Understanding Bible Faith – Faith, Patience and Time Delays Part 19
(Ver 1.1) Today is “Part 19” in the Bible study series describing the subject “Understanding Bible Faith”. Faith is a Bible essential theme and topic. I will warn you up front that I have been working on this lesson very fast for only a short time today. It probably has more than one typing and grammar items that is less than perfect and needs to be fixed and I will attempt to do that in subsequent revisions, the Lord willing. Please just extend me mercy as God does to us all and forgive my haste to get out what I believe, the Lord was saying to me today and wanted to say to everyone around the world and especially in the United States during these challenging times. As a reminder the document version number begins every Bible lesson. Version 1.0 (Ver 1.0) is the initial publication and this is what is emailed to everyone initially who subscribes. But later I will usually make changes and improvements as time and the Lord permits me.. Therefore, if you get an emailed version it is still advisable that you go and review the online version because this one will be improved over time. I hope that helps new readers and subscribers understand my geek computer programmer style of writing updates. Let us go back to the subject of faith.
Faith can be found and has been described by God from Genesis to Revelation. We should have learned from reading Hebrew 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please God”. That should cause us all to stop and evaluate yourself and ask “Am I in Faith?” In 2 Corinthians 13:5 we are all commanded to “Self-evaluate or do a self-examination to determine if we are in the faith”. This means if we are worried about what we prayed for, or in fear it is not going to happen in time, or just simply doubt that God hear or will answer us, then we are not in faith and must change course as soon as possible. I know that we can all be challenged to fall into Satan’s trap of doubt and unbelief almost daily. I’ve been there and if you have been saved very long, you also have been through the exact same test. This is why we must learn to recognize the signs of faith failure during the tests of time and delays.
Uh oh? What did God say to us? Are there delays? What does the factor of extensive time do to cause us to doubt God? What is different about today from when we first started to believe and stand over 70)\+ days earlier? Are we feeling any stress? Are we experiencing any pressures, or fear of what might happen if God does not come through to answer us? Wow, if you are human like I am, we all have been there and done that and can buy and wear that faith vacation T-Shirt. I am trying to recommend that we do not depart from the lifestyle of faith to leave it and take a vacation from it. Amen!
INTRODUCTION TO FOCUSED FAITH
This election process that we have been going through in the United States of America is one of the greatest trials of faith that I have ever witnessed. It appears that evil has declared victory and appears to have won at every turn removing our natural hope. Just when we appear to have seen a way to victory a door is slammed shut by the devil. Do you know God allows this to happen on purpose to cause our “faith” to be stretched? Satan tries to break our faith by turning every hopeful situations into sudden defeat and lost opportunity for victory. This happens in almost every trial of our faith whether, physical illness, emotional challenges, financial needs, relationships, jobs, etc.
What we must begin to learn is that when all of the natural possibilities for human solutions have been exhausted, it should be the beginning for us to finally stop and just relax to trust in God’s supernatural possibility of us believing in His Word only. It is a severe mistake to leave God as our last resort possibility for our solution. Do you know what I mean? I recall the story in 2 Chronicles 16:12 where King Asa was diseased in his feet. Asa failed to seek the Lord first and to expect God to answer to what he should do about his problem. Instead, Asa went to physicians and he died, never seeking or trusting God.
In another example found in 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 King Saul enquired of an evil spirit rather than focusing upon the LORD only and he was also killed for doing evil in the eyes of God. God turned over the kingdom of Saul to David. These were just two examples of humans not seeking and trusting in God first but they teach us what we should not be doing right now by not seeking God first and ignoring the other possible solutions.
Now let us examine a different type of challenge. God came to Abraham in Genesis 15 and promised him personally that he would have children that numbered like the visible stars of heaven. That was an incredible promise directly from the mouth of God. That sure sounds like that should have caused Abram to never doubt what was going to happen. Then over the course of time and many years going without the promised son coming from his wife Sarah, they began to waiver and look for their own solutions. Sarah gives up completely that she will have the child and she turns over her slave woman Hagar to her husband and they had a child of the flesh named Ishmael in Genesis 16.
