JOB: The Historical Example of Suffering to the Glory of God (Part-5)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

II Timothy 3:16, 17KJV

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

II Timothy 3:16 NASV

The knowledge of truth alone will never ensure happiness or profitable ministry. If we draw merely from our stores or possessions of knowledge, we shall find ourselves confounded. The freshness of the Spirit in us, and the exercise of our gift under Him, at the time of ministry are also needful.

—J. G. Bellett, The Patriarchs (nd)

Many years ago, I was taught that “Not all Scripture is to us; but all Scripture is for us!” We need to learn to “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” The Book of Job is a book of Divine Revelation. Each one of us needs to approach a study of it prayerfully under the filling (cf. Eph. 5:18) and guidance of the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:14); so that through the teaching ministry of the Spirit (cf. I Cor. 2:9-16) the Word will become “alive and powerful” (cf. II Tim. 2:15) in our souls. Even though Job lived before Abraham, the Spirit can use it to bring spiritual edification to our souls. All of us who teach the Word of God need to be “walking in the Spirit” (cf. Gal. 5:16, 25), when we study the Word of God and when we teach the Word of God. This same approach needs to be taken by all who study the Word of God; because we are to learn the Word of God for the purpose of daily applying it. It is our desire that this study will strengthen your faith and bring refreshment to your souls.

Our next scene opens in heaven. Neither Job nor any of the other people in this book knew that this took place at all. But this scene will enable us today to understand and interpret some of the things which happen to God’s people. I don’t say that it is the total explanation, but it is a part of it.

—J, Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Vol. II (1982)

If Job wrote this book, and internal evidence implies he did, then after his test was over the Spirit revealed to him the heavenly scenes in the book. Since Job 1:1-5 is a description of Job’s normal lifestyle at that point of time, he was occupied with his God, his family, and his many business operations; but he was unaware of the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict going on around him. He was no different than most Christians living in the USA in the 21st Century.

The uniqueness of the Book of Job

What type of poetry is Job? Is it a drama, Greek tragedy, a didactic poem, or an epic poem? No one will deny that the book has dramatic action, but the action in the prologue and epilogue is subordinate to the main purpose of the work. Nor can we call Job a Greek tragedy for, among other distinctions, there is nothing in it to answer to the interspersed choral odes. Though its subject manner is of a didactic nature, it is not a didactic poem, for its differences from the poetry of the Book of Proverbs are clear. It is definitely an epic poem, treating of a lofty theme with unity and some progress in the action. This poem, the longest in the Old Testament, is unique in that it combines prose and poetry and utilizes the dialogue, the narrative being in prose and the dialogue in poetry. In the historical books of the Hebrew Bible, as well as in the prophetic books, we have the combination of prose and poetry, but not in the same manner of Job. Dialogue may be found in the Song of Solomon (for example, 2:1-3), but it is not employed in the same manner of discussion.

—Charles L. Feinberg, The Poetic Structure of the book of Job and the Ugaritic Literature (1946)

The Book of Job begins with some biographical information about a special member of the Adamic (human) race; who had been selected by God the Father to play the primary role in this great historical event (cf. Job 1:1-5).

The key to the book is found in the first chapter, which after an introductory testimony to Job, translates the reader to heavenly scenes (v.6). The Sons of God are angelic beings bringing in their reports to God, the mystery being that Satan is found ‘also among them.’

—James M. Grey, Christian Workers Commentary on the Whole Bible (1915)

Suddenly, the scene shifts to the third heaven! Is this scene not one of the most unique events that are recorded in the Canon of Scripture? The picture before us is a group of angelic creatures that have been summoned to appear before God the Son for the purpose of giving personal accounts of how they have carried out the missions that the Son has given to them.

The interview between Satan and God, which we find described in this prologue to the Book of Job, is certainly on the face of it, one of the strangest bits in the Bible. To some minds it has seemed to give ground for what is perhaps the strongest of the several arguments against the historicity of the Book of Job. Could such interviews have really taken place as here described? The answer to this question is certainly vital, for the truth and value of the whole book depends upon it, as a little reflection will show...There is no middle choice, we repeat. The book stands or falls on whether this dealing between God and Satan was or was not a Divine revealing of what took place. The vital question, then is: Was it a Divine revelation of what really happened?—and the answer to that question in the light of other Scriptures is surely “Yes.”

