Where did people get the idea that doing right can’t have painful results? (more on ‘grey zones’)
the Book of Job is actually perfect for this subject. It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible (for several reasons)
Sometimes doing the Right thing will hurt both you and those around you.
So Job was a righteous man, He feared God and eschewed (avoided) evil. One day Satan came to a meeting of angels with God. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Job 1:7
Then God asked Satan if he had checked out Job, “… that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” Job 1:8
“Then Satan answered the Lord and said, doth Job fear God for nought?” Job 1:9 and started to say how God is protecting Job, and blessing his every work. (A spiritual Hedge or Wall protected him and everything he had, the reward of Job’s obedience to God)
“… but put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” Job 1:11
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:12
And Satan took everything Job had away in One Day; his 7,000 Sheep, his 3,000 Camels, his 5,000 Yoke of Oxen (A yoke is Two Oxen), 500 female Donkeys, and even worse, his Sons and Daughters were killed when the house they were in collapsed.
“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshiped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinneth not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job 1:20-22
Round One: Satan 0, God & Job 1. Satan had thought he could get Job to sin. God’s test for Job and his challange to Satan worked, like God knew it would. Next time the angels came to present themselves to God, Satan was back. After God asked where Satan had come from, He asked again if Satan had considered Job. “…and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movest me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Job 2:3
Satan replied, “… Skin for skin, yes, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth tine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.” Job 2:4-5
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” Job 2:6
“So went Satan 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
And Job, covered in painful seeping sores from head to toe, took a shard of a pot and used it to scrape himself as a way to find relief while he sat in ashes.
“Then his wife said unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.” Job 2:9
“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” Job 2:10
Three of Job’s friends came; Eliphaz, Bildad, & Zophar. They had come together to comfort him.
Round Two: Satan 0, God & Job 2.
So, seven days later, Job started to cry out about his problems. Basically complaining, and often asking God questions. He was very depressed.
His friends ruin their own plan to comfort him, and instead make things worse. Saying that Bad guys always get punished and Good guys always get rewards. So it was probebly some hidden sin in Job’s life. (as well his Children) And Job would continue his complaint, as well as his defense.
Then in Chapter 38, God joins the conversation. He doesn’t answer Job’s questions, instead He asks a lot of rhetorical questions like ‘Where were you when I created everything?” or “Can you control everything animals do, or the Mighty beasts like the Behemoth and Leviathan?” All these questions show that there really is nobody like God, who controls and upholds everything.
“Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. . . Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1,6
Then God told Job’s friends that they had displeased God. And they should take 7 bullocks and 7 rams, and go to Job and offer a Burned sacrifice to God (with Job’s help), and that Job shall pray for them “… lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.” Job 42:8
“… the Lord also accepted Job. And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10
So in the End, Job got twice as much as he had before. And he had more sons and daughters.
Final Results: Satan 0, God & Job 3.
(this quote is from my post ‘Never Give Up’)
So, Job is doing the right things, And it puts him in the crosshairs of Satan. Not only he suffers, but his children die, and many of his servants die as well. So it doesn’t only effect Job, but those around him as well.
His friends come to comfort him, But they can’t keep their mouths shut. They have that false idea of morality, thinking that Good people only recieve Good things, and only Evil people receive Bad things.
But since we know what happened behind the scenes, we know that’s not how things work.
Satan wants to corrupt anything that is good, because Good is the work of God.
Ephesians 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Psalm 145:9 – The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
For those of us who have accepted God’s salvation for our lives, Jesus has promised us that we will face persecution for the simple act of accepting Him, and certainly for serving Him!
John 15:18-19 – If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Matthew 24:9 – Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
John 16:2-3 – They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me
1 John 3:10-13 – In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Serving God is really the only Good way, everything else is worldly and basically under the domain of the Devil and his ways aren’t going to last.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (also see Revelation 20:10)
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
We should all ask God to lead our lives through the ‘grey zones’ in our lives, we need Him now more than ever.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.