The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 10 years ago

The Holy and Much-Suffering Prophet Job

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Ancient Faith Radio and patristic nectar publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenor. For he beheld the divine cross as a bright, flashing trophy. With it was see victorious over all who opposed him, and he destroyed the deceit and error of all 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 goodness of heart and THY ready obedience. He, through reason, captured thee when unreasoned ruled over Thee, and, having made thee to shine in heart and mind, with a certain knowledge of godly piety, he showed thee to the world 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 some of the lectures in an eight part lecture series entitled God's Statesmen, Pious Christian kings. patristic nectar publications invites you to download the first of these eight lectures here at ancient faith radio. For more information and the remaining lectures, please he's visit our website at www dot putristic nectar dot org. And now here's father Josiah trenum with the Sunday promily, the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Christ is risen. Then we gather today, brothers and sisters, on the Lord's Day, but one day we won't. One day this cycle will be done and will be in 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, think about going to church, wonder what's going to be happening there. It's going to be over, the new will have come. We'll be living in incomprehensible happiness. This is the future. Today is the Sunday of the Paralytic, this fourth Sunday of Pasca, on which we remember this mighty miracle of our Savior to this man for thirty eight years who had been laying by the pool in 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's of his life that I want to speak. I want to speak about job suffering and the resurrection. Many of you have his life fresh in your mind because it wasn't very long that we read through it. In our discipline of reading through the Bible in a year, you were able to be in awe of this man. This prophecy about job forty two chapters long. It begins with an incredible statement about him, that job was one who feared God and was blameless. What an incredible affirmation of his character. Wouldn't you love to have someone describe you that way at your funeral? He was someone who was blameless, 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 according to 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 of God giving wealth. He spread it around, he calved it on the sea, he used it to demonstrate his virtue and his vision. He also raped his children with piety. It says in that first chapter of job that if children 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 book of Job, says that this constitutes much of familial virtue and happiness. Is the common table, something that today we need to hear. Job Prayed for his kids every day and made sacrifices. Though he had a high opinion of them, he was worried about them. He thought perhaps they might have done something secretly against God or in their heart, and so he prayed to the Lord and made sacrifices for his children every day so that the Lord would accept him. What a man, what a father, what a patriarch. This incredible life provoked the devil, as it always does. Job Incurred Satan, scorned by his good life, and the devil and his presumption, accused job before 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 God took away what he owned, if he took his possessions, that he would curse God to his face. This is the mind of Satan. Gross and in 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, even the lives of his own children. The devil took them all and left job undone, mourning deeply, and job confessed these beautiful words for which he's justly famous. Naked, I came from my mother's womb. Naked, I will return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. What kind of giant says something like that after having suffered what he just did? He lost everything he had worked for and he lost 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 bowed down before for him, and he remembered a very important truth, that everything he had was not his. When he appeared, he was naked, with nothing was gifts from God, and that it ultimately was not going to be his 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 nothing with us, to fundamental truths to govern how we hold on to them. Now, Satan was shamed and in his presumption, he approached the Lord God again 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'll see that he'll curse you to his face, to your face. This is what the evil one suggested. So the...

Lord God gave over Job's health into Satan's power, forbidding only the devil from taking his life. Job became so ill that he was covered with boils from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. I'd icons of job in which all he is is one big boil from top to bottom. He left his house, which was the center of his village. He went outside the bounds of the village to the trash heap. He climbed up onto the trash heap and sat down to make that his appropriate bed, and then he picked up some broken potshered and scrape the boils from his flesh. This is how he was living, and we 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't take a man's soul. Job was the same. He was mourning, he was lamenting on the top of his trash heap, while others were losing their faith. His wife came to him. You would think his one remaining consolation in his life that she would come and at least stroke his head, at least whisper to him something like, sweetheart, gonna get better. How could it not? Could it get any worse? He would think that that's what she might have said. That's not what she said. This pathetic woman. She approached him and she demonstrated that she, enduring the trial, had not been as virtuous or as strong and faith in Troft Deth job. She lost her faith, she lost her faith in God, and she approached job and she said curse God and die. She came to a wrong conclusion, though I'm very sympathetic with it. She came to the wrong conclusion that all this evil, all this injustice, really it was God's fall. This is what she 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 speakest like a foolish woman. What shall we receive? Good at the hands of God and not evil. And even in the midst of his suffering, he was leading his wife on the road of salvation. The next scene in the beautiful 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 of their own towns and had no job for a really long time, and they came 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 of the Dung he they were cut to the quick. And they were such good friends that they sat down and wept and stayed with him seven full days without speaking a single word. What kind of person does that? They loved him, they were his true friends. They came to console him. They had no idea what happened. They began to speak with him only after job himself spoke. He broke the silence. They had a week together of nothing, just mourning, and then job opened his mouth after seven days and cursed the day of his birth. He wished it...

