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Job's Suffering!



What happened to Job? Was God accountable for Job's suffering? Did Job suffer because God was having a bet with Satan? How come Job suffered? The commonly held view of the cause of Job's suffering is inaccurate! Here's a look at scripture for what happened.


Often when people think about suffering they think about Job. For this reason I am adding this web page about Job's condition to supplement my article entitled "Suffering".

However, before I get into events surrounding Job's life here's a one sentence summary of my article entitled "Suffering". It is, "Christ changed the relationship between God's people and suffering."

That summary is part of the message from the Cross of Christ. This is heard wonderfully and resoundingly from the prophet Isaiah when he prophesied of Christ giving His body as a substitutionary sacrifice for us. He prophesied,

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5 - NKJV


The apostle Paul in his letters to the churches teaches, above all else, on the work of the Cross. Again and again he outlines what Christ accomplished for us by giving His own body as a sacrifice for us. In explaining the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ to the church at Galatia the apostle Paul wrote,

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:13 - 14 - NKJV


In this web page article I am primarily addressing a point raised by a visitor to this web site in an email she sent. She describes in her email what she thought took place thrusting Job's life into suffering.


The visitor wrote, "I was just reading your mini-lesson on suffering and it was a very nice teaching. I would just like to suggest that in the future you address the book of Job where God allows so much suffering in Job's life due to a bet with the devil."

Her suggestion was a good one and I took it seriously. However, the way she was interpreting what took place surrounding Job's life was entirely incorrect. She said Job's life fell into suffering because of a bet God had with the devil.

Such a viewpoint besmirches the character of God. Be assured God does not play games with the lives of men. God does not entertain or pleasure the devil. God does not have bets with him.


In fact, God never has a give and take dialogue with the devil. There is never a conversational exchange between them. If Satan speaks God only responds with Truth. The reason for this is that God has judged the devil for his treason. That judgement stands. There is no further discussion about the position the devil is in.

This is very plainly illustrated for us when Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus, God the Son, dealt with every temptation from the devil with a simple utterance of God's Word, that is, He only declared the Truth. In their confrontation Jesus gave Satan no ground. He simply stated Truth. Luk.4:1-13.

There is a parallel between the temptation in the wilderness and the interaction between Satan and God recorded in Job chapter one. In both cases Satan attempted to provoke God. In both cases God responded with simple statements of truth. In the throne room scene of Job chapter two the most significant of these statements was,

"Behold, he (Job) is in your hand."

Job 2:6 - NKJV


Now it is important to note carefully what God declared to Satan regarding Job. It was not a granting of licence. It was a declaration by God of a condition that had come about. God said, "He is in your hand". He did not say, "I give him into your hand."


How had this condition arisen? How had Job got himself in the hand of the devil? Job himself tells us the answer to those questions in the very next chapter of the Book of Job. He says,

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Job 3:25-26 - NKJV


By this utterance, Job makes known that his fear brought the woes on him. Indeed, it was the devil who determined to destroy Job but it was Job's own fear - actually a fear that cloaked itself in the ritual of religion - that turned him over into the devil's hand.

This fear - or at least the symptoms of it - is described in the opening chapter of the story when the scene of Job's life is set. There we read he was fearing that his sons might be sinning and by it bringing calamity on themselves. We find he was making offerings to God "just in case". He was making offerings based on fear of what might be taking place or could take place. Here is how it is presented to us in chapter one,

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.

Job 1:5 - NKJV


Job's devotion to God and uprightness of heart was unquestionable. However, a fear of what might be had crept into his life and had become a pervasive influence over his religious activity.

What have we seen brought on Job the trouble he experienced? According to his own words it was fear. He said,

"The thing I greatly feared has come upon me".

Job 3:25 - NKJV


Job's fearful inner condition put him in a position of vulnerability where the devil was able to orchestrate such tragic circumstances that we then read of in this story. It was fear that presented him into the devil's hand.

What we get stories illustrating throughout scripture is that God uses what faith you have to bring good into your life while Satan, whenever he's provided an opportunity, uses a condition of fear in your life to make a connection with you and bring bad into your life.

Resist fear. Build faith. It is one of the most repeated exhortations and commands of God - that we hear in both the Old and New Testaments - that we are not to fear. We continually read, "Do not fear" or, in older style English, "Fear not!" Likewise, give no entrance to fretfulness or anxiety. Give every entrance to God's Word. The apostle Paul's writes imperatively, "Do not be anxious about anything." Phil.4:6 (ESV.)


Jesus has redeemed you. The chastisement of - or for - your peace was laid on Jesus so justice declares it cannot also be laid on you.

God will not invite the devil to come and give you trouble. You can though! If you entertain fear and anxiety or their relatives you open yourself up to major trouble being throw your way by the devil.

God commands you not to fear and not to be anxious!

Here's a significant and important scripture to keep in mind,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 - NKJV


What happened to Job? Did he ever escape out of suffering and recover his life? Wonderfully, yes! It's well worth reading about the marvellous latter end of Job's life as it's told in the final chapter of the book.

How did Job's recovery come about? What liberated Job from this condition he was in? His friends had much to say to him in way of counsel but it was all off the mark. So much so that it incurred the anger of God. (See Job 42:7 -9) After them the Lord Himself spoke to Job. It was God's Word to Job that entered his heart to restore him.

God spoke to Job at great length about His omnipotence emphasising how He it was who had created heaven and earth and everything in it. (Job 38 - 41) He it was who was the Creator all powerful, all knowing and all present. Finally, it dawn on Job what He was getting at and revealing to Him and so Job came to the moment when he could say,

"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You."

Job 42:5 - NKJV


By this Job, was admitting his knowledge and worship of God had been based on hearsay. Now finally He saw God face to face. He knew Him for himself. It was revealed to his heart the God was the omnipotent, loving creator. He finally knew God as God in his heart.

A similar thing happened to the people of the Samaritan town to whom the woman at the well testified of Jesus as the Christ. It is something that needs to happen to each one of us. By receiving God's Word from God the Son they came to the point where they were able to declare,

"Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

John 4:42 - NKJV


The lives of the Samaritan people were transformed by this direct revelation to their hearts that Jesus was the Christ and He was their Saviour. Joy and hope filled their hearts. The knowledge of God's love for them settled their hearts down in peace.

Similarly, God speaking to Job's heart of His omnipotence revealed to him God as the Creator, the Almighty and the great I AM. His view of himself and his view of life and all its circumstances changed dramatically. A confidence entered his heart based on this intimated and personal knowledge of God, his Creator and his Saviour. In this was revealed to him the love of God was directed towards him and with it his fears left the scene of his heart.

When you allow God to speak to your heart as he spoke to Job's the revelation Job had will be yours also and with it, like Job, you will be liberated from fear. You will then join with the great multitude in heaven shouting,

"Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory."

Revelation 19:6 - 7 - NKJV


May you know the peace of God mounting a guard over your heart and mind! May you know perfect love casting out fear! Phil.4:4-7, 1 Joh.4:18.

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