God Blesses Job
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to Job, chapter 38. Satan continued to buffet Job. His friends had come to comfort him, but they only did more harm. Elihu, the young man, spoke, and though he came nearer to the solution than Job's three friends did, he did not meet the need. Notice verses 1-3, where we find the Lord speaking to Job directly:

Job 38:

1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Job had expressed a desire to talk to God directly. No person had brought any satisfaction to his soul, so he had a great desire to talk to God. Look at chapter 31, verse 37:

Job 31:

37I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

Notice this verse for Job says that he would go before God as a prince. He had been called a prince in his area and people looked up to him, so he thought that he could approach God on that basis.

Therefore, God said to him, “Gird up now thy loins like a man…” We ask certain things of God at times, but when God answers, we are not sure that is what we really wanted. Job wanted to approach God on the basis of equality. God said in these words, “You are a man and not equal with me, for I am God, the Almighty One. I'll talk to you as God to a man.”

Job's friends had told him that he was wrong in wanting to talk to God as a prince, and he was, but they were wrong also in the advice they gave him, for they told him that he should approach God as a worm and should grovel before Him. They were wrong about this. God said, “Get up like a man, and I will answer you. I created you in my likeness, not as a worm.”

This is a principle that we find in the Word of God. God approaches man on the basis that man is the creature that He Himself created. He does not expect him to grovel in the dirt. True, man is in need of redemption, but God sent His Son to save him. Man is hopelessly lost without a personal relationship with the Son of God. But God does not expect man to be a robot.

If you have a question to ask God, He will hear you. Maybe you won't understand His answer, but you can examine it in the light of your intelligence as a created being of God. Therefore, God wants us to approach Him as His creation. Some say that we can only approach God in blind faith. That is not correct. It is only in faith that we can approach God, but not in blind faith.

God Speaks To Believers In Relation To Nature

We are now going to study what God says to Job. Some of the answers relate to nature, some to life, and some to life's relationship with God. Critics have laughed at this chapter and discounted its truths. They interpret this passage in the light of the unsaved, which is virtual darkness. They have no spiritual light. Let's look at what God really says to Job.

God had waited patiently while Job's friends had spoken and then Elihu made his speech. Now God will silence man and talk to Job, for that is what Job has been desiring. Remember, God first told Job to gird up his loins for he was a man, not a worm, as his friends had intimated.

God began by asking Job some thought-provoking questions in verses 4-5:

Job 38:

4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

God stated that He made the earth, laying the foundations Himself. Then He measured the earth. How does this passage of Scripture deal with the theory of evolution? It refutes it by declaring in terms that cannot be doubted that God created the primeval world. There is no suggestion of evolution. Look at verse 6:

Job 38:

6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

Job did not need to answer that question, for it was God Who laid the foundations of the earth. Then He measured the earth. What are the foundations fastened on? God says, “I was there and I know.”

Job 38:

7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

There were angels, and they were present when the earth was created. When God created the earth, He created it perfect. But the earth became without form and void, as stated in Genesis, chapter 1, verse 2. Here God is referring to the condition that the earth was in at this time. It was without form and void, as God says, “as if it had issued out of the womb.” The seas broke forth rushing as out of the womb and God stayed them as with “doors”.

Job 38:

9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

God stayed the various bodies of water in each respective place. The terrain round about them was made like it is when the water rushed.

Job 38:

11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

Did it ever occur to you that the water must be controlled? Otherwise, the water would cover the earth. God said that He said, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” And even as the wind and waves obeyed His Son, the waters still daily obey God.

Notice a verse from the New Testament—Colossians, chapter 1, verse 17:

Colossians 1:

17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Now notice these verses in Hebrews, chapter 1, verses 10-12:

Hebrews 1:

10And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Notice yet another verse in Hebrews, chapter 2, verse 8:

Hebrews 2:

8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

The Bible teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ holds the world together today and is responsible for its orderly activity—the activity of the whole universe in which we live today.

