You’ve set your sights on My servant Job?!

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Servant Job

Wednesday 12/13/23

Title: You’ve set your sights on My servant Job?!

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You’ve set your sights on My servant Job?!

Job 1:1-22, 

“(1) There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.”  

So here we have our first character sketch of Job. He lived in a land called Uz

His name Job likely  means “persecuted”. 

We know he was blameless, which is an important word in this book though it only occurs 4 times. 

It means a person who wholeheartedly tries to please God. Someone who possesses genuine integrity and is blameless before God – though not entirely without sin.

This is a VERY important key to this book. As mentioned last week, sin is to do something one knows is wrong which results in guilt or blame. It is our knowledge of what is right that causes us to incur guilt and makes us worthy of blame. 

So a person who is blameless, does not mean they are not doing something wrong which offends God and misrepresents His character – only that in the doing of it, they are unaware. They are innocent of sin, since they did not do anything they knew to be wrong. They “think” they are doing right, even though they are not. 

In cases like this God does not assign blame. Thus the word “blameless” was used here. [See Romans 4:15 & 5:12-14]

Job was also upright, which is nearly the same as “blameless” only it focuses on one’s interactions with others. 

So in general,  “blameless” can be said to account for one’s actions towards God and “uprightness” one’s actions toward others.

We know he feared God. The word literally means “to be afraid” and I think that is borne out in Job’s attitudes throughout the book. However, this word fear also has a basis in reverence which Job also seemed to posses.

He shunned or turned away from evil. This is easy enough to understand. Though he had as many opportunities to sin as any other man, perhaps even more due to his great wealth AND his integrity, Job’s habit of life was to choose against sin.

“(2)  And seven sons and three daughters were born to him.  

“(3)  Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.”  

By “people of the East”, it is literally of the “sons of the East”. The term sons only referencing where he came from. We would likely have said, easterners.

“(4)  And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  

(5)  So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. 

For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” 

Thus Job did regularly.”

One of the first exciting things we see here is another confirmation that God had already set up blood sacrifices immediately following the fall.

We are rather well convinced that the law would not come for MANY years in the future, but we know God instituted some form of sacrifice after the fall because Cain was said to know what to offer to the Lord. 

Here Job, not only knows to offer the blood of a herd animal, we see he is already acquainted on some level with the concept of a  “burnt sacrifice” which he evidently offered regularly for his children. However, throughout this book there is no indication of the priesthood, a temple or a developed sacrificial system. 

Job seems to offer his own sacrifice for himself but also in order to “sanctify” his adult children.

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.”

Now a difficulty here is that in the Hebrew text the words “cursed God” is literally “blessed God”. Yet this would not cause Job to be afraid, unless this phrase meant to bless foreign or pagan gods. The construction of this statement however lends itself to another explanation. 

As we know, scribes were very meticulous in their work and were people whose default temperament was extremely reverent in regard to God’s word. As such, some words and phrases simply would not be written. God’s name is a noteworthy and well known example of this.

Evidently it is believed that such was the case here in this passage. 

According to the translators of the New English translation, 

“Here is a case where the writer or a scribe has substituted the word “curse” with the word “bless” to avoid having the expression “curse God.” 

One way or the other Job’s fear was that they had disowned God either directly by cursing Him OR by blessing foreign and pagan gods.

This is important because what Job offered was a “burnt sacrifice”. If this had been for worship or out of devotion that would be one thing, but this was clearly due to Job’s fear that his children had sinned in a most vile and high handed way. 

As such, Job offering the “burnt sacrifice” would NOT be consistent with the Old Covenant Law. This just further illustrates that Job was before the giving of the Law. 

Burnt sacrifices were used for MANY purposes and offering them could in fact be done by the individual but NOT when it was for sin. When it was for sin the offender himself had to bring the animal, kill it and cut it up for the priest to sprinkle the blood on the altar and offer the whole of the animal before the Lord. 

Also 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. 

So how did Job know about “burnt offerings” if he was prior to the law?

Well, as you know, burnt sacrifice is a term used under the Old Covenant within the law given to Moses. So it is likely that this is the type of sacrifice Cain knew to offer from the beginning.  

The point here is that while some assumptions have to be made, it is clearly stated that Cain knew to offer a “burnt sacrifice” of some shepherded animal and Job here is offering burnt sacrifices. All this speaks of former knowledge given to them from God dating back to Adam!

In addition to this, as soon as Noah settled off of the Ark, he offered a “burnt sacrifice” to God of all the clean animals [See Genesis 8:20]

Also, we can include in our reasoning the fact that God does not change. If under the Law given to Moses, God required certain sacrifices offered in certain ways – why would He prescribe one type for Adam and his descendants and another entirely for mankind under the Law given through Moses?

What we have here is Job is offering a “burnt sacrifice” ON BEHALF of his children – placing him as not only the head of his family, but the patriarch and priest of his family. 

This is something which was long held to be true of those who followed God until the giving of the Law. Job seems to offer at least token evidence that such was the practice.

Now before we read this next bit, someone summarize what the emphasis of this chapter is up to this point? 

The character of Job which was fearful respect for God and its curbing effect on sin.

Job’s integrity and blamelessness.

Job’s awareness of his children and the likelihood of their sinning against God. His desire to justify them before God by appearing before God to offer a burnt sacrifice for his children regularly.

So sin, righteousness, offerings, reverent fear for God and accountability before God are the subjects on the table so far in this chapter!

So let’s not read INTO the text something that is entirely outside of its  clearly stated context. We MUST keep our focus on what has deliberately been set forth as the tone and focus of this book’s introduction.

“(6) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and satan also came among them.”

Now without any theological baggage attached to these words and only allowing the text thus far to set the pace for what was just said – what would you think this verse is talking about?

Well we know that beginning with Seth, “men began to call upon the name of the Lord”. A phrase which placed them in alignment with God as His devoted followers. In Hebrew the expression refers to worshiping the LORD through prayer and sacrifice. So it implies that they evoked the name of the Lord. Much like a wife does upon marrying her husband – she comes under the covering of his house and assumes his last name. 

These very likely were known as the “sons of God”. The word not being literal, but referral in nature. To be “of God”. 

In Genesis where this phrase is typically first seen, it is also inside of a context of those who loved God as well as those whose lives were marked by sin before God. The greater context being God’s impending judgment on mankind – not on angels, but mankind and such I believe is the obvious and most straightforward understanding of these words in Job.

For the most part I will refer you back to the tedious study we did on this back in Genesis called, “The Sons of God Part 1 & Part 2and to an article I am seeking to have completed and on our website before week’s end to avoid having to rehash that whole silly issue all over again, though we will address it a little in a moment.

I will present you with the literary facts and then the common interpretations of this phrase which appears two additional times in this book.

To me, the most important facts are those which require no assumptions to be made and those are few.

The beginning Hebrew expression translated as “and there was a day” emphasizes that this was a very particular day – and a reoccurring day at that. This may have occurred weekly, monthly, annually – we simply do not know for sure.

The principle word “present” (as in “to present themselves”) is a verb indicating the taking of one’s stand before. It is used in a reflexive stem and means to station oneself, to take a firm stand before.

Now for the known particulars… 

This book, which is written from the perspective of a human, is telling us that there was a specific day that occurred regularly whereupon these “sons of God” (whoever they are) would take their stand or assume their station before the Lord.

That is quite literally all we’ve got! There is NOTHING in the text to imply… 

  • what this assembly was, 
  • how often it convened,
  • why they met 


  • where it met (either heaven or earth or the moon…etc.) 

Any of these details would have been of immeasurable help in comprehending the meaning of this statement. The fact that such is not offered, would seem to indicate that knowing is in no way integral to the story! 

