The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

The Holy and Much-Suffering Prophet Job

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications.

Ancient Faith Radio and patristic nectar publicationspresent the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenor. For hebeheld the divine cross as a bright, flashing trophy. With it was seevictorious over all who opposed him, and he destroyed the deceit and error ofall the idols, while making strong throughout the World Orthodox faith and practice.First of Christian kings, since the king of all created things foresaw thy goodnessof heart and THY ready obedience. He, through reason, captured thee when unreasonedruled over Thee, and, having made thee to shine in heart andmind, with a certain knowledge of godly piety, he showed thee to theworld as a shining sun that sendeth forth the beams of all Godly deeds,wise and glorious constanty. What you have just heard are sound bites from someof the lectures in an eight part lecture series entitled God's Statesmen, Pious Christiankings. patristic nectar publications invites you to download the first of these eight lectureshere at ancient faith radio. For more information and the remaining lectures, pleasehe's visit our website at www dot putristic nectar dot org. And now here'sfather Josiah trenum with the Sunday promily, the name of the father and ofthe son and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Christ is risen.Then we gather today, brothers and sisters, on the Lord's Day, but oneday we won't. One day this cycle will be done and will bein the presence of God and his kingdom. It'll be a new life for us. We won't still calculate our days and these seven day movements, thinkabout going to church, wonder what's going to be happening there. It's goingto be over, the new will have come. We'll be living in incomprehensiblehappiness. This is the future. Today is the Sunday of the Paralytic,this fourth Sunday of Pasca, on which we remember this mighty miracle of ourSavior to this man for thirty eight years who had been laying by the poolin paralysis. It's also, coincidentally, providentially, the sixth of May,which happens to be the feast day of the much suffering prophet job and it'sof his life that I want to speak. I want to speak about job sufferingand the resurrection. Many of you have his life fresh in your mindbecause it wasn't very long that we read through it. In our discipline ofreading through the Bible in a year, you were able to be in aweof this man. This prophecy about job forty two chapters long. It beginswith an incredible statement about him, that job was one who feared God andwas blameless. What an incredible affirmation of his character. Wouldn't you love tohave someone describe you that way at your funeral? He was someone who wasblameless, who feared God. He lived in the on the border of Arabia. He was a descendant of Esau, about twozero years before our saviors incarnation. He raised the beautiful family. It...

...was very wealthy man, but accordingto his testimony in his laments, according to the testimony of his friends,he used his wealth for the service of others, which is the purpose ofGod giving wealth. He spread it around, he calved it on the sea,he used it to demonstrate his virtue and his vision. He also rapedhis children with piety. It says in that first chapter of job that ifchildren all loved each other, they used to rotate where they would eat,because they always ate together. St John Chrysostom in his commentary on the bookof Job, says that this constitutes much of familial virtue and happiness. Isthe common table, something that today we need to hear. Job Prayed forhis kids every day and made sacrifices. Though he had a high opinion ofthem, he was worried about them. He thought perhaps they might have donesomething secretly against God or in their heart, and so he prayed to the Lordand made sacrifices for his children every day so that the Lord would accepthim. What a man, what a father, what a patriarch. Thisincredible life provoked the devil, as it always does. Job Incurred Satan,scorned by his good life, and the devil and his presumption, accused jobbefore the face of God and said, suggested that job was only virtuous,he was only blameless in God fearing because he was so blessed that if Godtook away what he owned, if he took his possessions, that he wouldcurse God to his face. This is the mind of Satan. Gross andin fact the Lord God gave authority to the devil to destroy job's possessions,his houses, his livestock and, God forbid, but it's true, eventhe lives of his own children. The devil took them all and left jobundone, mourning deeply, and job confessed these beautiful words for which he's justlyfamous. Naked, I came from my mother's womb. Naked, I willreturn. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be thename of the Lord. What kind of giant says something like that after havingsuffered what he just did? He lost everything he had worked for and helost his most precious possession in his children, and yet he buttressed his faith.He blessed God in the midst of adversity, he worshiped him and boweddown before for him, and he remembered a very important truth, that everythinghe had was not his. When he appeared, he was naked, withnothing was gifts from God, and that it ultimately was not going to behis because he was going to die the same way. Those two truths,the fact that everything we have is from the Lord and that we're taking nothingwith us, to fundamental truths to govern how we hold on to them.Now, Satan was shamed and in his presumption, he approached the Lord Godagain and he this time accused God of protecting job's life. He said,sure, but you've guarded his health. Letting me touch his flesh and you'llsee that he'll curse you to his face, to your face. This is whatthe evil one suggested. So the...

