Job’s Suffering – More Refreshing
Truth for a Change
by Pastor John Hamel
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was
Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and
eschewed evil ... SO WENT SATAN FORTH FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND
SMOTE JOB with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” (Job
There have been volumes of religious commentary written based
upon erroneous tradition, confusion and misunderstanding which have all
come out of the Book of Job. It seems that every “religious” teacher
is looking for proof that the Almighty was guilty for every unfortunate
occurrence in the life of Job.
Religious teachers who simply want to
believe that the Almighty is the Source of sickness and calamity seem to
have a field day lifting verses out of context from this precious Book of
Unfortunately, there are many who are all too willing to
just sit back and accept what others have falsely taught concerning Job’s
In this, our fourth and final study on the subject of
Christianity and suffering, we will discover from the Bible exactly who it
was that smote Job mercilessly and how this was able to happen.
Before doing so, we must lay some groundwork.
Crucial Keys to the Book of Job
“Then Job answered the Lord, and said … THEREFORE HAVE I
UTTERED THAT I UNDERSTOOD NOT; things too wonderful for me, which I knew
not.” (Job 42:1-3)
First and foremost, if we are going to understand what happened
to Job, we need to realize that Job did not have a Bible.
Did you get
that? He did not have a Bible. It was not possible for Job to
read the Book that was named after him in order for him to find out exactly
what was going wrong in his life.
The Book of Job was not written until
after the unfortunate events of Job’s life had transpired. Because of
Job’s ignorance of God’s will, he made some pretty ridiculous statements
about the Almighty. He even admitted to having done so by the time
all was said and done in the end. You will see that later.
Second, because Job had no Bible to refer to, it was impossible
for him to obtain any sort of revelation concerning the character and the
nature of the Almighty.
Job actually thought God was “terrible,” an
attribute that we would reserve for Godzilla or some other fire breathing
fictitious movie character. (Job 37:22) This also caused him to make
some outlandish statements about the Almighty, which he just did not
realize were wrong.
Keep in mind that Job was suffering horribly in
his body and in his soul, while trying to figure out where God was in the
midst of it all.
Third, it is crucial that Believers understand that all
Scripture is not inspired by God. Now, do not blow a gasket
I will explain myself. The Apostle Paul said that all
Scripture “is given by inspiration of God,” but he did not say that all
Scripture is inspired by God. (2Timothy )
For example, Ananias and Sapphira
lied to Peter and died prematurely because of it. (Acts 5:1-11) The
Almighty did not inspire Ananias and Sapphira to
lie and die. However, the Almighty did inspire Luke, the physician,
to record what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.
There is a difference.
Almighty God did not inspire Job to speak the
horrendously wrong things about Him that he did. The Almighty simply
inspired the author of the Book of Job to record Job’s wrong
So keep in mind as we study that Job had no Bible to guide him,
he had no revelation of the will, the nature or the character of the
Also keep in mind that everything STATED by Job and his
religious buddies in his book, did not necessarily come forth by Divine
However, everything in the Book of Job was RECORDED by
inspiration of the Almighty.
Recognizing this simple fact alone is a
giant key to properly interpreting the Book of Job.
Had It In Big Time for God's Man, Job
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was
Job; and THAT MAN WAS PERFECT AND UPRIGHT, AND ONE THAT FEARED GOD, AND
ESCHEWED EVIL.” (Job 1:1)
Job was the son of Issachar and the grandson of Jacob. (Genesis
46:13) His family had been presenting blood offerings to the Almighty
since the time of Adam and Able and long before the Law of Moses. (Genesis
No doubt, Job had learned from his father and
grandfather to hate evil and to make offerings to cover his sin, keeping
himself and his family in good standing with the Almighty. Satan
would have hated him for this.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present
themselves before the Lord, and SATAN CAME ALSO AMONG THEM. 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. 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?” (Job 1:6-8)
Again, we must always remember when reading the Book of Job
that Job could not read what we can. He did not know that the
Almighty was bragging on him a little bit.
Possibly, when Satan stood
before the Almighty, he was taunting Him because most of His
creation had run amuck and for the most part was not serving
Him. It is possible that this is the reason why the Almighty said, in
essence, “Maybe so, but Job is serving Me. Job respects Me and he
hates evil more than most.”
Of course, Satan being one who cannot
control his tongue had something to say about that as well.
“THEN SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, DOTH JOB FEAR [Hebrew
“yaré” means “revere”] GOD FOR NOUGHT? 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.” (Job 1:9-10)
Is not it interesting to realize that Satan knew exactly Who had blessed the work of Job’s hands and increased his
substance? I am sorry to say that Satan is smarter in this area than
some self-proclaimed Bible scholars who imply that Satan is the blesser and God is the damner.
“But put forth thine hand now, and
touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 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.” (Job 1:11-12)
A more literal translation of Satan’s comment, “Put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will
curse thee …” is “Remove Your hand of protection from him and all he has
and he will curse You.”
Notice how the Almighty responded, “Behold (look and see), all that he hath is in thy power (possession); only
upon himself put not forth thine
The Almighty was telling Satan that Job was already in his
possession for some reason, and apparently there was not a whole lot the
Almighty could do about it at the moment.
However, He did tell Satan,
in essence, “You may be able to persecute him for the time being, but you cannot kill him and you better not.”
Apparently Made a Fatal Mistake Somewhere
“And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his
day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with
them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about,
that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and
offered 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
DID JOB CONTINUALLY.” (Job 1:4-5)
Somehow Job had fallen into the hands of Satan or the Almighty
would not have stated, “Behold, all that he hath is (already) in thy power…”.
Certainly the Almighty would not have placed a
hedge of protection around Job through his animal blood offerings only to
turn around and cruelly tear it down. This would not be in keeping
with the nature and character of the Almighty.
children were a bunch of Old Testament “party animals.” Job was
clearly concerned that his children were sinning against God while they
were partying, so he offered burnt offerings on their behalf. But
apparently he made one drastic mistake.
Instead of having confidence
or faith in his offerings for his children, he continued to offer the same
sacrifices over and over as if they were not working. He
was operating in fear. Fear and unbelief knocked Job’s faith
hedge down then just like fear and unbelief can knock your faith hedge down
Satan used Job’s fear to put the big sting on him.
“He that diggeth a pit shall fall
into it; and WHOSO BREAKETH AN HEDGE, A SERPENT SHALL BITE HIM.”
Fear will knock your faith hedge down every time you yield to
it, because it is the exact opposite of faith. (2Timothy 1:7) Fear
motivates Satan in the exact same way that faith motivates the
God is not pleased when we do not operate in faith because He despises what operating in
fear will do to us. (Hebrews 11:6) It will knock our faith hedge down
and the serpent will move against us even as he moved against Job.
The serpent, of course, is Satan. We find this fact in the Book of
Genesis. (Genesis 3:1-24) As a matter of fact, it is here in the
first chapter of Job that the serpent is first called “Satan.”
Once Job got into fear over his children, the problem began to
compound because he did not control his fear. Some of his children
were then kidnapped. His servants were murdered. Lightning
struck his sheep and marauders stole his camels. A great wind blew in
from the wilderness collapsing his home, killing all who remained with the
exception of himself and his wife. (Job 1:13-19)
Job’s fear began to
spin out of control, spewing forth from his mouth. Speaking his fear
was the worst thing he could have done. (Proverbs 18:21; Matthew 12:33-37;
Mark -24) As he
continued to speak fear-filled words, Satan continued to viciously smite
and afflict him.
“For THE THING WHICH I GREATLY FEARED IS COME UPON ME, and THAT
WHICH I WAS AFRAID OF IS COME UNTO ME.” (Job )
The Bible clearly reveals that Job’s fear was allowing all of
this. Then, as if things were not bad enough, Job starts making
ridiculous, unbelieving statements like, “Even if He answered my prayer for
help, I would not believe it was Him because He breaks and wounds people
without reason.” (Job 9:16-17)
No wonder Job’s sacrifices were no
longer working. He has now gone from offering the same sacrifices
over and over in unbelief, to railing on the Almighty for what he has done
Job even accused the Almighty of digging up the sins of his
youth and punishing him for them decades after
the fact. (Job ) He cried
out to his friends, begging for their pity, wrongly stating, “…the hand of God hath touched me.” (Job )
His religious friends had no pity on him at all either, because
religion knows no pity. Zophar, the Naamathite, laid into him with a wicked, religious
tirade, accusing Job of being a slumlord who was suffering the curse of
God. (Job 20:1-28)
Eliphaz, the Temanite, accused him of being a backslidden, merciless
hypocrite who was being punished for being a cheapskate with the poor. (Job
Bildad, the Shuhite,
began preaching about how no one can have right standing with the Almighty anyway
because all people are worms. He said that even the stars and
the moon are unclean in the sight of a moody, cruel God. (Job 25:1-6)
This is exactly what religious people ignorantly spout forth today when they see
someone suffering persecution from the devil.
