What about Job? Part I

Jesus Heals with shadow-site

Sunday 04/14/13

Series: And He Healed them all:

Message – What about Job? Part I.mp3

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Key Texts:

  • Job 1:1-5
  • Job 1:6-8
  • Job 3:25

The Book of Job

The literary style of Job is a didactic poem set in a prose frame.

Prose uses an ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure (as in traditional poetry).

Didactic Poems are a literary style which appeal to reason, by being instructional in nature but are entertaining so as to engage the listener.

All didactic art was meant both to entertain AND to instruct.

The Bible uses the didactic style in several places, and they take the form of 

  1. Fables – like that of Jotham (Judges 9:7-15, although in prose).
  2. Parables – like those of Nathan and others (2 Samuel 12:1-4 all in prose).
  3. Songs –  (Isaiah 5:1-6) – “For exquisite beauty of language and consummate skill in effective communication, this parable is virtually peerless” (Grogan)
  4. Riddles – (Judges 14:14) And he said to them, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” And in three days they could not solve the riddle.
  5. Maxims –  as, in 1 Samuel 15:22, 24:14.

The greater part of Proverbs and a number of the Psalms are didactic and this applies to the monologues and dialogues in Job 3:3 and following.

Many people reject the idea that Job could be poetic because to them that precludes the idea that Job was a real individual. So let’s put to rest that concern. There are NO absolute rules which require the characters and events in a didactic poem to be fictional, however, even if Job is entirely fictional – it really changes nothing.

MOST of Jesus‘ teachings were entirely fictional and very much akin to Didactic Poetry. Jesus taught in parables. Parables by nature are mostly fictional, but convey a solid moral or religious meaning.

So even if Job IS a fictional poem, what it teaches is still inspired and therefore still profitable for sound and correct doctrine.

Never the less, that Job IS a didactic poem is not up for debate, it is simply a fact.

Was Job a real guy?


The book seems to intend for us to understand Job as a real man, set in a real time period, in a specific geographical location near other known real people like the Chaldeans. Also of note are his friends all of whom hail from specifically mentioned places of origin which do not seem to add anything metaphorically to the story so thier names and geographic origins seem all the more real.

Furthermore, James mentioned the patients of Job as though referring to a real guy. However, that does not mean that he was real. Many today refer to the prodigal son and to the uninformed, it sounds as if they are referring to a real person, which in fact he was not.

However, in addition to James, we have another rather clear statement indicating Job was a real person. God Himself mentions Job to Ezekiel in the Old Testament prophetic book bearing his name.

It says,

“(12) The LORD’s message came to me:  (13)  “Son of man, suppose a country sins against Me by being unfaithful, and I stretch out My hand against it, cut off its bread supply, cause famine to come on it, and kill both people and animals.  (14)  Even if these three men, NoahDaniel, and Job, were in it, they would save only their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.” – Ezekiel 14:12-14  

This along with the aforementioned friends of Job and relative locations mentioned seem strong enough evidence for me to conclude that Job was in fact a real person, and this book is an accurate chronicle of this portion of his life, though in capsuled form.


The name Job means “persecuted“.

This makes the historical reality of the man a little suspect, in that it would be extremely ironic to have a book which chronicles the suffering and external persecutions of a man whose main character just happens to mean – “persecuted.

This does tend to insinuate that Job is a fictional narrative, but that also is far from conclusive.

I believe therefore that the bulk of the evidence is in favor of Job being a real man.

What was the setting of the book of Job?

Job is commonly believed to be the oldest book of the Bible. Genesis was not recorded until Moses who came MANY years later.

