WHAT CONSUMES YOUR MIND?

Why is it that some ‘themes’ seem to occur in ‘groups of three’? What I mean is you might see a picture of a statement of something, repeatedly, over a course of days. For example, “That’s the third time this week that I have heard something like, “The things that consume my mind, control my life”.

I was writing an article, a post, for my web and blog site from Matthew 6:24 on the subject of serving two masters, God and money. One of the lessons to be learned is that the thing that consumes my mind, controls my life.

The next day, a friend posted a meme on Facebook which simply said, “The things that consume my mind control my life”. Hmmmm.

Today, I get up to do my morning Bible study and I believe God puts the idea of the book of Job into my mind. (Strangely enough, it is one of my favorite studies.)

So, welcome to my ‘day three’, the true story of JOB. (A spiritually deep teaching.)

I have studied and thought, deeply, about the Old Testament Book of Job.  There was a time that I shied away from this Book.  It was confusing and depressing to me.  I kept asking myself “Why would a Just and Loving God allow such horror and prolonged suffering to one of His Chosen servants?”

Then, one day, I felt a determination to get a fresh perspective on God’s Word through His Book of Job.  I thought this motivation must be from God, because I had plenty to do aside from reading a Book about a man’s suffering written over 2,500 years ago.

Please allow me to explore this Book with you keeping these things in mind.

1.  The Bible is all about Jesus which means the Bible is all about God’s unconditional love for us.  You cannot study or understand the Bible correctly if you start on any other basis.  And the Book of Job is no exception.  You’ll find the “God with us” in Job.  You must find Jesus, reaching out to you, calling you, in this Book, or you missed the point.

2. The Bible is a Prophetic Book. It is the Truth to you and once you implant that Word in you, it tells the Truth through you.  This is how prophecy works.  It is the living Word of God, manifest.

The prophecy of the Book of Job is still alive and reverberating throughout time.  It is still calling to us.  It will still be manifest in your life and my life, if we embrace this Truth.  (This is difficult to explain but it is most significant).

  1. The Bible is to be understood on three major levels:
    1. With the physical mind (soma). What you “see” is what you get.  Cognitive. This is where much of our learning begins.
    2. With the soul, that is the mind, the will and the emotions (pseuche). This is deeper than just physical facts.  You see, think, meditate, have emotions and with your will to accept or reject the Word is affected.  This is where most of us a moved into some sort of decision making, process and eventually, action.
    3. With your Spirit (pneuma).  This is what a current-day psychologist might,    inadequately call, “core beliefs”.  This are where beliefs of how we see ourselves,   other people, the world, the future, and God are formed and kept.

2. Every word of the Book of Job is prophetic and significant. There is neither time nor space in this exploration to look at the prophetic significance of every word, but much is to be gained by such a study.  (I will occasionally dip into some of these words)

NOTE:  In order to interact with the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of all Truth, and to understand the Prophetic Truth of the Book of Job, you must be a Believer and follower of Jesus, filled by and with The Holy Spirit. It is He Who will teach and guide you into all Truth.

Let’s pray to The Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding and let’s start exploring:

Job 1:1, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

What do we know from verse 1 about Job?   (This is very important).

  1. a) He was blameless,
  2. b) He was upright,
  3. c) He feared God
  4. d) He turned away from evil

How do feel about Job, from this description?

NOTE:  Job’s name, from the Hebrew means “hated”; to be hostile to or to be an enemy to.  Job’s name translated from Greek means “the cry of woe” or “I will exclaim”

Read these verses from the New Testament and tell me, How does Job’s name square with his character?

(John 17:14  “I have given them Your word. And the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

John 15:18  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me..)

How do you think God viewed Job?

How do you think ‘the world’ will feel about you, if you assume the nature and character of Job?

Verse 2.  Seven sons and three daughters were born to him.

 Verse 3.  His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

What do verses 2 and 3 say about Job on the “physical level”?

What do verses 2 and 3 say about Job on a “Spiritual level”?

(The sacred numbers, three and seven, often occur. 

The number seven is one of the most significant numbers of the Bible because it is the number of spiritual perfection. It is the number which is stamped on every work of God.

Three is also a number of perfection, or completion. This number is repeated throughout the Bible as a symbol of completeness.  God’s attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Three denotes divine perfection; Seven denotes spiritual perfection.

The number five symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace.

The name of Job, too, is derived from an Arabic word signifying repentance.)

Verse 4.  His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

Explain what you see and how you feel about verse 4.

Verse 5.  When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all;  for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.Thus, Job did continually.

What is the significance of  Job consecrating his children and offering burnt offerings for his children (to sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate), in verse 5?

After praying for his children, why would Job suddenly consider that perhaps his sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts?

How often did Job think this way?

Was this a disciplined prayer life or had it become an obsessive and compulsive type of thinking? Thus, Job did continually”.

PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT:  The scene / setting of this narrative shifts dramatically from the ‘earthly or natural realm’ to the ‘Heavenly or spiritual realm’.  Our attention is drawn away from Job and his righteousness – to GOD.

Verse 6.  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

 How does Satan gain entrance to the presence of God? Who or what opened the door for him?

 Verse 7.  The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

 Why does God have to ask Satan where he came from? God is omniscient. He knows all things.

