Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

August 1, 2013

Volume 12 Number 15

The Hand of God Has Touched Me

By all earthly accounts, Job had it made. Life was good. Not only was he a "perfect and upright" man of God who was blessed with a family of ten children, but he also enjoyed wealth and fame. Living in the "land of Uz," Job was called "the greatest of all the men of the east:"

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and shunned evil.

2 And there was born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. -Job 1

The precise location of the land of Uz remains disputed. However, this "land of Uz" was located in "the east." It was likely named after Uz, the first son of Aram, whose name is also translated as "Syria." Aram was the son of Shem, who was the son of Noah:

10 And Noah begot three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. -Genesis 6

 

22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. -Genesis 10

Demonstrating his efforts to preserve the righteousness of those whom he loved, Job tried to provide cover for the sins of his children. While they partied, Job suspected that they were sinning and he offered sacrifices for them:

4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered 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 did Job continually. -Job 1

While Jobís life seemed to be going well, there was something happening in the spiritual world that was going to turn his physical world upside down. Yahweh was having a meeting with Satan and they were discussing Job!

8 And Yahweh said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and shuns evil? -Job 1

It was Yahweh that first brought up Jobís name to Satan! He asked him, "Have you considered my servant Job?" Calling him His servant, Yahweh knew that Job was serving Him and He apparently had a plan for his life. He even said of Job that there was "none like him in the earth." As long as everything was going well with him, Job was certainly a very remarkable man. But what would happen to him when his good fortunes changed? Would he still be a "perfect and an upright man?" Would he still be a man that "fears God, and shuns evil?" Or would he, as would so many other people, curse God?

To find out what was really in Jobís heart, Yahweh enlisted Satanís service. Yahweh simply removed His protection from the treasured things in Jobís life, including his family, and then Satan went to work:

12 And Yahweh said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Yahweh. -Job 1

On a day when Jobís children were "eating and drinking wine," terrible calamities came upon his household:

13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brotherís house: -Job 1

First, the Sabeans killed his servants and stole his oxen and donkeys. Then the "fire of God" burned up his sheep and consumed more of his servants. After that, the Chaldeans stole his camels and killed more of his servants. (see Job 1:14-17) Then, while his sons and daughters were still partying, tragedy struck them! As they were "eating and drinking wine," a "great wind" struck their house and his sons were killed:

18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brotherís house:

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only have escaped alone to tell you. -Job 1

Job passed this test of his faith. Rather than blaming and cursing Yahweh for the tragedies that came upon his household and family, Job responded in humbled repentance, blessing His holy name:

20 Then Job arose, and tore his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my motherís womb, and naked shall I return there: Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. -Job 1

Yahweh then allowed Satan to test Job even further by giving him permission to afflict Job personally:

6 And Yahweh said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life. -Job 2

Satan then afflicted Jobís body with "grievous boils:"

7 So went Satan forth from the presence of Yahweh, and smote Job with grievous boils from the sole of his foot to his crown.

8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself therewith; and he sat down among the ashes. -Job 2

Jobís wife advised him to "curse God, and die:"

9 Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die. -Job 2

His friends came to mourn and comfort him:

12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they tore every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him: for they saw that his grief was very great. -Job 2

Job got caught up in self-pity:

3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. -Job 3

As his friends talked with him, they became convinced that all of this had happened to Job because he still had sin in his life. Discouraged, Job lamented about losing the kind of life he once knew. Back then, he was blessed by Yahweh and the ways of life were smooth:

2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;

3 When his candle shone upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;

4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;

5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;

6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; -Job 29

But now everything was changed. Job knew that Yahweh had removed the crown of glory from his head:

9 He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. -Job 19

His family, friends, and servants deserted him:

13 He has put my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances are truly estranged from me.

14 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.

15 They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me as a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. -Job 19

Even Jobís wife, the mother of his children that had told him to "curse God, and die," abandoned him:

17 My breath is strange to my wife, though I entreated for the childrenís sake of my own body. -Job 19

All alone and in a pitiful condition, Job pleaded with his friends to understand and to have pity upon him. He knew that there was something very significant going on in his life, which had a greater purpose than he could comprehend. As Job put it, "the hand of God has touched me!"

21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me. -Job 19

While Satan was being used as the tool of affliction, it was really the hand of God working in Jobís life. Once again, Job passed this test of faith. The trials that he had been forced to endure only strengthened his faith! He resolved to boldly publish that which must be remembered for all time:

23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

24 That they were engraved with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! -Job 19

Seeing past the physical circumstances of his afflictions, Job declared that which he knew for certain:

25 For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: -Job 19

When we find ourselves, as Job did, being "touched by the hand of God," we can either curse God or praise Him. When our joyful day seems to have turned into a dreadful night, we have this hope:

5 For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. -Psalms 30

No matter what circumstances come upon us in this life, we need to remember what Job taught us: "my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth!"

 

 

 

Come to Understanding is sent out twice per month free of charge. To add someone to our list of readers, please contact us at:

Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies

biblical@ibiblical.org

You may view this and past editions online at:

www.ibiblical.org

Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.

 

”2013 Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies. All rights reserved. You may freely copy this publication, provided you acknowledge its source and inform us of your use.