Job had a limited understanding of God. At the end of the book of Job—after thirty-something chapters of accusing God and Job’s friend’s accusing Job, God finally appears to Job. He has a conversation with Job, and Job is astounded.
“I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you. Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3,5-6, NKJV).
Job had never understood God, and suddenly he has a personal encounter with Him. Job regrets everything he has said about God. He recognizes his lack of knowledge about God and repents. “I have uttered things I did not understand,” he says. Job had said the Lord gives and takes away, and now he repents of it.
There are many believers in the world who say these words. This is sad. Many aren’t enjoying the abundant life that Jesus came to give because they believe the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. They doubt the God who loves them. Does it make sense that the God who forgives and heals and delivers out of His love turns around and steals what He has given? It is the enemy who steals. Jesus came to give abundant life.
Yesterday, we looked at some differences between Job and a believer in Christ. Job wasn’t born again. Nobody was at the time he lived because Jesus had not accomplished redemption for us. Healing is in redemption.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).
Job was not in Christ and was not a new creation. It wasn’t even available to him. Job was a man of integrity. He walked in what he knew. There was no covenant of law to condemn him so God could bless him because of the integrity of his heart. He didn’t have a relationship with God. He didn’t really know God. He was just a good upright man doing the best he knew how to do. God blessed that. But He wasn’t born again. He didn’t have a covenant. He didn’t know God and had a limited understanding of God. He had no knowledge of the devil.
We have the promises of God. We have the gifts of the Spirit. We have the keys to the kingdom. We have the authority to bind and loose. We are so well-equipped that it is tragic so many Christians are miserable and fearful. They have all the equipment they need but don’t understand the grace and love and power that Christ has given them.
Do they not understand that they are standing in the finished work of Jesus? That they are standing in the promises of the New Covenant? Those who are fearful and miserable aren’t using the gifts of the Spirit. They aren’t dressed in the armor of God and breastplate of righteousness. They aren’t using the spiritual laws of the Kingdom. We have all these things available to us, and Job didn’t. We need to learn who we are and what we have in Christ so that we don’t end up like Job. Job is not our example. Jesus is.
Job worshiped God in ignorance. He didn’t know what he was doing. Job mentions making burnt offerings but there wasn’t a covenant at this time to establish the use of burnt offerings. As a man of integrity, he was doing the best he could to please God. He made it up as he went along. We don’t make up our worship. “But the hour is coming,” Jesus told the woman at the well, “and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit and those that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). When you are born again, you are in spirit. When Jesus is Lord of your life, you are in truth. Then you worship God in spirit and in truth.
Job lived in fear. Those who have a born-again relationship with God know that God hasn’t given them a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,” Job said (Job 3:25). Why did Job fear? He had nothing to fall back on. He had no covenant. He had no understanding of God. He had no knowledge of the devil. He worshiped as he felt was right. Obviously, he wasn’t going to have confidence. “I am not at ease nor am I quiet,” Job declared. “I have no rest for trouble comes” (Job 3:26). Job had no peace. We have access to the peace that passes all understanding. Job had fear, and we have no reason to live in fear. We have our New Covenant relationship with Jesus to fall back on. We have a new nature. The spirit of fear is in the old man we were. Power and love and a sound mind are in the new man we are in Christ.
Job had no intercessor. Because of Adam’s sin, he had an accuser. The devil could accuse him before God. Job didn’t have anyone praying for him. Who is our intercessor? Who is our Redeemer? Who can accuse us? No one has that right! The enemy may try, but we are victoriously redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! We have a legal representative, the son of Man, who accomplished redemption with His own blood and sat down at the right hand of God. “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).
“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). When you come to God, you have Jesus praying for you. He lives forever to pray for you. Job didn’t have that intercessor. He only had the accuser.
We perish for lack of knowledge. Job didn’t have knowledge of God or the enemy. He didn’t have a covenant. He wasn’t born again. He had no spiritual weapons. He had no spiritual gifts. Job worshiped however he felt. Job lived in fear. And his fears were realized.
When people say, “what about Job,” I ask, “what about Jesus?” Job wasn’t born of a virgin. He wasn’t full of the Holy Spirit. Job didn’t heal the sick and set the captive free. Job didn’t defeat the devil. Job didn’t die for our sins. Job didn’t descend into the lowest parts of the earth and take the keys of hell and death. He didn’t rise from the dead. Job didn’t take his blood into the tabernacle of God. Job didn’t sit down at the right hand of God, having accomplished redemption for us. Job didn’t send the Holy Spirit to empower the church and anoint us with power. Job didn’t give gifts to men. Job didn’t promise to return and defeat his enemies.
Job was a good man, but he had no true knowledge of God. If you believe, as Job did until he repented, that God put suffering on him, then why would you ever believe God would heal you? Or even care for you? Are you going to identify with Job or with Jesus who came to save you and set you free—who poured out His grace upon you and redeemed you—who gave you his armor and his gifts—who intercedes for you—who gave you His name and His promises? Don’t identify with someone like Job who didn’t understand God and had to repent for what he said. Know who you are in Christ and identify with Jesus who redeemed you.