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that Moshiach, through his sufferings, will win our victory over Satan.)
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Why your soul's salvation hangs on the inerrancy of the Bible
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First let's get something clear about erroneous notions of Paul and his founding a new religion, which he didn't. True, the halakhah of his Judaism switched from the Pharisaic oral law to the Ruach Hakodesh, but his religion was still one of the Judaisms of the time, not a new non-Judaism Gentile religion.
The question for the sages of Israel that the book of Job (a
Gentile sage from Edom--see Job 1:1; Lam. 1:21) grapples with is:
in the face of the riddle of life's sufferings, what answer can
chochma (wisdom) bring to vindicate both G-d and suffering Man as
nevertheless righteous and worthy?
The divine answer comes in the form of a drama whose diction is a
long dialogue poem sandwiching its dialogical wisdom between a
prose prologue and a prose epilogue. It could be staged with Job
himself as the narrator who goes in and out of the story like the
protagonist in Arthur Miller's After The Fall or Tennessee
Williams' Glass Menagerie. Or it could have a Sherwood Anderson's
Our Town narrator, possibly using the Devil himself as the
narrator. Must reading for the art of writing a play is Sam
Smiley's playwriting: The Structure of Action (Prentice-Hall
Publishers.) Perhaps you could adapt this Bible drama for the
stage and use it as a community outreach project. If you got it
published, it could be used on stages throughout the world.
At the beginning of Job, a demonic wager puts both G-d (G-d's
worth in Himself) and Man (the worth of Man's love for G-d) to
the test. See 1:8-11; 2:3-5. Is G-d really worth anything (do
His people really believe so?), or is religion merely an opiate
of the people, as in Karl Marx's demonic challenge? Remember,
Job is a type of Moshiach, as we will show. Since Job's life is
exposed to Satanic attack as we see in these passages, this very
attack also points forward to the attacks of Satan against
Moshiach Yehoshua, both in the beginning of his ministry, at the
turning point after he shares with his Shluchim his coming death
on the Aitz, and at the L-rd's Supper (see Mark 1:13; 8:27-33;
Chapter 1:21 offers the instinct of faith to answer life's
biggest riddle: why do we suffer? In fact, how can G-d be good
if He allows us to suffer? The answer of 1:21 must be probed in
depth as the protagonist (hero) is tested in depth, and this
probe necessitates a dramatic dialogical interrogation of both
G-d and Man, utilizing wise men or sages.
Chapter 3:1-31:40 offers the solution to the riddle given by
Job's three friends: you are suffering for sin; therefore, repent
and your sufferings will vanish!
In chapter 32:1-37:24, Elihu presents his solution to Job's
riddle: you are undergoing a divine discipline of love to deter
you from further sin; therefore, stop claiming innocence like the
wicked do before G-d, and stop calling G-d's justice into
G-d's solution finally appears in chapter 38:-41:34. In brief,
G-d replies that to encounter G-d, whether in abasement or
abundance, is enough and is worth everything. Then, in the
epilogue G-d "restores what has been taken" (Yoel (Joel) 2:25;
Job 42:10f) and "all things work together (co-operate) for good
for those who love G-d and are called according to his purpose"
Have you ever had a Job experience? Our Moshiach did. Shliach
Sha'ul did. Shliach Sha'ul seems to be talking about all true
witnessing kaddoshim in II Corinthians chapter 4. Can you cast
your testimony in the form of a before-and-after Job experience
so that G-d gets the glory and is worth it all in the end? We
will overcome the devil by the word of our martiurias (Revelation
There was once a minister who had a "Job" experience. He was
called on the carpet by his overseers, who accused him of heresy.
Then his family deserted him and he lost his home. Then his
friends came around and lectured him on not being a good family
man. Then all the religious people avoided him. He even lost
his ministry appointment and was left all alone. In all this he
had done nothing wrong, but he held on to his righteousness and
cried out to G-d for vindication.
