Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Story of Job (Job)

The Afflictions of Job

READ Job 1:1

What were Job’s traits?

Perfect.

Upright.

Feared (worshipped/respected) God.

Eschewed (avoided/abstained from) evil.

 

READ Job 1:2-3

What was his standing in the world?

The “greatest” (richest, most powerful) man of the East.

Father of 10 grown children.

 

READ Job 1:6-12

What is being described in heaven?

A regular heavenly council; which tells us a little about how heaven functions.

Interesting to see that it does not operate like a kingly (albeit “benign”) dictatorship.

What does Satan spend his time doing?

Walking the earth, watching and interacting with mankind, within certain bounds set by the Lord.

What does it mean that the Lord has made a “hedge” around Job?

He is protected from Satan (a shield of light that Satan can’t penetrate).

His family and property is also shielded from Satan.

Job has been blessed for his righteousness and industry.

Why would the Lord remove the “hedge” from Job and allow Satan to exercise his power?

This life is a probationary state (see Alma 42:10) – we’re here to be tested.

If Job continues faithful (does not “curse God to His face”), he will not be tempted above that which he can bear (see Alma 13:28), i.e. the Lord is still in control - Satan has bounds.

It is an Abrahamic test…so testing Job to the fullest will actually be to his greatest benefit, as it will enable him to gain the most available light, if he remains faithful (see LoF 6:7).  We’re here to gain light – which is gained in accordance with the “pendulum principle”: you gain light to the degree that you experience darkness (opposition in all things gives context), so if you want a lot of light, you’ll need to experience that same amount of trial.

 

Satan gets right to work and in a single day he destroys Job’s wealth (animals and servants) and kills his children (who Job seems to be extending protection to, see Job 1:5)

READ Job 1:20-22

Why does Job react this way?

Rends his clothes and shaves his head - as a show of contrition for sins that he has not recognized but attributes his losses to.

He understands that riches are not tied to righteousness; he enjoyed the Lord’s blessings but is equally open to suffering afflictions.

The first and second points are somewhat in opposition; Job’s insight (light) is growing as he experiences these things.

He understands that the Lord blessed him with all that he had; and could just as easily take it away again; material blessings are “maya” or transitory – they are related to this world only and are not “real”, i.e. you can’t take them with you (but you can take with you the light you gain from successfully navigating these experiences in faith.

 

READ Job 2:1-7

What do we learn from this exchange between the Lord and Satan?

The Lord already knows about what has befallen Job and about Job’s reaction to it.

 

Job remains faithful, even when his wife asks him why he doesn’t just curse God and die (Job 2:9-10) and when his friends falsely accuse him of offending God through some secret wickedness (Job 3:7-9).

READ Job 10:15-17

What is Job confused about?

The Lord is cursing him but at the same time he is receiving marvelous heavenly manifestations - he is confused by the Lord’s behavior.

He still associates righteousness to earthly blessings; the Lord is teaching him that eternal blessings require the sacrifice of all earthly things.

How would you counsel Job if you were one of his “friends”?

Either to choose to love and trust the Lord…

Or to “cowboy up, you slacker!” – remember that God won’t try you beyond your ability to handle it and He’s a “fourth watch God” anyway.

Or “I’m sure the Lord has a plan for you…” because He loves all His children and is no respecter of persons.

 

 

Job Finds Knowledge Through Sacrifice

READ LoF 6:3-5, 7

What is the Lord counseling Job (us) to do in these verses?

Obtain an assurance from God that the course of life he is pursuing is agreeable to the will of God.

Make these sacrifices salvific by OFFERING the sacrifice, not by “merely” enduring terrible trials (see LoF 6:7).

 

READ Job 13:13-16

What decision has Job made?

He will be true to the Lord regardless of what the Lord (or Satan) does to him – even unto death.

 

READ Job 19:25-26

How does Job achieve the level of faith that will enable him to know God in the flesh?

Through the sacrifice of all earthly things (see LoF 6).



Job as a Type of Christ’s Suffering

READ Alma 7:11-12

What does the phrase “he shall go forth suffering” imply about the nature of Christ’s physical suffering?

This was a “prior” suffering – he suffered physically and emotionally, perhaps before he ever started his ministry and definitely before the Garden and Cross.

Why did the Lord have to suffer these physical afflictions?

So that He will know how to succor us in our infirmities – meaning, while we are going through physical suffering in this life – He stands at the door and knocks, ready to succor us because He’s experienced these things Himself.

 

READ Isaiah 52:14 and 53:2-4, and Luke 4:23

What is Isaiah telling us about Christ’s mortal appearance?

He may have been “marred” or “scarred”, too.

Remember the “Horses of Shiloh” – scarred from battles, races, and labor (carpentry can be dangerous work).

Like Job, whose friends esteemed him smitten of God after viewing his marred body, how did many treat Christ?

Hid their faces.

Esteemed him smitten of God (a sinner).

Despised – hated.

Rejected – not accepted.

 

 

Valiance Revisited

READ Job 39:19-25

How would you describe this horse?

Valiant!

Unafraid of battle.

Ready to be tried and tested.

Eager to be part of something meaningful.

Like he was bred and trained his entire life for this moment.

 

Several posts ago we spoke about Uriah and the valiant men who died with him - Job was also valiant in the testimony of Jesus.

In our day, the Lord may ask you to do and say things that the world will despise and they will become offended.  Be valiant, go forward and do what you have been commanded to do/say with the pure love of Christ in your soul for those who are offended.  Do not fear (respect or worship) men, but respect and worship God.  Live your life fearlessly and valiantly. 

“In your quest for heaven, mount up and ride the horse described in Job 39:19-25 toward the sounds of the battle and not away from it!  Ride towards the Lord and His glory, which is above the noonday sun on Midsummers Day in its terrible radiance, and not away from Him!”

 

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