Summary: With the sudden onslaught of the Worldwide pandemic, it seems appropriate to revisit the trials of Job.
Throughout the centuries, the story of Job has been used to help people in times of sorrow and sickness. Many have interpreted that God was responsible for “allowing" satan to afflict Job, and therefore He “allows” sorrows, suffering, poverty, and sickness to come upon His children. However, God was not responsible for Job's calamities - satan was!
"So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." (Job 2:7 KJV)
Job accused God of bringing about the evil in a conversation he had with his wife about all that had befallen them, “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10 KJV) The reality is that Job did not know it was the devil alone that had made him sick. The people of that time did not know that the devil existed, so they attributed everything to God - including evil.
Job was a man who was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil,” but he had to repent for speaking things about God that were not true (Job 1:1 NIV). He lived a morally pure life, but his understanding of the character and nature of God was distorted, and way off base.
Job was blessed and financially secure, but he walked in constant worry. He offered sacrifices in the event his relatives did something wrong without even knowing for sure that they had actually done something wrong! This can be seen in the numerous "insurance" offerings he made on behalf of His children (See Job 1:5). Job was the only one in the Bible who did this. He said,
The Hedge of Protection
Fear is trusting-faith running in reverse gear. It opens windows of opportunity for the enemy and energizes him to terrorize and inflict harm. Job did not know that he needed to repent of his fear. The accuser took advantage of that and began afflicting him with many trials. However, God restrained the enemy. He did not “allow” satan to do all he desired to do, even though fear had opened the door for him to do what he did.
God did not commission the enemy to afflict Job! (See Job 2:1-10; 42:1-6, 10-17; Ps. 91) He placed a hedge of protection around him even though he was not under a covenant with God, which every Born-Again Christian is under, that excluded satan from causing affliction (Job 1:10). Job didn’t have the Old Covenant promises, let alone the New Covenant promises, to stand on. He did not have any promise he could claim to keep the enemy away because the promises of protection were not yet given to God’s people.
The Egyptians afflicted Israel with cruel servitude for many generations even though the Law of Moses said that an Israelite did not have to be a slave of another nation if they served the Lord (See Deut 28). During the time the Israelites were under bondage in Egypt, the Law had not yet been given, so there was no promise of deliverance they could stand upon.
The enemy had the authority to afflict Israel in Egypt. However, once God gave His Law through Moses, satan’s rights were restricted. He could only bring Israel into bondage if Israel forsook the Lord. God promised that if Israel walked uprightly before Him, they would not be brought into subjection like that again.
The real story of Job is that he was a man of genuinely remarkable patience who honored God even though he did not understand the why(s) of what happened to him.
“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11 KJV)
One of the great lessons of Job is that God does honor patience, but nowhere in the Bible is Job commended for being a man of great faith. He is not the perfect example of patient suffering. The book of Job teaches that sickness does not come from God, for He is the one who heals.
The enemy afflicted Job in many ways for a season (See Job 7:30). His sickness and troubles were just a fraction of his life, perhaps lasting only seven months. Job never asked God to heal and restore him. However, this simple fact remains - even though Job didn’t ask to be delivered, God healed and delivered him completely! There is no record of him ever getting sick or afflicted again for the rest of his life up to the day “he died, an old man who had lived a long, good life” (Job 42:17 NLT).
The Redeemer Lives!