for He can take earthen vessels like us and prepare us and chasten us and purge us and use us in the ministry of Intercession. The Lord blesses those who endure as He blessed Job - They are blessed because The Lord has prepared them to join with Him in intercession that spans the ages - He has prepared them to join with Him in intercession that will continue to be effective throughout all eternity, He has prepared them to join with Him in eternal intercession that finds its fulfillment in the always-increasing, never-ending Fullness of Christ: "Behold, we count those blessed who endure."

Oh, Lord, w pray that we may be counted among those who endure, that we may become those who are blessed as Job was blessed. Amen

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(the end)

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