“But He knoweth the way that I take, He hath tried me and I shall come forth as gold.”
As the time passes on this trial and pain that has been allotted to Job, the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit becomes more evident. Job had originally desired that he would have died at birth and never seen the light of day. He had hoped that he had never been the recipient of the blessings of his possessions and his family for then he could not have experienced the sorrow and agony of the loss. He had hoped that the earthen vessel had never come forth in birth, grown to maturity and been in the place of prominence that Almighty God had given to him because then he could not have been brought so low. The one cannot happen without the other. God must first lift up before He can bring low and He must first give in order for that which has been given to be taken away. “What hast thou that thou didst not receive” (I Cor. 4:7). But now the Spirit is revealing to this humbled servant of Jehovah that these things come to pass by the will of God, according to the counsel of His will and for the good of His chosen people.
Eli-phaz, the Temanite, (‘my God is gold’ ‘on the right hand’), has been so moved by the irresistible power of the Spirit of God to answer a question never asked of him. Job never asked for anyone’s opinion or help in this matter. He was sitting alone for seven days and his ‘friends’ came to him to comfort him. After he had spoken of his grief, dilemma and pain, they answered him with these popular yet erroneous ideas of how to ‘fix’ his problem. Now after failing the first time to set forth the brilliance (gold) and majesty (right hand) of his god who is on his right hand, Eli-phaz reveals the true doctrine of Adam. It is no wonder that whenever a conversation is engaged it may begin with familiar phrases and concepts but, as the issues become more and more personal and particular, sooner or later, the true understanding of the doctrines shall be revealed. These friends who thought to comfort, have accosted Job with accusations, aspersions and anathemas the same way the law, which is the ministration of condemnation does to every lonely pilgrim in the wilderness. Eli-phaz has his god on his right hand to do his bidding and prove himself correct as he descends upon helpless Job all in the name of ‘love’.
Eli-phaz has pronounced a most damning sentence upon Job as he alleges that his wickedness is abundant and his perverseness and guilt are without end (22:5). He has based his verdict upon the supposition of both things that Job may have done and those which he may not have done. The basic premise is that God has rewarded him with punishment for his actions and that He has withheld blessings because of Job’s incompetence. Eli-phaz has set himself up as the standard to judge what is righteous and acceptable so that he may condemn Job while he adjudicates himself. This all to familiar doctrine did not begin with the modern religionists, it is demonstrated here, some 5,000 years ago.
“Acquaint now thyself with Him and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee” (22:21).
In his first discourse, Eli-phaz instructed Job to seek God and commit his cause unto Him (5:8) and now he clarifies what exactly he means by this. It is one thing to seek the throne of grace in the discernment of a matter in hopes to find peace and direction. It is quite another thing to seek God in the manner which Eli-phaz intimates. He has put forth the notion that mortal, finite and impotent Adam can ascend to the presence of God and become intimately familiar with Him as a prelude to peace. He alleges that man can instigate a personal relationship with God that will precipitate a peaceful existence. The depths of this relationship is demonstrated in the word ‘receive’ for it intimates that man can ‘lay hold’ on God or even become ‘married’ to Him. Adam can by his own actions become part of the Bride of Christ simply by laying hold of the Law of God and firmly establishing His word. Yet the scripture proclaims that the natural man cannot receive these things because they are spiritually discerned. Adam does not have the mind of God and his thoughts and actions are incongruent with the the thoughts and ways of Jehovah. So how can mortal man approach unto, make league with, become intimate with and appease the Almighty? Some may say by the sinners prayer. Others may say by good works and still others would avow that a simple acceptance of Jesus into their hearts will assure them of this peace with God. Yet the testimony of the finished work of the salvation of Jehovah is that unless the name has been written in the book of life of the Lamb, from the foundation of the world, there can be no peace for there is no forgiveness. Justification comes from the faithfulness of the Christ who fulfilled the law in all righteousness and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Therefore by His faith the saints have peace with God (Rms. 5:1).
Eli-phaz has a very temporal frame of reference. He believes that by laying hold on the promises of God and believing His word will bring prosperity and respect. The ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ philosophy produces a bountiful blessing from God because of man’s ability to hold God’s feet fast to the fire and make Him keep His promises. This coupled together with the natural man returning unto God, from whence he never came since Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, so that Almighty Jehovah can rebuild him and then he can put away his perversion from his tents (22:23). This will endear the Sovereign God to be his defender and be obliged to shower him with the blessings of gold and abundant silver.
“For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty and shalt lift thy face unto God” (22:26).