 Verse 8  The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

Once again, why does the omniscient God have to ask Satan if he has ‘considered’ or been thinking about Job. Doesn’t God already know the answer? And, why does God then describe Job for Satan to hear? Or could it be a reminder of how Job has come to see himself?

Verse 9  Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?

 Does Satan no hear God’s question or does he choose to not answer it? Instead, Satan asks, if Job fears (reverences) God for any good reason?

Verse 10.  “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Verse 11.  “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”

 Verse 12.  Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So, Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

Notice the progression here.

  1. Job was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. Job was the greatest of all the people of the east.
  2. Job would send and consecrate his children, and
  3. he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all.
  4. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.”
  5. Thus, Job did continually.
  6. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
  7. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”
  8. And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”
  9. Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So, Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job is a great man. Fearing God and turning away from evil. There is no one on earth like him.

Is what we are seeing the spiritual order being played out?

Many, (if not most) commentaries and Bible teachers, make the assumption that these foregoing verses describe some sort of wager between God and Satan, betting on the life and character of Job. I am personally outraged that someone who is considered  a sound and credible Bible teacher or scholar would make such a defamatory and heretical statement about God. When confronted, many of these same ‘scholars’ will become indignant, begin waving their educational achievements and sheepskins in your face or retreat to the idea that the book of Job is just a metaphor. They say it did not actually happen but was written as an object lesson in suffering. To both, I say, rubbish!  This is not some foolish game between God and Satan.

This is what happens when we are drawn into Satan’s trap of compulsive doubt, worry and fear. This is what happens when we fix out mind on the things of the flesh. Carefully read Romans 8:5-8, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death…For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

When we as sons of God come to present ourselves before the LORD, we either open or close the door for Satan to come among us by how we conduct our thought life, by the things we have set our mind upon!

What comes next is unspeakable carnage. Job loses his property, his possessions and his children.

Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head in mourning for the children, and he fell to the ground and worshiped God. He said, “Naked without possessions I came into this world from my mother’s womb, And naked I will return there.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Then the previous scene repeats when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD and Satan comes among them. This time conditions worsen and Job’s body is afflicted with sores and boils and Job begins his lament. The most revealing statement is made by Job in Chapter 3, verse 25:  “For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread befalls me.

What follows is a fruitless discourse between Job, his wife and his friends. Job has done all he knows to do and has said all he knows to say in order to find relief. But he finds no relief. So, foolishly, Job questions God and this draws a response from God

What happens next could easily be imagined to have been accompanied with a scene of dark roiling dark clouds, deafening thunder and blinding lightning and a terrifying and booming voice from the heavens, Chapter 38, verse 1,

 “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Verse 2.  “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Verse 3.  “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

 A colloquial expression of these same words from God might be “Job! Hike up your britches like a man and face Me if you have the nerve!” God proceeds to ‘set the record straight’, reminding Job that it is God who creates and provides all things. Without God, Job would not have been considered as  “no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

We do all our religious duties and we become good in our own mind and in our own eyes, and when evil comes to visit, we have only ourselves to turn to. So, we worry, doubt and obsess on what we must do to fix things.

We do the good things we know to do, such as rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all and present ourself before the LORD, and will all our best intentions, still,  Satan comes among us, and asks the God, “does                                  (fill in your name) fear God for any good reason?”

It is when we come to the end our ourselves and repent and submit ourselves to God that relief comes. Jesus teaches this very thing, found in Matthew chapter 5,

Blessed are we when we are made poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are we when we are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are we when we are made meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are we when we are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are we when we are made merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are we when we are made pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are we when we are made the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are we when we are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Is this not the saem progression for Job and his difficulties?)

Chapter 42, verse 1:   Then Job answered the LORD and said,

 Verse 2.  “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Verse 3.  ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore, I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

 Verse 4.  ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’

 Verse 5.  “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;

 Verse 6.  Therefore, I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”

This is a creative, causative, prophetic and instructional warning for every man, woman, boy and girl who would believe in God and who would follow Jesus.

Now let’s see the result of complete submission and humility, which has come from trials, tribulations and loss.

Job’s (and our) Confession and Repentance

Chapter 42:1, Then Job answered the Lord and said:

Verse 2. “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
verse 3. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
verse 4. ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
verse 5. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
verse 6,  therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”

verse 7. After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. verse 8. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” verse 9. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

The Lord Restores Job’s (and our) Fortunes

Verse 10. “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Verse 11. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.

verse 12. “And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. verse 13. He had also seven sons and three daughters. verse 14. And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. verse 15. And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. verse 16/ And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17And Job died, an old man, and full of days.”

(The sacred numbers, three and seven, often occur. 

The number seven is one of the most significant numbers of the Bible because it is the number of spiritual perfection. It is the number which is stamped on every work of God.

Three is also a number of perfection, or completion. This number is repeated throughout the Bible as a symbol of completeness.  God’s attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Three denotes divine perfection; Seven denotes spiritual perfection.

The number five symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace.)

Now, let’s pray for one another that we might be those who set their minds on the things of the Spirit, for to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8)

And remember, do not call a conspiracy when the sons and daughters of God present ourselves before our LORD, like those who call it a conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But it is the Lord of hosts we shall honor as holy. Let him be our fear, and let him be our dread, and he will become our sanctuary. (Isaiah 8)

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

 

 

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