The Life of Job – Part 1

We need to realize the importance of having a clear unclouded revelation of who God is.

(Matthew 16:13-19 NKJV) When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”  (14)  So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  (15)  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  (16)  Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  (17)  Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  (18)  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  (19)  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

The church is built upon the rock of the revelation of who God is.

To the degree that you have a clear, unclouded revelation of Who God is, your life will be built in God and the gates of hell will not prevail against you.

The issues of human suffering do more to shape the theological perspective of God that most people have of Him.

Most atheists or agnostics base their refusal to believe upon the suffering of humanity.

“Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick and choose wisely.”

– Sam Harris

We will base our study on the book of Job because it is the most concentrated case in the Bible on human suffering.

If human suffering does more to shape our perspective on God, then without a proper understanding of the book of Job, we will not have a proper perspective of God.

Let’s be mindful of some things that will help us in Bible interpretation:
  1. You must always be aware of who is doing the talking and how credible they are as a source of information.

The Bible is not literally true in the sense that every statement is a statement of truth.

The Bible is inspired by God and is truly stated but it is not a book where every statement in it is truth. You must consider the source.

Some things are truly stated but they are not statements of truth.

Example: The Pharisees said that Jesus was a blasphemer; Satan’s throne will be exalted above God’s throne.

Job and his friends are the most un-credible sources of information about God imaginable.

  1. Understand the rule of first mentions in the Scripture. God always has the best idea the first time around.

When you can establish a principle of truth in the Bible, it will remain throughout the rest of the Bible. It will not change as the Dispensations change. It is based on the immutability of God.

However, there is a danger in this:

  1. You cannot use marginal revelation to interpret a greater revelation.

 You may begin interpreting the New Testament in light of the Old Testament.

When you interpret the Scripture, you always use the greatest light you have to illuminate that particular subject.

With this in mind know this:

  1. Job is the oldest book of the Bible. (It was written before Moses penned the Pentateuch.)

Since the book of Job was written, we then have all of the books of the Old Testament after it and then of course the New Testament. What most of the Church does, however, is interpret the rest of the Bible in light of the Book of Job, including the New Testament.

We are trying to interpret the entire character of God in the New Testament based upon the very first book written in the Old Testament, the book of Job.

(Job 1:21-22 NKJV)  And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”  (22)  In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job did say some wrong things about God, not maliciously, but trying to figure out what was happening. He spoke out of ignorance.

(John 10:10 NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

As we uncover principles in the Old Testament they should hold true throughout the entire Bible unless the New Testament gives us more revelation on the subject.

With this in mind we are going to begin interpreting the Book of Job in light of the New Testament:

(James 5:10-11 NKJV) My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.  (11)  Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

These verses tell us to be inspired by his patience and endurance and to be inspired by the end of the Lord, not by his suffering.

Patience means to be constant and unchanging in the face of opposing external pressure.

Be inspired by Job’s consistency and the mercy and grace of the Lord that brought great deliverance.

(Job 1:1-3 NKJV) There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.  (2)  And seven sons and three daughters were born to him.  (3)  Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

Be sure that you have an understanding of the big picture when you look at this background:
  1. Job is the oldest book in the Bible and therefore, Job had no written record to learn about God.
  2.  Even though he lived at about the same time that Isaac and Jacob lived, he was not part of God’s chosen covenant family.
  3.  Job was an extremely wealthy man even according to today’s standards.
  4.  His ranch was over 500,000 acres.
  5.  Total number of people to run the ranch would be around 1000 full-time staff people.
  6.  Total asset value of $2 billion dollars with an annual income of $150 million dollars.
  7.  His trial only lasted about 6 to nine months and he lived anywhere from 200 to 250 years.

 (James 5:10-11 NKJV) My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.  (11)  Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

 (Job 42:10 NKJV)  And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.