Tuesday, July 11, 2023


 No 10  A Test and a Demonstration

Satan’s insinuations (made in Job Chapters 1 and 2) would contaminate the universe if they were not checked. One such insinuation was that Job was serving God for his own selfish reasons. Another was that God was paying Job (bribing him) for his loyalty. The implication was that Job's supposed integrity was merely a business transaction.

Satan had planted serious and evil questions in the minds of his listeners. Jesus as Michael must act. To do nothing would jeopardize the universe. Confidence in God and His ways would be destroyed. Job’s loyalty must either be proven or disproved. Job must be shown to have integrity or no integrity at all. A test was required. Nothing short of a demonstration of Job’s integrity was demanded.

The Test―The Demonstration
The test to prove whether Job is loyal or not loyal must meet certain and specific parameters:
(1) The demonstration must be exactly and precisely to the point.
(2) The test must be thorough.
(3) The experiment could only be done one time.
(4) There would be no repeat run of the test.
(5) It was either pass or fail―no in-betweens.
(6) The test must be reliable.
(7) The test must be truthful.
(8) The test must be meaningful.

So―to ensure the reliability, truthfulness and meaningfulness of the test, certain and specific criteria must be considered:
(1) Job must not know the circumstances of the test.
     Job must not suspect the purpose of the test.
     Job must not know the plot.
     Job must be totally oblivious to what’s going on.
     Job must be totally oblivious to the conversations occurring in heaven..
     Job must know that God had “un-hedged” him.
     Job must not know why God had “un-hedged” him.
(2) The circumstances must have the appearance as coming from God.
      The onset must be rapid―as only God could do it.
      The severity must be extreme―as only God could do it.
      The duration must be prolonged―as only God could do it.

God is not trying to break down Job’s faith.
God is not trying to destroy Job’s faith.
God is trying to demonstrate Job’s faith.
God is trying to validate Job’s faith.

Job did nothing wrong to deserve the test.
The demonstration was not to make Job a better person.
Job was completely unaware of the goings on in heaven.
All Job ever did was worship God from the depths of his heart and the soul of his being.

Job would be going through the demonstration for God’s benefit.
It was not for Job's benefit.
If the demonstration should bring on suffering, it would be suffering for God and on His behalf.
Job’s character did not need vindication―God had already vindicated his character.
It was God and His ways and doings that were on trialnot Job.
Job would be tested in such a manner as to vindicate God’s character.
Job would be tested in such a manner as to validate God’s operation of the universe.
Satan’s argument was that no one loved God for love’s sake― Doth Job fear God for nought? (Job 1:9). Satan’s argument was that God rewards His followers for following Him―Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 1:10,11). Without these rewards and blessings, no one would follow God.

The Challenge
God challenges Satan to test the truth of his insinuations.
Satan challenges God to prove the truth of His assertions.
God accepts the challenge.
God agrees to the test.
God gives Satan permission.
With that permission, Satan destroys Job’s prosperity, family and happiness.
The demonstration was for the purpose of discovering what was the true basis of Job’s devotion.

Satan Sets Out to Destroy―The First Round of Calamities
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 (Job 1:12).
After the destructions:
God did not abandon His assertions.
Job did not abandon his loyalty.
Satan did not abandon his insinuations.
On God’s part, there was admission of victory.
On Satan’s part, there was no admission of defeat.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said,
            Naked came I out of my mother's womb,
            and naked shall I return thither:
            the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
            blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (Job 1:20-22).

Satan Sets Out to Destroy―The Second Round of Calamities
Satan’s insinuations go further: And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 2:4,5).
Satan says, “There is nothing a man would not give to save himself.”
God goes further, “There is nothing you are limited in doing except do not take his life.” And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life (Job 1:6).
On God’s part, there was no failure of nerve.
On Satan’s part, there was no failure of nerve.
On Job’s part, there was no failure of nerve.
So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown (Job 2:7). In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 1:10).

The Demonstration Closes―The Test is Over
Satan never again personally appears in the Book of Job. Job begins the process of "picking up the pieces." While Job cannot feel it, God was there helping him to pick up the pieces and put his life and world back together.

Job's Experience Can Help Us with Our Trials
One of the Christian's hardest tasks is to believe God is there when we feel like He isn't.
One of the Christian's hardest lessons to learn is to believe God is fair when we feel like He wasn't.

I want the experience of trusting God so deeply that neither discouragement, despondency, affliction or trial can quench it. Don't you?

Five Great Tests 
The story of Job is one of the five great tests which God has employed to teach essential truths of salvation. The next post will consider these FIVE GREAT TESTS.

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

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