Several considerations point to very early authorship:

  • Job’s life span of appears to be post flood but prior to Abraham. We know that by the time his trials began, he was an established man, who had adult children and after the trial Job lived an additional 140 years. While we do not know for certain how old he was when his trials began, Chapter 42:10 says that “the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. So assuming this applied to his life as well, then Job was 70 when his trials began and then lived an additional 140 years (which would be double what he had lived prior), ending his life at about 210 years of age. This would place his life span at about 5-9 generations from Noah. See Example below:


  • The Chaldeans superficially appear to still be nomadic at the time and thus Abram could not yet have been born. (The 1st biblical mention of Chaldea is in Gen.11:26-28)
  • Unlike every other Old Testament book except Jonah, the book of Job does not contain any of the following:
    • references or quotes of the law of Moses
    • mention of Israel
    • Mention of particular members of patriarchal families of Israel

    The book of Jonah DOES however, mention being a Hebrew who worships Yahweh which clearly dates him as after the law of Moses. No such reference is made in the book of Job.

    This leaves Job very much in a class by itself in the Old Testament and in fact the entire Bible as the ONLY BOOK which has NO direct connection with the rest of the Bible except being included in it!

    To be sure Job does use the words EloheemYahwehsatan and sin but all of these are generic terms except Yahweh.

    The use of Yahweh may be an indicator of a later date than I accept or it may be due to translations into the Hebrew language. Which is the case is unknown. These things alone however, are not sufficient to sway my opinion of a very early date.

    Also, and I am getting ahead of myself here, but there is no indication of the priesthood, a temple or a developed sacrificial system in Job.

    Job seems to offer his own sacrifice for himself but also in order to sanctify his adult children. This is NOT consistent with the Old Covenant Law.

    Barnes says, “The word here rendered as “sanctified” (קדשׁ qâdash) means properly to be pure, clean, holy; in Pihel, the form used here, to make holy, to sanctify, to consecrate, as a priest; and here it means, that he took measures to make them holy on the apprehension that they had sinned; that is, he took the usual means to procure for them forgiveness.”

    According to the Law, once a man was 20+ years old they were responsible for their own decisions before the Lord and would bring their own sacrifices.

    There is no precedence for fathers seeking sanctification for his adult sons even if they themselves WERE repentant and there is no indication that Job’s sons had any contrition of their own.

    This as well as many other considerations onspire to paint a picture of Job existing prior to the giving of the Law.

    The consideration of this is overwhelming and more than a little problematic.

Traditional interpretation of the trials of Job

Most people see this book as God calling satan’s attention to Job as a righteous man. Satan is seen as challenging God regarding Job’s loyalty and God responding to satan by using this righteous man’s well-being to demonstrate that satan was wrong.

Essentially this boils down to satan tempts or dares God and God takes his challenge by subjecting one of his most loyal devotees to personally unwarranted trials.

Such is NOT my view, nor is it consistent with the rest of the scriptures or the character of God they reveal!

Ultimately this is a question of God’s Character

There are certain things which the Word of God tells us are inherent in God’s character. God does not change and He does not show any respect of persons (II Sam. 14:14; Acts 10:34). This being empirically true, if God ever did something with or to anybody – He is still the same way. Meaning there are no “isolated” actions of God. He is 100% consistent in His dealings with mankind. So if God ever acted in certain way, He will ALWAYS act that same way – given the same criteria. As such Job is NOT a “special exception” as many like to claim.

What creates the difficulty in correctly understanding the book of Job is not what it says – it is what it does NOT say.

Based upon the whole of God’s Word – we can know concretely, that there are certain things God will not, and in fact, CANNOT ever do because of His immutable character.

For example:

God will never pervert justice, because

  • He is Just & The Justifier – Rom. 3:26
  • He loves justice – Ps. 37:26
  • He commands us to NOT pervert justice – Deut. 16:19

If these things are true then the idea that Job never sinned and yet was handed over to satan to be open prey for so long – is a grievous misunderstanding.

Right and wrong, justice and injustice are concepts which are based upon God’s nature.

Right and wrong, justice and injustice are also immutable because the character and nature of God is unchangeable and absolute.

  • If you honor God you will be honored – I Samuel 2:30.
  • If you trust and rely you will be rewarded – Hebrews 10:35; 11:6.

Even God’s authority given to man was intended to work this way – Romans 13:3.

As to initial the facts:

Job was a man of means, a righteous man who respected God and turned away from evil. [See Job 1:1-5]

At this point it is important to understand that the law had not come, so the measuring line for “righteous” was somewhat elastic.

