C H U R C H R E F O R M S E R I E S
By Biblicism Institute
“When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” Amos 3: 6
When bad things happen, it is because the Lord purposed it.
“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that Job has is in your hand…'” Job 1:11
In effect, God handed Job over to Satan. As a result, disaster struck his house.
“…another also came and said, ‘Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, 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 died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.’ ” Job 1: 18, 19
“Then Satan… smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head…” Job 2: 7
THE HANDING OVER
God doesn’t hand anyone over to the dark forces unless such a one has sinned. And all of us have sinned, so we’re all fair game.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3: 23
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51: 5
Many will say that Job was a righteous man and always made sure his sins and the sins of his family were covered.
“When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” Job 1: 5
Were Job’s children sinning? Of course. So why the use of Perhaps? It was Job thinking, fooling himself, like many parents do today.
So even though the bible doesn’t openly reveal it, deep down Job knew about the unrighteous ways of his children. Parents always know.
Otherwise, what was that obsession or custom Job had in offering a burnt sacrifice for each of them?
It’s also no surprise God allowed them all to be killed.
They were most likely spoiled beyond redemption, with hearts lifted up, souls that ignored their Maker (hence Job offering sacrifices for them instead of them for themselves), and a lifestyle that welcomed excess – causal effects of their father’s unfathomable success, not unlike the sons of the prophet Eli.
“His (Job’s) sons used to hold feasts in their homes…” Job 1:4
“Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God…” Deuteronomy 8: 11 – 14
“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt and did not know the Lord… the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” 1 Samuel 2:12, 4:11
Job might have been “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1), but he was also sinning in a way only God could see.
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7
He was conceited and arrogant, a sin that finally surfaced during the handing over.
“Know then that God has wronged me…” Job 19: 6
Really? God wronged Job?
At that point, Job had lost sight of the fact that none of us is righteous on our own. Therefore we cannot be wronged by God. Our righteousness solely comes from God’s election of us as His children, and as such only said choice causes us to become righteous.
When we become Christians, we become righteous through Jesus’s doing, hence neither righteous nor good in our own right.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 21
Even when we follow His commandments, we are not following our will but His, and therefore whatever good deed we end up doing becomes His since it was set in motion by His law.
“When you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have done only that which was our duty to do.'” Luke 17:10
So, to set Job the Aramean straight, in addition to handing him over to Satan, God sent a Buzite fellow, a non-Hebrew like Job, purposely named Elihu or “my God is He” – shade of Jesus – to point out Job’s flaw to him.
“Elihu’s wrath aroused because Job justified himself rather than God…” Job 32: 2
Elihu realized there was more than a hint of vanity in Job’s life.
“In this you are not righteous… for God is greater than man.” Job 33:12
Prosperity and success had caused Job to become prideful and self-righteous.
“He was the greatest of all the men of the east.” Job 1: 3
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16: 18
Job had become so full of himself that he thought he was on par with God, a Prince who could approach the Almighty on an equal footing.
“Behold, here is my signature; Let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written, Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, I would bind it to myself like a crown. I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.” Job 31: 35-37
He injected the poison of his conceit and self-righteousness in what was his true righteousness, the righteousness of God.
But when Jehovah appeared to him, the Glory and Holiness of the Almighty made Job realize how small, insignificant, and wretched he really was.
“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 45: 5,6
As sin takes control of us, it spoils the righteousness we have been handed. It’s the fly in the ointment, the leaven in the lump.
“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment…” Ecclesiastes 10: 1
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Galatians 5: 9
Even the Apostle Paul experienced the handing over. But in Paul’s case it was a preemptive strike.
“In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2 Corinthians 12: 7
That is why Paul was so strict with Christians of his time. He knew sin needed to be dealt with. And many times the only way to deal with it is for the sinner to be handed over to the dark forces.
“I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5:5
When we sin, we basically tell God He’s not our Father.
Consequently, our sinful actions identify us as belonging to a different household, that of the dark forces. So, like the father of the prodigal son, God says, “You want it, you got it.”
The handing over may seem harsh, but it is to help us get rid of sin, thus making us perfect.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5: 48
To be perfect is to rule over sin. And how do we do that?
1) Constantly judge ourselves and recognize our sins.
“But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged by God in this way.” 1 Corinthians 11: 31
2) Wholeheartedly repent to God and other offended parties (not to a “catholic priest”). The prodigal son sinned against God and against his father, so he repented accordingly.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'” Luke 15: 21
3) Follow God’s commandments.
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” John 14: 21
Unfortunately, sin is quite insidious. It is a disease that’s always at the door, always at the ready to entrap.
“But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4: 7
It sometimes hides itself so deep within our hearts that, like Job, we don’t even realize we’re neck-deep in it.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17: 9
So God many times resorts to the handing over in order to remove it.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1: 2-3
The handing over is a mark of God’s love. He orchestrates it to help those who will learn from it turn their lives around for His glory.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” Hebrews 12: 7
Bad things don’t happen to good people.