Lord God gave over Job's health intoSatan's power, forbidding only the devil from taking his life. Job became soill that he was covered with boils from the bottom of his feet to thetop of his head. I'd icons of job in which all he is isone big boil from top to bottom. He left his house, which wasthe center of his village. He went outside the bounds of the village tothe trash heap. He climbed up onto the trash heap and sat down tomake that his appropriate bed, and then he picked up some broken potshered andscrape the boils from his flesh. This is how he was living, andwe see in this something very clear. The devil can do a lot,no doubt, specially then before he had been crushed, but the devil can'ttake a man's soul. Job was the same. He was mourning, hewas lamenting on the top of his trash heap, while others were losing theirfaith. His wife came to him. You would think his one remaining consolationin his life that she would come and at least stroke his head, atleast whisper to him something like, sweetheart, gonna get better. How could itnot? Could it get any worse? He would think that that's what shemight have said. That's not what she said. This pathetic woman.She approached him and she demonstrated that she, enduring the trial, had not beenas virtuous or as strong and faith in Troft Deth job. She losther faith, she lost her faith in God, and she approached job andshe said curse God and die. She came to a wrong conclusion, thoughI'm very sympathetic with it. She came to the wrong conclusion that all thisevil, all this injustice, really it was God's fall. This is whatshe thought. Job said to her that as speak like a foolish woman.Thank God he wasn't like Adam Huh. Thank God he said, Thou speakestlike a foolish woman. What shall we receive? Good at the hands ofGod and not evil. And even in the midst of his suffering, hewas leading his wife on the road of salvation. The next scene in thebeautiful book are the is the appearance of his friends Eliphaz and Bill Dad.So far, these were great men, great men who were the rulers oftheir own towns and had no job for a really long time, and theycame from Arabia just to see him because they had heard the terrible news.They were men of big hearts, of wise minds, of lots of virtue, and when they appeared on the scene and they saw job on top ofthe Dung he they were cut to the quick. And they were such goodfriends that they sat down and wept and stayed with him seven full days withoutspeaking a single word. What kind of person does that? They loved him, they were his true friends. They came to console him. They hadno idea what happened. They began to speak with him only after job himselfspoke. He broke the silence. They had a week together of nothing,just mourning, and then job opened his mouth after seven days and cursed theday of his birth. He wished it...

...out of existence, as only couldgo away. He wanted rather to be a miscarriage. He said, thatwould have been much better. Then his friends began to speak, and themore they spoke, the deeper holes they dug. The more they talked,the more tangled they became, the more they refused to maintain their position ofsilence before the mystery of God's workings. The more they tried to explain itwith proverbial wisdom. They faltered. They put forth the usual argument. Sufferingand misfortune are sent by God because we're sinners, they said Jeff to himthe usual correction. Repent, amend your life, it will get better.That's usually a good answer. That's the kind end of thing that we knowto be true our own experience, but it's not always true. Just likeall proverbial wisdom, we have to be very careful, very careful with ourapplication of what we know to be generally true. What was amazing was thatas job continued to lament and to refuse their efforts at explanation, they beganto make things up. This is a really amazing reality, because job wasunwilling to consent to them. They invented all sorts of supposed sins. Thatjob did sins. That job had never even contemplated in mind, let alonehave done in practice. They invented in their minds because of their wrong thoughts, these sins. How amazing. I was struck this week thinking about theiractions, of how upside down sometimes we are. We have such a difficultyfinding out our own sins, to confess. We want to go to confess,to reveal our own sins, and we're having such a difficulty. Buthow easy it is for us to invince sins out of the Blue Sky forthose who are not ourselves. Else. Oh that person over there, hemust maybe he's doing this, or certainly he did this or that. Wedon't even know. This is utterly backwards. God forgive us for this. Afterthis colorful collage of nonsense and made up sins, job consigns all hisfriends to foolishness and he says you are all sorry, comforters, you camehere to be giving me some medicine and all you're doing is sticking daggers inme. They, like job's wife, had lost faith. They had notlost faith in God, they had lost faith in job, and both werea big mistake. Lamenting his sufferings and his friends stupidity and their betrayals.He longed for death. Job said several amazing things. These are recorded inthe sixteen chapter. He says to them, God has worn me out. Don'tyou sometimes feel that way? He went on. He said, Godhas made me his target. It says, though, the Lord had sewn atarget on to his chest. That's is how he felt. It wasthat bad. Everywhere he went, arrows were flying. I'm not looking atyour eyeballs, but I know that some of you feel this way. Yet, despite his sorrow, he maintained hope. He went from lament to silent acceptance. He knew somehow, even though he did not understand it, somehowredemption was going to come. He yearned for it. He longed for it. He said, I know that,...

