Spiritual Integrity part 2

Before moving on, let's recall what God thinks of Job. You may think I'm labouring the point, but I have good reason.

Job 1:1
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Job 1:8
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 2:3
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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

God tells us three times Job was perfect and upright. That has not changed. We have also been told that all this happened to him without cause, he didn't do anything to deserve it. Now let's meet Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite. After a week of silence, Job's mate Eliphaz answered him with a sympathetic voice, intimating that he appreciated all the wonderful things Job had ever done.

Job 4:1-7
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,

If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.

Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?

Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Wait a minute... what is this dude saying? God has told us three times that Job was perfect and upright; now Eliphaz tells him he must have done something terribly wrong in his life to deserve all this evil.

Job 4:8
Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

My goodness, Eliphaz told Job he reaped what he sowed, he got what he deserved. Job had just lost all his kids, and his mate told him he deserved it. Then Eliphaz told him, with a religiously sympathetic voice no doubt, that God did all this to him because he was evil. Here is the devil trying to make Job blame God for the evil, and this time he's doing it through his religious friends.

Job 4:9
By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.

You know something, Job did not need to be lectured here, he needed the word, he needed to be loved. Yet there was his religious mate waggling accusatory fingers at him. Isn't that just like religion, condemning people, making them feel guilty and worthless. Job was in desperate need of love, comfort, and support, not religious lectures. Eliphaz continued.

Job 5:2-4,17
For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.

I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.

His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

The devil did all the evil to Job, not God, but according to Eliphaz, God did all this to Job, and that Job was to accept it as punishment and be happy about it. You can hear this very same horseshit taught in churches and religions all around the world today. Nothing much has changed in a few thousand years, hey? Job was perfect and upright, so this dude, despite his sincerity and impressive religious education, was wrong. Oh, he thought he was right, he thought he was speaking for God, he thought he knew his bible, he was sincere and religious and sympathetic, but he was full of horseshit.

Job 5:18
For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Yes, the wicked and evil are going to suffer consequences for what they do, but Job was not wicked or evil was he? He was perfect and upright, remember? This stuff happened to him without a cause. The devil persistently whispers in our ears about how worthless we are, and how much we fall short. More often than not we hear this stuff through our closest friends and family, just like Job. It really makes no difference to the devil who speaks his words to us just so long as they are spoken.

Job 5:27
Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.

Eliphaz ended by telling Job to clean his life up, get back in fellowship with God, and everything would be fine again. What a patronising religious wanker.

Job had a little think about this, realised his friend was full of horseshit, pushed his extreme hurt to one side, and decided to reach out to him with the word to try to help him. Job loved Eliphaz enough to tell him honestly that he was handling the word of God deceitfully. Despite his pain, sorrow, and physical sickness, Job loved big enough to teach the truth to those who needed it.

Job 6:15
My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;

Take a moment to consider Job's physical condition. Despite his circumstances, he was still ministering the word. No wonder God called him perfect and upright. Would we love people big enough to teach God's word if we were as sick and hurt as Job? Sometimes I don't feel like teaching when I have a stupid little cold or a headache. Think that through sometime. In addition, consider that these are the first lessons God ever had written in his word, selah.

Job 6:25,28
How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?

Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.

The word has power, but the words spoken to Job were empty words. Job implores them to consider things because if he were a liar, it would be evident. Bildad's turn. Let's see if he was more spiritually alert than Eliphaz.

Job 8:1,2
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?

Bildad started by telling Job he was full of wind. He then went on to lecture him a little more.

Job 8:3
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?

Now we are getting to the point. Remember what the devil was up to here? He was trying to get Job to blame God for all his problems and thus break his integrity. Here was Bildad continuing with this same line of attack. Breaking Job's spiritual integrity had been the whole point of these attacks from the start. Bildad told Job that God did not pervert judgement, that if Job were perfect and upright, God would not have allowed all this to happen to him. He even went so far as to imply that Job, because he claimed he was righteous, was actually accusing God of perverting justice, which was accusing God of evil. Job's friends were convinced God did all this to him because Job had committed some serious crime or other.

Job 8:6,13,20
If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.

So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish:

Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:

Bildad closed by calling Job a hypocrite, explaining that God would not allow such calamities to happen to good men.

Job had another little think about all this, again pushed his personal hurt, his misery, sickness, and pain to one side, and decided to continue ministering the word to these guys. I am not sure what I would have done in his situation. I guess I have a bit of growing to do in the love category. Not Job, he was perfect and upright, he taught them the word. This guy was a disciple. This is what it takes to be perfect and upright, even in the face of such austere circumstances. Look at the strength in the man. Job continued:

Job 10:7
Thou [God] knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.

He talked aloud here, and he declared that God knew he was telling the truth. Then it was Zophar's turn.

Job 11:1-3
Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,

Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified?

Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?

A man full of talk? A man full of wind? A hypocrite? A liar? What kind of friends are these? Oh, churches these days are full of friends like these, just as they were back then.