This minister waited for G-d to vindicate his innocence and to
stop the mouths of his detractors. Satan was behind the whole
plot, because it was the ministry of the man of G-d that was
being unjustly discredited. After a long period of being put to
the test, the L-rd restored everything that He had allowed to be
taken from the man of G-d. In fact, the man of G-d received back
from the L-rd his ministry appointment, home, etc. Not only
that, the biggest publishing houses, colleges, Brit Chadasha
kehillot (even the President's Brit Chadasha kehillah) opened to
the man of G-d. Then he learned by experience what he had
believed already by faith: that G-d is worth everything and is
worth losing everything for. Do you see how Job could be done in
"modern dress?" Could you write a novel, a screenplay, a drama
Have you had a Job experience of dying to self for our Moshiach
and coming back to life with "all these things added unto you as
well"? Could you write your personal testimony as a tract and
give it out in kiruv outreach for the Moshiach, using the theme
of Job in the way you tell your story of how G-d saved you and
proved Himself real to you at the end of your struggle of faith?
What is a theodicy? See chapter 36:2. What is the two-tier
structure of reality presented in Job? How is it like the
structure of reality presented in Revelation and the rest of
Scripture? What is a theophany? See 38:1-42:6.
Do you see how mesasretim who make outlandish salaries bring
HaSatan's accusation against them (1:9)?
Look at chapter 5. Eliphaz infers that Job is a fool (5:2) whom
G-d is correcting (5:17). He tries to comfort Job but wounds him
with false accusations. Job is pictured more and more as a
kicked-down sage, who is a type of Moshiach, and Job's wisdom is
that which comes from suffering in the flesh (I Shliach Kefa
4:1). Like our Moshiach, Job prays for his enemies in 42:8.
Look at 6:14. Shliach Sha'ul says, "All men forsook me."
Job's question in 9:2 is answered in Habakkuk 2:4.
Look at 9:33 and 16:18-21. Is not our Moshiach our defender,
paracletes meaning a friend of the accused person called to speak
in his favor) against Satan's accusations? See Job 31:35,
I Yochanan 2:1 (KJV). Job 33:23-26.
Job 14:14 is answered by Job 19:25-26. Remember the Go'el from
the book of Ruth? This word is found in Job 19:25.
Job 34:33 is a good point for Besuras Hageulah rejecters.
Chapter 38:33 is a good point for proud scientists who accept the
g-dless cosmogony of evolution instead of the book of Genesis
properly interpreted in the light of other Scripture. The whole
section starting from chapter 38 reveals the weakness, ignorance,
unworthiness and stupidity of puny man so prone to arrogance.
To sum up, in the book of Job the hero is presented by the
unknown author as the ideal man of wisdom literature, a sage,
prosperous, blessed of G-d and honored of men, one who is upright
in character and on no account can be tempted to curse G-d, so
great is his wise fear of the Almighty. A crisis occurs in Job's
life that leads him to seek G-d in a deeper way. So extreme is
Job's situation that nothing less than a personal encounter with
G-d will suffice. Job's despair brings him to the point of
discovering that philosophy and religion are amal m'nachamim,
"miserable comforters" (16:2). He needs to know G-d personally,
nothing less will satisfy the gnawing yearning within his soul.
He has many questions, many "whys" that only G-d Himself can
answer. Mere human wisdom and conventional piety, which the
other actors in this drama personify, are amazed and confounded
by Job's questions.
Only occasionally, and almost as an afterthought, do they ask
penetrating questions. For example, without appreciating the
profundity of the question, Bildad asks Job, "How can a man be
yitz'dak righteous before G-d?"
This is really the question of the whole book. If man serves G-d
and is blessed, how can it be proven that his service was not
mere unrighteous self-serving opportunism. On the other hand, if
man serves G-d and is not blessed but cursed, how can it be
proved that a) the righteous fare any better than the wicked
either in this life or in the next? b) that there is a
resurrection in any case? c) that there is a mediator in heaven
without whom no man can stand vindicated and redeemed as
righteous before a righteous G-d? Like Job, we must prove that
our suffering is not deserved but for the glory of G-d (I Kefa
1:12-17; Yochanan 9:3).
While Job stands rejected and forsaken with mockers around him
(17:2), he reminds the reader of the picture we have of the
suffering Servant of the L-rd in Isaiah 53 or the mocked Dovidic
King in Psalm 22 (compare Job 27:4 to Isa. 53:9). In the midst
of the false accusations Job "holds fast to his righteousness"
(27:6) and waits on the L-rd to confirm the innocence of his
cause (Job 42:7-8). So the mocked sage who becomes a fool that
the world curses and makes sport of is depicted here. We have
seen this picture before in that other sage, the judge of Israel,
Samson, being made sport of by the Philistines (Judg. 16:25) or
in the King of Israel, Dovid the sage, pretending to be mad
before a similar scoffing Philistine audience (I Sm. 21:13-15).
