Saturday, December 27, 2008

Job, the man in the Old Testament and Corrie ten Boom

During this time, prices have gone up, people are losing their homes, losing their jobs and many lost on what to do with their lives. This is a story about faith, the story of one man selected to undergo a staggering ordeal by trial. His response presents a message that applies not just himself, but to every person who lived, lives and will live on planet earth. The contest over one man's faith and whether he will believe in God or deny God? God himself called this man “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil”. This man has asked the same questions asked by nearly everyone who experienced sufferings, Why me? What is God trying to tell me?

God has chosen this man who must undergo a terrible ordeal in order to determine the winner between the two heavyweights (God and Satan). Satan’s accusation that this man loves God only because “you have put a hedge around him”. This was an attack on God’s character, which implies that God's people loves God because God provides everything they need. God was not on trial but rather this man's faith was on trial. Satan challenged God by asking Him to take away this man's positive rewards, and watch faith crumble (so he hoped).

This story about about JOB. God Himself declared: "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was PERFECT" (Job 1:1). "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 1:8).

The Scripture clearly teaches that not only is it a possibility to be handed over to Satan. There are times and places and circumstances under the plan of God in which individuals are definitely to be turned over to Satan.

Reading Job is one example. God says, "Have you looked at My servant Job? And what a good man he is. What's interesting is that other biblical writers refer to Job as a real person. Ezekiel refers to Job along with Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14,20). And James draws upon the example of Job to comfort the suffering, proving the point that God is merciful. He commends the endurance of Job (Jas. 5:11). From the Book of Job, we see that God is in complete control. Satan had neither the power nor the authority to do anything without the permission of God. It was consistent with God's nature and will for him to have allowed those things to happen to Job.

In the sense that all sickness is linked to sin, because if there were no sin, there would be no sickness. But it is wrong in assuming that a person became directly sick from being sinful. In John 9:2-3, Jesus and His disciples encountered a blind man. “His disciples asked Him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Satan sometimes causes illness (Job 2:7; Luke 13:16).

This sinful world do not discriminate between believers and unbelievers. Plane crashes, boat sinkings, train accidents, car collisions, heart disease, cancer doesn't discriminate between a sinner and a saint, or between a sinner and a sinner.

What have we learned in this "life"

Another great example is Corrie ten Boom. Corrie ten Boom is one of my favorite Christian role models. Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983). She was born in Holland into a Christian family who loved the Word of God. Corrie and her sister were shipped to various concentration camps where they continued to teach fellow prisoners about Jesus Christ. Her sister died while they were imprisoned. Corrie was eventually released through a clerical error (God's intervention) and during the week following her release all of the women of her age were gassed. Following the war Corrie helped in rehabilitation camps and she travelled all over the world telling people of her experiences and of how faithful and loving God is. How many people you think Corrie's life have "influenced" or "planted the seed" others to know Christ as their savior? Four (her parents and sister) Ten Booms gave their lives for this family’s commitment, but only Corrie came home from the death camp. She realized her life was a gift from God, and she needed to share what she and Betsy had learned in Ravensbruck: "There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies." At age 53, Corrie began a world-wide ministry which took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message that "Jesus is Victor."

Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you. Corrie Ten Boom

When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy. Corrie ten Boom

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