So naturally, what do you think people typically get all hung up with? Precisely these things which are not known!

It is my opinion that to read into any of this, place virtually any significance to it or base any belief on it is theologically suspect and irresponsible.

Now I am a HUGE advocate for Occam’s Razor even in interpreting scripture. As such the first rule is, don’t suggest an interpretation that requires more assumptions than the text warrants.

Of course the pivotal issue is – who are these “sons of God”? 

Of course it is most often assumed that they are the same group who appear in Genesis 6 recorded by Moses which according to our calculations was nearly 1000 years later. 

But… is there any justification for this connection?

In regard to language and text we have to consider that Job is poetic parallelism whereas Genesis is a historical narrative and both are written in very different Semitic dialects! 

Taking that into account it would seem prudent that unless it is CLEAR, it would be reading into the text to connect the two statements even though in English they appear identical.

Another question still is, are they the same “heavenly beings” which in some translations are called “sons of God in Psalm 29:1 & Ps. 89:6 which employs an entirely different Hebrew word structure? 

The truthful answer is that we simply do not know.

The fact that they are nearly identical in our English translations, is no indicator of any valid connection between them!

Let me clearly state that again.

NO ONE can claim that they know with 100% certainty who these “sons of God” are! Absolutely NO ONE! 

Even those theologians, scholars and linguists who have studied the passages and know the languages and who are COMMITTED to this interpretation OPENLY admit that their belief is, in the end, an assumption.

Now that is important and of all the congregations in the world, I am sure you can understand why. 

It was by means of oversimplifying Biblical statements, generating connections between verses and subjects which were in fact NOT there, and by isolating verses from their context that we, as a church, got into so much error in the past.

It is a mistake to take as authoritative the writings of commentators. 

So often they write with such certainty and authority that one would assume they have more facts to work with than you do – and sometimes that is true – but not here! 

If you read their comments regarding areas of uncertainty, they reveal the reasons behind their assumptions. This is quite helpful in determining whether their assumptions should bear any weight.

So what do we know?

The phrase “sons of God, is a poetic idiom used to describe the nature of these “sons” (whoever they are) and their relationship to God. 

What it is NOT is a claim to actual sonship.

The notes in the New English translation make what I believe to be an unfounded assumption by saying, 

“The phrase indicates their supernatural nature, and their submission to God as the sovereign Lord.”

This appears to me to be unfounded and in some ways drawing upon some things which appear in pagan literature. 

The NET notes go on to say this, 

It may be classified as a genitive that expresses how individuals belong to a certain class or type

So as best as I can decipher from this is that the words “sons of God seem to imply that Elohim is not just a mentioning of God’s name, but is an indicator of the actual nature of these “sons”.

If in addition to their personal nature, this is also to point to the nature of their relationship to God, then it seems all the more unlikely to be referring to angels. Angels in scripture are only referred to as messengers and servants – never offspring! 

“For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? ~ Hebrew 1:5

Humans on the other hand are given all three designations in scripture – servants, messengers and sons and daughters.

Adam Clark, who I have long regarded with respect and who, more often than not, treats issues like this with a level head rather than one that is inclined to jump to the extraordinary or bizarre has this to say about these words.

All the versions, and indeed all the critics, are puzzled with the phrase sons of God; בני האלהים beney haelohim, literally, sons of the God, or sons of the gods. 

The Vulgate has simply filii dei, sons of God. 

The Septuagint, οἱ αγγελοι του θεου, the angels of God. 

The Chaldee, כתי מלאכיא kittey malachaiya, troops of angels. 

Coverdale (1535) translates it, servauntes of God. 

The Targum supposes that this assembly took place on the day of the great atonement, which occurred once each year. And there was a day of judgment in the beginning of the year; and the troops of angels came, that they might stand in judgment before the Lord. But what are we to make of this whole account? Expositions are endless.”

In other words we have absolutely NO idea who these “sons of God are!

