Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Have You Considered..."

  " Have you considered My servant Job?  No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil." (Job 1:8)

As I read the story of Job again, I began to ask the age-old question of  why God brought Job to Satan's attention.  Why did He??   Satan had been busy roaming about the earth and enters into God's presence when God asks Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?"  Where was God's protection when he bragged on Job before Satan?   It looks as if God is setting Job up for an attack, so how is God guarding his favored servant, Job, in that?

So I began digging a little. 

 The Bible gives us a little background information on Job before his suffering begins.  It tells us that he is a man of perfect integrity, a man who feared God and turned away from evil.  Job was a family man, a father that showed love and care for his children by offering burnt offerings for them. He was a man of wealth and influence.  In fact, the Bible says "Job was the greatest man among all the people of the east."  I looked up the meaning of "the greatest man" and it can mean that he was the oldest man but it can also mean that he was a man of importance, distinguished, influential.  He was the man who had the greatest influence of all the people in his society! 

 Job's name means "hatred".  I think what Job hated most of all was evil!  God pointed out to Satan in Job 1:8 that he was a man that "turns away from evil".  So, again, I used my handy dandy app and looked up "turns away from evil"  and one definition for cuwr (turns away from) is "to abolish".   So, here's what I think.... Job  was not only a good man who feared God, he was a man who was claiming territory for God.  A father using his influence to claim territory for God at least in the mountain of family - and probably in other mountains as well.  He was abolishing evil!!   He already had Satan's attention.

When God asked Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?"  He was bragging on Job, delighting in who Job was.  He loved Job deeply!  In God's omniscience, he knew the answer to the  question he posed to Satan was yes!   Yes, Satan HAD considered Job. In fact, Satan immediately responds with information he already knows about Job.  He knew that there was a hedge of protection against Job; how would he know that unless he had already tried attacking him?   I think in essence God was saying, "I KNOW you have considered my servant Job, let's deal with this once and for all."  I think God was calling Satan out on his attempts to take Job out!  

After this, God allowed Satan to attack Job, but put limits in place for Job's protection.  Job was already a man of influence, but God allowed Satan to attack, allowed  the pain and suffering because he wanted to increase his influence even further.  God had a plan for Job's good!  (Romans 8:28).  In fact, the end of the story tells us that the Lord blessed the last part of Job's life more than the first.  He died old, and "full of days" (Job 42:17)  He experienced abundant life, seeing not only his children, but their children to the fourth generation!  

Basically, Job was under hardship not because he had done something wrong, but because he had done something right.  He was living life well, conquering evil. It was hard for Job to see purpose during the hardships, but eventually he was rewarded for his faithfulness.

Next time you feel under attack, consider the possibility that your influence (and blessings!) may be straight ahead!