|Job 2 |
1 Again there was a day when the sons [angels] of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself.
2 And the LORD said to Satan, "From where did you come?" And Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and from in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."
3 And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one who fears God and eschews [abhors and turns away from] evil? And he still holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause."
4 And Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin, yes, a man will give all that he has for his life.
5 But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face."
6 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand; but spare his life."
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with great boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.1
8 And Job took a potsherd to scrape himself with; and he sat down among the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God, and die."
10 But he said to her, "You speak like one of the foolish women speak. What? Shall we accept good at the hand of God, and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they all came from their own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
12 And when they saw him from a distance, and did not recognize him, they lifted up their voice and wept; and they all tore their clothing, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him; for they saw that his grief was very great.2
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1 So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with great boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. You may still be wondering: why would God do this to a perfect man? Job is the deliberately created example to serve for all seekers of God; all seekers of God must go through supernatural suffering to be through with sin. Until a man is through with sin, he cannot be a man of God. You cannot serve both God and sin; do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, you are the servants of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 6:16.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Pet 2:21.
So a man must first be broken by God, before he is honored. It is only when a person is besieged by a supernatural enemy, sent by God, which he is helpless to fight against, that the person discovers how he is so easily resentful, angry, impatient, doubtful [loss of faith], and profane. Under the pressure of the adversaries, a man discovers what a low, selfish, angry beast he really is. It is a necessary humbling process. It is a necessary suffering. A man must see over a significant period of time how low he is, how selfish he is, how profane he is, how evil he is — and he must learn this so that he never forgets it. A man must be humbled, and it is impossible for a man to voluntarily humble himself; any such voluntary attempts to humble one's self only increases a man's pride. Only the hand of God can truly humble a man. His only hope has to rest in God's mercy; there can be no other escape. His only objective must become to be rid of his selfish, cursing, profane, hating, resentful self; so when it is finally taken away, he hates evil so much, that he would never even consider drifting back into selfish behaviors again. A man must be broken by God: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise; Psalm 51:17; and then he accepts him: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; Luke 4:18, Isa 61:1.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Rom 12:1.
2 For three men to sit seven days and nights without saying a word, is an indication as to how different the people of this age actually were. I cannot imagine sitting for seven days and night without speaking. In our society it is normal to let our tongues run at random to any length. But this is totally contrary to the teachings of God:
Look at ships, which though they are so great and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the pilot wants to go.
Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. Consider how great a forest a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. It is set among our members, defiling the whole body, and setting on fire the course of our life; and it is set on fire by hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
But no man can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:4-8. (Only the grace of God can tame a man's tongue.)
If anyone among you considers himself to be religious but does not control his tongue, he deceives his own heart [thinking to be religious], and this man's religion is of no value. James 1:26.
Even a fool, when he doesn't speak, is considered wise; and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Pro 17:28.
A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterwards. Pro 29:11.
In the multitude of words there is no lack of sin; but he who restrains his lips is wise. Pro 10:19.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit. Pro 18:21.
But I say to you, For every idle word that men speak, they will give an account of the same in the day of judgment.
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Mat 12:36-37.
For we all err in many things; and if any man does not err in his words, he is a perfect man, James 3:2.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat its fruit." Pro 18:21.
Those who love to talk will never see salvation; the fruit of a tongue that roams is death.
So if you are going to be condemned for speaking idle words, and if you cannot control your words until you are perfect, then perfection is obviously required to be justified.
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