Monthly Archives: October 2013
Understanding the Book of Job. Did Job Ever Have Faith in God? Part 4
(ver 1.1) This is now Part 4 in the series of advanced spiritual Bible study lessons on Understanding the Old Testament Book of Job. I have not taught on this subject in a very long time but I received a question that needed to be answered. I believed that there are many that can benefit from this response and I hope that you will receive this message with an open heart and mind. If you have not read the entire series of lessons from the beginning then I would highly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1 since I cannot repeat everything about a subject in every lesson. I have covered a lot of new information in this series that is often ignored or overlooked when studying the Book of Job. Too often Christians study a book, chapter or even a verse of the Old Testament without any consideration for the commentary, definitions and explanations of God given to us in the New Testament and that is a tremendous mistake. God in the New Testament revealed so many hidden concepts and these new revelations will shed a significant amount of light upon the story of Job but only if we understand how they fit into these Old Testament descriptions. For example in one of my last Bible lesson I taught on the subject of Biblical Typology. Typology is such a deep subject that it sometimes goes way beyond the comprehension of many Christians. But, today I believe that I will introduce you to Job as being an Old Testament type for us in the church to learn from. Let’s allow the Spirit of God to teach us through His Word about what the Bible means. This principle of using the Bible to interpret and understand the Bible is what I have been trying to teach people to do in almost every Old Testament Bible study that I have ever published. I hope that many are at least beginning to familiarize themself with how this is achieved and then they will be able to incorporate these ideas into how to study the Bible.
The question that I received about Job was concerning if Job ever possessed any faith in God. Faith is a central theme subject dominating the entire New Testament. But was faith ever a factor for these people of the Old Testament like Job? We know from reading in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is absolutely impossible to even try to please God. We also know from reading in Malachi 3:6 that the Lord God does not vary or change in any way at any time. Therefore we know that if the Lord required faith in the New Testament then the same requirement is necessary in the Old Testament in order to be pleasing to Him or Malachi 3:6 would become a lie. We should be able to recognize from reading in the first chapter of Job that it appears that God is very pleased with His man named Job. In fact if you read verse 8 God declares to Satan that there is no other man like His servant Job on the earth. Therefore, we must conclude that God was very well pleased with Job in chapter 1 and that this means that Job had to have had a measure of faith in God that was pleasing to Him. This is just basic logic established upon reading the New Testament and asking the right questions and then finding the right answers. We have just established a basis for Job’s faith and now in the rest of the lesson we will confirm this reality using other Bible verses found in the Old and New Testaments.
If Job possessed faith this raises the valid new question of how Job could have fallen into fear, speaking wrong words and having no inner peace simultaneously with having this unstated faith that pleased God in chapter 1? If you understand much about the concepts of faith there appears to be a major contradiction between all of these concepts being present within anyone at the same time. That was actually a very wise and excellent question to ask about Job by the commenter. The person that asked this question if Job had any faith certainly understood a lot about the subject of faith and the partners of faith that must be found present in order to be pleasing to God. We will now attempt to explore this new subject of Job’s faith by using more of the New Testament to help us understand what God says about Job and this subject of faith. We will also verify the fact that this faith existed using the Old Testament descriptions found in the book of Job and in other verses where Job is mentioned. Are you ready to learn some more new things about the mysterious story of Job? I will warn you at the beginning that this will be a long lesson on Job and the subject of faith.
DID JOB HAVE FAITH?
We still need to confirm the fact that Job had unstated faith in the Old Testament. But, it might also help us if we begin to realize that the book of Job represents only a short film clip of his entire life movie. Did you understand what I just said? Have you ever considered or studied the implied timing and duration of this short Job story event written down for us by God? Job is reported to be a very mature man that has already had 10 mature children by the time the story begins in chapter 1. How long of time does it normally take to have 10 children and allow them to mature? How old would Job be after this has occurred? We are not technically told but Job could have been at least 25 to 30 years old before he got married and ever started having any children with his wife. It then could have taken up to 20 years to have given birth to these 10 children. If all of Job’s children were now grown the duration of time for the youngest to grow up might have been at least another 20+ years from the time of their birth. All of this would mean that Job could be at least 70 to 80 years old minimum in the beginning of chapter 1. This could make his oldest son close to 40 years old and his youngest son around 20 years old. The first seventy to eighty years of Job’s life is a lot of time that is not being reported on in the Bible by God. What we learn from this quick analysis of Job is that not every detail of the early life was given to us by God. We do know that in Chapter one that Job is successful, prosperous and is very blessed by God. But we do not know how or why Job obtained this blessing from God at first glance from the material being given. This will be why we need to study the Bible in more depth to learn more about the fine details to what pleases God.
We are not technically provided how long of a period of time that the story of Job takes place from chapter 1 to chapter 42. I have heard some say as long as 7 years (84 months) and others only a few weeks or months. Either way the story time period was relatively short compared to the human range of life spans found during the book of Genesis. I personally place the story of Job somewhere after Noah but before Abraham. For Job to occur before the flood would raise the question of how the book survived the flood to be given to us on the earth today to read. Next we find by reading Job that there is no direct mention of God’s covenant with Abraham or the Law of Moses in the book of Job. So this would lead us to believe that Job lived in the time period before Abraham. Using this logic, this would place the story of Job somewhere after chapter 10 of Genesis and before the middle of chapter 11 of Genesis. Many people during this time period of chapter 11 in Genesis lived from 200 to 300 years and even that is a long time compared to just 84 months or 7 years at the most of the story of Job. In fact if you read the end of Job in chapter 42 and verse 16 you will find that after God restored to Job more than he had at the beginning of the story that Job still produced another 10 children and lived another 140 years. Using this information we can say that Job was probably at least 70 to 100 years old when chapter 1 begins. What I am teaching in this part of the introduction is that this book of Job like most of the rest of the Bible is incomplete but God gives us this specific part of the complete story for a purpose to teach us.
