Jehovah himself testified of Job’s faithfulness through what he said to Satan: “Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8).
Satan, the adversary and accuser of men, answered and said: “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face” (Job 1:9-11).
If Jehovah considered Job righteous and faithful, why did he say to Satan: “‘Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don’t put forth your hand.’ So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah” (Job 1:12)?
The result of this dialogue between god and Satan was the death of the children of Job, and the destruction of all Job possessed: houses, flocks, etc. (Job 1:13-18). “Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away. Blessed be the name of Jehovah’” (Job 1:20-21).
Jehovah praises Job’s faithfulness the second time, to Satan. Satan incites Jehovah saying: Touch his bone and his flesh, and see whether he will blaspheme you to your face or not (Job 2:1-5). And again Jehovah said to Satan: “Behold, he is in your hand. Only spare his life” (Job 2:6). “So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah, and struck Job with painful sores from the sole of his foot to his head” (Job 2:7).
The question is presented again: Why did Jehovah deliver Job to Satan? We do not accept the overused explanation of the followers of Jehovah, who say: Jehovah god did not deliver him to Satan, but allowed it. Twice he said: “Behold, he is in your hand” (Job 1:12; 2:6). Jehovah trusted Satan with the mission of leading Job to blaspheme. This is not allowing, but working in partnership.
It seems to us that Eliphaz’s explanation, one of Job’s three friends, is more consistent. He said: “Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he puts no trust in his servants. He charges his angels with error” (Job 4:17-18). It is UNBELIEVABLE! Jehovah does not trust in angels and servants anymore. Jehovah delivered Job to Satan because he did not trust in Job’s righteousness and purity. Why did he not trust? Because it is written: “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth, who does good and doesn’t sin” (Eccl. 7:20). And Solomon said in the prayer of consecration of the newly built temple: “If they sin against you (for there is no man who doesn’t sin)” (1 Kings 8:46). The first testing of Job records: “In all this, Job did not sin” (Job 1:22). In the second testing, when Job was stricken with leprosy, his wife incited him, saying: “Do you still maintain your integrity? Renounce God, and die” (Job 2:9). And, for the second time, Job did not sin (Job 2:10). At the end of the book, Jehovah testifies of Job to his friends once more, saying: “My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:7). It is thus proven that Job did not sin, from the beginning to the end of the book.
Let us examine what Jehovah thinks of men, that he would deliver Job in Satan’s hand: “What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? (Job 15:14). “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one” (Job 14:4). “How then can man be just with God? Or how can he who is born of a woman be clean? Behold, even the moon has no brightness, and the stars are not pure in his sight; How much less man, who is a worm, the son of man, who is a worm!” (Job 25:4-6). The worm mentioned in this text is the worm of the human dung. The consideration that Jehovah shows for men is the same he has for a worm. This is the reason why he delivered Job in the hand of Satan. In Jehovah’s opinion it is impossible that a worm do not plunge in the filthy dung. Therefore he was not interested in resisting Satan in favor of Job.
But the book of Job has additional revelations about Jehovah in relation to men: “Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself. Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous? Or does it benefit him, that you make your ways perfect?” (Job 22:2-3). Jehovah consumes the righteous and the unrighteous (Job 9:22), for there is no difference between the righteous worm and the unrighteous worm: “Between morning and evening they are destroyed. They perish forever without any regarding it” (Job 4:20). Let us see now what Job speaks of the god Jehovah:
1. “Know now that God has subverted me, and has surrounded me with his net. Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard. I cry for help, but there is no justice. He has walled up my way so that I can’t pass, and has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He has broken me down on every side, and I am gone. My hope he has plucked up like a tree. He has also kindled his wrath against me. He counts me among his adversaries” (Job 19:6-11).
2. “God delivers me to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked” (Job 16:11). When Jehovah said: “Behold, all that he has is in your power” (Job 1:12), Jehovah delivered him to the wicked. Job’s three friends are the wicked who were accusing Job.
3. “For he has untied his cord, and afflicted me” (Job 30:11). Job ascribed to Jehovah all the evils he was suffering, proceeding from the same god that had delivered to Satan. And Job said more: “I will tell God, ‘Do not condemn me. Show me why you contend with me. Is it good to you that you should oppress, that you should despise the work of your hands, and smile on the counsel of the wicked?’” (Job 10:2-3).
4. The Christians think that Satan was responsible for the afflictions of Job, but Job attributed everything to Jehovah, as we saw above. And Job called out: “Have pity on me, have pity on me, you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me” (Job 19:21). Therefore, the hand of god, in other words, the hand of Jehovah, is Satan. But the hand of the Father is Christ (Acts 11:21).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira