Suffering & the Will of God 4

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 1:1; 2:7)


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 the Bible.  


Unfortunately, there are many who are all too willing to just sit back and accept what others have falsely taught concerning Job’s experiences. 


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.


Three 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 here.  


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 3:16


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 statements. 


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 Almighty.  


Also keep in mind that everything STATED by Job and his religious buddies in his book, did not necessarily come forth by Divine inspiration.  


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. 


Satan 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 3:21; 4:1-8)  


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.




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 hand.”  


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.”  


Job 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.  


Obviously Job’s 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 today.  


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.” (Ecclesiastes 10:8) 


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 Almighty.   


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 11:22-24)  As he continued to speak fear-filled words, Satan continued to viciously smite and afflict him.  


In essence, Job was giving him authority to do so through the very words of his mouth.   




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 to himself. 


Job even accused the Almighty of digging up the sins of his youth and punishing him for them decades after the fact. (Job 13:26)  He cried out to his friends, begging for their pity, wrongly stating, …the hand of God hath touched me.” (Job 19:21


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 22:1-9) 


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.  


As 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 …


"The 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 1:21)


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 think.  


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.” (Job 1:16)


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.  


The Bible says that Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and sent the fire that destroyed the sheep and the servants. (Job 1:12


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 19:11-12; Mark 4:35-41; John 14:30; 2Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:1-3)    


“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 2:10)


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.  


Job’s uninspired 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 statement.  


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 13:26)  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.


The 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.  


The Scripture 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 offerings.  


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 tailpipe.


Job was thinking wrong, he was talking wrong and he was acting wrong.  He was guilty in thought, word and deed.  


The Almighty 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.


The Dawn Finally Breaks over Marblehead




Almighty God spoke up in the midst of all of that religious bawling and squalling and proceeded to thoroughly rebuke Job.  


The Almighty asked, “Who do you think you are, putting an unrighteous mark on Me by mouthing off about things of which you know absolutely nothing?” 


Job slammed on the brakes.  Finally he shut up long enough to listen.  


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 42:10-13)  


Talk about the God of mercy, love, forgiveness and restoration!  That’s our Father.  


The moral of this story is quite simple.  


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 10:10)  


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. 


Job was like so many people today who wrongly believe that sickness, disease, tragedy and evil come from God.  They wrongly believe that Divine Healing, prosperity and speaking in other tongues supernaturally is “…of the devil.”  


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 3:13-14,29) 


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. (2Timothy 3:16)  


He will teach us lessons as we go through the trials of life, but He does not send trials to teach us. (1Corinthians 10:13)


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


Job’s trouble was from Satan, not from God.  In the end, the Almighty was Job’s Deliverer and the best friend he ever had. 


In order to prosper according to the New Testament, we must never blame the Almighty for sin, sickness, poverty, calamity and unnecessary suffering.  


These curses spring forth from Satan and from Satan alone


(Job 1:12; 2:7; 42:10; Isaiah 14:17; Matthew 9:32,33; 12:22,26-38; 15:22; 17:18; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 4:33,35; 9:42; 10:9,17-20; 11:14; 13:11-16; John 10:10; Acts 10:38; 26:18; 1Corinthians 5:5; Colossians 2:13-15; Hebrews 2:14; 1John 3:8)


I have tried religion and I have tried the Bible.  


The Bible is better.  Far better.


Be Blessed …  John and Barbara Hamel



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