We will endeavor to determine the purpose of Job by using the revelations given to us by God in the New Testament. Like I said before, I will always use the New Testament to explain the Old Testament because this was a part of God’s design and I have learned to follow it. Without the New Testament the Old Testament is a very confusing book of historical information as proven by all of the crazy opinions found on the internet to what it all means. To begin this study we need to search the New Testament to find if Job is ever mentioned directly by God. Doing this search, you should find that the man Job is only directly mentioned one time in one verse in the whole New Testament. However this single reference point will begin to open the door for us to see how to understand if Job ever had any faith. I have talked about this verse in the very first lesson briefly but I did not go into it in any detail. What we will soon discover in the New Testament is that Job’s virtue of patience was revealed by God to be the main emphasis (purpose) of the entire book of Job. Let me give you the verse again so that you can review what is stated within God’s critical commentary on the story of Job:
Jas 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
I am not going to attempt to teach everything that this verse says but I will again emphasize that it was only Job’s patience and endurance that was being highlighted by God as the main subjects found in the O.T. book. Have you ever considered why so many pastors today teach only negative things from the book of Job and God only speaks of positive qualities? I mean think about how many funerals quote Job as saying “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord”. Why isn’t this statement ever quoted by the apostles in the New Testament anywhere but yet it is overemphasized by Bible teachers in the church constantly? I think those are all excellent questions to think about. Let’s talk about what patience is briefly to help us better understand this new subject. We will do this by asking some very basic questions. Why is patience a virtue? When does a human ever have need of any patience? What exactly is patience? What is the opposite of having patience? If you can begin to answer these questions then you are far ahead of many other Christians. Let’s look up the definition of the Greek translated as “patience” in the Strong’s:
G5281: From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).
The Strong’s dictionary defines the Greek word G5281 which is translated as “patience” to be “cheerful” or “hopeful” endurance. Wow, that is an amazingly important definition for a word that is so neglected and misunderstood by Christians. By the inclusion of the words “cheerful” and “hopeful” within the definition this denotes the characteristic of someone choosing to have a positive attitude in spite of the implied presence of adverse circumstances that are being faced by the person being described. Do you understand this? Being hopeful is not required when you are at a pleasurable event of good circumstances. In other words if you have millions of dollars in the bank you do not need to have any cheerful hope that your bills will be met because they have already been met. Let me give you a quick definition for the word hope. Hope is the confident expectation or desire for a certain good thing or event to occur. Does that help? We do not need to hope for what we already possess. This is actually a very good quality and relates to having faith tremendously. Let’s briefly move on to the quality of being cheerful next.
Making a willful and purposeful decision to be cheerful is not necessary during a time of great pleasure, prosperity or positive experiences either. Almost everyone can be happy and cheerful during a party celebration. I do not believe that is what is being defined here in this definition of patience. The definition for the word “cheerful” is someone who is noticeably happy and optimistic. Being cheerful, happy and optimistic is easy when everything is going great. However, the presence of choosing to be cheerful within the definition of being patient can only be correctly understood as occurring during a set of very negative circumstances. We can see this by Strong placing the adjective “cheerful” joined with the noun “endurance” which changes the word’s application to a completely different set of negative circumstances and we will discover this as we continue through the lesson.
I hope that you understand what all of this means so far. We will next look at the word endurance but before we go there let’s look at another part of the patience definition that teaches us an additional important concept concerning why patience is necessary. You should have observed that the definition of patience includes a direct companionship with the term “waiting”. To “wait” can be defined as “to stay in a certain place until a very specific anticipated event occurs”. Any time that a person “waits” for something to transpire or to be given to them this means they do not yet have it or can even see it coming. This would mean that there must be a time delay or an extended interval of duration that occurs before what is desired can be proven to exist. I hope that you understood that time is an essential part of the word’s meaning because it was very relevant. Now let’s talk about “endurance”. Notice in the definition of G5281 that was translated as patience is found the term “endurance” and “enduring”. How is endurance a factor with waiting? What is “endurance” and when or why is this quality ever required? Let’s find the definition of endurance in a dictionary:
Endurance: the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way
Endurance is defined to be going through an extended unpleasant situation which again denotes the passage of time through a set of negative circumstances. This is a very good description of the short story of Job, isn’t it? Endurance is only required when someone is in an event of significant length when not quitting or giving up is required to remain in it. For example a runner in any long distance marathon event needs to possess the quality of endurance. No runner in any 100 meter sprint requires endurance because the end of the race is always in the view of the runner. Did you see the difference? In other words hopeful endurance is only necessary if the person participating does not or cannot see the end of the race for a very long elapsed period of time but yet they know the end is coming so they optimistically expect to get through the whole race to finish at the end. Wow, again! Did you know that every Christian after being saved is in an extended endurance race not able to perceive the end of their course? Let me prove this to you using your Bible:
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
There is an amazingly complex figurative explanation of the newborn Christian life found in this verse. Too many Christians want to take everything in the Bible literally and this verse if taken this way will only confuse the reader. There can be no logical application that God is describing a literal physical race in this verse. Therefore this described race must be taken as a symbolic, figurative or metaphorical account of an unseen spiritual event. Do you understand this? This symbolic description is often missed or ignored by many modern extreme Grace Bible teachers. Let’s determine who the runners are for this race to begin. The key to understanding any verse begins with seeing what is actually stated. There are two plural pronouns given that will point us to who the runners represent. These pronouns are “we” and “us”. Both of these words are statements written by Paul that included himself as one of the runners. The remainder of this runner group has to be the church which he is writing the letter to. Therefore only the church body as a whole can be the target runners. Now let’s determine what makes a person a runner in the race. Since the reason for the race is not directly given to us in this verse I will tell you that being a runner in the race occurs when we are born again. This was inferred by the statement of us laying aside every weight and sin that does beset us. I am a firm believer that repentance is a forerunner to accepting salvation. Repentance occurs when one realizes that they are a sinner and have need of salvation. Normally when this occurs, the person realizes their need to turn away from their sins and this would again match with what was stated here in Hebrews. I really do not have the time to explain this in detail in this lesson. I hope that you can agree with the Spirit of God and we can continue.
