Full text of Zac Poonen’s teaching on ‘Book of Job (Part 1)’ which is part of the popular series called Through The Bible.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Zac Poonen – Bible Teacher
Let’s turn today to the book of Job.
Job in CHAPTER 1, the book of Job is dealing with the problem of suffering. And there are a number of things that we can learn in this book. It gives us an insight into certain things which are not found almost anywhere else in the New Testament, or even in the Old Testament or New Testament.
And that is as to what is actually happening in the heavenly realm when one of God’s children is suffering on earth. Now Job himself did not know that. He did not know what was going on up in the heavens. If he had known it, he would have been greatly comforted and strengthened in the midst of his suffering.
But now this has been revealed to us. So we are in a much better position than Job, because here we are given a glimpse of what happened in the heavenlies. And Job probably knew that at the end of all the suffering, after he had come through and been blessed by God, then he may have discovered all this and shared it with whoever wrote the book.
So we can understand why Job complains so much. We must not find comfort in Job’s complaints and say that we also can do the same thing, because we have been given a revelation: to whom more is given, more is required. Much less was given to Job.
The other thing is that Job lived even before Abraham, as far as we know. And he was one of the earliest men of God that we can think of after Enoch and Noah. Between Noah and Abraham was Job. It’s possible that Job could even have had fellowship with Noah’s son Shem. He lived in that period of time.
And if this book was written, nobody knows exactly when this book was written. We know that Genesis was written by Moses 1500 years before Christ approximately. But Job, if it was written in Job’s lifetime or soon after his death, then this book is the first book of the Bible written even before Genesis.
It comes in the middle of the Bible because the poetical books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, are all put together. But otherwise, I think it’s the first book in the Bible, because I can’t imagine that all these details were written hundreds and hundreds of years after Job died. There’s so much detail here, even concerning what his wife told him in private, that it’s almost certain that it was written towards the end of Job’s life by somebody else.
And if this is the first book of the Bible, it’s very interesting that when God decided to write Scripture, the very first book that He wrote was the story of a godly man, because that’s what God is always looking for. He looked for a godly man in the time of Enoch, in the time of Noah, in the time of Job.
And the delight that God found in a godly man is the theme of the very first inspired book of Scripture. And that’s something for us to think about.
See God knew that there would be 66 books, but when He wrote the first one, He wrote something that was uppermost in His heart as He looked into the future. A godly man, a godly woman. Ultimately, God deals with individuals. Though we say we are one body in Christ and we are part of the church, it’s true God works through the body and He has given gifts to different members of the body.
But we have seen in the history of Christendom also that in order to build that body, God very often uses one man.
Think of the apostle Paul. What tremendous loss there would have been to the church if that man had not been the man he was. Even in his time, the Lord used others and used the body of Christ, but that man made so much difference that when he left the scene in Ephesus, he says things are going to go pretty badly.
So I want each of you to think of that. That God requires individual men and women who are going to be faithful to Him. And so much depends on the faithfulness of the individual.
The other thing we learn here is that when a man is a godly man, God allows him to become the target of Satan’s attacks. This is what is written in the first book of the Bible. That a godly man will be the target of Satan’s attacks. And throughout history we have seen that.
And if you’re going to be a godly man, you’re going to be the target of Satan’s attacks. And the other thing we see in the very first book of the Bible is that a godly man’s family is the target of Satan’s attacks. His children are the targets of Satan’s attacks. That is why I say, don’t criticize when you see trials and sufferings in the family of a godly man, because he is probably more a target of Satan’s attacks than you are, because you are half-hearted. His children are greater targets of Satan’s attacks than your children, because you are half-hearted. Job lost his children. They all died.
Another thing we learn in the very first book of the Bible is that a godly man may have a very difficult wife, who is a real problem to him. Don’t think that if a man is godly, his wife has to be godly. No. Not true. John Wesley had a terrible wife who used to pull the hairs from his face. But the more evil the wife is, the more the godly man stands out as godly. It’s like the stars shine when there’s darkness around. It’s something like that.