Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt
Job 42:5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Many people that have read the Bible, have lost their confidence in God's love when they read the story of Job. If you are a reader of the Bible, you may have read Job and have had these questions. "I have read Job and know that he was doing the will of God, and yet God let Satan take everything away from him. It looks to me like God allowed Satan to strip Job of every blessing. Am I seeing this wrongly? It seems the closer you get to God, the more attacks God lets you experience.”
If you read the story of Job, you see that he was a man that did his best to follow God's will. Job 1:1 says, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil." It is not saying that Job was sinless. No man has lived sinless before God. What it is saying is that Job loved God and did his best from a pure heart to live upright before God. As you read you see that Job was greatly blessed. You will also see that he only knew what he had heard about God. He didn’t know God well. You can also see a flawed side of Job's life if you look closely. You can see that Job had a great fear. He had many children that didn't hold the same values that Job did. Job's life represented hard work and a deep affection for God. You get the impression that his children thought more about partying than anything else. They may have been the spoiled rich kids. Job 1:4 says, "And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them."
This had become a fear to Job. How do I know? Because Job out of his fear and concern (something in his imagination but not known for fact) was concerned that they were sinning against God and so he pulled them together to offer up sacrifices for their sins each day. Job 1:5 says, ”So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer 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 Job did regularly.”
How would you like it if your mom or dad pulled you in each morning and said, "Come here. I need to offer up a sacrifice for you because I’m afraid that somehow you sinned against God last night." What would that do to your self-esteem? Do you think it would draw you closer to God or might you finally say, "Alright, if Dad thinks this is what I'm always doing, I might as well do it!”?
Job lived in fear of his children displeasing God. He personally lived his life upright before God but he also lived with great fear that because of the way his children lived, great destruction was going to come upon their lives. Guess what? It did. Why? Because the force of fear empowers Satan. God had to release Satan's hand because Job's faith - which was really his fear, had belief that something bad was going to happen. How do I know that? Because after all Job's calamity came upon him, Job made the statement that revealed what was in his heart all along. Job 3:25 reveals his heart saying, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job literally had faith in this fear!
The story continues with Job and his friends making statements about God that they imagined but were not all true. God was patient to listen but finally corrected them all. He had Job pray for His friends who erred in their perception of Himself and Job, and then He corrected Job Himself. After God's correction of how Job perceived him, Job made this statement to God in Job 42:3. To God he said, "You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job now understood his perception of God was faulty and he humbled himself and repented. He continued to say, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5-6)
Job lived for and had faith in God. But, it was a blind faith. He knew there was a God because he had heard of Him. He knew to live upright before Him but He didn't really know Him or His character. Consequently, his fears that God might destroy his children and take away his blessings opened the door for Satan to come in and work destruction in his life.
God is good. He never changes. We always see that. That's why we see God restore Job's blessing to him at an even greater level. By this point in Job’s life, Satan could no longer steal them again because Job had now learned some things about God. Job came to that reckoning that so many Christians need to. We cannot figure God out with our imagination and decide what He is like. God reveals who He is to us by His Spirit and through His Word. What He reveals is the foundation of our faith and what we are to believe. As today's Fresh Manna says, Job could finally say, My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
If you fear that God is going to come against you because of your mistakes and sins, slam that door. But also, don’t give place to Satan attacking you through sin. Live your best for God, resist Satan’s lies and fears that God is going to get you, and praise God who loves you so much. He gave you His most valuable and precious love - Jesus! He’s out to love you, help you, and build you up!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.