Since this verse was written to the church and we are the runners being described we must now determine what kind of race this applies to. Let’s analyze the Greek word translated as “race” to learn what God meant by selecting this word. The Greek word translated as “race” is G73 (AGON). This word from the Strong’s dictionary has the meaning of a contest where people are gathered together to compete. This Greek word is found in only 6 verses that were all written to the church in Paul’s letters. It is only translated as “race” in Hebrews 12:1. In other verses it was translated as “conflict”, “contention” or “fight”. In every case this word designates a human struggle to overcome or win in the contest. In any designated opportunity to win there is always an antithesis opportunity to fail, quit or to be defeated. This is such an important concept that I can’t stop teaching it. If you do not believe that you can ever be deceived then you are already deceived. If you do not believe that you can ever quit your salvation and walk away then you are in serious trouble. Knowing that you are in a conflict is the beginning to overcoming it to win. I think I am getting off topic here so please allow me to move on.
Let’s continue to define the race. In Philippians 1:30 Paul tells the church that they are in the same conflict (race) as he is. Within the context of this statement Paul refers to the persecution that they are enduring for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 2:2 Paul again speaks of preaching the Gospel in the middle of great violence that was being done against it. What we are observing is a pattern for defining what the contest represents. The contest being described appears to be a Christian life of preaching to others to get them saved while enduring persecution, ridicule and even up to death as many in the early church endured. In preaching the Gospel the Christian will encounter persecution and many evils that are sent to silence them. This gives us a pretty clear definition for what the race represents. This race must be the Christian life of following Jesus’ example to reach the world. I hope that you can agree with this conclusion.
God describes the Christian way of life to be as a long race of endurance that requires the noble quality of patience to get through it. This literally means that we all have the same opportunity to quit or give up before the end of the race is achieved. Consider the fact that every natural race has a starting gun that begins the event and an ending finish line that terminates the event. The race being described here in Hebrews 12:1 begins when the sinner repents, believes and accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That is the individual’s starting point to begin to run and the end of that race is certainly not seen or known. The duration of the race is our life span on the earth where we must endure things that try to make us quit preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What God calls every Christian to do is to witness and preach to help get others into the race. This is the ministry that we all share together. So far do you understand God’s description of the Christian life race?
Notice that this race is being witnessed by an audience which observes as the runners run. Then think and consider that these witnesses are not in the race. There is only two possible interpretations for these race witnesses. They can be those that we are trying to get into the race. Or they could also be those that have already finished the race. Now remember that it is the spiritual church which is racing here within this natural world which is bringing the opposition to them. This seems to indicate that those that are bringing the opposition to those of us who are running to win the race are already a part of the field where the competition is occurring and therefore cannot be in the grandstands as witnesses to the event. We can confirm this by observing the stated figurative position of the cheering audience members. The audience is described to be compassed about the event and that is clearly a figurative stadium setting but it is also a circular reference like the shape of our globe. This helps to confirm that the earth is the symbolic stadium and the observers are not here on the earth. These witnesses that encircle the earth’s view cannot be earthly participants or natural observers but rather these must be heavenly witnesses and that will certainly include God, the angels and those that have already finished running their race and gone to be with the Lord. Again the race being described here represents the human events, struggles, challenges within our human life on the earth. The main point that I wanted to get to in this verse is the fact God says we must run life’s race with patience. That simply means that we are running the race with hopeful endurance until the end of the race comes. There are only three exits from this race that can be possible. The first exit is the rapture of the church, the second exit can be the natural death of the runner and the third exit from the race can only be the resignation of the runner from the race. Even when we do not see the end we know the end is coming and that will be when we will receive the prize being spoken of in the N.T. (1 Cor 9:2). I’m not going to go into any more of the details of this race concept in this lesson because I believe that you can get the main points from what has just been described.
