SAFETY, REST, AND QUIET
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” (Job 1:1)
God calls Job a man who is perfect and upright; one who fears God and escheweth evil. Nothing exactly like this is said about any other believer in the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we can find record of God calling only a very few men, “perfect.” And Job is one of them. Job is one of the greatest spiritual giants that has ever walked the face of this earth. Therefore, we would do well to learn all we can from him and strive to be like him.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 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. 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?” (Job 1:6-8)
God in Heaven is so proud of His servant, Job, that He just grabs the ol’ devil by his chain and says to him, “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?”
I wish God could take that much pride in me, that He would want to brag on me like that, before the devil and his crowd. I would like to be one who would cause God to take the devil by the collar and say to him, “Satan, have you considered my servant, Richard? He’s perfect and upright. He fears God and escheweth evil. Therefore I am so proud to call him my son.” I hunger and thirst to be like that. And if I could find out what made Job like that, I would try to apply it to my life to make me like Job. And I do not believe that Job had any inside secret with God that you and I cannot get in on. Any believer can be just as great as Job was. And in this wicked and perverse, immoral, beastlike generation of self worshippers; how we need some believers who will be like Job, stand against evil and fight it with fiery godly zeal; stand against the devil and his crowd in such a way that God would be just as proud of them as He was of Job.
〔Dear Reader, each time you come to this green print, it is a powerful prayer. So please open your heart to Almighty God Your Creator, and pray these prayers aloud to Him, in all earnestness and sincerity. If you will do so, God will work miracles in your life.〕
“Lord God, please send Thy Holy Spirit to convict me of just how far I am from being perfect and upright before Thee. Convict me of how willingly I have settled for a lukewarm, careless Christian life; so desirous to live for self and for the pleasures of this world, having lost much of my desire to glorify Thee with my life. Convict me of how displeasing it is to Thee, that I do not have a burning desire to be perfect and upright in Thy sight, but rather have been satisfied to be an indifferent and worthless servant to Thee, my Creator. Convict me. Grant me remorse over this my sin. Grant me a repentant heart. By Thy Spirit, change my cold, indifferent heart into one that wholly aspires to be perfect and upright, so that Thou canst delight in bragging on me before the enemy, just as Thou delighted in bragging on Thy servant, Job. Grant this, Lord, I pray. Amen.”
God said to Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job?” It wasn’t the devil that started the ball rolling that got Job into all that misery that he went through. It didn’t start by the devil complaining to God about Job. It started by God picking on the devil about Job. “Hast thou considered my servant Job?” That was the last thing the devil wanted to do, consider Job. Job’s holy, righteous life was such a thorn in the devil’s flesh, that the devil didn’t want to think about Job at all. He wished he could forget about this saint’s existence. But God would not let him. God was so proud of Job that He just could not keep quiet about him. God had to glory over Job before the devil. Oh, to be like Job!
“Lord，I want to be like Job!” And if I could find out what made Job such a great saint, I would try to apply that to my life. If I could find out what his priorities were, I would make them mine. What was important to Job, I would make important in my life. What was not important to Job, I would not make important to me. And I think there is a verse here in Job that tells what his priorities were and reveals his secret of spiritual success, showing us just what he did that made God in Heaven so proud of him. Just as God asked Satan if he had considered Job, I want you and I to now consider Job in a serious, spiritual study, like we have possibly never considered him before; all the while calling on God to help us too, to be like this giant of a believer.
“Heavenly Father, I thank Thee for giving me Thy Eternal Word, The Holy Bible, to guide my life. I want to live in complete obedience to Thy Holy Word. Thank Thee, Lord, for giving us this “perfect and upright” example of Job in the Bible. As I now read this study about Job, please grant me Thy Wisdom to enable me to learn everything I should from it. Teach me, Lord, I pray. Amen.”