It only took one chapter for Abram and Sarai to lose their faith and try a human possible solution without trusting in God. It would appear from reading this that it was the factor of time that played into causing their belief that they needed to have God solve their problem. Wow, is that not what is happening in the church today? Are not one Christian after another giving up the fight and losing heart not to believe and trust in God? I believe it is exactly what is happening in the U.S. 2020 elections.
We have placed all of our focused confidence and trust in looking for human possibilities instead of just focusing our faith and trusting in the Word of the LORD only. Just as Abram and Sarai got their eyes off of God’s promise and trusting that He would fulfill His promise so are many people doing the exact same thing right now because of what the circumstances and long delays appear to be saying. We are focused upon only what is possible and failing to focus only upon the God of the impossible.
OUR GOD IS STILL A GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
Luk 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
God has been waiting for the church believers and the world to get their eyes off of all of the possible human avenues of winning the election to defeat evil. We have placed our confidence in the election, the vote counters, the President, the Vice President, the Attorney General, the Justice Department, the FBI, the state legislatures, the State and Federal Courts, the Supreme Court, Congressmen, Senators, the Electoral College, etc. and have had our hopes dashed every time. I wonder why? Could this be our wrong focus?
Now finally with only a couple of days before the apparent looming deadline, a lot of Christians have totally given up all hope and resigned to believe the evil will rule us for the next 2 or 4 years completely. So many have abandoned their faith in God’s promises to hear and answer their prayers simply because it looks so bad and too much time has passed. Wow, but this is when God always comes through for His people if they do not give up.
Over and over in the Bible God waited patiently for all possibilities of human solutions to be eliminated so that He would receive all of the Glory for the victory that He is about to give us. Did you hear what I just said? I am sticking out my neck in faith saying God’s victorious breakthrough is about to come to pass, don’t give up!
What do I base my faith upon? How can I claim victory is still going to happen? I first have learned from reading the Bible that this is exactly when God never failed to show up for His people and show off His majestic hand and arm of power. Remember Abraham and Sarah? Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 when their victory came. It was totally impossible for them to have a baby for themselves. Yet they DID! That was just one example of a God miraculous victory being placed upon display as an example to learn from. Only God could get the praise for their son named Isaac.
Take the children of Israel being freed from captivity from Egypt. There was 400 years delay of them in captivity before God’s process of deliverance was initiated. There was pharaoh’s edict for murdering all of the male children so that a deliverer could not be born. There was a delay of the deliverer escaping Egypt for 40 years because he killed an Egyptian. There was the intense delay with the battle of wills between the ruler Pharaoh and the man of God Moses. Whose will, would give in or give up first?
There was the display of God’s power in 10 plagues. Yet the evil ruler lied and did not let the people of Israel go until the last plague. Finally, the death angel took the first born of every creature except those that had the blood on the door post. That was finally the straw that broke the back to defeat the evil ruler’s will. Moses led the children of Israel from Egypt and proceeded to go forth following God. Then the evil Pharaoh had a change of heart and started to pursue them. He brought his soldiers and chariots and overtook them.
The children of Israel were at the ends of their pathways of human possibilities for escape, freedom and victory and faced certain death. Their backs were up against the Red Sea and the Egyptians were on the other side of them. There was no possible way to escape the apparent end. From the natural perspective of circumstances, it would be certain defeat. Yet God was not concerned and when the human possibilities were ended, the supernatural possibility opened up by God’s design.
Do you see how this is a perfect parallel to how we are right now on January 16, 2021? There are only three days till evil triumphs and we can choose to believe that report of impossibility or we can stop and take our eyes off of the human impossible pathways for victory, to remain looking at only the unseen God of the supernatural possible pathways to victory. He can open a brand new way where we have not even imagined just as He did for the children of Israel and the Red Sear. This will allow God to get all of the Glory and all we need to do is believe. Why is that hard to stop looking at the natural and praise God for the victory?
Do you trust God? Do you believe God is still powerful enough to be able make a way when there appears to be no way? I do! I choose to believe in a God of miracles and it really does not matter if January 20, 2021 comes and goes and I still do not see the answer. I’m not going to allow the circumstances to overcome my beliefs. By beliefs in God’s Words and Promises will overcome my circumstances. I will stand with God’s promises until I see the victory. Aman!