—J. Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Bible Vol. III (1960)

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Job 1:6 KJV

Meaning the angels, who are called the sons of God because they are willing to execute his will. Because our infirmity cannot comprehend God in his majesty, he is set forth to us as a King, that our capacity may be able to understand that which is spoken of him. This declares that although Satan is an adversary to God, yet he is compelled to obey him, and do him all homage, without whose permission and appointment he can do nothing.

—Geneva Bible, Notes Job 1:6 (1599)

The sons of God (Heb. Bne-Ha-Elohim), are one of the classifications of the sons of El (cf. Ps. 89:6—i.e. spirit beings, angelic creatures—cf. Gen. 6:1-4; Job 2:1; 38:7). “There was a day” means that at specific designated day and time the Father had issued a order to certain angelic creatures to appear before the Son in the throne room of the third heaven. The purpose was for them to give a report on the missions the Son had sent them on. The Father is the “Father of Spirits” (cf. Heb. 12:9). Therefore, they function in accord with His angelic protocol plan. The title Sons of El is used for all angelic creatures (holy elect—cf. Job 1:6 and fallen—Gen. 6:1-4). All of them are accountable to God. They come to make reports and to receive new commands.

Elohim is the name that belongs to God as the Creator-God (cf. Gen. 1:1). It is the first of the primary names of Deity. It is translated God in the English language. It is a uni-plural noun formed from El (which means strength) and Alah (meaning to swear, to bind one’s very character by an oath and therefore implies faithfulness. The name’s uni-pluarality is implied (cf. Gen. 1:1); but is also directly declared (cf. Gen. 1:26—pluarality and 1:27—unity). The Tri-Unity of God is latent in the name Elohim.

Since the Father has given to the Son all authority over the angelic world (cf. Col. 1:15-17), it is God the Son who summoned them. LORD (Heb. JHVH) is the Tetragrammaton, for Jehovah (i.e. YHWH—Yahweh). When Jehovah calls members of His angelic kingdom they assemble before Him with fear and reverence (cf. Ps. 89:7). It is important for us to note that the emphasis in this verse is not upon the spirit world but upon Jehovah, the one who has summoned them into His presence. We are taken behind the scenes of human history; so that we might behold God working in mysterious ways, His wonders to impart. The serious student of the Book of Job must pause to meditate on the Lord!

Great literature is known for its artistry in character development. Job is no exception. While the author is giving us the dramatic details of the inciting moment that leads to Job’s sufferings, he is also showing us in depth the characters of God, Satan, and Job.

—David L. McKenna, The Communicator’s Commentary Job (1986)

The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.

Psalm 103:19 KJV

In the dispensation of the Triune Godhead (i.e. Pre-Creation Eternity), the Father appointed the Son to be His Prince-Regent Ruler over creation (cf. John 1:1-3 with Col. 1:15-17). When the Son summoned these angelic creatures to appear before Him in the third heaven (cf. Job 1:6), our attention is immediately drawn to the supremacy of God (cf. I Chron. 29:11, 12) and the sovereignty of God (cf. Ps. 135:6; 115:3); as these are manifested in the Father’s decretive will (cf. Isa. 46:9, 10). Based upon the Son’s interrogation of Satan concerning God’s Servant Job, a contextual analysis leads to the conclusion that these angels may have be the “watchers” (cf. Dan. 4:13, 17, 23); who are God’s intelligence officers (G-2) and who are sent to observe the Adamic world. They also may have included some of the “protectors” (c.f. Zech. 1:7-11; 6:1-8); who are God’s angelic soldiers in the enforcement of His limitations on evil.

God the Son has commanded a special group of holy elect angels to appear before Him to give an account of their service. In a display of fallen angelic arrogance, Satan comes to the angelic convocation and takes center stage among these sons of Elohim. We also see the gracious manners of God displayed, when the Son allowed Satan to intrude upon this assembly of holy (cf. Matt. 25:31) elect (cf. I Tim. 5:21) angelic creatures. However, the Son never allows Satan to take control of this angelic council. Instead, He takes up His role as the divinely appointed Interrogator-Judge (cf. John 5:22) and begins to interrogate Satan.

