Part 3: Leviathan solves Job’s puzzle

Elihu’s observation of Job

Elihu does observe correctly Job’s key mistakes in his arguments, such as:

  • He finds occasions against me, he counts me as his enemy, (Job 33:10 ESV)
  • For Job has said, ‘I am in the right, and God has taken away my right; (Job 34:5 ESV)
  • For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.’ (Job 34:9 ESV)
  • “Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’ (Job 35:2 ESV)

Job questioned God’s justice system as they were very unpleasant towards him.

Job was the Christ of his time

In the wilderness journey, God had denied water for three days to the children of Israel, not to kill them,  as the Israelites accused Moses and God. He had compassion on his people and was only giving them training in spiritual development. He had already done great wonders for them and wanted to only glorify them. He wanted them to put all their trust and love on him and acknowledge him as their creator and Father. The Israelites found this a very hard thing to come to terms with.

God the creator does see things very differently from the mortal population. In Job’s case God was in total control of his beloved creation. His actions let Job to interpret God as his enemy while in reality God loved Job very much. In fact Job was God’s pride of his creation.

Men fail God very miserably. Satan could not believe that a man could be righteous without a “catch”. Can a man really love God in adversity? When a man and woman are joined together in marriage they promise each other” “in sickness and health”, “in riches and poverty”, “till death us part”! This was Job’s commitment to hold onto his integrity and God was pleased.

God asked Job to consider the power of his amazing creation:

  • Foolishness of an Ostrich towards its young
  • The power of horses
  • How the Hawk soars
  • etc. (Job 38, 39 is better read directly)

Now with Job, God had boasted of his righteousness. Job with his free-will choose to serve his creator. God wanted to demonstrate to us that Job’s way of life is a pleasing one. He was the SAVIOUR of his time. He was the role model of his time. He was the CHRIST of his time.

Jesus also had to submit to this will of God, it not naturally very pleasant:

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luk 22:42 ESV)

Satan (represents largely the cynical people who deny human uprightness), Job’s three friends, his relatives and all the people of Uz needed “a Job” to follow.

  • He was till the point of his trial been an example of righteousness and prosperity.
  • During his suffering he was an example of righteousness and shame.
  • After he was restored he becomes a symbol of victory. He given twice the glory and people of his day were silenced forever.

Job’s glory

Job was the greatest of all the people of the east. He was very influential.

  • the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood; the princes refrained from talking and laid their hand on their mouth; the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
  • When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved, because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him.
  • The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
  • I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
  • I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
  • I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
  • “Men listened to me and waited and kept silence for my counsel. After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them.
  • They waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. I smiled on them when they had no confidence, and the light of my face they did not cast down.
  • I chose their way and sat as chief, and I lived like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.

(Job 29:8-25 ESV)

Job’s shame

With the disaster coming his way, he was greatly humiliated:

  • “But now they laugh at me, men who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock.” (Job 30:1 ESV)
  • “He has put my brothers far from me, and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
  • My relatives have failed me, my close friends have forgotten me.
  • The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
  • I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
  • I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
  • My breath is strange to my wife, and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
  • Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me. All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me.

(Job 19:13-19 ESV)

Added to thi,s his three close friends condemned him while he begged them for mercy:

Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me!“ (Job 19:21 ESV)

Job – from Shame to Glory

God’s justice was done in Job’s life when God vindicated him in the sight of all the people of Uz and the East who knew him. Job had charged God wrongly and did not anticipate his end would actually come in prosperity and peace:

“And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days.” (Job 42:16-17 ESV)

God is the governor of all things. He has given us a mind of our own and that mind thinks it knows better. It is arrogant and thinks there is a better way than God knows. Actually God is in control as he can easily destroy the wicked but he chooses not to. The wheat and the tares grow together till the end of time. God knew what he was doing with Job, but Job could not comprehend it.

In spite of Job’s questioning of God’s way of running the world, his friends misrepresentations he forgives them both.

“So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.” (Job 42:9 ESV)

Order and power in creation reflects God’s justice

God had to figure out the creation of colonies of ants and bees, eagles that soar high, horses that men tame and ride on, oxen and rhinos that are built strong, crocs that feeds on fishes and other animals, spiders that web a trap for their prey, the bite of the scorpion and hundreds of other species and their ways. He created a very complicated yet sustainable eco system. God had to figure out how the young of a crow would survive as much as how the young of the frog will survive. There is complexity and wisdom in man’s observation of the world that God created.

When we study the natural world of plants and animals we marvel how they are all fit together and reflect the Maker’s wisdom. But as humans we view justice only from a human perspective i.e. “Why the wicked have dominion”?. Since the wicked rule, there is injustice and chaos or a lack of order.

