Friday, July 14, 2017

“Heavenly Machinations”

"Heavenly Machinations"   
   Job apparently knew nothing about the Heavenly machinations between God and Satan that occurred before his trial.

   "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?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?  Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 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 1:8-11).

    Job had no Bible, and since many Bible students believe his chronicle to be the first Scripture written, our brother of old likely had little frame of reference regarding certain spiritual realities.  We don't even know if Job knew that a devil existed.  Thus, he perceived the sorrows that came his way as having come forth from God's hand rather than the power of Satan:  "The arrows of the Almighty are within me" (Job 4:4).  Of course, in one sense, Job's challenges did originate in the Lord.  God knew what the devil would do before He brought up Job's name - "His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5).  The Lord had purposes in allowing Satan to attack Job, purposes that involved Job's growth, the redemption of Job's friends, and countless lessons for posterity's sake that illuminate and inform us.  However, we must remember that the savage assault resulted not from the direct pressing of God's hand, but rather from the fiery darts of the devil (Ephesians 6:16).

    We must also realize that many of our trials may result from similar Heavenly machinations.  As we walk with our Lord, He may bring up our name to the enemy.  "Hast thou considered My servant ____?"  The accuser of the brethren may respond with similar indictments of us as he did with Job.  Our Father may then lengthen the devil's leash, even as He allowed "a messenger of Satan" to buffet the Apostle Paul's flesh (II Corinthians 12:7).  If so, we do well to avoid Job's mistake of accusing or blaming the Lord for our pains. God has purpose in them, no doubt, and He uses them for the glory of Christ, our best interests, and the best interests of others.  However, we must avoid Job's ignorance that can deceive us into erroneously believing ourselves to be pierced by "the arrows of the Almighty" when we actually suffer from devilish fiery darts.  We must and should know better.  Certainly there are times when our Lord directly chastens us by His own hand (Hebrews 12:6).  This is not always the nature of our pains, however, and we must be careful, prayerful, and most importantly, Biblical, in seeking to interpret the whys and wherefores of our challenges.

   Again, Job had no Bible.  He did not possess the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit.  He did not have the benefit of 2,000 years of church history.  We do possess all these gifts.  Our understanding and interpretation of life's difficulties must therefore be interpreted accordingly.  Certainly we will not always know the exact nature of our trials.  Just as certainly, however, we can know more than did brother Job.  This forms a primary reason for consistent exposure to the Scriptures, prayerful communion with God, and regular fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We do not want to wrongly attribute blame to God.  We do not want to ignore the possibility of devilish assault.  We do not want to miss the correction that occurs in those times when we are being chastened by God's own hand.  Job had no Bible.  We do, and it tells us much about our challenges, and how to respond as led and enabled by the Spirit of Christ.

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
(Psalm 119:105)

Weekly Memory Verse 
    In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and He did hear my voice out of His temple, and my cry did enter into His ears.
(II Samuel 22:7)

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