...though I will die from my flesh, I will see God. I know my redeemer lives. This is whathe said. Just to think how amazing that statement is for a Christian tosay. It's absolutely understandable for someone who lived twozero years before the incarnation,before the crucifixion and Resurrection, to say that that he knew that, thoughhe would die, though worms would consume his flesh. Are His words.Yet from his flesh, he would see his redeemer, credible affirmation. Everyonefell silent. Eventually they were themselves out. Job His friends. And then finallythere is a young man, Ellie, who he's just been in the background. He's been listening to everything. I think he's recorded in the inthe text, just to make sure that the young people who are listening tothe story don't think all these are a bunch of old farts. They don'tknow what they're talking about. When the old people get done and nothing succeedsEllie who speaks up and he says, you know, I can't stand listeningto you old people anymore. Let me tell you how it is. Andthen he makes his statements and they're no better than job's other friends. Hefails as well. When all is quiet, when everything's done, the Lord Almightyspeaks. He appears and speaks out of the tempest, out of theworld wind. It reveals the mysteries of his Providence. He asked job aseries of questions. Where were you when I fashion the mountain, when Icalled the clouds and to be where do you store the snow and how doyou calculate when you bring it out? Did you make the great sea monsters. He goes through the whole list. He wants job to know that everythingin creation, from the animals to the monsters to the natural capacity think.The job himself had suffered from that great wind that blew the house down onhis kids. It was all under God's hand and the Lord was in chargeof it all, he was governing it all, and even what appeared tobe evil was being used by God for good. And finally he makes thishe reveals the key to the enigma. Why did this happen? And Godfinally explains it to job in the fourty of chapter. He says this.Will you reject my righteous judgment? Do you judge that I have acted forany other reason than to demonstrate your righteousness? Here was the key to the wholepuzzle. Why did all of this happen? Why all this misery andsuffering? Because it was only through this the magnificence, the utter brilliance,the preciousness of the faith of job and his righteousness could be demonstrated. Whowould have ever known what kind of man job was if he had not enduredthis? They might have thought the same thing the devil was thinking. Ohyeah, he's pious but he's rich. He's pious but he's got a lotof happy kids. He's pious but he's looked all those cattle and he's gotgood health. And God stripped him of all and he stayed pious and hewas showing what really matters. God says he did this for this reason,only to reveal forth his righteousness. They weren't sent his trials as a punishmentfor his sins, but by God's gracious plan to reveal job's own blamelessness.And Satan's most vicious works and the grossest stupidities of men are all unable tooverturn the majestic providence of God for us, his resolved to glorify us, tomake precious gold come out of the...

...furnace. And therefore, brothers andsisters, are position. The proper orientation for us in our life is aconsidered a study and confident silence, a trusting reliance, without asking God toexplain himself all the time, even when things look contradictory in our life.The much suffering Prophet job, having learned from the Lord's own discourse what wasthe purpose of his sufferings, he at last responded the right way. Hestopped lamenting and he declared these words. He said, I had heard ofthee from the ear. People had told me about you, but now Ihave seen thee face to face, and I cover my mouth and I repentin Duft and ashes. This was the final conclusion for job and the holyfathers of the church tell us, brothers and sisters, this is the heightof Christian maturity to recognize and to rest in the incomprehensibility of God. That'sa true knowledge of God. Simplistic, proverbial platitudes are one thing. Theycan help us, but in our own dealings with God, as we seehis hand work, the position we have to come to is a confident trustand in his incomprehensibility that he is worthy for off to silently hold on tohim by faith, knowing that he is neither the author of evil nor weak. He is the Almighty and he is our father and he is mystically workingfor the good of his people to reveal what is best for us. Asa result, job prayed again, he stopped lament and he took up intercession. And Guess who? He prayed for? His friends who had persecuted him,and it says in the scriptures that when he prayed for his friends,the Lord God restored his glory, his health, he gave him ten morechildren his wealth. Yes, he lived until he was two hundred and fortyyears old, and now he adorns church buildings all over the world. Howmuch we should troft in the Lord through every trial. Don't doubt rely onhim, keep an eye on what's coming, when the Lord in the resurrection willreveal everything. Practice patience, endure in faith. And I want toend this reflection on job's life by simply pointing out to you what a pictureof Jesus Joby, how much the face of Christ appears in job's countenance.JOB IS A type of Christ. No one was the ultimately blameless one asmuch as Jesus, no one feared God more than Jesus, no one sufferedsuch satanic opposition and no one suffered as innocently and as terribly as Jesus Christ, our Lord, did. And no one has trusted God through it allas much as the Christ did, and no one was so magnificently vindicated asmuch as Jesus. All of those elements of job's life show forth and preparethe world for what Jesus himself would do. He, together with the Patriarch Josephand Moses and so many others in the old covenant, were preparing theworld by what they endured and how they endured it, to understand what theprototype, what the stamp of the true man, of the true blameless one, would be, of the true suffering servant. Jesus is also found asthe solution to everything desired by job and...

...his friends. His friends wanted wisdom, they wanted an explanation, and Jesus is the answer for that. Whenwe're searching and yearning for an understanding and for wisdom, we should remember thatJesus himself is our wisdom from God, that all the treasures of wisdom andknowledge reside in Him, Saint Paul says, and job cried out in the midstof his anguish. He said, Oh, if only there is someonewho could put his hand on God and his hand on me and function asan umpire. This is what he cried out for. He was begging fora mediator. So the very yearning of the much suffering prophet of job wasChristological. It was a yearning or the one mediator between God and men,Our Lord Jesus Christ. To him the glory and honor, as he hasrisen from the dead. Christ has risen. We hope that you have enjoyed andhave been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications,a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing this spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of theHoly Fathers. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (551)