Monday, July 21, 2014

Job 1:7-12 comments: a hedge about our lives

7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8  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? 9  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12  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.

Satan has free reign to move around the earth. He visits the doings of men and examines them, studies them. He knows us far better than we could ever know ourselves. He can probably quote Scripture with the best and often does, from pulpits across the land.

2Corinthians 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Satan’s response to God’s question about whether or not Satan has noticed Job shows his cynicism regarding human motives. God has protected Job’s family, his possessions, and his work. We ask that God put a hedge of protection about our own families. It is clear here that were it not for that hedge of protection Satan would destroy us at his earliest opportunity.

Most Christians do not understand that we live in a fallen universe because of man’s sin and rebellion.

Romans 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

We learn in this book that even the heavens carry that corruption.

Job 15:15b…yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

Job 25:5b  …yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.                 

And it is because of this sin that death, corruption, and decay entered the world of existence.

Romans 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

So, Christian, quoting verses like the following one, spoken in context as a plea for Israel to return to God, only serves to confuse the babe in Christ who does not know what their Bible says.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Don’t be amazed or confounded when you learn that you have cancer or that a young Christian in the prime of their life is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The amazing thing is not that we get diseases or suffer from physical ailments. The amazing thing and proof of God’s grace is that we don’t get them more often, earlier, and more virulent. If you have lived to be 50, 60, or 70 be amazed and thankful for we live in a world where death reigns supreme.

Look around you. Everyone you know is decaying, speeding toward death. In your own yard the drama of life and death continues daily. If you open your eyes you can see it everywhere. Young people have such expectations of life, of a family, a career, and a home, but were God not to intervene in your life you would die very quickly and, perhaps, very painfully. Mankind has no idea, without reading and believing the Bible, exactly what God is holding back, no matter how bad they think things are now.

Time’s arrow points downward. To paraphrase the Second Law of Thermodynamics, everything falls apart eventually.

So, from a practical, day to day point of view, the Christian must understand how dependent he or she is on God’s grace and mercy for every moment of their lives. This is something the person who does not believe in the God of the Bible would probably not understand.

Christ points the way to the solution to death and, in fact, is that solution.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:15  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Believing in Christ’s resurrection, trusting in Him for eternal life, is the way out of this mess.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God…. 36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    12 ¶  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The doctrine of Adoption is an important consequence of this, the waiting for a secure, eternal, and spiritual resurrection body not governed by the Law of sin and death.

Romans 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

But, as long as we live in this dwelling of sinful flesh we will suffer with it. We need so badly that protection from the processes of fallen nature that only God can provide. We desperately need His mercy every day, every moment.

We live and act temporally but we must think eternally.

Satan is certain that a man with such a blessed life probably takes the credit for it himself and will resent God and even curse Him if God allows it to be hurt in any way. The idea that it’s my life and my stuff and my family prevails upon the Christian mind today. The American who is successful often believes that he did it himself, he’s a self made man or she’s a self made woman. Hardly do we regard the things with which we have been entrusted; possessions and family, even the earth itself, as God’s property on loan to us in stewardship, which is the essence of understanding dominion.

Exodus 19:5  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Psalm 50:10  For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

In verse 12 God gives Satan permission to do to Job what he wishes to do to us but with the limitation of not touching Job’s person. Satan wants to destroy your family and take everything you have. God might let him. Can God trust your faithfulness to Him enough to unleash the Devil on you?

Maybe you’ve had it easy because you’re weak and God knows you can’t handle it. Maybe you’ve had it rough because God is creating a work in you which can accomplish His purposes.

2Corinthians 1:3 ¶  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

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