Tuesday, September 26, 2023


   No 22 Job Never Claimed to Be Sinless
It would be easy to form the opinion that Job never sinned. Job himself proclaims his innocence. Job called on God to weigh him on honest scales because he knew he would come out blameless. Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity (Job 31:6). It would take a lot of confidence to suggest a challenge like this to God. (Most people would not dare such a dare). From the outset, from the very first verse of the book, in fact, it is asserted that Job was blameless and upright. 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 (Job 1:1).
Whatever blameless and upright meant, Job never claimed to be without sin. On the contrary, Job beseeches God to pardon his offenses and forgive his sins. I have sinned (Job 7:20), Job declared. And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? (Job 7:21). He recalled with chagrin the sins of his youth. For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth (Job 13:26).
What do you think is intended by the words thou writest bitter things against me? Job was well aware of the exactness with which God keeps account of our thoughts and motives which move us to action. Some actions are recorded in the Book of Remembrance. Some actions are recorded in the Book of Iniquity. And Job realized his sins were so numerous, it would have required a book to account for them. Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! (Job 19:23). Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book (Job 31:35). Job here exclaims his wish to be able to read what God had written in His book that elicited such a judgment from God against himself.
Job realized he was a sinner. Job realized he had sinned. But he also expressed confidence that God would take care of the sins he had committed. For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? (Job 14:16). What do you think is intended here? Job was aware and well-informed of the Plan of Redemption. And Job knew he had a Redeemer, whom one day he should meet personally and directly. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth (Job 19:25).

The Book of Job Begins and Ends with Sacrifices
Just six verses into the book it says Job sacrificed. And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 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 1:5,6). And ten verses from the end of the book, sacrificing was still being done. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job (Job 42:8).
Job knew the atonement process. The opening chapter tells us that Job’s seven sons held festive gatherings to which they invited their sisters. At the conclusion of those festivities, Job offered sacrifices on their behalf, in case they had sinned (or cursed God) in their hearts. The sacrifices at the end of the book were sin offerings as well. Surely, sacrifices served as a foundation in the experience of salvation in the Book of Job. 
Several conclusions can be made:
             1. Job understood that sin is offensive to God.
             2. He knew that sin could be atoned for through God’s system of sacrifices.
             3. Job knew that the sacrifices themselves were only symbols.
             4. Jesus Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world 
                 (Rev 13:8).
2,000 years before Christ, Job made a number of statements that express his insight into God’s promise of a Redeemer—a Saviour who would be sent from heaven and become an Intercessor on man’s behalf. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth (Job 19:25, as referenced above). 

In the Garden of Eden, after the sin of Adam, the Lord gave a symbol of Christ’s salvation when he clothed Adam and Eve with the skin of a sacrificed animal. God intervened to cover man’s shame then, and, He promised a coming Savior who would cover man's shame for all time. Adam sinned, and the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Not only Adam, but all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). 

Living for 930 years (Gen 5:3), Adam spoke to many generations about God’s promise of a coming Savior. Generation after generation, godly men passed down the promises of God to those after them. We see that in Job’s understanding of a coming Savior. Even though Job was described by God as an upright man who shunned evil, Job was still a man. Regardless of his virtues, he was still a sinner.

Job's Redeemer Liveth
The word redeem can be defined as:
                1) to set free
                2) to ransom
                3) to rescue from sin and its penalties
                4) to fulfill, as an oath or promise 
2,000 years before Christ came into the world, Job spoke of his Redeemer as Someone who is alive (He liveth), and will one day stand upon the earth (at the latter day).
Additionally, Job Speaks of His Resurrection from Death 
                For I know that my redeemer liveth,
                and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
                And though after my skin worms destroy this body,
                yet in my flesh shall I see God:
                Whom I shall see for myself,
                and mine eyes shall behold
(Job 19:25-27).
He talks about his death and the decay of his body. But he also knew that he would someday see his Redeemer with his own eyes. How? Those who have a personal relationship with Jesus and depend on Him for their salvation will be raised to life with Christ. Job yearned for that day when he would see His Redeemer face-to-face. Job could say with confidence, as we must, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day 
(2 Tim 1:12).
Job had that kind of confidence.
I do as well.
Don't you? 
Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.









Tuesday, September 19, 2023



No 21  He Did   I Didn't 
Somebody Changed

And there was a day . . . (Job 1:13). Was it on a Monday? A Tuesday? A Thursday? Well, of course, the Bible doesn’t give the name of the day. But, just for our study, just for illustration’s sake, I’m going to say, it was on Wednesday. This is being done just for the purpose of helping us understand the flow of time in Job’s story.

So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great (Job 2:13). Grief is usually vented in tears. Job cried. So I’m going to call this particular Wednesday―”Weeping Wednesday”―(just for illustration’s sake, and because my high school English teacher taught me the beauty of alliteration―that’s when a number of words in quick succession begin with the same letter).

