JOB: The Historical Example of Suffering to the Glory of God (Part-7)

The Father’s Unfailing Love and Grace Provision for Intimacy with Believers

Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Job 42:1-6 KJAV

The centre of all Job’s confession is in verse 5, which contrasts his former and present knowledge of God, as being mere hearsay before, and eyesight now. A clearer understanding, but still more, a sense of His nearness, and an acquaintance at first hand, or implied in the bold words, which must not be interpreted of any outward revelation to sense, but of the direct, full, thrilling consciousness of God which makes all men’s words about Him seem poor. That change was the master transformation in Job’s case, as it is for us all. Get closer to God, realize His presence, live beneath His eye and with your eyes fixed on Him, and ancient puzzles will puzzle no longer, and wounds will cease to smart, and instead of angry expostulation or bewildered attempts at construing His dealings, there will come submission, and with submission peace.

The cure for questionings of His providence is experience of His nearness, and blessedness therein. Things that loomed large dwindle, and dangers melt away. The landscape is the same in shadow and in sunshine; but when the sun comes out, even snow and ice sparkle, and tender beauty starts into visibility in grim things. So, if we see God, the black places of life are lighted; and we cease to feel the presence of many difficulties of speculation and practice, both as regards His general providence and His revelation in law and gospel.

—Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Esther, Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes (1952) pp 67-68

We must never forget that at the very beginning of the Book of Job, God the Son, in the presence of holy elect angels, proclaimed to Satan (i.e. Lucifer, the Devil) that Job was the most spiritually mature believer living in his nation (cf. Job 1:8). Please remember, Job (i.e. Jobab—Gen. 10:29) lived in the dispensation of the Gentiles, the age of Government, and did not possess the written Canon of Scripture in the way that we currently possess it. When Job said “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear” he was undoubtedly referring to the teaching about God that he had most likely first learned from his father (Joktan), his grandfather (Eber), his great grandfather (Arphaxad), his great great grandfather (Salah), his great great great grandfather (Shem) and perhaps even his great great great great grandfather (Noah—cf. Gen. 9:28 with 10:21-29; 11:11-19).

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 65:6 KJAV

Job, like, Isaiah, had been brought into the presence of God and in his soul he immediately became conscious of his own finite limitations. The eyes of his soul were enlightened to the total depravity of the natural man and the sinful condition of all men; when it is contrasted with the holiness of God. He did not speak as either a plaintiff or a defendant and attempt to defend his limited knowledge of the essence and attributes of God (cf. Job 13:22). He placed himself before God as penitent and in true repentance confessed that he had misjudged God in the areas of the His providence, holiness, sovereignty, and unfailing love. Job has often been unjustly condemned by theologians and pastor-teachers. Because, while under-fire in the Spiritual Warfare of the Angelic Conflict, Job struggled to understand the integrity and workings of God. However, it was no different from the struggles that many of us have faced. Yet, in contrast to Job, we possess the complete Canon of Scripture (cf. Rev. 22:18, 19) and the complete salvation grace blessings package (cf. Eph. 1:3).

‘I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear.' I have known something of thy greatness, and power, and sovereign dominion. But now thou hast by immediate revelation discovered thyself to me in thy glorious majesty; now my eyes see thee; and therefore I repent, and unsay what I have foolishly said.’ It is a great mercy to have an education, and to know the things of God by the instructions of His Word and ministers. When the understanding is enlightened by the Spirit of grace our knowledge of divine things as far exceeds what we had before as, as that by ocular demonstration exceeds that by report and common fame. By the teachings of men God reveals His Son to us; but by the teachings of His Spirit He reveals His Son in us (Gal. i.16), and so, changes us into the same image, 2 Cor. iii.18.

—Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (1961 American reprint) pp 574, 575

And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Genesis 5:21-24 KJAV

Scripture testifies to us that “Enoch walked with God.” In the dispensation of the Gentiles, Noah is the only other person said to have “walked with God”(cf. Gen. 6:9). In the dispensation of the Hebrews, Abraham (cf. Gen. 17:1; 24:40; 48:15a) Isaac (Cf. Gen. 48:15b) and Hezekiah (cf. II Kg. 20:3) are stated to have “walked before” God. The word walked (Heb. halak) is in the hithpael stem. It emphasizes the continuity of the action. Enoch and Noah had a lifestyle of “walking in communion with God.”

