(334) – THE TORMENT OF JOB

Jehovah, the god that was known in the days of Job, testifies of the righteousness of this man. One day in which the children of God came to present themselves before this same Jehovah, Satan was among them (Job 1:6). If Satan came among the children of god, it is obvious that he had some office in the kingdom of Jehovah. This truth is confirmed in the fact that Jehovah authorized Satan to torment Job. Satan must be a trusted minister of Jehovah, since he was entrusted with such an important task. This faithful servant of Jehovah received orders that he should not touch Job, only his possessions. Satan, authorized, stroke Job’s ten sons through the Sabeans, and slew them with the edge of the sword. Another messenger told Job that fire had fallen from God, destroying everything. The fourth messenger told Job that the Chaldeans had committed that hideous crime. A fourth messenger came with the news that a wind had struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the children and killed them (Job 1:12-19). Job, humble and faithful, 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 1:21).

Another day in which the sons of god came to present themselves before Jehovah, there was Satan again among them (Job 2:1). Jehovah, for the second time, asked Satan, Where are you coming from? From roaming about on the earth, and walking about it, he said (Job 2:2). And Jehovah said a second time: “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 2:3). Satan tempted Jehovah again, saying: “But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce you to your face” (Job 2:4). “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). When his wife provoked him to curse that god and die, Job answered: Will we accept good from God and not accept adversity? And Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:9-10).

Henceforward Job began a series of accusations against Jehovah:

1.      “God delivers me to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked. I was at ease, and he broke me apart. Yes, he has taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces. He has also set me up for his target. His archers surround me. He splits my kidneys apart, and does not spare. He pours out my gall on the ground. He breaks me with breach on breach. He runs on me like a giant” (Job 16:11-14). Jehovah delivered Job in the hands of Satan, and how come Job affirms that the evil that devastates him comes from god?

2.      “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. His troops come on together, build a siege ramp against me, and encamp around my tent” (Job 19:6-12). These words of Job hold in check the faithfulness and the justice of Jehovah, for when Satan suggested that Job was going to blaspheme when touched by evil, Jehovah answered; and when Job, the faithful and pure servant, cried to god for help he was not heard. The unjust suspicions of Satan have more weight to Jehovah than the prayer and cry for help of the faithful servant. Jesus acted differently, saying: “Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). When the devil decided to winnow the apostles, Jesus asked to the Father on their behalf to cancel the fatal plan of those two schemers (Luke 22:31-32).

3.      “God lays up his iniquity for his children.’ Let him recompense it to himself, that he may know it” (Job 21:19). Jesus says a different thing concerning God, his Father: “Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11).

4.      “Have pity on me, have pity on me, you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me” (Job 19:21). “Withdraw your hand far from me; and don’t let your terror make me afraid” (Job 13:21). Jesus’ hands only healed (Mark 5:23). The hands of Jesus only blessed (Mark 10:16).

5.      “As God lives, who has taken away my right, the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter” (Job 27:2). Job does not assign his suffering to Satan, but to the almighty El Shaddai, from whom comes those devastations. Isaiah says: “Wail; for the day of Jehovah is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty” (Is. 13:6). Jesus declared his mission, saying: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

6.      “For he has untied his cord, and afflicted me; and they have thrown off restraint before me” (Job 30:11). Can God oppress someone? This job of oppressing is for Satan, therefore the apostle Paul, said: “Even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Jehovah, on the contrary, oppressed his chosen people: “Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight” (2 Kings 17:20; Amos 6:14; Is. 3:4-5; Deut. 28:29-33).

7.      Job said: “For Job has said, ‘I am righteous, God has taken away my right: Notwithstanding my right I am considered a liar. My wound is incurable, though I am without disobedience” (Job 34:5-6). Jehovah testified that Job was righteous and did not transgress (Job 1:8). The very Jehovah confesses to be the author of Job’s misfortune. 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. He still maintains his integrity, although you incited me against him, to ruin him without cause” (Job 2:3).

8.      Job said to Jehovah: “Jehovah said to Satan, “How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my disobedience and my sin. Why hide you your face, and hold me for your enemy?” (Job 13:23-24; 33:9-10). Job did not know that he was in the hands of the wicked and evil Satan, so he ascribed his blight to Jehovah, but Jehovah never revealed him the plot that caused him his torment. This is why Job declares that he walked through darkness by Jehovah’s light (Job 29:3).

9.      At the end of the book of Job, Jehovah addressed Eliphaz and his friends: “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). But those three men were only coming to the defense of Jehovah. And Job ascribed his whole plight to Jehovah. Why? Jehovah felt the worship of Job when he, Job, accused him, Jehovah, of the evil that oppressed him, for Jehovah is pleased to do evil. This is what we read in Deuteronomy 28:63. And Jehovah does not allow evil to be ascribed to Satan, for he, Jehovah, is the creator of evil (Is. 45:7), and states proudly that all and every evil under the heavens has his malign fury as its cause. He says it in Amos 3:6: “Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and Jehovah hasn’t done it?” 

 

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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