I reached this verse in Hebrews 12:1 by searching for the keyword “patience” being used to describe Job in James. Do you remember how we got here so far? The next thing that I want you to understand is that this verse in Hebrews 12:1 is directly preceded by Hebrews chapter 11 which is entirely dominated by the subject of faith listing many of the Old Testament faith heroes. This again is a critical part of the lesson for us to begin to learn the direct association between the subjects of having faith in Chapter 11 which is immediately followed by the subject of patience in chapter 12. The book of Hebrews was not written with chapter and verse separations. Therefore these two subjects flow together in harmony and must be taken to be related topics. We will confirm this truth by using other scriptures, but this is a very important beginning view of these two subjects. Why do I say that? It is because my subject today is about Job and Job is certainly an Old Testament man. Hebrews 11 confirms to us today that faith was a factor for even the men and women named in the Old Testament. God names over 10 individuals and Paul then writes that there are too many others to name them all. What we must conclude from this information is that Job could have had faith. I would suggest that you go and read chapter 11 of Hebrews every chance you get. There is so much information given to us here that it astounds me. I have concluded that while Job’s name is not directly mentioned in Hebrews 11, it can be indirectly associated within the group of unnamed O.T. saints by God’ selection of the word G5281 translated as “patience” that follows having faith in Hebrews 12:1. I would also like to make this point that there is an implied association with those names listed in chapter 11 as Old Testament faith heroes as being the chapter 12 witnesses that have gone on before us. I hope you understand this logic. Let’s examine another verse found in James that goes along with the one that I previously used about Job.
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Here is a very important verse to apply to Job. It appears that patience is mentioned more than once in the book of James. In this verse is found the exact same Greek word that we previously looked at as being used by God to describe Job. But this time this Greek word is connected directly to the factor of having human faith. This is the first verse that we have looked at that has made this direct connection. It will certainly not be the last verse. What we will discover in this study is that patience is a direct partner to faith and they both must be present or neither is necessary. I would like to introduce you to the keyword that is translated as “trying” in this verse. This Greek word is G1383 and it means “to test”. This would be a very accurate description of what is occurring in the book of Job. Job is being tested and we learn from this verse in James why these tests occur. Also do not erroneously conclude that God is doing the testing because that belief contradicts other New Testament verses that I have already covered. Therefore the tester is Satan as we can clearly see being named in the first chapter of Job. From this verse in James we begin to see why Job endured and survived these tests and this is because of his faith and patience. This is the second verse that helps to establish the faith of Job as being a present factor in the story.
WHO IS JOB ASSOCIATED WITH?
I think this is a good time to learn the associations of Job in the Bible. By seeing who God groups Job with in the Bible it will help us determine if he is qualified to be called a faith man. I think it is fairly obvious that Job is not directly grouped with anyone in the book of Job. There are no other mentioned men of God in this book. In fact if it were not for Job praying for his friends, his friends would be in serious trouble with God. I hope you understand the importance of association. This will become increasingly more important as you study the Bible in depth on many other subjects. In the last section I talked about the Hebrews 11 Faith Hall of Fame list that God gives to us. These were all faith men and women that achieved notoriety by God to an elite level of association. We learn from this list that God does associate like people together. We can use this now to learn who God associated Job with. In order to do this I’m going to give you the preceding verse to the one in James that mentioned Job:
Jas 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Ok, this verse is really very informative. By God placing this information within the direct context of the next statement, Job is being placed within some very elite company. I personally believe that Job was a prophet of God. I derive that from the fact that I believe Job wrote the book of Job. But I also derive that from this verse that speaks of prophets and their examples of suffering affliction and their patience. That is a very excellent description of the book of Job. Here in this verse is the introduction of Job being an example for the church to follow. God’s usage of the Greek word G5262 teaches us this fact. This Greek word literally means these men were given to us by God as a pattern for us to learn from. That is the classic definition of what a Biblical type is. If Job was a type of man with patience being associated with so many other great prophets that we can read about then we need to learn this in order to understand the book of Job more clearly.
One of the greatest prophets of God was Moses. Moses wrote down the Law of God. He was used by God to deliver the children of God out of Egypt. This is the kind of company that Job is being placed within by this verse statement in James 5:10. Moses was also directly mentioned in the Faith Hall of Fame and that helps to determine where Job potentially belongs by direct association. What we will do is see if we can find further confirmation for this in the Bible. We will do this again by searching for the name of Job to determine if God places him with anyone else by association. We already know that Job is not found anywhere else in the New Testament but we did not previously look for him in the Old Testament and that is our next place to search.
If you did the search you should have found one more reference to Job outside of the book of Job. The name of Job is only mentioned in the Old Testament in the book of Job and in the writings of one major O.T. prophet. You will find the name of Job mentioned in Ezekiel 14 twice. These verses are Ezekiel 14:14 and 14:20. Here in both of these verses Job’s name is directly mentioned in unison with Noah and Daniel. Both of these men were also prophets of God. This information helps us to confirm where Job fits within God’s associations. If you read the context of these two verses you should see that God is speaking to the house of Israel and He tells them to turn from their idols or be destroyed. God clearly calls men like Noah, Daniel and Job to be righteous examples and these are the types of men that will be saved while the others in Israel that do not repent will be destroyed. This is actually essential information to learn from about the story of Job. It gives us such a profound reference point to who God viewed Job to be like that it helps us settle why this book even exists in the Bible. You see Noah was directly mentioned in Hebrews 11:7 as having faith. Daniel was indirectly mentioned in the same chapter as having stopped the mouths of lions in Hebrews 11:33. Therefore we have Job being included with some pretty amazing company that would seem to indicate that Job’s righteousness was also obtained by the same level of faith in God that these other two men possessed. I would recommend that you take the time to go and read Ezekiel 14 to insure that this is what God is saying. I believe that you will be able to see it now that I have pointed you to this information. This information will help confirm the presence of faith in the life of Job but we will continue to find other witnesses to the truth as we study further.
FAITH AND PATIENCE
As we have observed in Hebrews 11 and 12 there appears to be a partnership between faith and patience which is tied together by God’s design. What relationship does faith have with patience? Are there any other direct connections between these two factors given to us in the New Testament? This is where we will begin to get into the subject of why faith is joined to its partner called patience. I can’t teach the entire subject here but I will give you a quick overview of how they are linked together. But first we will continue by reading another verse found within the context of Hebrews 11 and 12 that directly applies to our lesson:
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Did you just see what God did? God just made us a faith sandwich placing the meat of faith (Heb. 11) between two slices of patience (Heb 10:36, Heb 12:1). Uh oh, I hope that I didn’t offend anyone with my faith sandwich analogy. Let’s consider the book of Job when reading this N.T. verse. Did Job end up better than when he started? Through all of the hardships that Job experienced in 41 chapters was the end of his life blessed more than the beginning of his life by God? I hope that you will read and see that Job’s end was greater than Job’s younger years and certainly was better than his life during the book of Job. Would it not stand to reason that Job “received the promise” of God in the end? Maybe you do not understand that receiving anything from God requires human faith. I do not have the time to teach or prove this in this lesson so you will need to go and study the subject of faith in my Understanding Bible Faith series. I will definitely tell you that everything that comes from God’s Grace is received by a man’s faith and obedience. This includes salvation, healing, deliverance, God’s blessings and on and on I could go. I’ll say it one more time for those that do not yet understand that nothing positive is received from God without their faith being present. Let me give you another verse that certainly applies to the subject of Job:
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
God makes a statement here that could be talking about Job directly. Did you see it? There is a direct mention of endurance and this applies to having patience. Now do you see it? The Greek word that was translated as “temptation” is a poor choice of English words by the translators. This Greek word G3986 literally means “an experience of evil”. While this definition could mean a temptation it goes way beyond that to include many other things. This Greek word could apply to any adversity brought against someone by an enemy. Let me ask you this, was Satan Job’s enemy or was Satan Job’s friend? It would very stupid not to call Satan the adversary of Job since he was clearly trying to kill him. Do you know what the Hebrew name “Job” means? This name means “hated”. Who hated Job? If God was pleased with Job then it stands to reason that God’s enemy Satan would hate Job. Therefore Job was hated by Satan. This helps us put into perspective who is responsible for which actions in the book of Job.
Now go back to James 1:12 and go further with what is spoken by God. God says that after a time of endurance through an attack that this person being attacked will receive that which God had promised them. Why does God allow Satan to test His people? It is certainly not for God’s benefit so it must be for our benefit or to provide evidence to Satan that those being tested will be true and faithful. Both factors derive benefits for us in the future. Adversity builds human character. It teaches a person that they can overcome it and be victorious. Isn’t all of this what happened to Job? Job endured such a major attack of Satan that it almost wiped him out and yet God’s blessings still prevailed because why? Do you know what receiving is? I need to do an entire faith lesson on this important faith word. Jesus would frequently tell the sick and diseased to “receive” their miracle. What was Jesus saying to them? Jesus was saying you better take it if you want it because the ball is now in your court. I just used a tennis analogy to help you see how grace and faith works together. God’s grace will serve the promise but it is man’s faith that is required to receive it. If Job was mentioned with Noah and Daniel then he certainly obtained a crown of life that was mentioned in James 1:12. I believe someday soon we will be able to walk and talk with Job and find out what else we did not learn from this book.
All of this initial information that I have just given to you is on the subjects of faith and patience and they teach us that Job had to have had unstated faith at least to some degree that allowed his end of life to be better than his beginning. God very clearly told us that Job had patience in James. Why then would Job need this patience if he had no hope for anything better to come? I want you to chew on that for a while. I’ll give you another N.T. verse that helps us to connect faith and patience together:
2Th 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
We are back to the subject of endurance working with our faith and patience. Here is Paul writing to the church and this verse could very easily be talking about Job’s tribulations equally. Both the early church and Job endured great adversity and troubles within a stated time of duration here in this life. Both of these troubles were certainly brought upon them each by their enemy Satan. Job appears to me to be a O.T. type of the church using Biblical typology. You have probably never heard anyone teach this but it makes very good Biblical sense based upon the comparison of common features. Both of these examples of the early church and the O.T. life of Job persevered and endured through great tribulations, trials and tests. Both certainly needed patience to possess the blessings of God’s promises. But also notice what God says that they both also needed faith. I personally do not believe that God would have included the story of Job in the Bible as a positive role model for the church if this man did not possess any faith. God would have omitted his life story or the end result of Job’s life would have been entirely different than being fully restored apparently victorious over Satan’s attempts to kill, steal and destroy him (John 10:10). All of this evidence that I have presented you so far raises a new question that must be answered, if Job had faith why didn’t God talk about it in the book of Job? The answer to this question can only be found by asking why didn’t God talk about Job’s patience in the book if that was the clear emphasis that was being taught to us in the New Testament? Do you understand that there were hidden Bible subjects in the Old Testament? Let me help to prove this to you:
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Actually you will find out very soon that God did talk about Job’s faith in great detail in the book of Job but we normally do not understand it or it is easily mistaken for something else since it was never directly referenced by name. This was the same for Job’s patience. God tells us a story of part of Job’s life that demonstrates the qualities of patience being found present but yet never mentions these directly by name either. We will discover that Job’s connections to faith were hidden within other descriptive words found in the book of Job. Did you see what God said in this verse in Galatians? I used this verse in the first lesson of my faith series because it is critical to understand when and where faith originates. Faith is definitely not a brand new N.T. invention. Faith is a divine central theme of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. However God says here in Galatians that the hidden subject of faith was only revealed to us in the church after Jesus had come tot he earth. To be revealed means that the subject of faith was previously hidden from view for natural Israel. Once you learn what faith is then you will begin to see faith or the lack of faith in almost every story found in the Old Testament. I really hope and pray that you are learning this subject because it will be essential in your life.
