Discouraging words

Job Sees The Light - Fifth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 4:1-2 May I say something that makes you uncomfortable?

Job 4:3-6 Satan is working through Eliphaz to focus Job on himself. The more he can inspire Job to ponder his own righteousness, the less he will be open to the wisdom which God has for him.

Job 4:7-9 In a general sense, what Eliphaz says is true though examples could be noted to deny his words. For example, Abel had done no wrong but was murdered by his brother, and some evil people are never brought to justice before they die, as a study of history will show.

Job 4:10-11 There is a lion whose power only Christ can break— Satan, the “roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet 5:8) And he seems to never lack for prey.

Job 4:12-15 In fact, Eliphaz was the prey of a Satanic emissary. He describes a haunting experience that occurred while he slept. Demons favor such tactics as harassing victims while they are semi-conscious.

Tragically, in this day many people are seeking out visitations from spirits through “New Age” techniques such as deep meditation or guided hypnosis. The fallen angels, disguising themselves as angels of light, are delighted to reveal themselves to this credulous souls. Unless the person disavows such occult practices by personal knowledge of Jesus Christ’s power, he or she will never be free of the spirits so contacted.

Job 4:16-19 One psychological technique Satan and his hosts use to turn man from God is to suggest to him that God is not concerned with or about man. It is one of their “flaming arrows” against which man must take up the shield of faith. (Eph 6:16) They can impress this thought on him while he is fully awake, but when they do so in ghostly form at night it shows their penchant for imitation of God who at times sends dreams and visions.

This demon’s message to Eliphaz is that mortals have no hope of measuring up to God’s standards, and since God has condemned his angels (or some of them), how much more will he condemn man who is so inferior to angels?

Job 4:20-21 Anyone who believes life ends at death will certainly die without wisdom.

How did Job define himself?

Job Sees The Light - Fourth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 3:1-3 Although we do not know how long it took his friends to hear of his plight and travel to his home, an adequate time has passed for despair to take up residence in Job’s heart. A crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Prov 17:22) Spiritual desiccation affects ones entire outlook and health.

Job 3:4-10 A time of testing is marked by two distinct phases: Phase one initiates the test, and is usually brief. It encompasses the event of the disaster, sudden death, or news of an illness or other setback. Phase two is a lengthier time of adjustment to the news or event and living through the time that follows. During this phase one may tumble downward into bitterness and illness or grope upward to seek God's help and to discover why he has caused or allowed the trial. Most Christians probably go in both directions.

Job 3:11-12 Why was I born? What is the point of my life? Everything seems a waste. It’s meaningless, pointless!

Is Job searching for answers or only bemoaning his lack of control over events. Both?

Job 3:13-16 The prospect of resting among others who lived pointless lives seems good to Job.

Job 3:17-19 No man can trouble another in that place.

Job had previously seen black and white—white being himself with material blessings, and black, the have-nots for whom he cared we later will learn, but now he sees gray. The lines of demarcation between the well off and the poor have blurred.

He formerly had a clear understanding of his identity, but now he is confused. Without his possessions, he feels vanquished and empty. He had felt defined by and in them, and now he struggles to evaluate the meaning of his life.

Intellectually, we know that what we own, oversee or are responsible for does not amount to who we are. Yet, it is a common experience of unemployed people to feel hollow— as though others can see straight through them— and for poor people to feel unimportant or disconnected. Likewise, those with seemingly secure rank and wealth often identify with them and feel buttressed.

There is great temptation and tendency to define ourselves by a career, job or bank account. But we are not the sum total of our achievements, much less our possessions or wealth. No, whatever self esteem we have must be based on our oneness with the Lord: Our core identity is that we are his sons and daughters, made in his image, made to love and be loved by him.

Had Job not been stripped of all in which he defined himself— his wealth and servants, his children, his position— could he have had his spiritual eyes opened? Could he have seen God through so many layers of human identity?

Job 3:20-23 Job was a man of God who showed wonderful character and reserve in the first phase of his tremendous test. But in the second, the greatest man of the east (Job 1:3) is revealed to be a saint in need of learning greater perseverance.

Job 3:24-26 Perhaps Satan had been attacking Job’s mind long before he attacked his belongings. Though Job appeared to be completely blessed, underneath —in his heart— the greatest man of the east was troubled with fear and dread. Intellectually he understood he owed everything to God, but he lived as though it all rested on him. The Lord saw he was unhappy under the crushing weight.

Though the Lord removes the hedge of his protection

Job Sees The Light - Third in a series

Job 2:1-3 Hover over this Bible passage, and see its similarity to Job 1:6-8. However, in Job 2:3, the Lord makes plain that he was in fact the One who destroyed Job without cause.

Christians can trust God’s permissive will, for all things work together for good… Rom 8:28. The key to God’s description of Job is that he is his servant. He is one of God’s own, chosen in Christ “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Eph 1:4)

Job 2:4-6 Satan was infuriated. In his rage, he doubled the ante: God let's see if you can claim this man's heart after you make him ill and unattractive. Of course he is willing to hang onto his faith as long as he has his looks and health; he'd even exchange his children's lives in return for his own (Skin for skin). But strike his flesh and bones and then we'll see if he still maintains his integrity.

As before, he is accusing Job of shallowness and a faith based on wanting blessings, not the one who blesses. And once again, he is accusing God for protecting Job and thereby insuring his faith.

Isn’t it interesting that Satan cannot accuse Job without also accusing God? God’s relationship with his own is so close that the curses of one must fall on the other. It is this relationship that ensures the servant’s ultimate innocence and deliverance, for God has said, “How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” (Isa. 48:11) The honor and glory of God will never be blackened, therefore those who are his must reflect his glory and be brought to victory.

Job 2:7 Must the Lord remove his hedge from around Job to prove his delight in him is justified? No, God is not constrained to prove anything to anyone, but again, he has chosen to allow Satan to destroy Job knowing the persecution will do him good. God has not swallowed Satan’s bait, but he has gone fishing for Job’s heart.

Job 2:8-10 Even though a ruined man, Job was a good husband by New Testament standards. He was kind to her in her weak state, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Pet 3:7)

Job 2:11-13 Here are three men, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, whose names mean, respectively, God is dispenser, Son of contention, and Rough and hairy.* They have come, a trinity, with the best of intentions, but do their names betray what they will accomplish?

*Young's Analytical Concordance

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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