To make matters even worse, Job responded to the religious,
verbal beating he had just taken from his “friends” by self-righteously
crying out, “I have no sin. I am innocent. The Almighty is
making all of this up so that He can punish me as
an enemy.” (Job 33:9-10)
Are you beginning to see just some of Job’s hedge-busting
mistakes? You will find no less than 75 false accusations brought
against the Almighty in the Book of Job. I counted them. That
simply is just not a good report.
(Job 1:21-19:13; 23:6-30:22)
Both Job and his friends made many uninspired comments about
the Almighty, which He in turn inspired to be recorded in the Bible.
Religious teachers take these uninspired sayings just because they find
them in the Bible and teach them as if they were doctrinal truths.
a matter of fact, there are three primary uninspired sayings from the Book
of Job, which are commonly used by religious teachers to blame the Almighty
for what Satan did to Job. I call them …
Religious Big Three"
“And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked
shall I return thither: THE LORD GAVE, AND THE
LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job )
This is the first of “the big three.” Religious people love this verse because it is the perfect opportunity to
blame the Almighty for everything that goes wrong in their lives or so they
When the Almighty is able to bless them with a new home and
the devil tries to steal it from them, they will say, “Oh well, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh
away. He must be trying to teach me something.”
At that point, because they do not realize that the New
Testament reveals they do not have to put up with the devil taking their
home or anything else from them, they sit back and just let Satan do it,
blindly, ignorantly blaming it on our loving, giving God. (Isaiah 32:18;
John 16:23; James 4:7)
“While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,
THE FIRE OF GOD IS FALLEN FROM HEAVEN, and hath burned up the sheep, and
the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”
This is the second of the religious big three. Although
the Holy Spirit inspired it being written in the Bible, He did not inspire
Job’s servant to say it. Job’s servant may have believed that God sent
fire to destroy the sheep and the servants but he was wrong.
Bible says that Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and sent the
fire that destroyed the sheep and the servants. (Job )
Job’s servant’s ignorant statement is highly favored by the
insurance industry because it spares them having to pay out on large
catastrophic natural disasters. They hang all responsibility for
these disasters on the Almighty by referring to them as “acts of
God.” By defaming His character they get to keep more of the “silver
and gold” that He has been nice enough to allow them to operate with.
(Psalm 50:10-12; Haggai 2:8)
Satan is the prince of the power of the
air. He is the one who is behind “natural disasters.” He is the
one who sent lightning down on Job’s property. (1Kings -12; Mark -41; John ; 2Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians
“But he [Job] said unto her [his wife], Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we
receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this
did not Job sin with his lips.” (Job )
This is the third of the religious big three. When Job’s
wife saw what happened to her husband and her family, she suggested that he
just curse the Almighty and let Him go ahead and kill him for it.
“Just go ahead and get it over with,” so to speak.
response was, “We receive good from the Lord.
Who are we to say He can’t bring evil as well?” Job did not
know that this statement was untrue. He believed it with all of his
heart. This is why it was not considered sinful for him to make the
God does not hold us accountable for what we do not
know. Job did not have a Bible like we do and he was not responsible
for what he did not know.
We do have Bibles and we know that only good things come from
the Almighty and we should never preach, teach or accuse Him otherwise
based upon an uninspired statement Job made in ignorance and in the midst
of horrifying suffering. (John 10:10; Acts 10:38; James 1:17)
Job got into sin only after he started saying things that he
knew were wrong based upon his personal experiences with the Almighty, as
well as what he was taught by his patriarchs.
For example, “God is
punishing me now for things I did as a stupid kid.” (Job ) Or, “I am free from sin.
Doesn’t He realize that?” (Job 33:9) And “God is making all this
stuff up ‘cause He needs a whipping boy.
Looks like I’m it.” (Job 33:10)
Anybody who is looking for unjustifiable reasons to blame the
Almighty for Job’s suffering will indeed find them throughout the Book of
Job, as long as they are willing to spin and distort uninspired sayings,
taking them out of context and settling for far less than the Bible truth.
Bible Sets the Record Straight
“And THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, BEHOLD, ALL THAT HE HATH IS IN
THY POWER; only upon himself put not forth thine
hand. … SO WENT SATAN FORTH FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND SMOTE JOB
with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” (Job 1:12; 2:7)
These two verses of Scripture from the Book of Job are as
inspired of the Almighty as you can possibly get.
emphatically declares that it was Satan who smote Job because he managed to
get himself out from under the Almighty’s protective
umbrella. He did this by getting into fear over his
children and by not trusting the Almighty to honor his blood
His problem was further compounded by the fear filled
words that rocketed out of his mouth. Job’s fear filled words were
like heat seeking missiles that found their way right back to his own
Job was thinking wrong, he was talking wrong and he was acting
wrong. He was guilty in thought, word and deed.
was guiltless in the matter. The only reason someone would continue
to blame Him for Job’s tragedy and sickness, or their own, after completing
this study, is because they do not want to be wrong.
If this is what you have been doing, Almighty God is not angry with you. It is all right to be
wrong. But it is not all right to stay wrong when you discover from
the Bible that you are wrong.
You can do what Job finally did and God
will turn your situation around, too.
Dawn Finally Breaks over Marblehead
“Then the Lord answered Job … WHO IS THIS THAT DARKENETH COUNSEL BY WORDS
WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE?” (Job 38:1-2)
Almighty God spoke up in the midst of all of that religious
bawling and squalling and proceeded to thoroughly rebuke Job.
Almighty asked, “Who do you think you are, putting an unrighteous mark on
Me by mouthing off about things of which you know absolutely
Job slammed on the brakes. Finally he shut up long enough
This was just one of over 130 questions that the Almighty
fired off at Job for the next four chapters. I counted them.
Guess what? Job could not answer even one of them. Job did the
smart thing. Realizing he was outgunned, he came out with his hands
up, praising God. He gushed forth with repentance.
“THEN JOB ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID … THEREFORE HAVE I
UTTERED THAT I UNDERSTOOD NOT; things too wonderful for me, which I knew
not. … I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. WHEREFORE I ABHOR MYSELF, AND REPENT IN
DUST AND ASHES.” (Job 42:1,3,5-6)
The Lord told Job that if he would pray for his
religion-hardened friends, He would bless him with twice as much as he had
before this whole tragic ordeal began to unnecessarily unfold. Job
did as the Almighty instructed, praying for those
other three “fools.”
God then blessed Job with 14,000 sheep, 6,000
camels, 1,000 oxen, 1,000 donkeys, seven sons and three daughters. (Job
The Almighty is
the Blesser and Satan is the damner.
More than once when I have been in the presence of someone who started
saying, “God damn this, God damn that and God damn the other thing” I have
opened my mouth stating, “Glory to God. Bless His Holy Name.
He’s a good God.”
Almost always they immediately ask, “What in the
world are you doing?”
I respond, “I’m just getting equal time.
He’s not the damner. He’s the Blesser.”
This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “The thief
(Satan) came to kill, steal and destroy. However, I have come that
you might have abundance of life to the point of overflowing.” (John
This revelation of God’s goodness is a revelation that the people
in the Old Testament did not have. However, we do have it in the New
Testament and we are responsible for it.
People who believe like that do not
realize it but what they are saying is Satan is more merciful than our
loving Father God.
Ignorant Preachers stand up in pulpits around the world
declaring that sickness, disease, tragedy, broken cars, lost jobs and such
things are the inheritance of Believers who must
endure them in order to be perfected.
As we have seen in this
four-part study, Christians will experience testing, persecution,
injustices and trials for what they believe.
But Christians are not required
to suffer in sin, sickness, disease or poverty for any reason. These
are all curses of the law from which Christ has redeemed us. (Galatians
When I was a child my earthly Father did not lead me into sin,
sickness, disease or poverty to teach me lessons.
In the same way,
our Heavenly Father will not lead us into sin, sickness, disease, poverty
or tragedy to teach us lessons.
He will teach us through His Word.
teach us lessons as we go through the trials of life, but He does not send
trials to teach us. (1Corinthians )
To use “Paul’s thorn” as an excuse to stay sick is to grieve the
heart of the Healer. (Exodus 15:26; Matthew 8:16-17)
To use “Job’s
suffering” as an excuse to blame the Almighty for tragedy and unnecessary
suffering is to trample underfoot the Blood of Jesus.
James used Job
as an example of one who endured, repented and was healed, not one who was
weak, sick or unbelieving. (James 5:11-18)
If you really want to be
like Job, repent for falsely accusing God. Job’s suffering only
lasted nine months. There can be an end to yours as well, if only you believe.