FINDING JOB’S FAITH IN THE BOOK OF JOB
Reading in the book of Job initially, God appear to give the impression that He is well pleased with His man Job at least in the first chapter. How can God ever be pleased with a man that has no faith? Is that even possible? It is not possible according to the New Testament as I have already alluded to previously. I think I need to give you this verse to confirm that faith is a requirement in order to be pleasing to God:
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Did you see what this verse says? If our faith is required and is not optional in order to be pleasing to God then we need to conclude that Job had to have had the same faith at least initially in the book. However, there is another part of this verse that also applies to the story of Job that must be applied equally. Read the last part of the verse again and see that God says “to those that believe in God’s existence” that He will reward them if they seek after Him diligently. This is another portion of the requirement for having faith that must be met. Did Job believe in God? I believe you can clearly see in the story of Job that he believed in God very strongly. Had Job ever seen God? God says in John 1:18, “no man has ever seen God”. Therefore Job had to believe in God without any evidence of His existence like you and I today. Now ask yourself did Job diligently seek for God? That becomes a little more difficult to see but you can find that in the first chapter that Job was offering sacrifices to God. That sounds like a person that was diligently seeking the face of God to me. Did Job receive any rewards for believing in God and seeking after God? Let’s think about the rewards that Job obtained at the end of the book again. At the end of the book of Job, he is blessed more than at the beginning and let’s review these verses:
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
If God rewarded Job at the end of the book with more than he had at the beginning of the book and this teaches me that faith was found to be present of God’s blessings would not have been received. I do not see how anyone can receive God’s blessings without possessing any faith. If you know of anyone in the Bible that was ever blessed by God without having faith please tell me about them because if you can find me one man or one woman without faith that is blessed by God then you have just made God a liar. Since it is impossible for God to lie, I will stand by my statement with confidence that you cannot find one person present in the Bible without faith that is rewarded by God.
I’m going to go through the first verse of Job to begin to show you God’s hidden descriptions of Job’s faith being present. I hope that after you have studied this section of the lesson with me that you will understand that faith was always present in the life of Job. Please read verse 1 very slowly and carefully not missing any of the words selected by God to describe His righteous man Job:
Job 1:1 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.
In this first verse Job is described by God using four very flattering positive key descriptive words that were selected by God’s inspired choice. These words will help us to understand God’s perspective and viewpoint of this man and why Job was so pleasing to God. We must understand when reading the Bible that God could have selected any description that was true to use to teach us. But when God selects only four specific words then those words must have a meaning that is needed to be understood. Start by asking the question why were these 4 words selected and why were they used together in a list? Please allow me to identify these key words for you in a list:
- Perfect (H8535)
- Upright (H3477)
- Feared God (H3373)
- Eschewed Evil (H5493)
Those are four qualities that demonstrate God’s pleasure because they prove the implied presence of faith in God. All of these qualities could be used to describe a Christian today that pleased God. These qualities help to establish the fact that Job is a model for the church to follow. Let’s research these words one at time beginning with the first called someone who is “perfect”. That is a very strange word for God to use to describe a human, isn’t it?
To be “perfect” does not mean that someone never makes a mistake or sins. Only God can be perfect and no human has ever achieved this. Therefore to be perfect is not what you think it is using modern definitions. A perfect diamond is one that is defined to be flawless and this cannot be a human since God says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Since being perfect is unachievable we need to discover what God meant by this word. By looking in Strong’s dictionary for the meaning of the word we should find that to be perfect is a term that means someone is “complete” or “lacking no good quality” in the eyes of God. Was faith a good quality to possess according to Hebrews 11:6? If you answered yes, then faith is part of the complete package that God is looking for in any human. This Hebrew word translated as “perfect” is H8535 and it is not used in very many verses of the O.T. However, I will point you to one key verse that is important to note on what perfect represents to God:
Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Here is a verse that is easily overlooked and ignored because most of us do not read in Hebrew. This verse has the same Hebrew word that was translated as “perfect” in Job 1:1 but this time it is used to describe Jacob as being a “plain” man. I do not believe that people always understand the confusion that translators present them by changing a word’s definition but this is a major problem with correctly understanding the Bible. The main point here is that both Jacob and Job were both described to be “perfect” men and they were connected together by God’s choice of word descriptions. Therefore if you understand how typology works then what one man has the other should also have to some degree of comparison. Why is this important? Well it is important because Jacob was also mentioned by name in Hebrews 11 as having faith. Therefore we can logically conclude that if Jacob had faith and he was called perfect by God then Job had faith because he was also called perfect by God. This is very basic applied logic which surrounds the members in the common set of human called “perfect” defined by God. Let’s continue to the next word description of Job in verse 1.
