Wisdom from the book of Job

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Firstly, great emphasis is given that the contents of this series are intended to give Biblical information and insights on some of its contents. They are not intended to scare or offend anyone. It is one’s prerogative to read and never be shoved into one’s throat.

This piece is a simple sharing of bible passages. It doesn’t endorse any specific faith, religion, denomination, system of beliefs or theology aside from those in the bible.

It is in the “exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference” as provided by The Philippine Constitution that this article was made.

If you find them scary, intimidating or offensive, please feel free to take them with a grain of salt and regard them like a badly written movie script.

Oldest book that reeks lots of wisdom and set up other books

Several bible scholars agree that Job is the oldest book of the bible. It will go down as the one which exhibited the most major characters in the bible, portraying major roles, and events happening in different locations.

As such, this book will naturally be expected to reveal wisdom and knowledge on various fronts and have relations with other books in the bible.

Further dissection of its contents will show the book of Job lived up to expectations and was as good as advertised.

It dishes plenty of wisdom and knowledge. Other books, as well as none-biblical resources, confirm and agree with its contents.

Unless stated otherwise, the New International Version was used as biblical reference.

The supernatural is real

Arguably, this is the primary wisdom laid by this book. Observe the major characters it mentions and the characteristics and roles they play.

(1) There is God, the all-powerful, supreme Being who dwells in heaven and pictured to possess great power and authority. He was also pictured to have created several things and done miraculous works.

(2) Then Satan, his less powerful adversary who is crafty and still a subject of God. He introduces false accusations and life-changing events to humans.

(3) Lastly, Job, his wife, and four others who generally represent humans. They were pictured with different personalities, beliefs and behavior.

The supernatural beings and humans interacted with each other in heaven and on earth.

 Other wisdom from Job

Here are examples of wisdom from this book:

Care should be valued highly when when giving spiritual advises

Giving advice of spiritual nature is a though task. The adviser must be certain of the situation at hand and issue the correct remedy or the right response to the case.

Job’s friends assumed Job separated himself from God and were giving fine advice on this point.

Bildad says seek God and ask for mercy: 5If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, 6if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation. 7And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great. Job 8:5-7

Eliphaz insinuates Job is separated from God: 23If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents, Job 22:23

In general terms, these are good advises. Those who have backslid from God need to seek Him back.

However, readers of the book of Job now know that Job has never been separated from God and these are not the right responses on why he was suffering.

God silences believers’ criticisms and challenges against his decision-making, justice and ability to keep His word

This one is for believers, those who believe God exists and yields the power which the bible attributes to Him.

Despite having knowledge of what God is all about and believing in them, some believers such as Job still question and criticize God why he allows believers to experience suffering, injustice, persecution, and other circumstances deemed unfair. They do this despite knowing Satan may have a hand in the circumstances, although Job is excused in this aspect because he didn’t know this when he was suffering.

They still question God’s decision-making and ability to keep His word despite seeing stars on a clear night and all they can do is awe in wonder how they got there.

God is telling these believers to be quiet because he knows what he is doing and He doesn’t have to explain Himself to anybody.

This was the lesson Job had to learn the hard way.

In a nutshell, Job is questioning God’s justice why he was suffering despite being blameless and upright; one who feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1). He was practically begging for an audience with God and present his case to Him. (3If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 4I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. Job 23:3-5)

God grants an audience with Job and responded directly to him. The response, however, was one Job least expected.

Instead of justifying His actions, God demonstrated what kind of power He possess and humiliated Job with “who are you to question me and put me on a witness chair to defend myself? (1Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Job 38:1-2)

God dealt with Job’s flimsy arguments by firing back with questions of His own, all of which do not have nothing to with Job’s case but everything about God’s works and abilities. Among what God said were: 3Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone 7while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:3-7)

Job could not answer any of them.