BELIEVE IN HOPE
Rom 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
Rom 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
Rom 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Rom 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
Remind yourself of these verses for every faith situation you find yourself in. God uses Abraham in these verses as our example of a man to be repeated and followed because, he believed in supernatural hope when in the natural realm of possibilities there was no other hope available to him. Again, this is when victory can manifest and only God is given the glory.
These are some of the most amazing verses of faith in the Bible. God teaches how one man took his eyes off of his natural circumstances to place all of his beliefs and confidence only in his God’s ability to answer no matter what the world declared against his victory. Abraham is commended to not waiver in his faith by giving all of the Glory to God even before he saw his child named Isaac be born. Can you believe and praise God even before the answer comes? Can you say “Glory to God for the answer” even if you do not see how it could happen? If you can, then you are in the right place at the right time for victory. If you can praise God and say glory to God you are strong in faith no matter if you feel strong or not. Clearly the 100 year old Abraham did not feel strong and he still had a child.
Let us not go by our feelings. Let us ignore the news media and circumstances. Let us ignore the calendar. Let us ignore what our spouse, family and friends are telling us to do, to give up. Please just join with me and get back into faith and give God all of your praise and give Him all of the glory just believing He is the same God that He was to Moses, Abraham, Joseph, David, etc. All of these people had significant delays before their victory came forth.
I’m not going to have time to tell you everything that I base my faith upon in this quick encouraging faith lesson. But I will tell you that on December 8, 2020 God woke me up in the middle of the night and said “Joe Biden would admit defeat and fraud had taken place”. Wow, does that sound impossible or possible? Most people would say that is impossible. Yet I believe that this is what the LORD said to me and I choose to believe Him and not what I see. God tells us that the “just” shall live by faith and not walk according to what we see. There are other things that I have been encouraging myself daily with, but I will end upon this that occurred recently. I listen to the Bible almost every night using an MP3 player while I fall asleep. Whenever I wake up, I become conscious that the Word of God is still playing in my ear and many times God is saying something to me that really stands out and this is what I recently was given by the LORD:
Luk 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
Luk 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Luk 1:51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luk 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
Luk 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Luk 1:54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
Wow, these verses spoke volumes of hope to me. I know these verses come from the Song of Mary in Luke and they do not appear to directly apply to our faith lesson or the current election. But until we analyze what was really said don’t throw these words away too quickly. I believe these words were given as a prophetical statement for what is about to happen in the United States.
Verse 49 starts with God has done mighty things for us and this is exactly what is needed against this evil enemy trying to overtake us. Next notice verse 50 is spoken to a people that fear Him and they are given His mercy. We qualify for this to be written to us because we should fear the LORD and this will cause His mercy to be extended in our current situation. Next verse 51 was what caught my attention in the middle of the night. The arm of the LORD is not mentioned that many times in the N.T.
The first time the arm of God is mentioned is here in Luke. The next time it is mentioned is in John 12:38. John quotes a verse from Isaiah concerning the church. “Who has believed our report and to who is the arm of the Lord revealed”. This is a verse about a people that have faith and that should be the church. God clearly says that His arm will be revealed to people that believe Him. Wow, that is encouraging. Finally, God’s arm is mentioned in the book of Acts. In Acts 13:17 Paul is preaching and informing people that the arm of the Lord was displayed to them when God took the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Therefore, God has made a direct connection to Israel’s deliverance being parallel to the church’s deliverance from the bondage of this world and the ruling god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) as being a type of Pharaoh. This makes the prophecy of Luke 1 spoken and sung by Mary apply to us. So what else does God claim to do with His arm to help these people?
Verse 51 ends with “He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts”. Wow, we can observe very proud people in the government that appear to be very unconcerned with being caught in doing obvious evil acts within our government. I have not seen any of these crimes that have been committed in the last 12 years be judged. It appears they are covered up or either just ignored like noting ever happened. But that is about to change according to God.