“Upright” simply means someone that is standing straight up not leaning to the left or to the right. This is a figurative expression that teaches us the condition of Job’s human thoughts within his mind as being level headed or in other words as thinking decently, right, honest, pure and not wavering back and forth from the left or to the right. Being upright expresses Job’s moral compass on the inside that was directing his ways and his actions. Do you recall what God said to the prophet Samuel? When God sent Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel the sons of Jesse came before him one by one. God told Samuel not to look on the outward appearance in 1 Samuel 16:7 because He looks on the heart of the man. What this teaches us is that God declares what is on the inside to be more significant than what we see on the outside of a person. What this teaches us is that Job had to be pleasing to God on the inside in order for him to walk the walk that was pleasing to God on the outside. Again to be a good person outwardly is pleasing to God but yet a good person without any faith on the inside can still never please Him. Also too many Christians today are doing good things without having good and right intentions in their heart. That is a major problem to God. Let me take you to a New Testament verse that mentions the word upright to help define what this word means:
Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
This is going to be a lesson using stated antithesis or opposites. Sometimes to learn what something is you must learn what it is not! Here in Galatians Paul is writing about people that were being the opposite of what Job was in verse 1. These were Christians that were being inconsistent. Paul was speaking of the Jews living like Gentiles but simultaneously wanting the Gentiles to live like Jews. That represents a conflicting mindset of inconsistencies. What Paul was telling us, is that the Gentiles did not need to get circumcised in their flesh in order to be saved like many of the Jews were trying to teach them. Knowing the truth and being consistent applying the truth is what God was trying to say that Job was doing. That according to God’s definition is what being upright is. We should be able to learn how to apply this to what God says about Job. It clearly meant that Job did not try to live like others while requiring them to live like him. That would actually be a good Bible study to do but I will not spend the time today to do that. Perhaps it will help if I give you the Greek word definition for upright here:
From a compound of G3717 and G4228; to be straight footed, that is, (figuratively) to go directly forward: – walk uprightly.
This word literally means to walk a straight line. But, as you can see this word can be applied figuratively to mean moving directly forward as in not wavering from your purpose. To move directly forward means not to move to the left or to the right as I have tried to teach you about the Hebrew word found in Job 1:1. What is the opposite description of walking upright? The opposite would be to walk staggering or swaying from side to side. Do you understand this? Have ever heard the modern expression he walked the line? To walk the line figuratively meant that a person did not change their mind frequently to vary what they do. There is an old Johnny Cash song that is called “Walk the line”. In this song Johnny sings “Because you’re mine, I walk the line”. That only meant that when he sang this song to his wife that he was not cheating on her with other women. It is very much like the figurative phrase “walking the straight and narrow”. Being upright is simply a person that is well balanced not changing their mind frequently between two opposing extremes like between being good today and evil tomorrow. So what does being upright, have to do with if Job had any faith? Well the application of truth will teach us the answer if we go and read the book of James in the New Testament:
Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Did you see what God just said here about faith and wavering? If man does not walk upright or in a straight line then he is wavering from one position to another. God in this chapter calls this a double minded man with more than one thought process taking place simultaneously. I hope and pray that you understood this very quick overview of the subject of walking uprightly. I simply cannot teach every subject encountered in a Bible study in the depth that I would like or it would take me 100 times as many words to teach any subject. What I wanted to show you here in James was the connection of not wavering (called walking upright) to having faith that receives from God. It is still clear to me that since Job did receive a greater blessing from God in the end that he was at the very least back to not wavering like he was at the beginning of the story. Let’s move on to the description of quality 3 called the fear of God next.
THE FEAR OF GOD
The next term that God used to describe Job in verse 1 was that he “feared God” and this is another critical positive human characteristic that is critical for anyone before they can ever possess any faith. No one is going to believe God or even in God if they do not believe in His omnipotent power or if they have any great fear (respect) for His great abilities. What I am going to do is give you another Hebrews 11 example of an Old Testament man that was directly compared to be like Job:
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
We of course understand that Noah had faith, but before Noah could believe God to have this faith it is said that he also had to fear God first. It would have been very stupid for Noah not to fear God but yet this was still his right of free choice. This becomes very self-evident that the fear of God is required before anyone will believe God’s spoken word. This is in fact the number one reason why atheists do not believe in the Bible or in God. Atheists do not possess any fear of the living God that created them and can kill them just as easily. These people are called fools by God and I will concur. Where there is no fear of God their can be no faith in God. The fear of God is a necessary precursor for having faith. Since God describes Job to possess this fear this description qualifies him to possess faith. We could talk about this subject for a long time but that was a quick introduction and we will move on the quality four called “eschewed evil” used to describe Job.