Likely you well know the story of Job. Read in chapter one, how that God allowed this rich man to lose all of his many possessions; his oxen, sheep, camels, and even his ten children. What is Job’s reaction to this sudden disaster? “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 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 sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job l: 20 - 22) Oh what joy he gives to his Creator by such a confession. Oh how I want to be like him.
This wonderful confession of Job’s makes God even more proud of this perfect servant. So God just rattles Satan’s chain again. “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.” (Job 2:3) “Look at him, Satan,” God is saying. “Even though you moved me against this man to destroy him without a cause, still all he can do is to fall down on the ground and worship me, saying, ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Get a good look at that, Satan. Is not that a rare sight to behold? I am making you consider him. I am forcing you to consider Job, you ol’ devil. I refuse to let you not consider him. I am so proud of him that there is no way I will allow you to ignore him, as you so desire to do.”
“Lord, help me to be like Job.” Oh how delighted God is, when He has such a treasure as Job to boast of, to anyone and everyone, especially to the enemy and those in the enemy’s camp.
“Lord God, please help Brother Richard to be like Job. Please stir up my heart also, with burning desire to be perfect and upright before Thee. Show me how greatly that glorifies Thee, and how soundly it defeats Thy enemy, the devil. Please help me to be perfect and upright, and thereby of great use to Thee, in this fierce spiritual battle that is raging. Make me into a mature, perfect and upright soldier in Thy great army. Grant this, Lord, I beg of Thee. Amen.”
Oh what agony the devil is in now. God forces Satan to again consider Job; still perfect and upright, even tho he has lost his many possessions and all ten children. How Satan detests looking on such a sight that glorifies God so much. So he comes back, moping and groaning. “Well, he wouldn’t serve You if You would afflict him in his body.” “And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine 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) God didn’t even bat an eye about turning this prized possession of His over to the devil for Job to be afflicted in the worst way possible. Job’s Creator and Saviour quickly put Job in the devil’s hand for him to do anything with Job that he desired to do, except for to kill him.
“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. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.” (Job 2:7&8) So there Job is, sitting on that ash heap, scraping himself with a potsherd, trying to relieve the misery of those boils covering his entire body. All his possessions, gone overnight. All ten children, killed instantly. Health, gone. Afflicted with physical misery. So this great man of wealth has been reduced to a stinking, festering mass of rotten flesh, sitting in ashes; all because he loved God more than any other person did. What a reward for being the best believer on earth, for zealously being obedient to God.
Something similar to this could possibly happen to you, simply because you are loving God with all your heart, and zealously striving to be completely obedient to Him and completely sold out to Him in every area of your life. So if and when disaster strikes you, it is a good thing for you to do a spiritual check-up, looking for any sin or anything wrong in your relationship with God. And if a thorough search turns up nothing, then do consider Job. And consider that the adversity coming your way, may be for similar reasons that it came upon Job.
“Lord God, each time adversity comes my way, please give me Thy wisdom to be able to discern the reason for it. Help me to know if it is because of my sins and failures, or if it is because Thou art glorying over my life before the enemy. Amen.”
“Then said his wife unto him, Doest thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.” (Job 2:9) “Honey, why don’t you just curse God and die? Just look at what misery God has given you in return for all that worship, love, adoration, service, labor, and praise that you have lavished upon Him all these years. Just look at how God has treated you for being perfect and upright. God must hate you to treat you like this. Go ahead, Job, while there is still breath in you and you still have a chance in this life to get back at God. Just curse God to His Face. Tell Him in no uncertain terms, what you think of Him treating you this way. Go ahead and do it now while you have the chance. Curse God and die, Job.” All ten of his children, killed. And the only loved one left, rebukes him and urges him to turn his back on God and curse Him. What a severe test Job is put to here. How well does he stand the test?
“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) Not one word will Job utter against God.
“Though he slay me, yet will trust in him.” (Job 13:15) That is why God is so proud of Job. Though God may kill him, still Job will do nothing but praise and worship Him, always clinging to God in absolute unwavering faith and trust.
