Monday, June 25, 2012

Though He Slay Me, Yet Will I Trust Him: Should We Really Say This?

Job 13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
 Everyone always refers to this infamous phrase as a quote that shows Job's alleged faithfulness towards God. Yet rarely anyone refers to Job 38-39 when God spent two entire chapters chastising Job for this state of mind that he had. There was one problem with Job's tenacious quote: Job said Though HE slay me, yet will I trust Him. That would have been an altogether wonderful statement had it not been for the fact that Job accused God of being the one who was slaying Him; when in fact it was Satan who the Bible states was the one slaying him. So for two complete chapters in the Book of Job, God chastises Job for accusing Him of being unjust.

NOTE 1: One thing we should note about the Bibles depiction of who God is, is that God is a fair and just God. Meaning, if someone does not deserve affliction he will not afflict them and if someone deserves punishment, punishment must ensue. By the Bible's logic, Job should not have received any kind of punishment from God because he did not do anything to deserve it. In Job 1:1, this is how the Bible introduces Job's character:
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.
So, according to God's righteousness, Job was not deserving of any kind of extreme punishment from Him.

NOTE 2: As we know, in the story of Job, Satan visited God and told Him the only reason Job was faithful to Him was because God was always blessing him. He then said to God:
"...But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!
One commonly overlooked factor that can be noted here is that Satan told GOD to slay Job. God accepted Satan's challenge to prove that Job would never curse Him. Yet He refused to take Satan's advice and slay Job Himself. He told Satan he could do it, saying to him:
“Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his [life].
God did not compromise His righteousness by slaying Job without him deserving to be slayed. Instead He gave Satan the authority to do it (even giving Him a restriction).

NOTE 3: One conclusion we can draw here is that God will never forsake those who are righteous (David says in Psalms 37:25- I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.) God will never inflict punishment on those who are not deserving of it. God was not the one who harmed Job. Satan was. This is the problem there is with Job's statement, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him".

You are righteous like Job: Now, Romans 3:22 describes those who are saved as "the righteousness of God through Christ". Those who are saved are just as righteous as Job, in the sight of God, and equally as undeserving of punishment. Why? Because Jesus received the punishment that God's people deserved and through the shedding of His blood there was remission of our sins. So, like Job, it would be an unjust thing for God's now righteous people to be punished without deserving it. For us to say of God "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" we are doing the same wrong thing God accused Job of; blaming God of being unjust and criticizing Him of causing afflictions on people who don't deserve it.

SIDENOTE: We are therefore able to conclude that it is Satan who causes affliction. With this knowledge we can be glad for the Christ-Given authority to overcome the enemy. Revelation 12 describes Satan as being the accuser of the brethren. It later says that we have overcome Him through the Blood of the Lamb and through the word of our testimony. Therefore we know we have dominion over the enemy to overcome Him when He tries to accuse and inflict punishment to God's people when  they don't deserve it.

However, half the battle is knowing this: that all that is good and perfect comes from above. Things that are bad and imperfect come from the enemy. Don't blame God for what the devil does. Doing so, you neglect to take authority over the enemy, perishing from a lack of knowledge.

The Bible says resist the enemy and he will flee. However, if you are not resisting the enemy because you are too busy blaming God for what he is doing then the enemy will not flee. Notice that Job never resisted the devil. Whereby his afflictions continued.

There is one Old Testament Bible story I have in mind where a prophet told Hezekiah he was going to die. But Hezekiah resisted the bad news, turned his back to the prophet then pleaded with God to spare his life. He did not blame God for the affliction (even though it was God's prophet who sent him the news!). Instead he just refused to accept it. In doing so, God appeared again to his prophet (who had already reached the outer courts) and told Him to return to Hezekiah and tell him He would add 15 more years to his life (This story is found in 2 Kings 20).

Here Hezekiah resisted pain and death, whereby changing his situation from a negative one to a positive one. Notice Job did not do this. Job simply accepted that it was God's will for him to suffer when in fact it wasn't! So, the moral of the story of Job should not be to be tenacious and faithful to a God you are accusing of being unjust. Instead it should be to resist the enemy and understand that God does not give punishment to those who don't deserve it!

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  1. My thoughts exactly,I've been troubled for years after hearing my now ex-Pastor quote this all the time. Always attributing diseases and death to God. It's as if he and his followers really enjoyed suffering to prove how holy they were. All the while, what they are really doing is calling God's true character into question.As I read and studied Job 13 tonight again in context, another thought occured to me... It's quite clear Job is reprimanding his so called friends,somewhat sarcastically, saying in vs 7 "Will you talk wickedly for God and talk deceitfully on his behalf?". When he gets to vs 13, it's is as though he saying and by the way- Even if God would slay (as his friends accused) Im still going to serve Him... Thank you for this post, this is the God I know and serve!

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  3. Satan had no power to slay Job. God allowed Job to face the afflictions that he was enduring which is why Job questioned God. God responded because He is God. What He allows is what He allows. Our job is to trust Him and His will. He never told Job He was wrong for questioning Him. He showed Job, that He had no right to question Him. He said Job was right and His friends were wrong.

  4. Im reading these two comments and i have to agree with latiqua......i have been enduring spiritual attacks like you wouldnt belive and not the crazy thoughts. I have been taking authority for a long time now and still it contuines and ive got prayer from some since that hasnt worked i wonder what the self tought experts say on this matter. They would prob tell me to use my faith or i am not right with God as jobs so called friends did....Gods ways are not ours or his thoughts yet im putting my hope in him.