TURN FROM EVIL
The last quality of Job was “eschewed evil”. This Hebrew word translated as “eschewed” literally means to turn away from following after or doing any evil. To turn away from evil is an indicator of a repentant heart that desires to do right and good. Again this word indicates that faith is found present in the life of Job because the N.T. says anything that is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23). Did you know that the lack of faith was evil? Did you know that having no faith was sin? Many Christians do not have a clue about either of these concepts. Let’s quickly establish that sin is evil in the eyes of the Lord:
1Ki 15:26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
Here is a man being given as a negative example for the people of God not to follow and this man sinned before God and God called his actions evil. This Hebrew word translated as “evil” is H7451 and this is the exact same word used in Job 1:1 to describe what Job was not in the eyes of the Lord. Therefore Job lived a life of choosing to steer away from what was sin in the eyes of God. This is really very amazing since the period of Job occurs before there was any written Law of Moses to describe what sin was. Somehow Job was so in tune with the Spirit of God and His ways that he knew what sin was and avoided it. Perhaps we need to connect the dots more clearly between turning from sin and having faith, patience and walking upright before God:
Mat 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Here is John preaching to the Jews and he tells them directly to produce fruit for repentance. Repentance is simply the human turning from their sins and the fruit is a reference to coming fruits of the spirit that are described by God in Galatians:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The KJV Bible is not as well stated as some of the other translations. I want you to focus on just two of the nine fruits mentioned. The first is translated as “long-suffering” and this is certainly applicable to what Job went through. This Greek word literally means to be “patient”. It is the opposite of being demanding and wanting everything right now like fast food. Any quality restaurant will serve food far beyond fast food but it requires patience in order to receive it. The second Greek word in this is translated as “faith” and that again is the word that we are exploring in the life of Job. Since we got here by the subject of “eschewing evil” let’s see where this is used in the New Testament:
Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
Here is an excellent verse that demonstrates the message that Paul preached to the Gentiles. Paul told them to repent and then to turn to God. This is clearly what Job had already done as a Gentile. There are many other example verses that teach similar concepts for salvation in accordance with repentance occurring first. This simply means that the human heart must be turned away from evil in order to allow the goodness of God to take its place.
These four positive qualities presented to us in verse one of Job were used by God to help us to understand the characteristics that allowed Job to have faith in God to receive the blessing in his early years. Every quality named can be associated with faith directly or indirectly using the New Testament. These same qualities also helped sustain Job during the tough times of Satan’s attacks to propel him to overcome the adversity. Job’s faithfulness and patient endurance during the negative times causes him to be blessed even greater by God at the end of his life. Keep in mind the four qualities being described by God they were 1) being complete, 2) walking upright, 3) fearing God and 4) turning from evil. No one is going to have faith without first having any reverential fear of God! No one is going to fear a God who they do not believe in. No one is going to have faith without turning and departing from doing evil! Sin will always be a moral distraction from receiving the blessings of God. As far as being called upright by God I again believe this to mean that Job was not double minded trying to decide between good and evil. I also believe that Job’s confidence in God was not shaken or swayed just because negative things were occurring. Finally to be called perfect (complete) by God implies that faith had to have been found present or Job would have been lacking the one essential God pleasing quality. It is just so obvious to me by the way that God describes Job in verse 1 that Job was pleasing to God. This absolutely requires faith to be present.
We have explored briefly the association of faith and patience using several verses of the New Testament. I believe that I presented sufficient evidence to confirm when one quality of faith is present the other quality of patience should also be found and vice versa. One without the other makes the other irrelevant. But, working together I believe that faith and patience will cause the blessing of God to be made manifest here in the natural realm. Always remember what patience is and why it is necessary. Patience is only required when you expect better things to come than what you are experiencing right now. This is clearly what Job came to realize. If you can’t see yourself as a type of Job then you have not been a Christian for very long. If you remain in the faith, Satan will come to you eventually to test your faith in God and that is exactly what occurred in the book of Job. When Satan approached the throne of God to accuse Job God said “Have you considered my servant Job?”. This did not mean that God turned Job over to Satan. This only meant that God knew why Satan was present and brought up the subject before Satan could mention it. God is not stupid people; God had placed a hedge of protection around Job to keep Satan from attacking. It was Job’s ignorance that caused the hedge to come down and this was the reason for the initiation of the satanic attack. I really do not have the time to explain all of this in this lesson. I have talked about a lot of this already in previous subject lessons. Let’s change back to the New Testament and end with this verse:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Faith and patience will receive the promises of God. The promises of God are found in the Word of God. Every Old Testament positive example given to us by God went through this. There are no examples of people in the Old Testament that did not have major times of tests and trials. This included the greatest prophets of God. Moses was tested in the wilderness. Elijah was tested and asked God to kill him. Noah went through tremendous persecution for preaching about the coming end. David was hunted and had to hide not to be killed. We could name them all but you get the point. All of these examples were like Job who endured but they also had faith in God with corresponding acts of patience to see the deliverance of God’s hand.
Can you see now how faith was indirectly taught by God while never being mentioned by name? This is an extremely clever method used by God of hiding the truth in plain sight in the Old Testament. God teaches us what faith is and how it receives His blessings while never mentioning the concept directly. The wisdom of God is way beyond normal or natural human comprehension. I hope that you learned something new about the positive life examples of Job and how they might help you even today as a type for your walk with God to follow during your test and trial of Satan. We have been given very significant evidence that we should believe in God and believe in His ability to bless us in spite of the negative circumstances being presented to us by Satan. Believe me I know this for sure since I have been going through a time of tests and trials like never before in my life.
I will say in conclusion that Job made certain mistakes at the beginning of the book and certainly in the middle of the book that were corrected by the end of the book in order for God to restore his life back to more than he had at the first. This teaches us that even Christians can open the door for Satan to attack them. These tests and trials will cause you to have to demonstrate faith and patience in order to receive the promise of God that will also cause you to be blessed. I went through some pretty new radical concepts for many people today. I hope and pray that you understood them. If not please go back and reread this lesson so that they are built into your spirit and how you live before God. The book of Job is a great lesson to learn from. However it matters that what you learn is in alignment with the New Testament revelation of the Lord God. Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this please leave me a comment. God Bless!