JOB: The Historical Example of Suffering to the Glory of God (Part-2)

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Job 1:1 KJV

Concerning Job, I. He was a man; therefore subject to like passions as we are. He was Ish, a man in authority. The country he lived in was the land of Uz, in the eastern part of Arabia, near Euphrates. God has His remnant in all places. It was the privilege of the land of Uz to have so good a man as Job in it; the worse others were round about him the better he was. His name Job, or Jjob, some say, signifies one hated and counted as an enemy. Others make it one that grieves and groans.

II. He was a very good man, eminently pious, and better than his neighbors; He was perfect and upright. It is the judgment of God concerning him, and we are sure that is according to truth. 1. Job was a religious man, one who feared God, that is, worshipped Him. 2. He was sincere in his religion: he was perfect; not sinless, as he himself owns (ch. ix.20); If I say I am perfect, I shall be proved perverse. But having a respect to all God’s commandments, aiming at perfection, he was really as good as he seemed to be, his heart was sound as his eye was single. 3. He was upright in his dealings with God and man, was faithful to his promises, steady in his counsels, true to every trust. 4. The fear of God reigning in his heart was the principle that governed his whole conversation. 5. He dreaded the thought of doing what was wrong; with the utmost abhorrence and detestation he eschewed evil. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil (Prov. viii. 13) and then by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil, Prov. xvi.6).

—Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (1961 American reprint) p 515

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Job 1:6-8 KJV

In the dispensation of the Triune Godhead (i.e. Alpha, Pre-Creation Eternity), the Father appointed the Son as His designated ruler over all spirit beings (i.e. angelic creation—cf. Col. 1:12-17). During the dispensation of the Angels, Lucifer (i.e. Satan, the Devil, the Old Serpent, the Dragon) organized and led a spirit beings’ revolution against God (cf. Isa. 14:12-17; Ezk. 28:11-19). This was the beginning of the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict (cf. Eph. 6:12). Satan and his army were defeated; he was tried by God and along with his army he was sentenced to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire (cf. Matt. 25:41).

The fact that Satan and his spirit being army are not currently incarcerated in the prison of the Lake of Fire (i.e. Hell) can only mean that he is currently out on appeal. We believe his appeal was three-fold in nature. (1) How can a loving God send one of His created beings into eternal torment, even if they sinned against him? [from R. B. Thieme, Jr., Angelic Conflict], (2) How can a just and righteous God not send one of His created beings into eternal torment after they have sinned against Him? [from my own studies in which I concluded that Satan attempted to create a paradox in regard to unity and cohesion of the divine attributes]. (3) How can an infinite God understand the needs of a finite created being? [from Carl Neal, Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict Covenant].

Original man was in a state of innocence, and there was only one way in which he could sin. The only sin he could commit was the same type of sin which Satan committed originally—negative volition. Why was man put on earth? First, to glorify God. Every time man chose for God, God would be glorified. Second, to settle this angelic conflict; and third to prove that God is right in sentencing millions, perhaps billions of fallen angels to the lake of fire.

—R. B. Thieme Jr. Satanic Plot Book 2 (1971) p 17

The Son convened a convocation of holy elect angels (cf. Job 1:6a). Satan crashed this holy angelic assembly (cf. Job 1:6b). He was immediately interrogated by the Son. He was asked where he had been since the last time he had appeared in heaven. His answer was that he had been traveling on the earth. The Son then brought Job to Satan’s attention. He asked Satan if he had given any special consideration to God’s “servant Job”. The Son then gave Satan God’s evaluation of Job.

For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil

Job 1:8 NASV

The Son had given a tremendous character reference concerning one of His servants. Satan then chose to answer the Son and to give Him his own opinion of Job.

God gives a good report of Job. He says he is an outstanding man. It would seem that Satan has been trying to get at Job. I draw that conclusion from Satan’s next statement. ‘Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land' [Job 1:9-10]. Apparently Satan had been trying to get through to Job and made the discovery that he couldn’t get through to him because there was a hedge about him. He tells the Lord, ‘You have put a hedge around him, and I cannot touch him.’ I believe that there is a hedge about every believer today, and I do not think that Satan can touch you unless God permits it. And if God permits it, it will be for His purpose. This is what this book teaches us.

—J. Vernon McGee, "Thru the Bible" Vol. II p 584

And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

Job 1:2 KJV

Since every grace blessing comes down from the Father (cf. Jam. 1:17), then all of Job’s blessings were truly a grace gift from God. Job had been blessed with ten children. Now we do not know the age of Job at the time of this test. We do know that he lived for 140 years after it was over. Since the Father doubled everything that he had lost, it is a logical deduction that He also doubled his age. If, as I and some others believe, Job is the same person as Joab, the son of Joktan (cf. Gen. 10:29), then he lived in the time in which the patriarchs enjoyed long life. If so, then Job would have been 140 and it is a logical deduction that some or all of his children were married and therefore he had grandchildren. After he had passed his test, Job lived to see four generations of his offspring living on the earth (cf. Job 42:16).