The ancients believed in God and his justice system by observing the sheer power of creation and the order that existed. Elihu exclaimed:

“Certainly, God will never do anything evil, and the Almighty will never pervert justice. Who put him in charge of the earth? Who appointed him to be over the whole world?” (Job 34:12-13 GW)

One of the key teachings of the bible texts is that justice will be rendered eventually :

“God will repay humanity for what it has done and will give each person what he deserves.” (Job 34:11 GW)

“Certainly, God will never do anything evil, and the Almighty will never pervert justice. Who put him in charge of the earth? Who appointed him to be over the whole world?” (Job 34:12-13 GW)

When we consider the sun and the heat we experience from it at the equators even though it is so far away, consider the “body” of God that created the sun. Now, consider the sun to be poorly designed or spiritually speaking “unjust”. It will burn out the planets. Consider the earth’s rotation to be poorly designed then the earth would clash with other planets, meteors, etc. (chaos or injustice). Now to design a sun and earth and moon and stars and other cosmic substances require planning and calculations to keep them in a stable state. Even if one has to be expelled from the system it has to be done in an orderly way, so chaos can be avoided. If chaos is introduced into the system then also it is for the purpose of overall stability (justice).

Chaos in the universe is spiritually equivalent to wickedness. Since he maintains great precision in the universe to the smallest of atoms he is a God of order and justice. He knows what he has created – be it man or leaf or pigs! He has way too much power and keeps the cosmos  in order.

Now, Job felt that God lacked justice or had ordered things improperly when he looked at his own plight. He saw the chaos in his life and assumed the world was in the same plight as himself. “Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:1-5 KJV)

Job was shown order or (wisdom and justice) in creation or “God’s handiwork” that he can rely on. Job was himself unable to create an universe or even a blade of leaf yet out of his affliction he screamed for justice (i.e for better order in creation) as if injustice was rendered to him.

When God assured Job that there is justice and order in the things He does. He could now feel and see better and beyond his suffering. Having acknowledged that God was just, God does get Job out of his circumstance and exalts him again.

A cruel God or was he “compassionate and merciful”? Was Job’s case just or in just?

Let us look that the story differently from God’s perspective:

  • God was not Job’s enemy (Job thought so).
  • God wanted to double his wealth (Job could only see his loss though he had not trusted in his riches).
  • It is only because Job was special and loved by God, was he chosen for this big task (Job could only see cruelty).

It is beyond comprehension if chaos ruled. While it is true that many countries are in chaos due the dictatorship of wicked men, this is not a new phenomenon. The ancient prophets exclaimed: “Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you.Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.” (Jer 12:1-2 ESV)

It may seem unjust that these people exist. They continue to exist for many reasons:

  • They contrast and train patience and endurance in the Godly.

○     “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” (Isa 10:5-6 KJV)

  • These wicked people are used as instruments of punishment to discipline and execute judgments.

○     “I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.” (Jdg 2:21-22 KJV)

  • etc.

Like a frog lays volumes of eggs to increase the chance of survival of their young (some mother frogs are also known to move on without caring for their young). We observe many exist in this world to perish. But the few that do survive (i.e. spiritually inclined) are the ones that are eventually redeemed from death. The human freewill factor, that is the creation of mini God’s (humans) leads to pride and self reliance. So he needs to produce volumes of such species to get the desired results.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Rom 8:29-30 ESV)

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mat 22:14 KJV)

God’s purpose for Job was to make him a hero. He is admired to this day and stands apart for his endurance and integrity. The process of exalting Job involved humbling him first before giving him the glory. The enemies (satans) of Job could not believe that Job was genuione or truely upright unless they saw proof. God did not choose Eliphaz or Elihu for the task.

Job was not abandoned. God endured with Job waiting for the time to intervene and restore Job to greater fortunes. The story of Job shows that even in suffering and humiliiation there is victory.

God was not cruel to Jesus, but endured with Jesus, to glorify him.

With his disobedient son Israel he was afflicted in their affliction:

“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” (Isa 63:9 ESV)

Cruelty towards Job, Abel and Jesus came about due to human jealousy. “satan” means in the original Hebrew “adversary” or “opponent”.

  • Cain was the adversary (satan) of Abel who out of jealousy killed Abel.
  • The leaders were Jesus’ “opponents (satan)” that plotted the murder of Jesus.
  • The enemy (satan) of Job out of jealousy of his abundance and own stubbornness refused to follow the way of uprightness.
  • As much as Jesus had to suffer to save the sinners, Job also suffered to save satan. Job’s friends (or spiritual opponents) who could never accept his integrity were also satan. We are glad to see that the three friends changed in the end and Job’s prayer was accepted for their redemption.

“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.” (Jas 5:11 KJV)

xxx

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: