Job 4:15-16 “Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,”
This year, I have been challenged not only to read through my Bible in the year, but read it chronologically. So far, I’ve read through the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Next comes the first five chapters of Job. In it, I found a most interesting part of Job’s conversation with one of his friends, Eliphaz, the Temanite.
After a week of sitting in the ashes in silence, he speaks in response to Job’s first words since Satan moved the hand of God against Job. As he does, I noticed the verses above and the rest of the conversation. First, Eliphaz uses a false premise that bad things happen to good people because they sinned and it is God’s correction upon them. Using the fruit to determine the root is not always wise.
Job 4:7-9 “Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.”
The whole situation Job finds himself in had nothing to do with God’s correction of any wrongdoing in Job’s life. Eliphaz assumes wrongly that in sowing and reaping, Job must have done something to deserve the severity of seeming judgment that has come upon his friend.
Then, Eliphaz shares where his thinking is based:
Job 4:12-14 “Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.”
He first relates where he received his wisdom. Such fear came upon him to make all his bones to shake? Then, he tells how a spirit, whose image he cannot discern, stands before him and every hair on his body stands at the presence of this spirit? Moses, when he came into the presence of God, fell on his face. Isaiah came into the presence of God and did likewise.
Eliphaz relates what is said and I am reminded of just who it is that speaks in questions that challenge God’s authority or casts an accusing light on someone or something.
Job 4:17-21 “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.”
In the very first chapter, we are privy to the conversation God has with Satan.
Job 1:8 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”
God declares Job to be ‘perfect’, ‘upright’, one that fears Himself and shuns or avoids evil. He compares Job to others and declares that there is none like him in the earth. I would say that that is a pretty impressive resume’. Satan, ever the accuser, is chomping at the bit to slap at God’s chosen.
In the verses that follow, we see how Satan moves the hand of God to take his wealth and his health from him.
Job 2:3 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
It wasn’t Job’s wrongdoing that brought the hand of God against job – it was the accusation of the devil that brought testing from above. We must be careful when we hear a voice speaking to our heart. Some have wrongly discerned and said “Thus saith the Lord” when the Lord had not said.
Ezekiel warns us:
Ezekiel 22:28 “And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.”
I thank God; and specifically the Holy Spirit in me, for the discerning voice that is His alone. When I can find out who it is that’s doing the talking, I can generally determine whether or not to act on what I am hearing.
MAny have given testimony of their salvation as a light that shone before them; wind moving the curtains or even an angel standing before them. John exhorts us:
2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
We are commanded to test or try the spirits.
1 John 4:1-3 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
By God’s Word and through the discernment of the Holy Spirit we can determine just who it is that is speaking to us before we ever go off into some false doctrine or destructive path. Satan knows that he but little time left before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be relentless in his assault upon us until we enter Heaven and he receives his reward in the lake of fire.
Job suffered great loss and in his despair, pride reared it’s ugly head. God dealt with Job and his friends in the end and revealed who was right and who was wrong. God never left Job. He showed up right on time and rewarded Job and his wife with children, lands and wealth more than he had previously.
Job knew the voice of God and what it was to come into His presence. His character held to his view that God is good – all the time!
Find out who it is that is speaking to your heart. See if what they are saying lines up with the Word of God. Try the spirits and see if they name the name of Jesus Christ. Once we can determine the ‘who’ and the ‘what’, we are left with the choice to either shun the evil or obey God.