If you do not believe the Bible, that is your choice. I do believe the Bible, and this explanation is on the level with other explanations. Which can you believe? It is the most logical. God made the earth. He made the angels previously and they—“the morning stars”—sang and shouted for joy. When God created the earth, all Heaven rejoiced. I accept this truth as final.

Job had expressed his desire to talk to God. God, having given Job this desire, is speaking to Job. We cannot take time to answer all those questions that God asked Job because it would mean comparing science with the Bible. I do not believe the Bible is a book of science, but I do believe that all scientific statements in the Bible are in agreement with true science. Sometimes the scientists interpret otherwise. But if we cannot harmonize the scientific knowledge of the scientists and the Bible, don't worry about it. Wait, and in due time, the questions will be answered and the facts made plain and harmony attained.

Scientists introduce theories and even though they state that they are theories, we accept them as truths, and our faith is weakened. We think the Bible is wrong, but soon the theory is changed. If we leave our faith in the Word of God, we are without an anchor. Stay with the Bible.

Read chapter 38 and 39 of the book of Job. Note the questions that God asks Job. God does not really expect Job to answer these question. The questions are related to creation, to land, to sky, to sea, to the mysteries of life itself. Job wanted to talk to God as a prince. His friends told him that he should approach God as a worm. But God said, “Job, you are not a worm nor a prince. You are a man; answer these questions if you think you are more than a man.” Then God asked many questions. Notice some of them:

Job 38:

19Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

Job 38:

22Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

Job 38:

25Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;

These are just examples of the many, many questions that God asked Job. It was as if God was saying, “Job, how did I get along without you? You think you know so much. Could you create the earth; could you create the animal kingdom?”

We can go to a zoo and see strange animals. We read of pre-historic dinosaurs and scientists say they have changed through the process of evolution, but the Bible says the animals were created. They have become extinct in the plan of God. God is asking, “Job, were you there when all this was done?”

God Continues To Speak To Job

This comes home to us. We, too, sometimes question the wisdom of God. We think that He is being unfair to us. “Did He have to do this to me?”, we ask. Generally, we are not willing to say that we think we could do better at managing the affairs of the universe, but we feel that we could do so. Here, Job is given the opportunity to try.

We also often express ourselves as being against what is happening to us, and yet we have yielded our lives to the reign of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit diverts and controls lives that are yielded to Him. Occasionally, we don't like what is happening, so we take over. The Holy Spirit permits us to do so when we become rebellious. However, all that we accomplish is to bring confusion and disappointment into our lives. God knows more than we do, so it is wise for us to let Him control every little particle of our lives. We often see the truth of this later, but we need to constantly let Him rule. We should not try to usurp His authority. Turn to Job, chapter 48, verse 15:

Job 40:

15Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

God continues to describe this creature in the following verses of this chapter.

Job 41:

1Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
2Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?

God is speaking about strange creatures here. Some think it difficult to identify them, but many say that they refer to the hippopotamus and the crocodile. We cannot be sure of this.

I suggest, in the light of the present creation, that they are real animals, yet many say that they are not real animals. We do not have to limit our knowledge to the animals that we know. They could well be pre-historic animals. It doesn't matter, for God is only using them here for an illustration. In His description of these creatures, God portrays them as unconquerable for man.

Job Had Complained Against God, Thus God Speaks Sternly

Remember, Job was considering the possibility that God was not righteous in His judgment. He thought that God was unfair and unloving when He permitted such great suffering to come to him. Job even complained against God. We, too, often take this attitude when trials become so very heavy that we feel we cannot bear them.

In other words, God asks, “Job, are you condemning Me?” If we can put God in a bad light, it justifies us. It disturbs us that God is righteous in all His judgments and actions, so we try to whittle Him down to our level.

Job 40:

9Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

Actually, God is saying to Job, “Job, you don't think that I rule in a righteous manner. Can you do better?”

Job 40:

10Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

God is still speaking and He says, in effect, “Job, get up and take over My Job. Look over the universe and let's see what you would do in My place.” How many times have you been upset over trials and questioned God's wisdom in dealing with you? In thought, you may have said, “If I had charge of things, I would do this and this.” So God gave Job the opportunity to take over. Notice verses 11-14:

Job 40:

11Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
12Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
13Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
14Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

God continues to speak to Job and says, “Job, you exercise all the high power that I have. If you can handle the situation, I will let you take over.”