“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3: 10
Bad things happen to sinners, all of us. But in their wake, if we truly repent, we let go of our unrighteousness or self-righteousness and become the righteousness of God.
“But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? May it never be!” Romans 3: 5,6
Once we learn our lesson, and when we’re ready for it, God hands us the pot at the end of the rainbow, containing only the blessings we can handle.
“Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” Job 42: 12
It would do us no good for God to bestow upon us all the blessings in the world and in the process lose our soul.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16: 26
ADDENDUM: PREEMPTIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The following questions will surely pop up.
1. Does this mean when someone is killed during an accident or a catastrophe that person was beyond redemption?
The answer is Yes and No.
“I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked…” Ezekiel 21: 4
Yes, it could be. And No, it could also be this:
“No one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” Isaiah 57: 1
When the righteous are taken away in such a fashion, it simply means that God was done with them, that their mission was accomplished, and that God no longer wanted them to endure the evil in this world. But in the case of Job’s children, it is quite doubtful that they were righteous.
So how can one know which is which?
No one can, except God. He purposely made it thus so there would be no formula to figure Him out.
“God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14
It’s one of the reasons those who preach church tithing are sinning, because what they’re saying is that tithing is the guaranteed formula to be financially blessed by God. In the end, even Job wasn’t blessed because he tithed. He didn’t tithe. He was blessed because God chose to bless him. And today God acts no differently, especially as the New Covenant changes everything. See Ministry Money and the Tithe Lie.
Even when we’re doing all that God wants us to do, there’s no telling what will transpire in our lives.
“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17
True faith is the understanding that God does whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants.
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” Romans 9: 15
2. Why does the bible mention the righteous if none is righteous?
When God mentions the righteous, it is to be grasped as those who understand that their righteousness is of God and not of themselves.
Even in Job’s case God knew He could turn Job around, and that in the end he would become the righteousness of God. That’s why He told Satan not to take his life.
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” Job 2: 6
3. Who created the Devil and why does God use him?
God created the Devil and his demons. God uses them to bring about His ultimate plan and purpose, which is to challenge man’s free will and put through the fire unbelievers, atheists, and Christians alike in order to test their zeal for either the truth of God and Jesus whom He sent or the lies of the evil one and his minions.
4. Doesn’t God violate His own commandment of “Thou shall NOT kill”?
What kind of a stupid question is that? 🙂
That commandment is for us who are the Thou or YOU. He didn’t say You and I shall not kill. He said “YOU shall not kill”. Period. Many have a bad habit of either taking bible verses out of context or adding to God’s word.
From the very beginning God told us we would die if we ate of the forbidden fruit. See The Consequences of Sin.
“…for when you eat from it you will certainly die…” Genesis 2: 17
Man saw fit to disobey and chose death. No need to spin it otherwise. And whether we die of old age or in an accident or by any other means before old age is irrelevant. Death is death.
The “inconvenient” means and timing of our demise don’t make death any less a result of our wrongful choice. So don’t be like Job and say God wronged you by not following the Thou Shall NOT Kill command.
We will all die or be killed someday, it’s just a matter of time. Our death – whether we see it as God “killing” us or not, same difference – and its timing thereof are dictated by the Almighty who uses whatever method and schedule He sees fit to bring about our demise, a consequence of our sinful nature.
We were never given any assurance that we would live beyond the instant we emerged out of our mothers’ wombs. From the moment we came into the world, a death appointment has been scheduled. So every day is a gift. Count your blessings.
“For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.” Philippians 2: 13
Some point to the various killings in the Old Testament to somehow “prove” that God always had a blood lust, and that He often commanded the ancient Hebrews to kill in wars.
What they don’t understand is that the Hebrews then were an extension of God’s army on earth. God used them to remove the wicked from the face of the earth. So when they killed on God’s order in specific and directed circumstances – which cannot be transferred to today’s circumstances – it was God’s doing, not theirs.
“The LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you…” Deuteronomy 20:4
But, as the prophet Zechariah prophesied, with the advent of Christ everything would change.
” ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6
“The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20
Ever since Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection the world has not been the same.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17
Those who really know God understand how He operated then and how He operates now, just the way Jesus understood and did not fear those who can kill the body.
“Pilate said to Him, ‘You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.’ ” John 19: 10-11
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10: 28
The only ones who utter such nonsense about the 6th commandment are those who hate God and fail to see that physical death is nothing compared to the eternal death of the soul in hell.
Such a harmful disposition prompts them to spit on the Father’s authority to do as He purposes, and to ignore Jesus’s sacrifice which was offered for the renewal of the world through peace and for the salvation of man’s soul through the New Covenant in His blood.
Consequently, remember this:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Ecclesiastes 12: 13