I will quickly mention a few facts and then work through some questions which I believe points MORE towards one assumption than to another. I cannot stress enough however, that I cannot claim 100% certainty of my views any more than anyone else can.

First fact:

If this phrase “sons of God were not a poetic idiom meaning – we had reason to believe that it was a literal phrase claiming actual sonship then I could of all certainty say this is NOT talking about angles. However, because it is a poetic idiom and therefore only descriptive – I cannot eliminate that possibility here. That however, has ZERO bearing on the passage in Genesis!

Second fact:

This assembly is not without examples in regard to angels or humans. 

Regarding angels or at least some undefined spiritual beings, we read in 1Kings 22:19 and Zech. 6:5, that spiritual beings of some sort do, upon occasion, appear before the Lord. They do so in regard to duties they are to perform on earth in response to human actions. That is NOT to say that such was the purpose of THIS assembly, only that such assemblies are recorded by prophets as happening.

On the other hand the same is true of human beings. 

Regular assemblies have taken place with godly men who would present themselves before the Lord. 

We know that when the Law came, God appointed the day of atonement, where once a year the people of God were to present themselves before Him. 

Granted, we believe that the Law came long after the time of Job, but we have already demonstrated how God had clearly revealed to Adam, Seth and the descendants of the godly line down to Noah and his sons some sort of blood sacrifice.  That such knowledge had been preserved until the time of Job, is evidenced by his offering of regular “burnt sacrifice” for his children.

The point here is that while some assumptions have to be made, this statement could easily have been made regarding the godly line in Job’s day.

Since God never changes, is it really too much of a leap to assume He had also instituted something akin to an annual day of atonement in the Garden for all those who were followers of God?

I, for one, think even more assumptions would have to be made to answer for these events had God NOT done so!

As such, we have examples regarding both angels and men where they might appear before God on a recurring basis.

As we read the book it appears to be written, as I said earlier, from the perspective of an onlooker, and not from Job himself. As such there are things which are hard to explain. 

  • How does the writer know of the conversations Job had with his wife? 
  • How does the writer know the thoughts Job is privately thinking? 

Good questions, but a fair reading of the two passages in Job which mention this assembly of “the sons of God” I think reveals some even more important questions!

Let’s read both accounts…

The first we just read and it appears in Job 1:6-7,

“(6) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and satan also came among them. 

(7) And the LORD said to satan, “From where do you come?” 

So satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”  ~ Job 1:6,7

The other is in Job 2:1-2,

“(1) Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.  (2)  And the LORD said to satan, “From where do you come?” satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

What immediately strikes you about these accounts?

The statement regarding this assembly is written as if it were common knowledge to the reader. It is as if one were to say, “Now the December 25th came around again and all were gathered around the tree.”

In an instance like the one I am giving – understood immediately is that we are talking about Christmas which is an annual event. Understood is that it is usually spent with family, it is often in a living room and has a decorated Christmas tree as a central feature in the room. So our minds fill in the blanks of what day it was, who was present and what the tree was all about. 

Nothing new to see here!

It is the same which really aids us in deciphering the most likely meaning of who these “sons of God were and what this gathering represented.

Applying Occam’s Razor… why are these two passages written from the perspective of common knowledge IF this really is to be understood as a heavenly assembly of angels appearing before God?

  • IF this assembly IS of angels in heaven, how would this earthly writer know such an assembly even took place? 
  • How would he known satan came into this gathering in heaven?
  • How would he know the details of his conversation with God?

In the only two other passages in which angels or spiritual beings are described as appearing before God for marching orders, the passage was qualified as being that of a vision from a prophet. THAT is how the writer knew of these events – they were prophets – seers! 

In both of those records, the scene is not written as if what they were saying was common knowledge, but rather as if they were informing others of something they otherwise could never have known.

Are you seeing a marked difference in these instances?