Being perfect and upright before God means never, ever finding fault in Him for any reason. So if you want to be perfect and upright in God’s sight, then you MUST get this matter settled at the start, that you would never find fault with God. God is perfect and upright. He never does any wrong. So believe that now, and always believe that about God. And please do not ever find fault with Him.
“Almighty God, by Thy Great Power, please help me to NOW get it settled in my heart that I will never find any fault in Thee. Help me to never consider doing so. Convince me that Thou art totally Holy and Perfect, and that none of the many creatures that Thou hast created, will ever have any reason for faulting Thee, or murmuring and complaining against Thee. Give me courage to say along with Job, ‘Though Thou slayest me, yet will I still trust in Thee.’ Also, please help Brother Richard to be perfect and upright in this matter. May he never be tempted to find fault with Thee, no matter what trials and troubles come his way on the foreign mission field. Help us all, Lord, I humbly pray. Amen.”
“Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” Satan knows that is so true of so many believers. But God proved the ol’ devil wrong in thinking Job was like that. No wonder God was so proud of Job. And God our Creator wants to be just as proud of you and me. So let’s call on God to help us be just like Job, so that our lives also will make a liar out of the Devil.
“Almighty God, that is what I want my life to be, a life that Thou canst brag on and glory over. I want my life to be one that will make a liar out of the devil, when to Thee; he accuses me of not being perfect and upright before Thee. By thy Unlimited Power, please make my life into such a one. Please strengthen me to withstand any trials and hardships Thou mayest put me through to prove my uprightness to the devil and his followers. I also pray this for Brother Richard. Please grant all this for him too, I pray. Amen.”
Next, come Job’s three friends to comfort him. Such miserable comforters they turned out to be. “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place…for they had made an appointment together to come to morn with him and to comfort him. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.” (Job 2:11-13)
They come there to speak soothing words of comfort to Job. But they are so shocked and taken aback by his condition, that none of the three can speak a single word for an entire week. All they are able to do is to just sit there on the ground and look at him for seven long days and nights. And when they do begin to speak, they are so far off base that Job has to exclaim to them, “Miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:2)
“After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.” (Job 3:1)
Here in Chapter Three, Job is regretting his very existence. “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.” (Verse 3) “Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly.” (Verse 11)
Job had known great prosperity, good health, a large family, a rich and fulfilled life; and apparently for many long years. But now all that is behind him. Overnight it has disappeared. And now he is so miserable that he is “cursing” his very existence. Job now wishes that he had never been conceived. Having been conceived, he wishes he had died at birth and had never known life. We cannot fathom the extent of the suffering that God allowed Job to go through, simply because Job loved God more than anyone else did.
There may come a time in your life when God will do something similar to you. Consider that possibility now as we consider Job. And don’t be caught off guard if God chooses to put you to a similar test.
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) The All-Knowing God knew beforehand, the way that Job would take when God allowed Satan to put Job to such a harsh test. And Job’s own faith in the Rock of Ages is so firm and solid that Job himself can truthfully proclaim, “When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” What great glory God received from this believer made of pure gold.
And Almighty God created you for the same purpose; for you to glorify Him by coming forth as gold, each and every time God tries you, and each and every time that He allows the devil to just turn your life upside down with the worst havoc and disasters imaginable. Right now, purpose in your heart, that with Almighty God’s Help, you will always come forth as gold, no matter how severe the trial may be.
“Lord God, I want to do that. When Thou triest me, I want to come forth as gold, just as Job did. I do not have the power within me to do that myself. So I beg Thee, by Thy Power, please enable me to do that. I now fully open my heart to Thee, for Thee to work freely in my life to perfect total obedience of my life to Thee and to Thy Word. Work mightily and perfect that obedience, I humbly pray, Lord. Amen.”
Down to verse 25, all of Chapter three records Job regretting and lamenting his existence. “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Verse 25) What Job is talking about here, is disaster. Job got wiped out. He lost most everything. And Job is saying here that he had feared the possibility of that happening.
In the same way, you and I harbor certain fears in the back of our minds as we go through life. “What if I lose my job and cannot find another one?” “What if I lose my health and can no longer work and support the family?” “What if I or my wife gets cancer?” “What if one of the children is crippled or paralyzed for life in an accident?” “What if the house burns down, destroying all our possessions?” Possibly we do not think so much on those things when we are young. But as the years grow on us, these kinds of fears tend to grow also.
And Job is saying, “During all those years of wonderful prosperity, I considered and feared the possibility of something like this happening. And sure enough, now it has finally come.”
And I believe that Job’s secret of being perfect and upright before God is revealed in the next verse. “I WAS NOT IN SAFETY, NEITHER HAD I REST, NEITHER WAS I QUIET; YET TROUBLE CAME.” (Job 3:26)
Back about 1980, I was on my knees reading slowly through this passage, when the Holy Ghost seemed to stop me at this verse. I wondered why Job would mention these three things in relation to the fact that trouble came his way. I was puzzled about the connection. But it seemed like there was an important lesson to be learned here. So for days, I read over this, mediating and praying about it; till weeks later it seemed that I came to understand what Job is saying in this verse. I believe what Job is telling us here, is; “Even though I was behaving myself as BEST I knew how before God, STILL God allowed all this trouble to come my way.”
It would be like you, working a job for an employer. Day in and day out, you go to work on time. You stay on the job late at times. You do not steal things from your workplace. You work hard every day, giving your employer a good day of labor for the day’s wage he pays you. You are one of the best employees he has. You do a good job for a number of years. Then the time comes when he has to cut back and lay off a few employees. And when he does, you are the first one to get the ax. You would go home shaking your head, dumbfounded. “I was the best worker he had. So why was I the first one to get laid off?”
And that is what Job is saying here. “I was behaving myself as best I knew how before God. But still He let such trouble come my way.” And when I came to understand that, I saw the three things that Job considered most important in his walk with God. Now don’t forget who is talking to us here. This is Job. This is the man whom God Himself called perfect and upright, one of the godliest persons who has ever walked on this earth. We are not just stopping the first person we meet on the street and asking him, “What do you think you have to do to be most pleasing to God?” But rather we are talking to Job, the one who would most definitely know, because he was closest to God. And coming to understand all that, I saw what were Job’s top three priorities in following and pleasing God. And I believe it was those three things that made Job the spiritual giant that he was. I believe they are what made him PERFECT and UPRIGHT.
I also believe that if you will make those things just as important in your life as Job did, that it will make you just as great in God’s sight as Job was. And in this wicked, sinful world that is soon to have God’s pent-up wrath rained down upon it; how we now as never before, need some believers like Job who will let their lights shine brightly in this ol’ sin-sick, dark world and show everyone around them what true holiness, righteousness, and spirituality is all about.
I want to be like Job. I pray that you do also. May God help us all to be like Job.
“Father in Heaven, I do want to be like Job. I want to learn exactly what made him perfect and upright. So please teach me. I want to put those things into practice in my life. And then I want to teach those things to other people also. Please help me to do that. As I read this book written by a mortal man, I open my heart to all of God’s Truth that is contained in it. But I close my heart to any mistakes and errors that may be in it. So I call on Thee, Almighty God, my Creator and my soon-coming Judge, to be my Teacher. Please teach me exactly what made Job perfect and upright. Please teach me, and help me, to be perfect and upright as Job was. Please teach and help Brother Richard to be perfect and upright. Please help him to be without error and void of vainglory, as he teaches others about the One True God, our Creator. Grant this, Lord, I humbly pray. Amen.”
(This is the end of Chapter One of the book, “SAFETY, REST, AND QUIET.”)