And Enoch walked with God—This expression, which occurs once more in respect to Noah (cf. vi.9, is afterwards enlarged. It becomes (ch. xvii.1; xxiv.40), ‘to walk before the face of God,’—‘to follow Jehovah,’ Deut. xiii.v—and similarly, Malachi ii.6, it occurs in respect to the priest. It denotes the most intimate intercourse with God, or so to speak, a permanent view of a present deity, a continual following after His guidance. The word occurs here twice. In the first usage it denotes the character of his life, and gives assurance of the perseverance and soundness of his piety; he walked with God three hundred years, he begat sons and daughters. In the second, it gives confirmation of the wonderful translation of Enoch.

—John Peter Lange, Genesis or the First Book of Moses (1864) p 273

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Hebrews 11:5 KJAV

He had walked with God undoubtedly before, but perhaps after this time more closely and constantly; and this is observed to denote that he continued to do so all the days of his life, not withstanding the apostasy which began in the days of his father, and increased in his. He walked in the name and fear of God, according to His will, in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord then made known; he walked by faith in the promises of God, and in the view of the Messiah, the promised seed; he walked uprightly and sincerely, as in the sight of God; he had familiar converse, and near and intimate communion with Him...

—John Gill, An Exposition of the Old Testament Vol. I (1852) p 35

Enoch was ‘the seventh from Adam’; and it is deeply interesting to find that death was not suffered to triumph over ‘the seventh’; but that, in his case, God interfered, and made him a trophy of His own glorious victory over the power of death. The heart rejoices, after reading, six times the sad record, ‘he died,’ to find that the seventh did not die; and then we ask, How was this? The answer is, ‘By faith.’ Enoch lived in the faith of his translation, and walked with God three hundred years. This separated him practically, from all around.

—C. H. Mackintosh, Notes on the Book of Genesis (1880) p 81

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17 KJAV

God is immutable! Since The Triune Godhead cannot change, then the three persons of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit—cf. Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14) cannot change! God the Father is the eternal Father and the Son is the eternal Son (cf. John 1:1, 2). God created the Adamic (human) race (cf. Gen. 1:26, 27). When Adam was created, God fellowshipped with him in the Garden of Eden (cf. Gen. 2:7-25). When Adam committed his original sin, his fellowship with God was broken (cf. Gen. 3:1-10). Adam was saved through faith in God’s promise that through the “seed of the woman” a Redeemer would come (cf. Gen. 3:15 with v 21). The Father’s grace work of providing salvation to Adam and Eve revealed His unfailing love; but until “Enoch walked with God” we have no clear intimation that anyone entered into intimacy with God!

Now the Father is mentioned in Old Testament Scripture (cf. Ps. 68:5; Isa. 63:16; Jer. 3:19; Mal. 1:6; 2:10); but He was not fully revealed until the First Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. John 1:1-3 with vv 14, 18). Therefore, God’s intimacy was restricted in the dispensation of the Gentiles and the dispensation of the Hebrews by a limited knowledge of the Triunity of the Godhead that provided only shadows of the Father. Enoch lived in the time of the beginning of the fallen angelic infiltration of the Adam race (cf. Gen. 5:18-122 with 6:1-5; II Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6); and he prophesied of God’s judgment upon the race (cf. Jude 1:14). Enoch developed intimacy with God and was translated that he would not experience physical death (cf. Heb. 11:5, 6). Noah developed intimacy with God and was transported by the ark from the antidiluvium civilization into the postdiluvian civilization. In other words, the first two men that Scriptures declares to have developed intimacy with God had to pass through the trials and tests of undeserved suffering; as they were under cursing by association with their apostate race. While the details of the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict are not spelled out in the Scriptural historical account of them; the fallen angelic infiltration reveals the reality of it.

It is Job’s undeserved suffering that the Father uses to introduce believers to the fact that the undeserved suffering that believers must face through their involvement in the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict is used by the Father to bring believers into intimacy with Him. In the dispensation of the Grace of God the Father (i.e. Redeemed Church Universal, Mystical Body of Christ), at the moment of their salvation the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residency in the new believer’s soul and spirit (cf. John 7:39; Rom. 5:5; 8:9; I Cor. 2:12; 3:16; 6:19; Gal. 4:6; I John 3:24). The Spirit also indwells the believer’s physical body until the moment of death or the rapture and will eternally indwell the believer’s resurrection body. The Father (cf. Eph. 4:6) and the Son (cf. Col. 1:27) take up permanent residency in the believer’s human spirit. The personal permanent indwelling of each member of the Triune Godhead is a testimony to the Father’s unfailing love. It also guarantees that through intimacy with the Son (cf. John 14:6 with I John 1:3c), as we walk in the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:16, 25), the opportunity exists for every believer to develop intimacy with the Father (cf. I John 1:3b with Ps. 91).

The Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (cf. Eph. 1:3). This includes being His children (cf. John 1:12) and therefore members of His royal heavenly family (cf. Eph. 3:14, 15a). We are patricians! We belong to the Father’s (Gr. pater) family. We are spiritual nobility and therefore, we need to learn to think and act like nobility. Since we are spiritual royalty, then we are entitled to intimacy with our Heavenly Father. We have the privilege of talking to Him at all times (cf. I Thess. 5:17; Lu. 18:1; 21:36; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; I Pet. 4:7). We also need to allow the Father to freely speak to us and He does this as we read, study, and meditate upon the Word of God (cf. II Tim. 2:15 with 3:16, 17). The Lord Jesus Christ has given to His mystical body the office of pastor-teachers; so that the men with this spiritual gift can study and teach the Word of God to those in their congregations (cf. Eph. 4:11d-16).

Bible doctrine teaches us how to think and act in accord with the Father’s royal standard of excellence. It teaches us to think and function in the temporal material world as one of Christ’s royal ambassadors (cf. II Cor. 5:20); holy royal priests (cf. I Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6), and royal soldiers (cf. II Tim. 2:3, 4); so that we do not dishonor the name of our Savior-God (cf. I Tim. 1:1). However, more important than our Christian service is our duty to enter into fellowship with the Father and with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. I John 1:3). Fellowship with the Father demands respect for His position in the Triune Godhead and is not something to be tossed about in some frivolous manner by immature emotional Christians (cf. Ps. 89:7).

Therefore, like Job, we need to pass through the valley of undeserved suffering; so that we can learn true respect, dependence, and reverence for our eternal unchangeable holy Father and His eternal unchangeable holy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! To accomplish this, like Job we must become an active participate in the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict. At the point of his testing, Job was ignorant of the details of the angelic conflict; but we need not be ignorant of 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.

Job 1:7 KJAV

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.

Job 1:20, 21 KJV

The question is put, not as ignorant of the place from whence he came; for the omniscient God knows all persons and things, men and angels, and these good and bad, where they are, from whence they come, and what they do, see Gen. iii.9, and iv.9; but it is put either in anger with him, and resenting his coming among the sons of God, and chiding him for it, as having no proper business there, like the question in Matt. xxii.12; or rather in order to lead on to another, and to bring out from him, of what intended to have expressed by him, of what he had seen and taken notice of in the place from whence he came, and particularly concerning Job;

—John Gill, An Exposition of the Old Testament Vol. II (1853) p 604

So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Job 2:7-10 KJV

Job, maintaining his virtue, and justifying the utterances of the Creator respecting him, sits upon his heap of ashes as the glory and pride of God. God, and with Him the whole celestial host, witnesses the manner in which he bears his misfortune. He conquers, and his conquest is a triumph beyond the stars. Be it history, be it poetry; he who thus wrote was a divine seer.

—Friederich Heinrich Jacobi, Werke Vol. III p 427

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

I John 1:1-3 KJAV

What a precious boon is this fellowship with the Father and Son. A share in everything. Life and fellowship are practically synonymous. As Peter puts it in the first chapter of his Second Epistle, precious faith links us with God; though in all things that pertain to life and godliness are given unto us, and by it we become partakers (same word as the word ‘fellowship’ in our chapter) of the divine nature. There are of course degrees in the enjoyment of this fellowship, but the fact itself is true of all believers. They share in common the moral life and nature of the Son; and all the riches of divine grace. As in Romans 8:17, ‘If children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.’

—August Van Ryan, The Epistles of John (1948) p 30

Our Father is seeking believers to worship Him in spirit and in truth (cf. John 4:23, 24). To fulfill this requirement, a person must be born-again by faith in Christ and have learned some Bible doctrinal truth to use in worshipping the Father. When the believer develops intimacy with the Father, then he will worship Him in truth.

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