His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Job 1:3 KJV

Job had 7,000 wool producing sheep on his ranch. He had 3,000 camels in his three merchant caravans (see v 17). He had 500 female donkeys on his dairy farm. Female donkey’s milk was a valued beverage in the desert world. He had 500 yoke of oxen to plow his plantation fields and raise crops to feed his great household. He not only had a large family to feed; but he also needed to feed all of the people who worked for him, as well as their families.

He was more eminent than any other person in that region in wisdom, wealth, and piety. He was the chief emir of that district.

—Adam Clarke, Commentary

And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Job 1:4, 5 KJV

Mindful of his God in good days or in evil, Job faithfully fulfilled his function as priest within his family. No mere formalist, Job perceived the root of sin in the human heart (cf. ch. 31); and no mere moralist, he recognized, as special redemption revelation had made clear, that there is no remission of sins without the shedding of sacrificial blood.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (1962) p 461

Nothing in verse three implies that his sons and daughters were involved in immorality. The fact that on certain occasions they had family parties is simply a demonstration of normal living. As a patriarchal priest, Job fulfilled his sacrificial duties. He was consistently concerned with the spiritual life of his children.

But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Job 1:11 KJV

The Father has assigned the role of eternal judge to the Son (cf. John 5:22). Therefore, He had the right to interrogate Satan. Many people read the Word of God and never pause to consider what it is really saying. They do not cogitate upon the Scriptures and seek to understand just what God is saying to us. When people read Job and when pastors teach Job, they often seek to avoid studying each word and seeking to glean all the details of the message. Thus, they miss the fact that after the Son testified to Job’s integrity that Satan’s answer was a direct attack on the truthfulness of what the Son had testified concerning Job. When he said that Job served God only for personal gain, the Devil was calling God the Son a liar.

Satan challenges the Son to remove the hedge around Job and take away all of the wonderful prosperity He has given to the man. The Devil believed that God would then discover that Job’s real motivation for serving Him was selfish gain.

He will curse thee to thy face; he who is now so forward to serve and bless thee, will then openly and boldly blaspheme thy name, and reproach thy providence, as unjust and unmerciful to him.

—Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible Vol. I (nd) p 923

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 1:12 KJV

A careful textual analysis of Job 1:1-12 makes it clear that the Son is giving Satan permission to test Job and that this test will involve undeserved suffering. In His humanity, the Lord Jesus Christ faced a major test of undeserved suffering in His wilderness experience (cf. Matt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:12, 13; Lu. 4:1-13). He fought a battle of the soul with Satan in the wilderness for forty days and conquered the Devil through the power of the Spirit and the utilization of Bible doctrine. Jesus also told Peter that Satan was seeking permission to test his faith (cf. Lu. 22:31).

Undeserved suffering does not imply that God unjustly placed mankind under the curse as the result of the fall. Rather it refers to suffering that is not directly traceable to an act of personal sin or disobedience. The phrase does not imply that Job was sinless, nor that he was without sin during the cycles of debate. Suffering is undeserved in the sense of being or appearing to be unfair or unjust.

—Larry Joe Waters, Reflections on Suffering from the Book of Job (1997)

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

James 5:10, 11 KJV

There are many and varied reasons why Christians suffer. However, contrary to the opinions of most Christians and non-Christians, discipline for personal sin is only one of the major classifications for Christian suffering. We believe that all Christian suffering can be placed under one of the following classifications.

  1. Deserved Suffering—Divine Discipline

    is when the Father spanks (i.e. disciplines) His children because we have sinned and failed to confess the sin to Him (cf. Heb. 12:3-15 with I John 1:8-10).
  2. Undeserved Suffering—Providential Preventive Suffering

    cf. II Cor. 12:7-9) is suffering that is designed to:
    1. enhance our spiritual growth by teaching us to learn obedience to the Father’s protocol plan for Christian living (cf. Heb. 5:8; Phil. 2:8)
    2. to provide orientation to the Father’s grace for the purpose of teaching us to think and act in grace (cf. Heb. 5:8; Phil. 2:8)
    3. to help us to learn how to faith-rest in the Father’s unfailing love and to be occupied with Christ (cf. I Pet. 1:7, 8; Rom. 5:3 with Heb. 4:9-11; Phil. 1:21)
    4. to demonstrate that the supreme power of God is available in our lives (cf. II Cor. 11:24-33 with II Cor. 12:7-10)
    5. to manifest the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (cf. II Cor. 4:8-11)
    6. to allow us to help others who are suffering (cf. II Cor. 1:3-24 with II Tim. 2:8, 9)
    7. to resolve the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict—which is Satan and his fallen spirit beings war against the sovereignty of God (cf. Job 1:-2:13).
  3. Undeserved Suffering—Cursing by Association

    Undeserved Suffering-Cursing by Association, which is indirect action (cf. Gen. 6:1-8). A believer may suffer through association with:
    1. When God sends His cycles of divine judgment upon a spiritually reversionistic nation to give them the opportunity to repent, a believer may suffer by association (cf. Dan. 1:1-18 with Lev. 26:14-39; Ps. 119; book of Lamentations).
    2. He may suffer cursing by association with individual believers who are under divine discipline (cf. I Cor. 12:12, 13, 26; Rom. 14:7 with I Sam. 21; I Chron. 21). The principle behind cursing by association is that the innocent must suffer with the guilty.
  4. Undeserved Suffering—Evidence Testing Before the Supreme Court of Heaven in direct relation to the Spiritual Warfare of the Angelic Conflict

    is when the Father allows Satan to bring suffering into the life of a believer, so the believer can give evidence before the elect holy angels as to supremacy of the Father’s grace protocol plan of the ages over all Satanic plans and schemes (cf. book of Job).