Remember, “Righteous Lot” had no trouble with the prospect of turning his daughters over to the men of the town to have their way with them in order to protect the angels who came to him. So keep this in mind. This book never refers to Job as righteous, but he is called blameless and upright.

The notion of “blameless” simply means Job did what he KNEW was right and also what he thought in his own mind to be right.

Did God point Job out to satan?

Almost every person who writes about or offers commentaries on the passage where satan approaches God regarding Job,  present these verses as God pointing Job out to satan as it were, sicking him like a rabid dog on his faithful servant!

As unpallateable as this is, we must accept it IF the passage warrants such a conclusion. Also, we must prepare ourselves for the same since God is no respecter of persons.

Examining the meaning and context of this passage in the Hebrew clears up the issue for us. In fact, it becomes SO clear that one has to wonder at the translations offered regarding these verses.

If we read the passage in the New English translation Job 2:8 reads like this…

“(8)  So the LORD said to satan, “Have you considered* My servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil.”  

In the side notes of my Open Bible it gives this phrase substitution for the words “have you considered“,

“Set you heart upon” 

Now this really is fantastic!

I know of no translation which says this, yet when I look for translator notes regarding the Hebrew phrase MORE THAN ONE clearly state this as the accurate rendering.

WHY THEN is it not translated this way?

Quite contrary to their own translation, the translator notes in the New English translation say this…

The Hebrew has “have you placed your heart on Job?” 

This means “direct your mind to” (cf. BDB 963 s.v. I שׂוּם 2.b).

Then they read into this their own theological bias by saying…

“The question is undoubtedly rhetorical, for it is designed to make satan aware of Job as God extols his fine qualities.”

Well I agree that the question is rhetorical in that there is clearly only one answer and that is YES. Satan HAD in fact set his heart and therefore the attention of his efforts upon Job.

The translators of the New English version READ INTO God’s intentions behind His interrogation of satan by saying it is designed to make satan aware of Job.

Let me ask you what might be a dumb questions.

How could Job be in satan’s heart, if satan was not already aware of him?

Why would God have to draw attention to Job?

I mean really! Does anyone really believe that satan would be unaware of the ONE MAN ON PLANET EARTH who is MORE noble, MORE devoted, MORE  sincere and MORE godly than any other human being?!

I’m literally nonplussed that any otherwise intelligent person could have written such a drivel!

Even if a novice were to simply look up the words using a Strong’s condordence they would arrive at the same conclusion!

The key word is “considered“. This one English word is used to represent 3 different Hebrew words. They are…

  • שׂוּם śûm, (#H7760 in the Strong’s concordance) – The primary meaning of the verb is to put, to set, or to place.
  • ֵלב lēb, (#H3820 in the Strong’s concordance) – Meaning “the heart“.
  • ַעל ‛al: (#H5921 in the Strong’s concordance) – Meaning “upon“.

So taken together it coveys the meaning “to set the heart upon“.

So why are SO many translations dedicated to substituting a phrase which literally changes the meaning of the verse?

I believe it is out of this devotion to long standing theology in Christiandom of God being the One Who instigated this terrible treatment of His devoted servant.

I believe that to be the reason why the translators of the New English versions made the following decision.

They wrote…

The Hebrew conjunction כִּי (ki) need not be translated IN THIS CASE or it might be taken as emphatic (cf. IBHS 665 §39.3.4e): “Certainly there is no one like him.”

Why would that be a problem, unless God was the One Who was placing the red ‘X’ on Job? This is NOT a problem if you believe that God was actually warninsatan about a battle he could not possibly win.

Taken altogether the verse seems to actually read something like this…

“I see that you have set your heart upon My servant Job. Have you considered that there is certainly no one like him on the earth. A blameless and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Wow what a difference a word or two can make!

Now consider satan’s reply…

“So satan answered the LORD and said, 

“Does Job fear God for nothing?  (10)  Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  (11)  But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”  

(12)  And the LORD said to satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” 

So satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”

Now this presents the key to the suffering presented in the life of Job, only it does not point out how.