When sages like Moshe or Dovid are nearly stoned by the people
(Ex. 17:4; I Sm. 30:6) we see this reemerging picture of the
rejected, righteous Sage of Israel. Significantly, the Son of
Dovid is depicted as the sage par excellence in the life of
Shlomo in I Kings. Then II Chronicles intensifies this portrait
and gives Messianic prophetic significance to Dovid's Son as the
Moshiach Sage of Israel. Finally, Isaiah combines the two
portraits of the sage found in Job and Shlomo and depicts the
Dovidic Servant of the L-rd as the mocked and rejected sage
filled "with the spirit of wisdom" (Isaiah 11:2) who seems to
labor "in vain" but trusts his cause to the L-rd (Isa. 49:4) and,
after mockery and rejection (Isa. 53:2-4), is finally vindicated
by G-d as righteous (see Isa. 53:11-12). So the book of Job
gives us one of our most important glimpses of the coming
This book does not merely pose the most pressing questions of
life. It also gives us some profound answers. We discover that
true faith has to be tested. The whole book is a test of Job's
faith, the integrity of which HaSatan throws into question in the
prologue. Job comments on this test by saying with the
affirmation of faith, "He knows the way that I take; when He has
tested me, I shall come out like gold." We also discover in this
book that faith is knowing G-d and being known by G-d, and mere
religious or philosophical assent is not faith nor can such
intellectualism substitute for a personal relationship where the
true G-d is personally known. "How can a man be yitz'dak
righteous before G-d?" The book of Job tells us that G-d
vindicates man's faith. Abraham the sage had faith in G-d and
G-d vindicated him as righteous (Gen. 15:6). The righteous shall
live before G-d by faith (Hab. 2:4).
But what difference does all this make if there is no
resurrection for the righteous? Is there a resurrection in any
To get the answer of the book of Job we need Job 19:25-27, where
we also find the answer to the other question the book asks,
namely, is there a mediator in heaven without whom no man can
stand vindicated and redeemed as righteous before a righteous
G-d? The Job 19 passage should be studied with Job 16:18-21. In
these passages Job's faith affirm: the bodily resurrection of the
dead. He also affirms by faith the existence of a heavenly
mediator between G-d and man whom he called Edi (my witness) and
Sahadi (my advocate) (16:19) and mokhi'ach "my arbitrator" (9:33)
and go'eli "my redeemer" (19:25). And just as Job himself has to
make intercessor for his friends at the end of the book,
literally mediating between them and G-d (Job 12:7-8), so this
heavenly figure vouches for Job from on high (16:19) and at last
stands upon the earth when Job is bodily resurrected (19:25).
Like that other heavenly Messianic figure, the angel of the L-rd,
in Job 33:23 we see this heavenly Mal'ach (angel/messenger), this
Mailitz (Mediator) coming to Job's defense. However, he does
more. He provides a Kofer (ransom), redeems Job's soul from
going down into the Pit (Job 33:28), and makes it possible for
Job "to see the light of life" (compare the Messianic text of
Isa. 53:11 in the Dead Sea Scrolls to Job 33:28). But Isa. 59:20
says that the Go'el (Redeemer) coming to Zion is no mere angel
but the Moshiach. Therefore the word in Job 33:23 should more
properly be translated "messenger" than "angel" because the
Mal'ach (angel/mesienger) of the Lord" is no mere angel in Judg.
6:l4 (where he is called "the L-rd"), just as the Moshiach is no
mere Mal'ach (angel/messenger) of the Covenant" In Mal. 3:1
(where he is also called "the L-rd"). Therefore, seen from the
fuller perspective of the entire Hebrew Bible, Job is indeed
looking for the one the Jewish people called the Moshiach. Like
Job, Daniel also sees the coming resurrection and the resurrected
saints being given the kingdom at the end of days by a heavenly
Messianic figure (see Dan. 12:2; 7:13-14).
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at
the latter day upon the earth.
Isn't it time to come back to your spiritual home?
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