The notion that once you have done all these wonderful things in the power of the arm of the flesh, then you shall delight in God is blasphemous. The child of grace delights in the law of God after the inward man because of the Spirit that dwells within. The incorruptible seed has been born from above and has no delight in the things of this world. The natural man has been born of the earth and has no delight in spiritual matters and the two shall never meet. God does not hear the prayer of any but His children for only they can cry out ‘Abba, Father’. He does not reward the labours of the flesh nor is He a respecter of persons. He defends whom His soul delights to defend, He lifts up those who need to be exalted for His purpose and He abases those whom He has decreed should be low. One cannot be elevated if they are on the top and one cannot be brought low if they are on the bottom. These events are produced by the only One who knows what the plan is, what the purpose is and how to perfectly perform the whole matter, Jehovah of Hosts is His name.
“Even today my complaint is bitter and my stroke is heavier than my groaning” (23:2).
Job indeed was grieved with groaning and utterances which could not be heard. No matter how vast his vocabulary or extensive his understanding, he could not describe his soul pain to any member of Adam’s race. Unless one has a common point of reference, the feelings and afflictions of Job are indescribable but to those who have felt the pains of death get hold upon them and the sorrows of death encompass about them like a flood, to them the account of Job is all to real. Like Job they seek to find out where God dwells that they may order their words before Him and reason with Him, pleading that He would give them understanding. Yet no matter where they turn they cannot find Him. They know He is there for He is everywhere, even in the thick darkness of the stormy clouds and the deepest corners of their minds, yet; “Behold I go forward but He is not; and I go backward but I cannot perceive Him. On the left hand where works I cannot behold, He hideth Himself on the right hand that I cannot see”. (Job did not care for what was on the right hand of Eli-phaz he wanted to find the true God.)
No matter where Job looked on this earth he could not discern the presence of God. Yet he knew that God, not the one who Eli-phaz said he should get to know, was intimately, perfectly and personally acquainted with the path that he was walking. He knew, by the Spirit of the Most High within, that each step that he took was along a pre-designed path that had been specifically laid out for him, in such precise details as to eliminate the possibility of any wandering off the path, any misplaced steps along the path or the failure to finish the course. The pathway was hedged in with hewn stones, God was in charge of directing the steps of the pilgrim, His Word was a light unto the feet of the traveler and the affection for the Father’s house were within the heart of the weary sojourner. He had afore ordained every step, set each obstacle and empowered the runner to fall when necessary, sprint when commanded and be faithful in all things just like the Author and Finisher of the faith by which they live.
Job has grown in the grace and knowledge of the will of God to the point of knowing that he was being tried, tempted and proven by God and that in the end, when the wood, hay and stubble were removed, he would shine forth in brilliance like gold. Not the gold of Ophir, as Eli-phaz said, but as the perfectly transparent gold the John spoke of which is the glory of Jehovah (Rev. 21:18). The precious stones that have been hewn from that great Rock, and that Rock is Christ, are one with the Rock. They are faithful because He is faithful and they are righteous because His name is ‘Jehovah our righteousness’. Job has been given this understanding through a manifold trial and as Adam grows weaker the Spirit reveals the wonder of the Almighty to this feeble servant.
“But He is One and who can turn Him? He does the desire of His soul” (23:13).
Thousands of years before Moses delivered the law to the nation of Israel and proclaimed; “Hear O Israel, Jehovah our God Jehovah is One” (Deut. 6:4) the same Spirit gave the same revelation to one of His elect children. God is One. He is not a multifaceted diamond who can be viewed from different angles and that is why different people worship the same God in different ways. He does not have varying levels of wills that allow some things and actively cause others and he does not have a divergence of purposes that change with times and conditions. He is One and none can turn Him. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Job knew of the immutability of God and why that is imperative.
His creation and all the finished works that he has performed from the foundation of the world are for Himself and His Bride (I Jehovah do all these things” Is. 45:7). He has orchestrated all things in love for the good of those who love Him, according to His purpose, which cannot change. It is this immutability that preserves the sons of promise from generation to generation. His love is eternal and it cannot change. His promise is His Word which cannot change nor return unto Him void, but has accomplished all that the Father gave Him to do and is now seated together with His children in the heavenlies. He has performed by the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11) all the intents of His heart (Jer. 30:24) and “He has performed all that is appointed unto me and many such things are with Him” (23:14). It is God that works in His children both to will and to do His good pleasure. It is He who has put it in the hearts of the wicked to fulfill His will and it is He who sits in heaven and rules over the kingdoms of this world.
This is why Adam is in opposition to Him because Adam desires to be in control and to command after his lusts and desires. But God is a jealous God and He does not share His glory with another. No flesh shall stand before Him or next to Him in review of the works of His hands. He has begun a good work in His people, He has ordained them unto good works as they have been created in Christ Jesus, He has made them zealous for these good works and He causes them to maintain good works. He has not left them to the devices and desires of the flesh but He shall perform this work unto the end and the coming the Lord Jesus Christ, when the time of the habitation is over.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 2, 2012