God warns satan that he is picking a fight he can’t win.

Satan implies that Job’s devotion to God was entirely self-serving and if challenged would reveal Job’s true heart.

Satan attempts to provoke God into cursing Job Himself, but God does not buy it. He simply gives permission for satan to test Job’s devotion – but with limits!

This sounds like James 1:13-18 & 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 which means it would be consistent with the way God deals with ALL humans!

“(13) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.  (14)  But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.  (15)  Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.  (16)  Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters.  (17)  All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.  (18)  By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” -James 1:13-18


“(12) So let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall.  (13)  No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.  (14)  So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12-14

So what is happening here?

Satan seems to me to still be pressing his original accusation against God. He is challenging God’s right to reign by calling into question Job’s allegiance and devotion.

We are not clearly told in scripture why satan is free to tempt and test us, but there are many things which suggest this as his allowed role. 

What happened?

 “So satan answered the LORD and said,

“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

 And the LORD said to satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”  ~ Job 1:9-12

This is where problems in understanding this book begins!

Often this verse is read without the entire context of the book and a judgment is made about God’s character which is COMPLETELY out of step with the rest of the Bible.

Nothing is mention of any sin on Job’s part at this point. In fact, no sin of Job’s is ever addressed until the end of the book and those sins were those he committed AFTER the trial began.

Even if Job HAD sinned – satan does not have carte blanche authority to do whatever he will against Job – or anyone for that matter. He still needs God’s okay as JUDGE to take advantage of the opportunity.

So … did God judge unrighteously? Absolutely not!

The biblical example of Ahab, Jehoshaphat & Naboth is very, VERY instructional here.

This story is found in I Kings 21:19-29 & I Kings 22 and it goes something like this…

Ahab was a king in Israel and had coveted the land of a man named Naboth. Through a series of events, he allowed his wife to “arrange” for Naboth to be removed from the equation. So Naboth died which conveniently freed up the man’s property!

As a result, God had Elijah the prophet foretell that Ahab would die in the same place where Naboth had died and that dogs would lick up his blood even as they had Naboth’s blood. However because Ahab humbled himself before God, God relented of judgment concerning his house – reserving that for Jehoram, Ahab’s son who would sow his own seeds of wickedness and thus restore the judgment of God in his generation.

Ahab’s reform did not stick however and so God’s prophetic word regarding Ahab dying in the same place as Nadab was back on. As this story unfolds, God placed Ahab’s verdict of death before evil spirits to decide what they would do to bring it about. God did not tell them what to do or how to do it – there was lateral freedom among the evil spirits to decide and when they presented their decision to God – He gave them leave to execute their plan. – for Ahab was already within the “jurisdictional” power or in their hand for the evil he had sown.

In this case, as in the case with Job, no action could take place without God as owner of all and Judge of all – allowing the action to take place based upon what is Just (which is based upon His character).

Job was not placed within this situation by Him “Sovereignly” making a decision contrary to justice just to satisfy some whim, question or challenge offered by satan. If He did, then God is simply the master chess player and we are all His mindless pawns who always and forever act according to His dictation, and if this is the case – where is sin?

No, notice, God does not say to satan…

“behold I turn Job over into your hands” – God simply informs the devil that Job is already within his jurisdiction.

“Behold all that he has is in your hand” – that’s ISnot IS GIVEN INTO.

There is a PROFOUND theological difference!

Job’s sin…?

Job. 1:13-22

It is commonly stated that Job never sinned through his trial and his response to it. This however, is simply not true.

In fact God only speaks of Job’s lack of sin twice throughout the whole narrative.

The first of which is found in Job 1:22 it says, “In all of this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

What did Job say? Look at verse 21,

“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” – Job 1:21

5 things-

  1. naked I was born  – TRUE
  2. naked I will return – TRUE
  3. God gave – TRUE
  4. God took away – TRUE
  5. Blessed be His Name – TRUE

This was a true statement. God HAD given and even though it was indirectly – God did take away.