No qualifiers are provided, no description of “being in the spirit”, no prophetic authorship is hinted at and nothing appears out of the ordinary or beyond common knowledge of any human being who might have been present at the time.

Also is the matter of satan’s interest in Job and his appearing before God about it.

Let’s read further…

“(7) And the LORD said to satan, “From where do you come?” 

So satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” 

Now let me add something which might at first seem to swing in favor of this AS an assembly of angels, but upon further thought makes it seem less likely.

In this first instance satan’s appearance seems not to imply a gathering of angels for assignment but rather of righteous humans in an assembly something akin to an annual day of atonement

This seems all the more the case when the only event mentioned so far in this book was Job’s regular offering of a ‘burnt offerings’ for his children.

That sets the stage of a godly man, who appears before God and offers sacrifice. The deck seems rather stacked to me!

satan came in among them and the topic which came up was regarding satan’s interest in a man of God – namely Job!

If this were an assembly of angels appearing before God to get their marching orders in regard to people and their actions this would fit right in. This is because we know in the assembly that is recorded in 1Kings, evil spirits were there as well. However, the wording here seems to swing in the opposite direction to me since it says “and satan also came in among them” as if he did not belong and was not invited.

The second instance is notably different!

There satan is said to come in among them “to present himself before the Lord.” This is something entirely missing from the first account.

Now, we know that satan is the accuser of the brethren and that as such he does have to report to God for allowance to tempt or oppress God’s children. [See Rev. 12:10 & 1Cor. 10:13

So if taken alone, even in my own opinion, this seems to swing in favor of those who believe this is a gathering of angels reporting before God for assignment. However, this is NOT taken alone but is in a context.

If this is an assembly of godly men who are appearing before God in something akin to a day of atonement, then a year has passed and it would only be natural for satan to be obligated to make his report at this time and to ask for further allowances to tempt Job away from his devotion to God.

If this is an assembly of angels, it would also make sense, but it still does not clear up the first instance where satan appears out of place and not invited to the assembly.

With that in mind, it is my opinion that this gathering of the “sons of God is a gathering or men devoted to pursuing God in faith which was the same requirement set forth in Genesis as affixed to the descendants of Seth.Then men began to call out upon the name of the Lord.” – Gen. 4:26

Now ironically, the importance of who these “sons of God are here IN THIS SPECIFIC PASSAGE is really not that important. 

So you might wonder why I’ve spent so much of our time with it. 

The reason lies not with THIS passage, but with the one in Genesis which has led people into error and the misinterpretation of other passages as well.

As I said, in THIS passage, the phrase “sons of God is a poetic idiom and therefore patently different from the one presented in Genesis. Also, being a poetic idiom, it is NOT to be taken literally and no commentator worth his salt claims otherwise. 

So this does not place any doctrine of scripture or truth regarding God in jeopardy. However, its superficial appearance to relate to the passage in Genesis only takes a poorly understood topic and makes it even worse!

As such, this needed to be addressed!

In our day, there is going to be an increase of weird “spirituality” including, as Paul warned the Colossian believers against, a worshiping of angels

Due to fear of the unknown and human’s continual desire to prescribe to the bizarre and fantastic – weird theories are going to continue to crop up more and more. 

This is something Dostoevsky presented as man’s need for the supernatural or the divine. Simply put – the ordinary does not make good headlines.

“Boy trips, skins his knee is not front page material. Man jumps from plane, shoot fails – is!”

That the “sons of God in Genesis are simply the descendants of Seth, who began to call upon the name of the Lord does not sell on par with a group of angel’s revolt and mate with humans to make a superrace! 

People love the fantastic – logic need not apply!

You know something I love about Jesus and Paul is their use of common sense together with scripture to silence ignorance and proclaim truth.

Jesus, when confronting the Pharisees about His Messiah and the son of God and a descendant of David said,

“(41) While the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus asked them a question:  (42)  What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

They said, “The son of David.”  