God Gives Job An Opportunity To Talk To Him

All this caused Job to reconsider. Here was his opportunity to talk with God, and he had wanted to do so, but notice Job.

Job 40:

1Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,
2Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

God said to Job, so to speak, “Job, you wanted to talk to Me. We are now talking as God to man. What have you to say? Tell Me what you think.”

Job was like many of us. He was good at talking, but short on performing. We think God should do certain things, but when He does, we don't like what He has done or the way He has done it. So Job answered in verse 4:

Job 40:

4Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.

What a change. Job had come to the conclusion that he had nothing to say to God. God gave him the opportunity, but all Job could say was, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” Then Job continues in verse 5:

Job 40:

5Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

In other words, Job said, “I am a mere mortal. I spoke once, but I cannot speak again.” How often, we, too, speak against what God has permitted. We speak with due consideration. We blame God and complain. This we should not do. God knows best. So God continues in verses 6-8:

Job 40:

6Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

God Reminds Job That He Is In Charge—Not Man

Turn now to Job, chapter 41, verses 10-11:

Job 41:

10None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
11Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.

Notice that God is dealing with Job, and God knew that he had showed a proud spirit and expressed his desire to talk with God as a prince. Job had even seemed to think that his good works should save him. In effect, he said, “I've done so much for God, He ought to save me.” But God reminded him that no man can save himself, even as we are warned that this is so in the Scriptures in Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8-9:

Ephesians 2:

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

By way of illustration, God uses these creatures that we have already mentioned and are described in Job, chapter 40, verse 15, through chapter 41, verse 2. Go back to Job, chapter 41, verse 11:

Job 41:

11Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.

God continues to talk to Job. He makes clear His position, for he says, “Job, realize that all is Mine. Even as no one can conquer these creatures, man cannot tell Me what to do. I am not even under obligation to save anyone. I save men because I love them. I save them out of a loving heart and a heart that is full of grace.”

The Septuagint Version says: “Who has assailed me and been saved? I have been talking about these strange creatures. Who has dared to attack me? Has anyone attacked me and lived? Who would dare to attack me?”

Job Is Brought To His Senses And Humbled

We are reaching the conclusion of the study of the book of Job. We learned at the beginning that Job was the man whom God had risked to the testing of Satan to see if he really loved Him. Job went through the most trying circumstances, yet God said he “sinned not with his lips” in all this testing.

Job's friends told him all that was wrong with him. What a way to comfort a person who is under trial. Then Elihu who had been taught to respect his elders and had therefore kept quiet until the three were through speaking, broke his silence and spoke. He came nearer the truth than the other three, but he was wrong also.

In the course of all this, Job said that he wanted to talk with God, so God began to talk to him. God had said that Job was a perfect man, yet Job had his bad points. He was too full of himself. God cannot do anything for a person who is full of himself. You can't pour water into a pitcher that is already full. Therefore God waited until Job had been emptied of self. It is the same with us today. At first, Job had a very exalted opinion of himself. As we study this chapter, we find that Job has become an empty vessel. Job speaks again in chapter 42, verses 2-3:

Job 42:

2I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
3Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

These words of Job amount to a confession. Do you recognize that some of the words had been first spoken by God in chapter 38? Job says, “I know that Thou canst do everything and no thought can be kept from You.” But Job knew this only as knowledge. He had not experienced it personally until now. This is true of many people today. Some know the Gospel, but have not experienced it by receiving Christ as personal Savior

Job said, “I have uttered things I did not understand. I made remarks about You that I could not back with facts. I said things about me that were wrong. I ordered You to do what I wanted done—now.” How many of us have done this same thing? “I have no right to do this,” Job confessed.

Job 42:

5I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

Job did not mean that he literally saw God, for the Scriptures says, “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18). Job really meant that now the picture had become clear. It was clouded previously, and he could not understand the situation. He says:

Job 42:

6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

This is a confession. Now Job abhors himself. Before, he was proud and had a very good opinion of himself. The word abhor comes from the Hebrew word which means “utterly melted.” God can use a person who is melted before Him. God can work in and through us when we are melted.