Now, subjectively, I believe that this first set of trials from satan came as a result of not walking in relational trust with God. Job clearly knew more and was closer to God that he contemporaries. God Himself said that there was NO ONE LIKE him ON THE WHOLE EARTH.

Job was in great fear of loosing his abundant wealth & his children as is stated in Job 1:5 & 3:25.

While this is not the only reason a door of accusation was open to the enemy, it was none the less – an open door.

Fear definitely is not only a proof of not trusting God, it is in fact believing more in the negative than in God’s ability to preserve you from it.

Consider the following passages:

“Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God. And then the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in union with Christ Jesus.”Php. 4:6-7 WNT


 “There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.” 1Jn 4:18 ISV

Given the counsel of God’s Word – if Job had been relying upon God, he would not have “feared greatly”. There really is no way around this fact.

God says very plainly in Romans 14:23 that any action – (even something as simple as eating) – if it is not done in absolute trust and reliance upon God is an act of sin. Meaning it is an act outside of the “mark” which is relationship with and reliance upon God.

Fear – (perhaps above most other things) does not fit within this paradigm of trust but is actually hostile to it.

So the first set of problems which came upon Job most likely fit within the framework of Judgment for sin.

So this passage in Job 1:22 (which is often quoted to make a case for Job’s innocence) says nothing of the sort.

This passage has to do with what Job said

NOT his personal actions.

The key to understanding this passage is in paying attention to what was taken away – which were many of Jobs possessions (his fault) & some of his older children(their fault but it was effective judgment against Job as well).

Some side thoughts…

Job obviously had a house throughout this trial, he still had means enough to be clothed and eat as is indicated throughout the book, and it would seem that he still had some children (Job 19:17) who were presumably younger than those who bore their own judgment for their riotous living (which Job knew about and was already concerned over Job 1:5) – to this Bildad spoke correctly in Job 8:1-4.

Again I draw your attention to the name of the book –  “Job” which means “to Repent”. This is something Job had to do in the end before God could restore back to him all he had lost.

So, the question is – if Job had to repent BEFORE God could restore what he had lost – does it not follow that what he was repenting of – opened the door for the enemies attack in the first place?


Job’s second set of trials

See Job 2:1-10

The second set of issues which came upon Job God says something very interesting about Job’s verbal response or rather it is what God deliberately DOES NOT SAY that is interesting.

Satan attempts again to incite God to act against Job – which God in His character does NOT do. God does however, inform satan that Job’s body was in his power – only with the restraint that he cannot challenge nor take away Job’s life.

Satan attacks Job’s body rather severely.

Also, Job’s wife incites him to curse God and die (the devil influenced her to get Job to do for him, what God denied him the right to take).

Job’s response was,

“…What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” – Job 2:10

The word evil used in this verse has several shades of meaning based upon its use and the context. When used as a noun [as it is here i.e. we (pronoun) receive (verb) evil (noun)] this word indicates realities that are inherently evil, wicked, or bad; the psalmist feared no evil (Psalm 23:4).

The noun also depicts people of wickedness, that is, wicked people. Aaron characterized the people of Israel as inherently wicked in order to clear himself (Ex. 32:22). Calamities, failures, and miseries are all connotations of this word when it is used as a noun and is used to express them as inherently wicked or evil.

Wicked of course means twisted from a right or straightened condition.

If these calamities CAME from God then we have to attribute inherently evil and wicked things to Him as being produced and emanating from His person and thus His character.

This we KNOW to be incorrect. That this is a proper understanding of what Job was saying is further illustrated by what God does and does not say.

“In all this  did not Job  sin with his lips. ” – Job 2:10.

Notice God does NOT say that Job didn’t charge Him with wrong as He did in Job 1:22.

Why didn’t God say the exact same thing – the sentence began the same, but ended without “nor did he charge God with wrong.” – WHY?

The reason is simple – it is because Job HAD charged God with wrong!

Then why was it not sin then? Ahh! There’s the rub!

As we illustrated earlier with Lot – knowledge of wrong has everything to do with culpability for wrong. It was still bad seed and would still render a harvest, but it was NOT sin because Job thought that what he said was correct.