The common notion is that Satan and his angels are imprisoned in Hell. This is not true. The angels described in 2 Pet. 2:4, and Jude, as having left their “first estate.” And being “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness” are not Satan’s angels. They are a special class of angels whose sin caused the flood. They are the “Spirits in Prison” of whom Peter speaks in 1 Pet. 3:18-20. Satan and his angels are at liberty. We read in the first and second chapters of Job that it was the custom in Job’s day for the “Sons of God” (angels), to appear at stated times in the presence of God to give an account of their stewardship, and that Satan always appeared with them. When the Lord said to Satan—“Whence comest thou?” he replied, “From going to and fro in the earth and walking up and down in it.” Job 1:7; 2:2. Satan then was at liberty “on the earth,” and had “access to God,” and was “not cast out of heaven” in Job’s day, BC 2000, and has not been cast out since, he must still be at liberty in the heavenlies and on earth.

—Clarence Larkin, The Spirit World (1921)

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? —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? —John K Eichmann, personal 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? —Carl Neal, Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict Covenant.

Now, God is both righteous and just. So He must have established an Appeal Covenant with Lucifer (i.e. Satan, the Devil), that allowed him to be free from incarceration until his case is resolved in accord with Divine justice. This Appeal Covenant would have established the legal limitations that Satan and his spirit being followers must not violate without forfeiting their right to be released from incarceration while awaiting the outcome of their appeal.

These ten rules define the execution of specific decrees which are immutable and operational in every covenant that God has made or will make with the human race. A. God has promised Himself that He will honor these rules which He authored (Heb. 6:10-18). B. Before the Appeal Covenant could be executed, Lucifer had to agree with its authority. If any of his followers (demons) violate the conditions of these rules, they will immediately be placed into prison, there to await their final imprisonment. A violation actually happened during the first evil generation (Genesis 6 and Jude 6).

—Carl Neal, Appeal Covenant=The Ten Rules (April 6, 2008)

God the Father’s eternal wise holy perfect sufficient complete supreme sovereign omnipotent immutable loving righteous just blessed progressive chronological unfolding comprehensive grace dispensational protocol plan of the historical ages was designed for the ultimate glorification of God the Son (cf. Col. 1:15-17). God is supreme (cf. I Chron. 29:11, 12), sovereign (Isa. 46:9, 10), eternal (cf. Gen. 21:33), omniscient (cf. Job 34:21), omnipotent (cf. Ps. 62:11), omnipresent (cf. Ps. 139), holy (cf. Rev. 15:4), love (cf. I John 4:8, 16), and immutable (cf. Mal. 3:6). God possesses maximum perfect infinite glory (Ps. 8:1) and therefore, nothing can be added to Divine glory (cf. Ex. 15:11 with Ps. 16:2). The Father’s plan is to honor the Son by giving Him maximum finite glory. Therefore, the Son, through incarnation (i.e. hypostatic union) became the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ Emmanuel (cf. I Tim. 2:5). The Father designed the human race for Jesus Christ (cf. Col. 1:15).

The Father’s perfect plan of the ages included giving volition to angelic creatures. Satan was under no compulsion or necessity to sin; but freely chose to sin (cf. Isa. 14:12-17; Ezk. 28:11-19). One third of the angelic “star” kingdoms freely joined him in his rebellion against God (cf. Rev. 12:4). Satan and his forces suffered military defeat, were captured, tried, and convicted by God. We know this for a fact because the Lake of Fire was created to be an eternal prison for their incarceration (cf. Matt. 25:41).

Another reason the Father planned for the human race was for the purpose of using it to refute Satan’s appeal and resolve the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict. The Father’s eternal perfect character has been vindicated through Jesus’ perfect life and voluntary sacrificial death to make atonement for human sin on the cross of Calvary (cf. Heb. 10:1-18 with Phil. 2:5-11). When the Father in grace redeems members of the Adamic race (cf. Eph. 2:8, 9) through their faith in Christ (cf. John 3:16-18), Christ is glorified (cf. Heb. 2:9, 10). Christ won the strategic victory in the spiritual warfare of the angelic cross through His death, burial, and resurrection.