The song writer has said, “Melt me, mold me, move me.” Oh, that we were melted to His will. When we are melted, God can really use us. He can mold us and move us to action according to His will.

The book of Job is a poem. As the poem ends, a sequel to the story is given. Job had at last come to himself and had said, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” He was truly utterly melted before God.

Job Is Vindicated And Honored: His Friends Are Admonished

Now look at verses 7-9:

Job 42:

7And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
8Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.

Notice that God spoke to these three men and said that they had not spoken “the thing which is right” concerning Himself. Some of the things which they had said were right; but to qualify this statement, notice that only these three men are mentioned—not Elihu. So God was not speaking of the platitudes that they had mentioned. God qualified His statement by saying, “as my servant Job had.” Job had accused God falsely, so what was the difference?

God was referring to the attitude of these men—not the words spoken. He knew their hearts and they had not spoken from their hearts. Although they spoke the truth, their hearts were not right, and they were haughty in attitude. God said that if they were to meet His conditions for forgiveness—conditions for that day and age—He would forgive them. Job was to be their mediator. Why?

Job was a great intercessor. Whether he was so before his trial or not is not recorded. At least, he had a much deeper experience of intercession afterward, for he was melted before God. He is spoken of only three times in other Scripture:

Ezekiel 14:

14Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 14:

20Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

James 5:

11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

When a person is melted , they become intercessors. They must be “touched with the feeling of the infirmities” of others. Our Lord and Savior was compassionate and is described thus in the Word in Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 15:

Hebrews 4:

15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Christ is our Intercessor. He is the One through whom we must go to God. None can compare with Him, yet some have entered the school of suffering more than others and are thus better prepared for the ministry of intercession. Job was granted this right.

Every person has the privilege of intercession, but I am not sure that every person has the right. Job's friends had a stand-offish attitude, full of condemnation, so they were not qualified as intercessors.

Job Is Now In The Place To Again Receive The Blessings Of God

Go back to Job, chapter 42, and notice verse 10:

Job 42:

10And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Did God forgive on the basis of man's prayer or intercession? Notice that God said, “I will accept Job also” (verse 9). No, prayer or intercession is not the basis of forgiveness. A man does not have the power to forgive sin, so Job did not have the power to forgive sin any more than we have. That power is not vested in man.

When Jesus was with His disciples, He asked them, “Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Various answers were given in answering this question. Look at Matthew, chapter 16, verses 14-19:

Matthew 16:

14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Notice that Jesus said, “upon this rock”—not upon Peter, but upon the fact that He was “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Those who believe in apostolic succession believe that only the clergy have the right to use these keys. That is not Scriptural. Every individual has the power “to bind and to loose in heaven.”

Could Job absolve sin? No, Job could not absolve sin, but he had the same power that every New Testament believer has today—to bind or loose—which is the power of prayer. We can pray for the unsaved. We can pray that God will move upon them and the Holy Spirit will convict of sin and they will accept Christ as Savior. This is unbinding him or loosing him from the power of sin. We can pray for a sinner who is sinning in an evil way, and God will answer our prayer and not permit him to go on in such sin. This is binding him in his desire to sin. We bind and loose through prayer.

Just so, we can bind him in his sins by neglecting to pray for him. Sometimes we don't carry a burden for sin or for the sinner, and we do not hold him up in prayer. As a result, he is bound in his sins. You say that you have prayed, but you did not get an answer? Have you been praying little “Now-I-lay-me-down-to-sleep” prayers? Beloved, you need to pray earnestly and sincerely and to hold on to God for the answer. Don't let go until He answers. Turn to Matthew, chapter 18, verse 19:

Matthew 18:

19Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

This verse and verse 18 are closely related. There is more power in two praying together for the same request. We need to examine our prayer life and see if it is an effective as we would like it to be. This is a problem with believers. Job was accepted of God. Perhaps your friends and relatives have no access to God except by your prayers. Use your prayer power. Pray much.

