The Lord turned the captivity of Job.
How many believe that this is the end of the story of Job. The truth is that this is right at the beginning.. the start of God’s plan. A plan conceived in eternity past.. a plan involving spiritual war that will continue through centuries. A plan that will continue on until all things are consummated in Christ. A plan you and I are part of. A plan to bring forth the eternal fullness of Christ. The battle of all ages will end when Christ is all and in all.
Chronologically.. Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible. Typologically.. Job is the most complete ‘type‘ of the church age believer, and its poetic form demonstrates God’s dealings with the innermost being of man. Other than the deep sufferings of Christ, Who alone is worthy, Job’s experience, suffering, purging and ultimate understanding stands alone – for this is the most detailed records of one of God’s servants in Scripture.
Many only see Job as God’s upright servant, who got caught up in spiritual warfare. Oh but there are so many deeper truths that need to be explored for our learning. Prayer and intercession – praise and chastening are all pivotal cogs in this story. Peter informs us in his letter to the believing church that the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous.. His ears are open to their prayer – but the face of the Lord is against them (that is believers)… but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. This is not evil in the worldly sense – but relates to anything that is not of Christ. Action or attitude in a believer, stemming from the old sin nature needs correction – like Job’s self-righteousness… his wife’s defeat…his friends critical religiosity.
The God of comfort desires to comfort us in all our deeds and distresses – to comfort us by continuously bringing us back to a right standing with Himself – so that He can draw us all into the depth of understanding of Himself that He desires. It is the prayers of the righteous – the bond-slaves of the Lord that He hears.. for His ears are open to their prayer.. the prayers of His servants. And James reminds us that it is the righteous man that availeth much. But a servant can be under the blood, and a recipient of His mercy and grace – but can have God oppose Him and frustrate His prayers, when in wrong standing.
Job’s friends exemplified this in their accusation of Job and their misunderstanding of God. Job’s wife illustrated this as she was overcome by the assaults of the enemy. Job demonstrated this in his own self-righteous attitude to his goodness, for there is none good, no not one – there is none good, only God but He graciously saves those who trust Him. Our righteousness is never of self, but always of Christ.
All characters were saved, but not one was in complete, right-standing with God – and God corrects all such wrong attitudes and actions, that are influenced by the old sin nature. Job is instructed by the Spirit of God in chapter 5 verse 17 of a truth of God, behold, happy is the man whom God corrects, therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.. that is a truth rooted in Job, but a truth, stretching forward throughout the whole word of God.
God’s chastening in Job’s life, as in our own, is not His wrath or punishment, never… but is used of the Lord to draw us into deeper fellowship with Himself, as exemplified, when God turned the captivity of Job – even to the benefit of the religious-minded, accusational friends, as well as to the benefit of his wife, who herself was overcome by the enemy. And if we permit Him, we too will come to a deeper understanding of Him – and like Job will become one of His mighty men.
The living seed of God’s truth was planted in the ancient book of Job. It took root in the Psalms of David – it sprouted in the Proverbs of Solomon and it is seen growing through the words of the prophets. We see it bursting into bud through so many pronouncements of Paul – and it will blossom in your life and in mine, if like Job we submit to His chastening.
Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous – nevertheless afterwards it revealeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness- unto them which are exercised thereby. God’s ways and God’s thoughts and God’s plans are not like ours. Nor do we understand His ways, His thoughts or His plans… but if like Job we trust Him, no matter what.. we will not be disappointed and one day we will understand – things to wonderful for us, which we know not.
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