When God created Adam, Satan launched spiritual warfare against him (cf. Gen. 3:1-7). Adam was under no necessity or compulsion to sin, but he freely chose to follow Eve and knowingly did the will of Satan (cf. I Tim. 2:13, 14). Adam accepted God’s grace offer of salvation and was saved (cf. Gen. 3:15, 21). Since Satan is at war with God, he is at war with the human race; and he is especially at war with the redeemed members of the human race (cf. Eph. 6:12). The Father’s permissive will allows Satan to carry out spiritual warfare; but His overruling will, as incorporated into Satan’s appeal covenant, places limitations on how far he can go. The Father’s directive will allows spiritually mature believers from every dispensation to come under Satanic attack for the purpose of undergoing evidence testing before the Supreme Court of Heaven. When a believer passes this trial by fire, it allows holy angels to witness the fact that Lucifer’s challenges to God’s integrity are without merit. The book of Job is the great testimony to this truth.

The human author of the Book of Job lived outside the commonwealth of Israel, indicating that evidence testing was designed by God for both Jews and Gentiles, as well as for Christ and the Church. Any believer who uses divine assets and advances to spiritual maturity has the privilege of glorifying God by testifying for the prosecution in Satan’s appeal trial.

Job had to be a mature believer to qualify for evidence testing. The first verse in the book declares his maturity; he was ‘blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.’ Not only was Job mature, but he was one of three Old Testament believers, listed by Ezekiel, who dramatized the impact of mature believers on history.

—Robert B. Thieme, Jr., Christian Suffering (1987)

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. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 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. 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 1:1-5 KJV

Now we need to remember that Job is alive upon the earth with absolutely no idea what is happening in heaven. He is a successful man, living a normal life.

How very uncertain are all terrestrial things! How foolish would that believer be who should lay up treasures anywhere, except in heaven! Job’s prosperity promised as much stability as anything can do beneath the moon. The man had round about him a large household of doubtless, devoted and attached servants. He had accumulated wealth of a kind which does not suddenly depreciate in value. He had oxen, asses, and cattle. He had not to go to markets, and fairs, and trade with his goods to procure food and clothing, for he carried on the process of agriculture on a very large scale round about his own homestead, and probably grew within his own territory everything that his establishment required. His children were numerous enough to promise a long line of descendants. His prosperity wanted nothing in consolation. It had come to its flood-tide: where was the cause which could make it ebb?

Up there, beyond the clouds, where no human could see, there was a scene enacted which augured no good to Job’s prosperity. The spirit of evil stood face to face with the Infinite Spirit of all good. An extraordinary conversation took place between these two beings. When called to account for his doings, the evil one boasted that he had gone to and fro throughout the earth, insinuating that he had met with no hindrance of his will, and found no one to oppose his freely moving and acting at his own pleasure. He had marched everywhere like a king in his own dominions, unhindered and unchallenged. When the great God reminded him that there was at least one place among men where he had no foothold, and where his power was unrecognized namely, in the heart of Job; that there was one man who stood like an impregnable castle garrisoned by integrity, and held with perfect loyalty as the possession of the King of Heaven; the evil one defied Jehovah to try the faithfulness of Job, told Him the patriarch’s integrity was due to his prosperity, that he served God and eschewed evil from sinister motives, because he found his conduct profitable to him. The God of Heaven took up the challenge of the evil one, and gave him permission to take away all the mercies which he had affirmed to be the props of Job’s integrity, and to put down all the outworks and buttresses and see whether the tower would not stand in its own inherent strength without them.

—Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Bible Vol. II (1988)

God the Father allowed Job to walk down a dark and lonely road to prove to the “angels in heaven” that Job was a “man of faith” and not a “con-artist.” Job lost his wealth, he lost his children, he lost his health, he lost the harmonious support and help of his wife, and he lost the support of his three best friends; but he did not lose his faith in his REDEEMER-GOD (cf. Job 19:23-27). Christian friends, our nation is passing through a dark period of history; we all need to keep trusting the Father (cf. Heb. 11:6) and never take our eyes off Christ (cf. Heb. 12:2; Phil. 1:21)!

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Revelation 22:20, 21 KJV
Historical Impact in The Spiritual Warfare of the Angelic Conflict Lesson VI