Monday, July 11, 2011

The Book of Job & The Persecuted Church

The Book of Job is a moving account of a man who loses everything he has and yet remains faithful to God. You can read the book HERE.

While praying for the persecuted Church, I started thinking of Job and the commonalities he and the persecuted share.

1. They both (Job and the persecuted Church) suffer--not as the result of unrighteousness, but as the result of their righteousness.
- Job suffered because Satan told God that the reason Job loved and trusted God was because of God's blessings--and God gave permission for Satan to test him. Job was a righteous man. There was no one like him who feared God and walked with an upright heart (Job 1:1).
- The persecuted Church suffers because Satan desires to destroy their faith. It is because the Church lives by faith and in obedience and love for God that it is persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).

2. Both Job and the persecuted Church demonstrate: Satan's evil fulfills God's purposes; Satan is a slave of God.
- God permitted Satan to torment Job--ultimately God used it for His own good purposes; He stopped the mouth of Satan, vindicated Job, and blessed him more after his trials than before.
- God permitted Satan to kill His Son--that God's perfect purpose of salvation might be fulfilled (Genesis 3:15).
- God permitted Satan to torment Paul--by sending a thorn in the flesh to humble him (2 Corinthians 12:7).
- God permits Satan to try and torment the Church--because trial and affliction refines our faith like gold and because God is working everything to our good; we also have sweet fellowship with Christ through sharing in His sufferings (Revelation 12:13-17; Zechariah 13:9; Romans 8:5; 1 Peter 4:13).

3. Job and the persecuted Church long for Christ's personal vindication.
- Job cried for a Mediator between God and man, not knowing that the One he was crying for was the God-Man Jesus Christ! Job desires a Mediator to represent his case to God, that his righteousness might be vindicated (Job 9:33).
- The persecuted Church longs for the day when they stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and hear "well done, good and faithful servant"! The martyrs around God's throne cry "how long until our blood is avenged"? (Matthew 25:23; Revelation 6:10)

The book of Job gives me a better appreciation for the trials of the persecuted Church.

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