(43)  He said to them, How then does David by the Spirit call him ‘Lord,’ saying,  (44)  ‘The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?  (45)  If David then calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?

(46)  No one was able to answer him a word, and from that day on no one dared to question him any longer.” – Matt. 22:41-46

Paul employs many similar tactics. As such I think we are in excellent company to do the same regarding the viability of these “sons of God being angels either here or in Genesis.

  • How did the writer of Job know about this supposed angelic symposium?
  • Where did the supposed angels in Genesis get bodies?
  • If, as Jesus said angels do not marry, how did the ones in Genesis?
  • How did angel’s overcome God’s law of procreation – that everything only reproduces after its own kind?
  • Where did the spirits which animated their babies come from? The Bible claims that all spirits come from God!
  • If their bodies were compatible with humans, didn’t the bodies have to BE human and if they were just human bodies – why would that have made these supposed Nephilim?
  • Angels are spirits and Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.”
  • God said in Hebrews that NEVER at ANYTIME in history has He ever called an angel His son.
  • I thought the flood was God’s judgment on MAN and his heart, not angels and their interactions with mankind.

…and the list goes on and on! 

By the way, all of these same questions can be asked of the “sons of God being the descendants of Seth and the godly line and can be easily answered making this a good litmus test.

The theological issues which have to be overcome or just outright ignored are insurmountable if one assumes angel’s married human females and had live offspring from them. 

So… now that we are past the goofy stuff. 

Next week we will begin addressing the real theologically sticky issues.

Almost every person who writes on, comments on or uses these verses to construct theologies present these verses as God pointing Job out to satan and, as it were, sicking him like a rabid dog on his faithful son!

The Hebrew clears this up for us and in fact, seems to strengthen our former argument as to what this assembly was.

Read in the New English translation verse 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,

“Set you heart upon” 

Now this really is fantastic! 

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

WHY THEN is it not translated this way?

Again the New English translation notes 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 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 the planet 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 stupid statement! 

I believe it is out of this devotion to God being the One Who instigated this terrible treatment of His devoted son that 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 warning satan 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, 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,

“(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.

Scripture seems to indicate that humanity is God’s answer to satan’s accusation or challenge of God’s authority.

God makes a race of beings who are in His image, but who never see His face – only the things He Created. Even in the Garden all they ever had was the voice of God, not His person or image. As the scriptures say, “No man has ever seen God at ANY time.”

Mankind’s relationship HAS to be based upon trust only! 

God made humans lesser in power and might than the angels and places them within a realm where they can be tempted to reject God as their Creator. 

Remember, it was God Who placed the tree in the Garden and told man not to eat from it. Man was seemingly fine with this restriction until satan suggested that God did so for nefarious reasons. 

Satan was attempting to prove that if sufficiently stimulated, even those made in God’s likeness would stop trusting God.

So here, if satan could demonstrate that Job, the most righteous man on the planet, ONLY serves God because he benefits from it – not because God intrinsically deserves it, then it helps to prove his case.

What would NOT demonstrate God’s rightful position is protecting Job from testing. 

As the accuser of the brethren, satan has a right to tempt us away from our allegiance towards God. God however, will only allow this temptation to go so far! We have some “clues” as to why the level of temptation can escalate to genuine suffering, especially prior to Christ, but not anything that produces a “one size fits all” answer.

Now let’s dive back into the text.

Job 1…

“(13)  Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house;  (14)  and a messenger came to Job and said,

“The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,  (15)  when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”  

(16)  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”  

(17)  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”  

(18)  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,  (19)  and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”  

(20)  Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  (21)  And he said: 

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”  

(22)  In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”

So here we have a LOT that happens to this man. It would be easy enough to side step some of this by pointing out that even Job suspected that his children were ungodly, but that does not address all that happened.

Included in this series of tragedies were Job’s servants and cattle.

As I said, we do not know what was going on here, but educated guesses can be suggested and we will address these next week!


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 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!