Job 11:4
For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

Job had said just that. He was still holding onto his integrity, refusing to blame God for what had happened to him. That is what the devil was trying to break in his mind. Job did not break when he lost everything. He did not break when his children were killed. He did not break when he became diseased. He did not break when his wife told him to curse God and die. The devil was still attacking, this time through his friends, still trying to break his integrity, still trying to get him to blame God for doing all the evil to him. His friends thought they were doing God's will, speaking the truth, while all the time they were speaking the devil's lies. If there is anything to learn from this in our day and time it is to avoid those in religious robes with expensive educations. Churches to this day still teach that God makes people sick because they are sinners. Churches have learned nothing since the days of Job.

Job 11:5,6
But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;

And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.

Zophar reckoned Job got less than he deserved. What exactly did Job have left? Only his life. Barely. His mate told him he was so evil that God has been merciful to him in keeping him alive when he should have been dead.

Job 11:14,20
If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.

But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.

Job had another little think about all this, and answered with some heavy sarcasm.

Job 12:2,3
No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?

Job 13:2,4,5
What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.

But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.

O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.

Look at the power in these words. Forgers of lies. Physicians of no value. Then he told them the wisest thing they could do would be to shut up. And so it continues back and forth through the book of Job. Here are a few more instances where Job was accused of being evil, yet maintained his innocence and fought for his integrity. He absolutely refused to listen to their arguments that God had done this to him. He refused to succumb to their logic. He refused to blame God for making him sick, killing his children, and destroying his business. That's holding fast your integrity.

Job 15:1,2
Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,

Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?

Job 16:1,2,16,17,19
Then Job answered and said,

I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.

My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;

Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure.

Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

Job 18:1,21
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.

Job 19:1,2,22-24
Then Job answered and said,

How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?

Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!

Job 20:1,3-5,29
Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,

I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.

Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,

That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.

Job 22:1,5,10
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,

Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?

Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;

Job 23:1,10-12
Then Job answered and said,

But he [God] knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Job 25:1,4,6
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? [Author's note - you speak for yourself Bildad, wanker].

Job 26:1; Job 27:3-6
But Job answered and said,

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;

My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

Here is a man taking a stand for his life, fighting for his integrity, refusing to accuse God of folly, refusing to blame God for his problems. That is what it takes sometimes to hold fast to your integrity. Learn this lesson well. God is good always. Learn to stop at this spiritual red traffic light. Do not ever accuse God of evil.

Job 31:39,40
If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:

Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

Job 32:1
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Spiritual integrity is important, so important that it is the main subject of the entire first book of the bible ever written. In the book of Job we clearly see the importance of holding fast to our integrity, refusing to blame God for evil. We also clearly see the effort the devil is willing to expend to break our integrity. When someone dies that is near and dear to us, do we hold our minds to the truth, or do we run the way of the world and in our sorrow and hurt blame God? If you really must blame someone for death, blame the devil, he is, after all, the author of it. God is not the author of death. God is light and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

That is what the word says. Does this verse come to your mind when you are under attack and tempted to think evil about God? I have never blamed God for problems that have come up in my life, ever, or accused him of doing criminal, evil things to me. My integrity I hold fast and will not let it go, my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

It's interesting to be aware of the background to the book of Job, as it helps us understand why God had it written first. Look at what Moses had to deal with leading God's people out of slavery. Those complaining, bitching Israelites accused God of taking them and their children into the wilderness to murder them with hunger, or murder them with their enemies swords, or murder them with thirst. No wonder these were the first lessons Moses wrote in what we know today as the bible. If you want the bible to make sense for you, and you want to see the power of God in your life, then start here and don't ever accuse God of being evil. James has a verse worth memorising in this regards.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

I doubt any man that has ever lived has had to fight as hard as Job to retain his integrity. Did the devil flee? Oh yes, Job resisted and James 4:7 is the truth. If you hold the word and do not break, the devil will be defeated. God promises that and, unlike the devil, God is not a liar.

Job 42:7,8
And 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.

Therefore 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.

God took those three religious idiots into his office for a stern talking to. See, they were wrong all along and Job was right. Never accuse God of doing evil. Learn a few scriptures like 1 John 1:5 above and hold them in your mind so the next time you're tempted to think evil of God and hurl accusations in his face you can fight back with the word. Do not allow the devil to break your integrity.

Job 42:9,10
So 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.

And 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.

Job had been the richest man in the world, and now he was twice as rich. That is deliverance. If you are under attack and you want deliverance, blaming God for your problems is not the way to go. Rather, God has the answers and he is more than willing to help you. Just do not blame him for your problems.

Job 42:12-17
So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.

He had also seven sons and three daughters.

And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.

And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.

After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.

So Job died, being old and full of days.

Having us blame God for problems, thereby breaking our spiritual integrity, is perhaps the most effective weapon in the devil's arsenal. In the book of Job we see what it takes to withstand his attacks and be victorious. This is what it takes to stand for the true God for a lifetime. Do not ever break on this point. It is no wonder the book of Job was the first book of the bible ever written.

Chapter 6 - Dealing with Fear