Before we get back to Saul lets take a look at the parallel sufferings of Job and Paul and how their suffering in and of itself may have strengthened them in their gift of faith in God the Father.
Job a man who had grown children, was very rich and was considered greatest of all the people of the East. He was a man who feared God and shunned evil.
Job 1:6 Satan, satan (sah-tahn) Strongs #7854: An opponent, the arch enemy of all that is good. Satan is a hater, a destroyer, an accuser, obstructer and adversary of God and all who would fear and obey Gods will.
Now the story of Job and Paul are both stories of real men in a real time, with real names, real feelings and the ability to think just like you and I. So if Satan felt compelled to bother them it was due to his wanting to stop what they were doing for God. That is why scripture continually tells us to count trials as honor in serving our God. Job had a fear of God that his sons may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts so he regularly offered intercessory prayer for them.
Satan came before God and God bragged about the righteousness of Job to Satan, (Job 1:8Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."). The response of Satan was to accuse Job saying “if God took away his hedge of protection from him Job would surely curse Him”. God then gives control (permission) of all Jobs possessions to Satan but he is not to harm Job physically. Now in perspective, the beauty of this passage and story is that not only did Job believe in God but God also believed in Job, isn’t that great, that God can believe in us as we do Him?
Job’s first response after losing all he had was not to question why but to accept it and to continue to praise God with this;
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised."
Satan is really peeved now and again asks God for permission this time to affect Jobs health and physical wellness. God allows this too. Now just as God himself in Jesus Christ choose Paul when we would not have, we must not try to put anthropomorphic thinking (human attributes unto God) as a rule. Rather we should take comfort in the fact that God calls and equips us and believes in us with the same measure we do Him.
Ask yourself this Christian, how would you have faired in Job’s position, would you have cursed God for losing all your wealth even your health if in the same position? Do you trust the relationship you have with the almighty to be one that is unbreakable by you or Him because of your belief and faith in the strength and love that bonds the relationship? Have you pursued God first, as it is written “Seek ye first the
God finally reveals himself as a whirlwind (Job 38:1-42:6) to Job and ends the argument of Job and his friends. God challenges Job to learn from his suffering as compared to the suffering we as humans think that we or others suffer due to something intrinsically wrong, that we must suffer penitently as opposed to educationally for furtherance of our minds, spirits and wisdom. God describes the greatness of the earth, the heavens and his awesome design of all creatures upon the earth. God then allows and challenges Job to directly question Him.
God further challenges Job by asking Job directly if he is the judge of God 40:8. We as humans feel that we must be judges and that is our original sin to judge. We judge God based on the actions of professing Christians, we judge God based on what he does or doesn’t do. We judge people based on their suffering thinking they must have done something wrong or are so full of sin to deserve their calamity or position in life. When if we do as Job did and spent the time of a trial holding fast to our innocence we would be justified and righteous for God believed that we are capable of such character.
However those who did not hold fast the confession of God were reprimanded and their fate put into the hands of the one who gave intercessory prayer from the beginning (Job 42:8-10). Job’s friends were ordered to humble themselves by giving a burnt offering and that Job the true servant of God would pray for them and forgiveness of their folly lest God deal with them according to their folly.
To Be Continued…Next Paul’s ThornMay...
The Lord bless and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
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