Verse 52 continues with judgments of evil people taking place. God says “He has put down the mighty from their seats”. Wow, again we see people in government today that are so consumed with having their power that they will do anything illegal to take it and keep it. These people are about to be put down and removed from their seats of power permanently. Verse 52 ends with God’s exaltation of the lowly people with humility that have a servant’s heart not containing a motivation for greed or power to be raised up to these positions of authority. The Bible says when the righteous rule it will bring forth joy to all that have elected them to office (Prov 25:2).
Finally verses 53 and 54 prophecy a reversal of the financial classes. God declares the hungry will be filled with God’s good things and those that are extremely wealthy will be taken away void of their money that used to corrupt and try to overthrow our nation. God’s mercy of deliverance has been extended in these last days. It will be our time for victory and celebration before He returns. No this is NOT ALL ABOUT US! God is doing this to show mercy to the nations of the world. God wants to show mercy to the unborn children in the womb that have not had the opportunity to be born. God wants a great end-time harvest and revival in the church to go into the entire world to preach the gospel to every nation.
I am believing God for over 1 billion views on this website. Wow, that is stretching our faith since so far, we are only working on 4 million views. But please join your faith with us and agree that God will do great and mighty things to get His Gospel out to these billion people. God has already given us views from over 250 nations. There were over 25 nations just today that read something on this website. We already have subscribers on every inhabited continent North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. People even in China have been viewing these Bible lessons. Pray that the seeds sown here will produce a lot of new believers with spiritual fruits.
We love you and hope this Bible lesson was encouraging. I have really declared some very bold things that God said would happen. I believe I heard from God and I believe they will happen in His perfect timing. I have not heard that this will happen in the next 3 days. I can only tell you what I heard and leave it at that trusting Him to make it happen.
Remember the principle of Hebrews 6:12 that it is through faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. This literally means faith is required and there will be delays to God bringing us the answer in most situations because, Satan is trying to keep it from coming to pass. Satan has been doing everything possible to keep God’s chosen servant out of the White House. But it will not work this time. It is not yet time for the antichrist to manifest and control the world. How do I know that? Because you and I are still here. It is time for church to overcome the devil and then we will be taken out of the world and then Satan will be allowed to rise to world domination and control. That will only be a short time of 7 years when we come back to the earth with Jesus and Satan will be thrown into hell for 1000 years.
Keep the faith! Stand strong! Do not let the circumstances sway your faith. Do not allow the absence of human solutions get you down either. Do not allow delay to discourage you. Remember when it looks impossible for man, it is still entirely Possible for God. All we are required to do is to give Him all of the Glory and praise Him for the victory before we see it happen. This is a Bible principle. Joshua and the people of Israel marched for days around the walls of Jericho and then shouted and blew the trumpets to sound the victory and then the walls fell down.
God bless you and if this lesson offends you, stand back and just watch what God will do and then leave us your comment after a month or so. If this encouraged you then please like it at the bottom of the webpage and share it with all of your friends. Be a blessing to us and to others. God is working whether you see what He is doing or not. Be patient! Be kind! Walk in LOVE! Shout the Victory! Praise the LORD! Rejoice in the LORD and I again I say REJOICE! It is time to Celebrate. Amen
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!
Understanding the Book of Job! An overview of what it is and what it is not! Part 1
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 of a series about understanding the Book of Job. The book of Job is a highly controversial book of mostly confusing information. The book of Job has been widely given the theme of patience and we see this mentioned in the New Testament book of James. This reference in James is the only time Job is mentioned by name in the N.T. The name Job is mentioned only 54 times and mostly just in the book of Job. However, the name does occur in Genesis 46 and Ezekiel 14. The book of Job is primarily about the afflictions of Job. However, the initiator of the problems in Job’s life and the cause of the problems are widely misinterpreted. The book of Job is often quoted at funerals and this is another misapplication of the scriptures and I will probably get into these verses later. The first two chapters reveal the afflictions occurring to this righteous man and then starts the words of Job in chapter 3 in an apparent conversation with some of his friends that have come to tell him what to do and this continues for many chapters. The discourse between Job and his friends go back and forth and finally end when God comes into the conversation with some new information that shuts everyone up. The last chapter of Job ends with God’s blessings on him being restored more than he ever had before. Most Bible scholars agree that Job is probably the oldest book of the Bible. The timeframe of Job is probably somewhere between Noah and Moses since it does not refer to Israel, the Old Testament law or any reference to God’s covenant with Abraham. The author of Job is probably the man Job himself, but we do not know this for sure. There are several verses found in Job that reveal things to us that confirm that it belongs in the Bible and that it is the inspired information from the Spirit of God. So I will not attempt to do a verse by verse study of the entire book, there is just too much unknown information found in this book to do this. I will attempt to teach some key verses that I have seen and I will try to use other verses in the Bible to help us to interpret what we find in Job correctly. Always remember that the Bible interprets itself. Let’s start with verse 1:
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.