Now, it was an affront to God’s character to which Job was not privy.

Job WAS a righteous man – meaning the overall balance of his character was disposed to loving God and hating evil. That did not mean the man was perfect – just inclined towards “right-ness”.

So why is he becoming open prey?

We need to recognize that ALL of God’s judicial decrees are concerning reaping what one has sown. Sometimes we sow bad seed KNOWING it is wrong – that would be sin. MANY times we sow seed NOT knowing whether it is good or bad. While God does not hold us culpable or sin in these cases is clear from scripture, never the less if we sow…we will reap.

Because what may be known of God was as evident to Job (as it should be to all men), and perhaps even more so to Job, made him even more open to accusation from the enemy and God’s justice in acting accordingly.

That Job was in a position to know and trust God in these areas is evident. First by the fact that God would not allow Job to be tempted beyond his ability to respond in relational trust. Secondly because we know that his relationship with God was unique for there was “No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”   yet, Job ultimately did not trust God. Job’s sin was not willful rebellion against the known will and character of God – but it was for acting out of his ignorance that judgement came upon him. This is confirmed later in the book by God Himself.

That God expects relational trust from those He has invested His goodness in is evident.

We know that this is true in other instances. Consider Israel…

God performs several miracles in Pharaoh’s court [Exod. 7:9-12], brings 10 plagues upon the Egyptians while sparing the Israelites in the land of Goshen [Exod. 8:22]. Brings them out of Egypt to the Red sea and erects a barrier of smoke between them and their enemies so they can sleep peacefully before crossing over the Red Sea the next day [Exod. 14:19,20]. He splits the Red Sea and dries the land for them to cross over and then brings the floods down upon their enemies [Exod. 14:21-31]. He feeds them in the wilderness for 3 months ALL BEFORE HE EXPECTS THEM TO TRUST HIM. Do they trust Him – NO! They run from the mountain on which God appears to talk with them and ask for Moses to speak with God for them – but NOT to allow God to speak to them anymore  – “Lest we die!” [Exod. 19 & 20]

God does NOT change. In the case of Job, God had been ridiculously good to this man. He was more prosperous and well-known than ANYONE in the east. Now this is definitely in response to Job’s desire to please God, honor God and do what he knew was right. Job was an honorable man and a good man in many ways. However, that his possessions had gained the upper ground in his life is evident in that he greatly feared loosing them.

Job 3:25 says,

“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”

What does “greatly feared” mean? Well these two words come from two related words in the Hebrew tongue פַּחד pahad  (A masculine singular noun meaning dread, terror – a cause for trembling) and פַּחד pāhad: A verb meaning to dread, to be in dread, to be in awe.

The later of these terms is a verb which occurs in poetry. Here are two examples:

“Those who worship and trust God have no need to dread, but those who break the Law” Deut. 28:66

“sinners in Zion (Isaiah 33:14)  and worshipers of idols (Isaiah 44:11) have reason to fear.”

So the type of fear Job was having was a base form of terror to the point of trembling over loosing his great possession and his children.

So even though we know that God draws near to those who draw near to Him,  Job somehow did not know that the God Who blessed him had also hedged him in and protected everything he had.

“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.” ~ Job 1:10

Why then did Satan have an opportunity to accuse? Because though Job was a good man and sought to honor the Lord, he did not truly trust Him to protect what He had provided.

Job was a prominent man in the earth – many eyes were upon him and many were obviously learning what was right and wrong from his life (see the words of his friends). Yet, he feared loosing everything and even sacrificed regularly out of fear that his children were cursing God as though his sacrifices for them might bribe God to abstain from judgement against them. These were poor lessons to teach and being who he was – it was indeed a form of teaching.

We will read later how Elihu informs Job that God tries to communicate a man’s errors to him, in dreams  and in visions in order to turn his foot away from destruction, but man does not hear nor listen to Him. It seems evident that this was the case with Job or Elihu’s words would have been judged by God as well – but they were not.

We will continue our study of Job on Wednesday.

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!