This was God’s way of putting Job in his rightful place, which Job eventually give in to. (3Then Job answered the Lord: 4“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5I spoke once, but I have no answer –     twice, but I will say no more.” Job 40:3-4)

God is declaring to believers “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8, NIV) and demanding them to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5, NKJV

Satan cannot touch God’s servants unless He allows it

The book illustrated how powerless Satan is against God’s servants. Observe how the devil does not have jurisdiction and authority over Job through this conversation in Chapters 1 and 2:

Satan challenges God to lay a hand on Job: But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.

God responded by letting Satan do it himself: Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.

Satan subsequently causes Job to loss his riches, servants and children but Job remains loyal to God.

Satan issues another deceptive challenge to God when the first attempt failed: A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.

God responds again with the same tone: Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.

Job was then inflicted with multiple terrible diseases but was not killed.

Clearly, Satan could not execute his schemes against Job unless God gave him permission to do so and his actions were limited only to what God allowed.

Satan will sacrifice a lot just to prove a false accusation

The Book of Job is issuing a warning: reflect first before blaming God for your troubles.

This book pointed out Satan can wield some kind of power and direct that to trouble servants of God. It narrates the devil accuses Job of things he had not done and sacrificed multiple lives and properties using the power he was given just to make Job perform his twisted accusation.

The total casualties and collateral damages in Satan’s efforts to prove his accusation: death to Job’s (1) seven sons and three daughters, (2) large number of employees/servants, (3) 7,000 sheep, (4) 3,000 camels, (5) 500 yoke of oxen, (6), 500 donkeys; figuratively losing his wife; and losing his health.

To those who want to make the devil their god and ruler, think hard. Only fools would elect to follow the devil over God.

8Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

9“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

12The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

13One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

16While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

17While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

18While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

1On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 3Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

4“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

6The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

7So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.

9His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

11When Job’s three friends…heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes … to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him;… they saw how great his suffering was. Job 1:8-19; 2:1-13, New International Version

Purpose of the bible

The bible made clear what kind of book is it. It is intended for those who want eternal life. It is not a medical, science, logic or history book. Many tend to forget this.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39-40, New King James Version

It also made its theme clear. While there are many tales narrated by the bible, one thing remains clear from start to finish: Humans caught in a crossfire between powerful adversaries and one of them, a loving God, is offering redemption/salvation.

The bible says the devil rebelled and continues to rebel against God and dragged humans along to be involved in this godly battle he started.

7And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. Revelation 12:7-8, NKJV

…she [Eve] took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband [Adam] with her, and he ate…  And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the Lord God said to the serpent…I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed…. Genesis 3: 6, 14-15, NKJV

12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Luke 8:12, NIV

God’s love and the danger posed prompted Jesus to come to earth and provided everyone a way to get out of the mess.

16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16, NKJV

8He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8, NKJV

These verses encapsulates what the new testament is for. If you are encourage by these verses, you are invited to search the bible deeper and find out more about Jesus and his teachings.

Conservative approach

The presence of spirits and unexplainable events and multiple scientific, medical, and logical reasons that supports the bible and its authors’ credibility project a possibility that God do exists. If you are still unconvinced of the existence of God despite these proofs, being conservative might be the best alternative here.

Accountants describe conservatism as selecting the option that would show the worst possible financial standing of a business entity when two or more unproven alternatives are available. This is to remove the user of the account’s output be exposed to a bigger risk in case the worst possible scenario happens.

As it stands, the risk of not believing in and obeying God far outweighs the benefits of doubting his existence. It might be best to act conservatively, believe what the bible says, until you have absolutely proven that there is indeed no God nor hell.

By: Armando M. Bolislis
If you are inspired and want to give Jesus a try, continue a deeper search of the bible, especially the New Testament. This will show you how to become his disciple. Always ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in your search.

If you feel the want or need to belong to a Christian church or organization, find one that preaches the Word of God and will help you improve your relationship with Christ and lead you to his eternal promises.

The theologies and doctrines about faith contained in this article are solely from God through the bible. The author is just an instrument used to spread the word for the glory of God. The personal opinions and suggestions on issues outside of biblical coverage from the author doesn’t necessarily reflect the stance of Baguio Herald Express management and staff.