Job’s Tests: Normal tests related to the Details and Circumstances of Life (people, places, things, and time) but Multiplied in Intensity

And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

Job 1:13 KJV

Job’s tests of undeserved suffering began without warning on a normal day in his life. The Father had decreed the test and there was nothing he could have done to prevent any of these events from happening.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I Corinthians 10:13 KJV
  1. Test-1 Loss of his food supply and milk supply

    And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

    Job 1:14, 15 KJV

    This was an act of terrorism in which he lost all of his oxen that he needed to plow his fields and supply the grain and vegetables to feed his family, his servants, and all of their families. The very minute detail that tells us the oxen were being used to plow his fields at the moment of the terrorist attack teaches us that the enemy struck in the spring of the year; and therefore cost him his annual harvest. The previous years harvest would be almost gone; and therefore Job was faced with the issue of famine. His dairy herd was also wiped out so that he lost his milk supply. This was a major blow not only to his family but to all of his servant’s children. The death of all of his field workers and herdsmen meant that even if he could afford to replace the animals he lost, he would have no experienced field hands to plow or dairymen to take care of his female donkeys.

  2. Test-2 The Loss of His Sheep Ranch

    While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

    Job 1:16 KJV

    Before he could recover from the news of the destruction of both his plantation and his dairy farm, he received the word that his sheep ranch had been destroyed by fire from heaven. Satan used a tremendous lightning storm to set Job’s pasture on fire and burn up his sheep and the grass they fed on. Again, a quick recovery was impossible because not only were all of his shepherds killed but all of his pasture land was burned up. Since Job owned three large caravans, then it is logical that wool was his number one trade item and mutton would have been a primary source of meat for his family and for all of his servants and their families. The necessities of life consist of food, shelter, clothing, and security. Job has suffered the loss of his agricultural food supply, his dairy supply, his meat supply, and his textile supply. He not only has no wool to sell; but no wool to make clothes for his family and the remaining servants. He is also responsible for the needs of the dead servant’s families. His security has also been threatened by the Sabean terrorists raiding in his home country. His sheep herd was also the source of his sacrificial lambs; and therefore, he would not be able to continue to sacrifice to God.

  3. Test-3 Loss of His Merchant Caravans

    While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

    Job 1:17 KJV

    A second terrorist group attacks his three merchant caravans and destroys them. Job has now lost his source of cash to finance his recovery. He lost all of his transportation camels. In modern language, we would say he lost 3,000 trucks and all of their drivers but one. He lost all of the merchandise they were transporting for him. A careful reading of the text lets us know that he received the information concerning all of the losses within a matter of minutes. One report came in as the last report was ending. He has had no time to consider any individual event or to morn the loss of any of his faithful beloved servants.

  4. Test-4 Loss of His Children

    While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

    Job 1:18, 19 KJV

    Before Job could consider all of the bad news he had received, he was faced with the fact that all of his children had just been killed by some type of windstorm, most likely a tornado. He has lost his commercial business (i.e. merchant caravans). He has lost all of his food, dairy and clothing supplies for the next year. He has lost all of his children. He has lost the feeling of being secure from terrorists within his own homeland. He would have also lost his soldiers, who would have been with his merchant caravan.

  5. Test-5 His Response

    Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

    Job 1:20-22 KJV

    Under all of his sufferings and losses, Job did not lose his relaxed mental attitude. He was a believer who had truly mastered the details and the circumstances of life. Now, we must remember that he lived in the dispensation of the Gentiles, the age of Government before the birth of Abraham. Job had been the number one capitalist in his country (cf. Job 1:3). As the great patriarch, Job had been both the leading judge and counselor in his country (cf. Job 4:3, 4). In other words, in his country, there was not any member of the Adamic (human) race to whom Job could be expected to turn to for financial support or sound advice. He was the one that everyone else had always come to in time of need. Job lived before Moses, so he did not have any portion of the written Canon of Scripture. However, he still had faith in God and he passed his initial test with flying colors.

It is my contention that Job never lost his patience for any length of time and that his major problem has been mistakenly interpreted as an attitude rather than an expression of feelings.

—Carl Neal, Job: A Profile of Virtue (1992)

We agree with Pastor Neal and believe that Job is a testimony to seeking divine answers in time of crisis, instead of seeking human solutions to divine tests.

Historical Impact in The Spiritual Warfare of the Angelic Conflict Lesson III