Tuesday, October 31, 2023


  No 27 The Word from His Mouth

Job responded to his wife’s words―Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die (Job 2:9) in a kindly manner. His response is built on respect and love for his wife. He said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh (Job 2:10). He did not call her a foolish woman. He said she only spoke as a foolish woman speaks. I hear kindness in his response (as indicated in my following paraphrase); “Sweetheart, I know you so well. You’ve been my loving wife all these many years. I know your heart. But right now, in this moment, you are talking like a foolish woman.”
When Job’s wife made the impious statement in Job 2:9, Job did not immediately run out to get his lawyer to write up divorce papers from Mrs Job. In Job’s mind (verse 10) they are still a couple. Notice: But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we . . . They are still a “we” in Job's view.
Job and Mrs Job
We established in the last post that while Mrs Job has generally been viewed as a bad person by many Bible students, I look for a fairer view than that. She is not an evil woman. She is, quite possibly, suffering even more than her husband Job himself. Job had lost all his wealth and his ten children. She lost those as well, and additionally, she lost Job, you might say. She cannot care for him as a loving wife would want to do. He is not even living in their home, it seems, for he is outside town sitting in ashes at the city dump.
This, in itself, may even have been a feature of their committed love. He may have chosen to quarantine himself from her for fear she would catch the mysterious and unknown malady that he has. At the least, he can console himself that “she doesn’t have it.”
Job Continues
Job’s reply continues: What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 2:10). Please allow my paraphrase to continue. It is as if Job is saying, “Honey, shall you and I, shall we, receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil from Him as well?” 
It may be in the realization of her deep pain that he says to her, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” My paraphrase continues: “Haven’t we not received so many good things from Him? We have had a wonderful life together. Our home together. Our kids together. We accepted those good things from God joyfully. Shall we not accept the other side of goodness from Him just as joyfully? Let’s keep our faith together as well.”
The Other Side of Goodness
We want the good life from God. We balk when it is not so good. We want the rain to water our crops. Sometimes the rain is so plenteous it floods. We love the cool breeze on a hot summer day. Sometimes the wind is so strong it blows things down. This takes us to the issue in Job. It’s easy being a Christian when things are swell. It’s easy following God when He takes us where we want to go. It’s wonderful having no pain. But God is much too loving to let us determine what is best for us. God is much too wise to let us think we know everything we need to know. 
Job is Ahead of His Times
Job asks his wife a simple question. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? This question becomes the battle ground for the rest of the Book of Job. This question is asked in the chapter 2. The next 40 chapters (the remainder of the Book) are involved in the answering of this question. Job will work on the answer. Eliphas will offer the solution. So will Bildad and Zophar. Elihu gets involved and offer his views. God, even God, gets involved in the answering.
But this is ahead of where we are. We will explore these later. The first question for us to answer is where did Job get his spiritual stuff? He had no Bible to turn to (there was no Bible). Job had not learned his truths because he was old and wise. His friend Eliphas may have been twice Job’s age (and Eliphas will remind Job of this fact). What Job had learned was not necessarily truths learned from prior experience with pain. Pain had not been his teacher. Trouble was not his acquaintance. Question. Where, then, did Job learn these precious and valuable insights? Answer. He received them from the Same Source as you and I. He learned from God Himself. 

Job and God
From the outset, let’s establish Job’s relationship with God. This is crucial. This has every bearing for our lives as it had for his life. What does Job tell us? Here are his words: But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
Job was very clear on the doctrine of "gold-i-fying." He knew that faith must be tried. Gold becomes precious when it is pure―when it has been refined. Faith becomes reliant when it has been tried. And that is the course God has set out for him to take. And God and Job both knew that he is on course―He knows the way that I am taking. My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined (Job 23:11).
Job’s life was following the path God had set out for him to travel. Job is saying, "My feet are holding to the steps He has ordered. I am keeping His ways. I have never said 'No' to anything that God has ever wanted me to say 'Yes' to. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:12). 

Job said, "I have never turned aside from keeping His commandments." [Remember―the giving of the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai had not yet occurred.] Job was accustomed to hearing God from His own lips. God was his teacher―His Spirit was his Guide. And Job had lived a life of obedience―never went back. The things that God had shown him―the things that God had told him from His very own mouth―was more important to him than his necessary food. That food he needed. That food his body required. Necessary food is the food one needs to sustain physical life. It’s just what we need to stay alive. No more than that. This means Job valued the Word of God more than life itself. Job was committed to obeying God even it it meant death to himself (like not eating necessary food). Job valued the words from God's mouth that much. He prized with his very life the words from God's lips.

To esteem something means to regard it highly. To value it. To cherish it. To guard it. To protect it. To lay it up in store. Job lived his life knowing that someday―somehow―a crisis might come into his life. He lived with that in view. And he prepared accordingly (as we should). He hinted at this in Job 2:10: Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

What?  Are we to think that life will always be a easy and a bed of roses? Are we to think that trouble will never come our way? We cannot expect that a crisis will never come. In modern parlance, Job was a "prepper." He was not one to lay in store food, bread, gold, silver, guns and ammo in his underground bunker. Job did lay up the Word of God―he laid up the Word of God in his heart.

Just Like David
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
The only way that Job could have stood in that hour (Chapter 1 and 2) is because God had prepared him for the crisis. God had hedged him in. God provided spiritual strength which Job treasured and stored in his heart. That Word from God's lips was more precious than life itself. The Holy Spirit had taught him to patiently continue in the way of the Lord. He was prepared for crisis of any sort. And when crisis did come, it was no surprise. Job held on to his integrity.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job 2:10 In all this did not Job sin with his lips.  
What God Waits For
God is waiting for a church full of Job-like people today. God is waiting for a people who will stand before the rest of the on-looking world, and say, in solemn vow to Him, I will. A people who will say
You can take my house.
You can take my land.
You can take my Medicare.
You can take my Social Security.
You can take my health.
You can take my life.
Take everything, but give me Jesus.

I have to ask myself―do I have that kind of relationship with God? Have I purposed this in my heart in my heart as did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego―that I would rather die than dishonor God?

Do I value more than anything to have God, as a Friend, come to my tent, and share companionship with me and tell me that I am His own? And that I can tell Him He is my own?

That is my prayer, and I pray, as well, that it may be yours. Do you wish the same for yourself?

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









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