Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, January 28, 2024
Shavuah Tov,

The Lessons Of Job, part 4
What do we learn from Job’s spiritual warfare?

One of the things we learn from Job’s experience is that everybody has an opinion about it.  Job’s friends were sure he had done something against God to bring about such calamity.  The Apostles had similar thoughts.  John 9:2 His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?”  They presupposed that God was punishing the blind man or his parents for previous sin.  Let’s learn some lessons about the kingdom of God from the experiences of Job and the Apostles.

The first thing we should learn is that God does not punish, God disciples.  Punishment is the inflicting of pain to invoke what I like to call the “pain or pleasure principle.”  The way of the world is that given the choice, people will choose pleasure over pain.  The thought is, “Make them hurt to influence behavior in the opposite direction.”

The kingdom of God is usually opposite from the world, and this is true here too.  Yeshua chose the pain of the cross to glorify His Father.  John 17:1 Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You.”  

Paul also understood this principle, as he wrote to Timothy.  2Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the chosen, so they might obtain the salvation that is in Messiah Yeshua with eternal glory.

Rabbi Trail:  I am hesitant to write these things, because my experience is that immediately after preaching on a subject, I am tested in exactly that issue.  I’ll let you know how this goes.  End RT.

Back to the Apostles question.  What kind of a question is that anyway?  “Who sinned, this boy born blind or his parents?”  Fellows, the boy was BORN blind.  Did he sin before he was born?  Yeshua clears this up… John 9:3 Yeshua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be brought to light in him.”  Yeshua then healed the blind man with mud made from his saliva.

My rabbi, Dan Juster, taught me this years ago… “In every trial, we should seek the highest redemptive value.”  The question we must answer is… How can God be glorified as we remain steadfast in faith through every challenge?  Yeshua makes a sandwich out of His promise that we will have trouble.  John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”  The “bread” on either side of trouble is first “shalom” from His words and then our understanding that He has overcome the world.

Job’s friends were wrong.  Their opinions were not based in facts.  The Lord spoke to them about their error.  Job 42:7  After Adonai had spoken these words to Job, Adonai said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken about Me what is right, like My servant Job has.  Calamity came into Job’s life so that, through his faithfulness, God would be glorified.  May we also endure our times of testing with steadfast faith.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
18 Sh’vat Sunday 28-Jan-24
Exodus 18:1-12 1 Kings 7 Psalm 98 Luke 22:39-71 1 Thessalonians 3