Tuesday, July 24, 2018

“The Tool of Vigilance”

(Thanks to Peggy for inspiration on this one)

"The Tool of Vigilance"

    The Bible does not indicate that Job ever knew about the Heavenly discourse between God and Satan that led to his grievous trial.

    "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  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?" (Job 1:6-8).

    The narrative continues with the devil challenging the faithfulness of Job.  "He will curse Thee to Thy face" accused the devil regarding the possibility that suffering and loss would lead to the end of Job's devotion to God (Job 1:11; 2:5).  The Lord gave His servant into Satan's hand, leading to great destruction and loss of property, family, and health in Job's experience (and ultimately redemption).  Again, nothing in Scripture indicates that the man of God knew anything about the machinations in Heaven between the Lord and the devil that resulted in his sorrows.  Indeed, we cannot be sure if Job even knew that Satan existed.

    "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (I Peter 5:8-10).

    Job very likely had no portion of the Bible.  He certainly did not have the Scriptures in their completed form that we so blessedly possess.  Thus, he could not know about the "roaring lion" who sought his harm.  He had no tool of vigilance such as God has given to us in His written Word.  Thankfully, Job ultimately overcame the devil's challenge.  He never cursed God to His face.  However, the narrative of Job reveals great ignorance of the Lord's ways, and the enemy's ploys.  He knew very little compared to the Light we possess in Scripture.  Thus, we bear far greater responsibility regarding both the knowledge of God, and the attacks of our adversary.  "Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48).

    We read the Scriptures first and foremost to know our Lord, understand His truth, and relate to Him in loving faith and faithfulness.  "The Scriptures… testify of Me" (John 5:39).  However, we also ponder God's truth to prepare ourselves for vigilance regarding our "adversary the devil."  We cannot know all of His machinations, or of God's allowances regarding the devil's challenges.  If our name is mentioned in Heaven, we - like Job - are not there to hear it.  We can nevertheless know enough to overcome with far great insight than our brother Job long ago possessed.  Again, Job did not possess the tool of vigilance, the Bible.  We do.  Much has therefore been given to equip us to "fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12).  Much shall be required.

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
(I Thessalonians 5:5-6)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
(Psalm 85:10)

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