The Requisite For Forgiveness

Sin is not forgiven on the basis of man's help. Sins are forgiven only on the basis of the blood. In Old Testament times, this was true, and it is just as true today.

God said, “…take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams…and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering.” They had to offer a sacrifice for their sins even as we have to accept Jesus Christ as our sacrifice for sin. They had to do exactly as was demanded by the instructions given in the book of Leviticus. We must do exactly as God commands us in the New Testament—come to Him through Jesus Christ, believing in His personal sacrifice for our sins. Now, turn to Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 22:

Hebrews 9:

22And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

God forgave them because they brought the blood as an atonement for sin as was required in that day. A believer interceded for them. We should always remember that God gives us the privilege of prayer and only the blood can restore us to fellowship when we have sinned. Look at I John, chapter 1, verse 9:

I John 1:

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As we recognize this truth, we need to remember that it is important to keep ourselves pure and in the fellowship of Christ. We need only to confess our sins, for “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins.” There are some people who get hold of God as others cannot, so it is good to ask others to pray for us and with us.

Job Receives Blessings That Have A Threefold Effect On His Life

Go back to Job, chapter 42, and notice verses 9-10:

Job 42:

9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.
10And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Intercession is not always easy. let us turn our thoughts to Job. At this point, he was still bound. Perhaps he had been relieved of his suffering, but he was certainly not loosed from spiritual chains of resentment and animosity. His friends had not stood with him when he needed them most. Rather, they had accused him of sin. He was still bound in the bondage of sin, for he still held it against his friends that they had condemned him in his suffering. That is what is meant by “the captivity of Job.”

Is there some bitterness in your heart? No matter who is to blame, we are to forgive. Has someone done ill to you? Is your heart full of bitterness? Building up resentment toward someone and carrying that resentment with you will make a change in you—even in your appearance. If you are in this condition, there is something that you can do about it. Pray for those involved. Pray God will forgive and bless them in a mighty way. Then you will be loosed from the bonds of your captivity.

Job prayed for his three friends at the command of God. His three friends had requested him to pray for them at the command of God. This had a three-fold effect: First, when he prayed for them, he was set free from his bitterness. Then the love of God began to reign in his heart. Then the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

In the Old Testament, there was no greater sign of God's pleasure in man than prosperity. The reason God granted Old Testament believers prosperity is that they were an earthly people and God dealt with them basically emphasizing earthly property. This is not true of New Testament believers. We can depend upon His care and upon Him to supply our needs, but the prosperity emphasized in the New Testament is spiritual prosperity. In fact, God's Word in the New Testament encourages believers not to look at earthly prosperity, for it is temporal. We are to look at heavenly prosperity, for it is eternal.

However, it is possible to be materially prosperous and to be spiritually poverty-stricken. It is also possible to be spiritually prosperous and to be materially poverty-stricken. It is often presented in the program of God that emphasis is not on material prosperity, but rather on the spiritual prosperity of the believer. Very often believers fail to realize that their citizenship is in Heaven. They are not at home here—just pilgrims passing through. This life is just a preparation for the better life ahead.

Another thing we need to realize, especially as we look at verse 10, where it is stated that “the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before,” is that this does not necessarily mean that material prosperity will follow testing. As far as spiritual prosperity, we are always better when the testing has passed. But the testing does not necessarily result in either material prosperity or good health. Many of God's children have suffered much physically.

Oftentimes, when a person has passed through great trials and testings, he expects prosperity. When it does not come, he thinks that he has done something wrong and he reproaches himself. He feels that God is displeased with him, or he may become bitter and blame God for not keeping His promises. However, God does not promise the New Testament believer earthly prosperity. Look at Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 11:

Hebrews 12:

11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Every chastening of God, though not joyous at the time of testing, yields some good. The believer is better off than he was previously. This may not be true in the material realm, but it will be true in the spiritual realm. After all, spiritual prosperity is much better than material prosperity.

Before we pass judgment on this matter, remember that God is always just. God is always concerned with our good. Though we may not see with our finite eyes that this is true, nevertheless, spiritual prosperity is much more to be desired and much better for us than material prosperity.


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