“For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
The book of Job is arguably the oldest book of the Bible. Job must have lived nearly four thousand years ago. He was a man who revered God. God blessed him with great wealth and with sons and daughters. He pretty much had the world by the tail. Then one day Satan happened by and noticed how great Job was doing, so with permission from God in hand Satan embarked on a personal attack that would completely change Job’s life.
Satan wiped Job out financially and materially. He destroyed everything Job held dear. All of Job’s children were killed and his livestock taken away. He lost most of his friends. If all that wasn’t enough, Satan then inflicted Job with body sores from head to toe; so severe was his affliction that even Job’s appearance was altered. Job went from the top of the world to the dung heap almost instantly.
“In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22).
Job went through some horrible mental anguish, even cursing the day he was born. But through it all Job never cursed God. Job, as he sits and ponders his life which is now just a pile of ash, receives some real bad advice from a few so called friends, even his wife tells him to curse God and die. What a woman.
What was Job’s crime to have received such a terrible sentence perpetrated by Satan and condoned by God Himself? Nothing. That is, nothing more than any other child of God who’s walking with Him but sometimes stumbles. By allowing Satan to have his way with Job, God would ultimately prove to him that not all of the people on earth would be affected by lies and deceptions of the Father of Lies, no matter how hard he tries.
God knew what Job would do; He knew how Job would react to the torture that Satan would put him through. Satan could affect the worldly things that are fleeting, but he could not take Job’s life because that belonged to God. Job passed the test, maybe not with flying colors but he probably did better than most of us would have done. When it was all said and done, and Job was restored by God, he was given a double measure of all that he’d lost, even to the point that he begat another seven sons and three daughters.
Even during all of this horrible torture which Satan inflicted, Job was able to make the awesome statement “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” I doubt anyone other than our Lord has ever gone through such severe punishment. Think about it, most persecution that includes some horrendous torture results in the death of the recipient. Even our Lord Jesus died after a relatively short stint on the cross, considering that some of those who had been crucified actually remained alive for as much as a week to ten days. Of course death would most certainly have been a relief.
Job would have welcomed death, but no, he was made to endure all the pain and mental anguish, and all the bad advice of those friends who hung around and tortured him with false accusations. The loss of family and all earthly possessions would devastate or possibly destroy most men.
Job is described by God Himself as a “blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”(Job 1:8); and he’s given this description twice in Satan’s presence. How many of God’s children today, those who are born-again, can claim such a description for themselves? First of all, none of us are perfect so that fact alone would eliminate each and every one of us.
If Job could retain his sanity, his perfect uprightness, his love for God through what he endured, shouldn’t we be able to withstand a little persecution from non-believers?
As born-again believers our lives, our souls, and our minds belong to Jesus Christ. Jesus said that we would all go through persecution of some sort. Although, living in the USA we mostly only see and hear about the persecution that other Christians are forced to endure -- in other parts of the world. So where’s the persecution spoken of by Jesus coming from, and how will it affect us here in the USA? The answer is simple.
As we proclaim the truth of the gospel of Christ to unbelievers we will go through persecution. Maybe not each time but at some point it’s going to happen. Someone somewhere doesn’t want to hear it and they will actually complain that they’ve been injured in some way because they’ve had to endure “hate speech.” That’s right the message of the cross is now considered “hate speech” by some.
“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” (Matthew 24:9).
Just over the border in Canada Christians are being persecuted big time. They are being fined, imprisoned, and now the government has forced a pastor to renounce his faith. Doesn’t that sound like the times of Caesar in Rome? When it comes to preaching the Word of God Canadians aren’t to quote from the Bible Scriptures that would be considered contrary to the lifestyle of homosexuals.
Christians, we are beginning to see the initial stages of our rights and beliefs being attached right here in the good old US of A. Each time you see the homosexual agenda being advanced in our culture you can be assured that the persecution of Christians is one step closer.
The 70th week of Daniel is just front of us, which means that the Rapture of the Church is also closer. Unfulfilled prophecies from the Bible are coming to pass so fast now, and will continue to increase in rapidity, that it will become ever more burdensome to keep track of them.
Why do we, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, think that we won’t go through what most of the world’s Christians have had to endure throughout history? As we watch the news we see that many Christians are enduring horrible and degrading persecutions every day, being martyred for their faith in Christ. In the second and third centuries millions of Christians were martyred. In the 20th century alone more Christians were killed than in all previous centuries combined. Here in America, Christians, for the most part, have been shielded from persecution—but it is coming.
Can we avoid it? Not if we believe what the Bible teaches. The question is will we be as Job standing firm in his faith? Will we endure the hatred that’s coming and the unavoidable circumstances that will arise from being a follower of Jesus Christ? Will we endure to the end? Will we “hold fast” to the faith? Or will we give in to the pressures of our society, which is teetering on the edge of destruction even now?
Christian, only you can answer that question. If you are born-again, you are in Christ’s hands.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand” (John 10:28, 29).
On the one hand we aren’t required to make any such decision this minute, but on the other hand we must make decisions every day that will affect our walk with Christ. At some point in the not so distant future a decision will need to be made to either stand firm for Christ or to compromise our faith.
Job was faithful, remember what he went through and yet he continued to hold fast to his faith in God. He knew his redeemer lives. God knew Job and He knew Job wouldn’t fail. My prayer is that God knows this about us also. That in the face of severe persecution and even tribulation we, the Body of Christ, will hold fast to the faith.
Be sure He knows you.
God bless you all,