(1) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them (Job 1:6).
(2) And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking (Job 1:13). How much time elapsed between day #1 above and day #2 is not given. The time between must have been short because short on time is the way Satan runs. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time (Rev 12:12).
The time of day must have been well into the morning, because the oxen were plowing (Job 1:14). Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house (Job 1:18). People in old time typically ate two meals a day. (Three meals a day is a modern invention.) The second meal was eaten in mid-afternoon. So, sometime between mid-morning and mid-afternoon, the evil happened. Job’s three friends recognized all the bad stuff that happened to Job as being evil. Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place (Job 2:11).
The purpose for this exercise is point out the time in a day in the life of Job. Monday was a day as always. Tuesday was a day not unlike all Tuesdays before it. And Wednesday began as all Wednesdays begin. Upon awakening, Job did his personal toiletries, greeted his family, and gathered them for and led them in morning prayer. Breakfast was served. The work-day begins. The oxen are taken into the fields to begin plowing. And then the evil starts.
Nothing in Job’s life has changed. On this Wednesday morning, he was the same righteous man as he was in all days previous. He had not committed some great and secret sin. The Bible says Job was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil (Job 1:1). To eschew evil is to turn from evil and not do evil. On this Wednesday morning, Job was not acting in any self-righteous manner or displaying self-righteous behaviors. God would not call Job righteous if he was self-righteous. A person cannot be both. A person is one or the other. Job had done nothing for which all this evil was deserved. AND HE KNEW THAT! A believer must live his life in such a way that daily, and in any instance of that day, he knows where he stands with God. Job knew he was right with God because that is the way Job wanted to live his life―being right with God. The believer makes that decision and God makes it happen. 
Job lived his life conscious that he was not harboring known sin. Nothing in his life had changed up to this particular Wednesday morning. Job was astounded by the events of this evil day. And his conclusion? In Job's mind, GOD WAS THE ONE WHO HAD CHANGED this Wednesday morning. God was the One who was acting out-of-character. Job had no idea what had caused God to make such a dramatic and obvious turn in His relationship to himself. But Job was assured of one thing: he had not changed in his attitude or behavior toward God.
And at the end of the evil day, Job declared,
               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).
God Said It Wasn't Job
God Himself acknowledged that Job had not changed or done anything differently. 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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause (Job 2:3). God took the blame for destroying Job. We, the reader, know that God didn’t. We know who did. Yet God knew He would have to take the blame for what happened to Job. God said to Satan: You moved Me against him and destroyed him without any reason (2:3 paraphrased). 
Notice how other translations treat this clause:
Christian Standard Bibleto destroy him for no good reason
Darby Translationto swallow him up without cause
Easy to Read Versionto let you destroy, without reason
God’s Wordtrying to provoke me into ruining him for no reason
Legacy Standard Bibleto swallow him up in vain
Lexham English Bibleto destroy him for nothing
New Catholic Bibleto ruin him without the slightest justification
The Voiceto wreck him for no particular reason 
Mystery Mystery Mystery―All is Mystery
From our viewpoint, we who read, there is no mystery. But to Job everything is mystery. We know what is going on. Job doesn’t. Job never knows. We read from the perspective of having critical understanding. Job faces having to make a critical walk in faith. In this sense, the Book of Job is a study of faith. And since it is a study of faith―it becomes a study of God. And God was Job’s concern, as He had changed in his attitude and relationship to him.
Let’s note some of the ways Job perceived a change in God’s attitude toward him.

He Now Hates Me 
Whereas, He used to love me, now He
         hateth me (Job 16:9).
         breaketh me (Job 9:17) 
         multiplieth my wounds without cause (Job 9:17).
         thou dost destroy me (Job 10:8).
         broken me asunder (Job 16:12) 
         shaken me to pieces (Job 16:12).
         destroyed me on every side (Job 19:10).
         kindled his wrath against me (Job 19:11) 
         counteth me unto him as one of his enemies (Job 19:11).
Now He's Cruel to Me
The change in God’s attitude toward him is summarized in his cry, Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me (Job 30:21).
He is Silent―He is Absent―He is Hiding
Whereas God was always present in his life, now God is absent.
        Job’s issue wasn’t just the suffering.
        Job’s issue was that he was suffering alone.
        Job’s issue was the absence of God.
        Job has a hard time accepting God’s silence about it all.
        Job has a hard time accepting God’s absence from it all.
Job Could Not Find God―Job Could Not Talk to God
Job longed to take his case before his Master and talk with Him about it. But he could not find Him. Oh that I knew where I might find Him! (Job 23:3). If Job could talk with God, he knew he would understand what he would say unto me (Job 23:5). Job could accept that evil comes from God (in that, God permits it to come). But Job never expected silence to come from God. Job never expected God to be absent. His real problem was the fact that God was hidden from him. He did not get a response from God when he called (prayed) as he was used to receiving. His feeling of abandonment, separation, alienation, helplessness and loneliness overwhelmed him and made thisthe horrible Weeping Wednesday.
           Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not:
           he passeth on also, but I perceive him not (Job 9:11).
           Wherefore hidest thou thy face (Job 13:24).

           Behold, I go forward, but he is not there;
           and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
           On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him:
           he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him
(Job 23:8,9).

           I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me:
           I stand up, and thou regardest me not (Job 30:20).
The Great Request
The cry of his heart was to be able to talk to God.

          Oh that I might have my request;
          and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
(Job 6:8).

          Surely I would speak to the Almighty,
          and I desire to reason with God
(Job 13:3).

Job was desperate for God to reveal Himself.
Job trusted the Lord
         ―to listen to his concerns (Job 23:4)
         ―to offer him a response (Job 23:5)
         ―take seriously his plea for justice (Job 23:6)
         ―hear his arguments (Job 23:7)
Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book (Job 31:35). Job was wanting God to write down all His complaints with himself. Surely, there must be a lot of them―enough to fill a book! Then Job could look at all the things God had written for him to look at.
Little did Job realize that a book would be written. And the name of the book would be called “Job.”
I want to have such trust in God as Job. Don't you? 
God Did Not Forsake Job
God leads His children by a way that they know not, but He does not forget or cast off those who put their trust in Him. He permitted affliction to come upon Job, but He did not forsake him (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 129),
Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.













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