The first verse informs us where Job lived and what his nature and character was in the eyes of God. God calls the man Job a complete man, in other words a righteous man. He was humble and feared God and resisted evil. This is the type of man that God can stand behind as we will find out shortly.
Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
The man Job was married as we will also find out and he had 10 children. In the next verse we will see that the blessing of God were upon him.
Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
According to this verse Job was the greatest of all of the men of the east. This is strictly in terms of wealth and the blessings of God on his life. This is also a hidden hint to the reasons of things to come. If God’s blessing are on someone, he will get the attention of everyeone else physcially and spiritually speaking. When Satan sees the blessings of God upon Job, Job became a target. In verse 4 of Job 1, you can see that Job had problems with his children. They like to party, eat, drink and be merry. They were into having fun more than they were into work and doing right. This caused Job vast concern of what would happen to his children. This is the introduction to what Job worried about the most.
Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
So Job does some things that I find very interesting. His kids have stopped their partying and Job is offering burnt offering for the number of his children to the Lord. Where does Job get the idea for this? I honestly do not know. As far as I know there is no law, no priests and there was no precedence for doing what he is doing. Is Job a priest of God? I do not know? We know from the N.T. that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Heb 9:22). So Job was doing the right things, but where did he get this information? Plus was it doing any good since it was his children that were sinning and not him? This verse ends with the statement that Job did this continually so we assume that his kids were continually in a party mode. There is another scripture in the N.T. that I believe should be applied to this information we are given, and it goes like this “God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). What were Job’s children sowing? Will they reap what they sow regardless of what their father does? I believe God says they will.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
So here we go with another introduction to some highly confusing information. The book of Job seems to change dramatic focus from the earth to a place in heaven. The “sons of God” are the angels of God and this would include all angels, the good and the bad. This verse says Satan came with them like he is not included in the group of “sons of God”, but I totally disagree with that interpretation and I believe that Satan was their leader and the most high angel. You can see this by reading verses in Ezekiel 28:14 that describe Satan as the anointed cherub and the covering cherub. Then in Isaiah 14:12, Satan is called Lucifer, the son of the morning. Morning is the “Early Light” and since God is Light we can see that Lucifer is called an early son of God.
Job 1:7 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.
We are now told that Satan has come from the earth, so we know that he is not on the earth while he is holding this conversation with God. We also learn that Satan is not omnipresent. He must walk across the earth and go from place to place. We therefore know that Satan is not everywhere on the earth at once. However, we do not know how many angels that Satan has under his control on the earth so there may be many angels tormenting people simultaneously and not just Satan doing everything. However, many angels there are, the Bible says in Revelation 12 that 1/3 of them are fallen with Satan. There is also another reality given to us found in the N.T. that helps to explain what is happing to Job. In 1 Peter 5:8 God informs us that Satan is our adversary and he goes about as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. Is this not exactly describing what is happening here in Job? Satan had just come from walking the earth and he came across Job. He is obviously the adversary of Job that God has hedged out. But, he is seeking to devour Job as we will see as we continue to read in this chapter. We learn from reading 1 Peter 5:8 that Satan is not able to devour everyone if he is seeking ways to do this. This indicates that Satan is not omnipotent and neither does he have direct access to anyone unless certain conditions are met to allow him to come in. Keep 1 Peter 5:8 in your mind as we continue to read about Job:
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Why do you think that God brings up Job? I believe it is because God knows what you are thinking. God knows why Satan is there. Job is a spiritually righteous blessed man of God; there is none like him on the earth. In the eyes of God this is why Satan was there to contend for this man.
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Satan starts to ask God questions about Job. Why does Satan ask this question? Does Job fear God for no reason or for nothing as he said to God? This sounds like a complaint or accusation to me.
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Now we begin to see the problem that Satan has and why he is there to see God. Satan is questioning God’s authority to place a hedge of protection around Job and his family. You can clearly see what God is being accused of, the fact that God has blessed Job and given him great wealth and placed a spiritual wall of protection around him so that Satan could not touch him. What gives Satan the right to do this? That is an excellent question to consider, we know that Job’s children are living in sin in a constant state of partying. Job is continually offering sacrifices for his children who do not want sacrifices to be made or at least it appears that they do not care if they are made. The children of Job are not repentant or sorry for what they are doing, they are just being wild crazy rich kids who can get away with whatever they want, or so they think. We know that Satan is called the accuser of the brethren in the Revelation 12:10. This verse in Revelation says that Satan accuses the people of God on the earth both day and night. To accuse is a legal term that means “to charge with an offense”. You do understand that God is the ultimate supreme Judge of the Universe? Satan is the “Plaintiff” that brings accusations against righteous people before the Judge. So why does Satan do this? So these righteous people can be found guilty of violating the spiritual laws that God has established in the spiritual realm. Do you understand this? Satan is looking for a way into your life, he watches your every move, your every action, your every reaction and your every word to see what he can accuse you of doing that violates God’s laws. This is how it works until Revelation 12 comes around and Satan is cast down and he is no longer welcome to come into the heavenly realm to accuse us anymore.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
So here is where it starts to get even more difficult to understand and to interpret correctly. Satan tells God to stretch His hand and touch all that he has and Job will curse God to His face. So is God the curser or was God the one that blessed Job? If you recall from reading earlier we know that God was the one that blessed Job and made him exceedingly wealthy. It was God who had placed the hedge of protection around him and his family so what would happen if God changes and does the opposite like Satan just said for God to do? If God does what Satan just said, then God becomes a liar. That is pretty strong words, but that is what the Bibles says:
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;
According to the Bible, God is a constant never changing force of good. If God would have blessed Job and suddenly bent to the pressure from Satan to change and curse Job then God is guilty of changing. Do you understand that this is impossible? The Bible describes God as being Light. Do you know that the speed of light is a constant? The speed of light does not diminish or change it always stays the same. The distances of stars in our universe are measured in the terms of light years. A light year is the distance that light travels in the course of a year’s time. This is a constant value or we have a major problem on our hands. If you do not understand laws of physics and science about light and the speed of light, just fix your mind on God. If God blessed someone today and tomorrow takes it all away, then God changed and now God is a liar. That is a major problem with most people’s Bible interpretations, they interpret a book of the Bible like Job in a vacuum and ignore the rest of the Bible and this is not a valid interpretation. Here is another challenge for you to consider from something that God said in the book of Deuteronomy:
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
If God sets before us life or death, blessing or cursing and says to us to choose between the two, whose fault is it which one we get? Uh oh? That is a problem isn’t it? It would appear that if Job got curses instead of blessings, then he made the wrong choices to cause them to occur. Do you understand this?
Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
So we now have God giving permission, or so many people think it says. This however, is not what this verse says. Nowhere in this verse does it say you have won your case, I give you permission. People just read this into the statement because that is what they want to see that it says. All God said was “Behold” and that means look, open your eyes and see. Do you understand that? That is not a statement of permission; it is a directive for Satan to see what has already happened. You cannot behold something that is not already there. I mean God can see into the future, but Satan cannot. If Satan is told to see something it has to be something that he can already see. This is clearly not rocket science, so surely you can comprehend the simple words of the Bible. Then God tells Satan that all that Job has is in his power. Again this is not I give you the power; this is a simple statement that says you already have the power. There is such a huge difference between those two perspectives. The only thing God does is limit what Satan can do and this was not to touch Job. So God was guilty of still trying to protect his righteous man Job. God never gives Satan permission to do anything. God simply said you already have the right to do what Job has chosen.
So who is the author of destruction? Who causes death and tornadoes? We will find out in our next lesson about the story of Job. I hope that you will join me as I continue with this series of very different Bible lessons. Thanks for your time and your comments. God Bless.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you can go to “Part 2“.