Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Lessons from the Book of Job


Job 1:1
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job;

The meaning of his name is “hated” this could be because of Satan who came before God wanting to do Job harm. The children of God are hated by Satan and his followers. Jesus tells us that we too will be hated by all because of His name. Mark 13:13.

and that man was blameless,

Job was one who was complete, morally innocent, and having integrity. So he was considered blameless, Christians are blameless before God. God does not see our sin since we are “in Christ” He sees instead the blamelessness of Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8.

upright,

Job was righteous, so too is the Christian in Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:30 &31 say, But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

fearing God

Not the kind of fear that makes one afraid but the type that fills one with reverence and awe. As Jesus tells us in Luke 12:32 “Do no be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” This was surely a true sign that Job was grateful to God and full of appreciation for all that he had.

and turning away from evil.

Job moved away from evil and moved towards God. The book of Hebrews encourages us to “draw near” to God through Jesus (Heb 7:25) and James 4:8 promises us that if we “draw near to God He will draw near to us” It is a hard thing to fight against sin. We try to resist our bad habits and sins only to discover we are powerless to overcome them. Turning away from evil is not the same as fighting sin. When we turn away from anything we are turning towards something else. That something else that has power over sin and evil is Jesus Christ. We must not get caught in Satan's trap of trying to purge ourselves of our sin. We can only repent, turn away, turn toward the One who has the power to forgive and to cleanse and take them away from us. Jesus gives us victory over evil.

These four characteristics are traits that God will boast of in His servants...

Job 1:8

The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

God boasts in his servant Job. One who is “hated” as his name means. As a servant of God I am blessed to hear God boast in this way since I too am His servant. To see God's love for Job as He brags about him to Satan encourages me because if He boasts of Job He will also boast of me. Jesus is not ashamed to call me His “brother” and God is not ashamed to be called my God. (Heb 2:11 & 11:16) Oh the comfort and joy of my soul to know that my God delights in me because of my glorious savior Jesus Christ.

For there is no one like him on the earth,

These words hold more meaning than just a story of Job. For the prophet Isaiah foretold of another who was also hated, and to be sure “there was no one on earth like Him”. Isa 52:3&4, “He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Jesus the Messiah is unique. There is no one exactly like Him on earth. He was born of a virgin. Lived a life without committing a sin against man or God. Allowed Himself to become the focus of God's “hatred” for sin on the cross. In Matthew 26:39, He prays, “if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." The cup of God's anger against sin was what Jesus drank on the cross. God “hates” sin. So Job (hated) is a picture of the One who was to come later to take away sin. To make a way for everyone who comes to Him to become “like”Him, blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. Giving to all who would believe in Him, His nature so that we may become the children of God. 2 Peter 1:4, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”