...out of existence, as only could go away. He wanted rather to be a miscarriage. He said, that would have been much better. Then his friends began to speak, and the more they spoke, the deeper holes they dug. The more they talked, the more tangled they became, the more they refused to maintain their position of silence before the mystery of God's workings. The more they tried to explain it with proverbial wisdom. They faltered. They put forth the usual argument. Suffering and misfortune are sent by God because we're sinners, they said Jeff to him the 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 know to be true our own experience, but it's not always true. Just like all proverbial wisdom, we have to be very careful, very careful with our application of what we know to be generally true. What was amazing was that as job continued to lament and to refuse their efforts at explanation, they began to make things up. This is a really amazing reality, because job was unwilling to consent to them. They invented all sorts of supposed sins. That job did sins. That job had never even contemplated in mind, let alone have done in practice. They invented in their minds because of their wrong thoughts, these sins. How amazing. I was struck this week thinking about their actions, of how upside down sometimes we are. We have such a difficulty finding out our own sins, to confess. We want to go to confess, to reveal our own sins, and we're having such a difficulty. But how easy it is for us to invince sins out of the Blue Sky for those who are not ourselves. Else. Oh that person over there, he must maybe he's doing this, or certainly he did this or that. We don't even know. This is utterly backwards. God forgive us for this. After this colorful collage of nonsense and made up sins, job consigns all his friends to foolishness and he says you are all sorry, comforters, you came here to be giving me some medicine and all you're doing is sticking daggers in me. They, like job's wife, had lost faith. They had not lost faith in God, they had lost faith in job, and both were a big mistake. Lamenting his sufferings and his friends stupidity and their betrayals. He longed for death. Job said several amazing things. These are recorded in the sixteen chapter. He says to them, God has worn me out. Don't you sometimes feel that way? He went on. He said, God has made me his target. It says, though, the Lord had sewn a target on to his chest. That's is how he felt. It was that bad. Everywhere he went, arrows were flying. I'm not looking at your 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, somehow redemption 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 what he said. Just to think how amazing that statement is for a Christian to say. 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, though he would die, though worms would consume his flesh. Are His words. Yet from his flesh, he would see his redeemer, credible affirmation. Everyone fell silent. Eventually they were themselves out. Job His friends. And then finally there 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 in the text, just to make sure that the young people who are listening to the story don't think all these are a bunch of old farts. They don't know what they're talking about. When the old people get done and nothing succeeds Ellie who speaks up and he says, you know, I can't stand listening to you old people anymore. Let me tell you how it is. And then he makes his statements and they're no better than job's other friends. He fails as well. When all is quiet, when everything's done, the Lord Almighty speaks. He appears and speaks out of the tempest, out of the world wind. It reveals the mysteries of his Providence. He asked job a series of questions. Where were you when I fashion the mountain, when I called the clouds and to be where do you store the snow and how do you 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 everything in 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 on his kids. It was all under God's hand and the Lord was in charge of it all, he was governing it all, and even what appeared to be evil was being used by God for good. And finally he makes this he reveals the key to the enigma. Why did this happen? And God finally 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 for any other reason than to demonstrate your righteousness? Here was the key to the whole puzzle. Why did all of this happen? Why all this misery and suffering? Because it was only through this the magnificence, the utter brilliance, the preciousness of the faith of job and his righteousness could be demonstrated. Who would have ever known what kind of man job was if he had not endured this? They might have thought the same thing the devil was thinking. Oh yeah, he's pious but he's rich. He's pious but he's got a lot of happy kids. He's pious but he's looked all those cattle and he's got good health. And God stripped him of all and he stayed pious and he was 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 punishment for 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 to overturn the majestic providence of God for us, his resolved to glorify us, to make precious gold come out of the...

...furnace. And therefore, brothers and sisters, are position. The proper orientation for us in our life is a considered a study and confident silence, a trusting reliance, without asking God to explain 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 was the purpose of his sufferings, he at last responded the right way. He stopped lamenting and he declared these words. He said, I had heard of thee from the ear. People had told me about you, but now I have seen thee face to face, and I cover my mouth and I repent in Duft and ashes. This was the final conclusion for job and the holy fathers of the church tell us, brothers and sisters, this is the height of Christian maturity to recognize and to rest in the incomprehensibility of God. That's a true knowledge of God. Simplistic, proverbial platitudes are one thing. They can help us, but in our own dealings with God, as we see his hand work, the position we have to come to is a confident trust and in his incomprehensibility that he is worthy for off to silently hold on to him 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 working for the good of his people to reveal what is best for us. As a 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 more children his wealth. Yes, he lived until he was two hundred and forty years old, and now he adorns church buildings all over the world. How much we should troft in the Lord through every trial. Don't doubt rely on him, keep an eye on what's coming, when the Lord in the resurrection will reveal everything. Practice patience, endure in faith. And I want to end this reflection on job's life by simply pointing out to you what a picture of 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 as much as Jesus, no one feared God more than Jesus, no one suffered such 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 all as much as the Christ did, and no one was so magnificently vindicated as much as Jesus. All of those elements of job's life show forth and prepare the world for what Jesus himself would do. He, together with the Patriarch Joseph and Moses and so many others in the old covenant, were preparing the world by what they endured and how they endured it, to understand what the prototype, what the stamp of the true man, of the true blameless one, would be, of the true suffering servant. Jesus is also found as the solution to everything desired by job and...

...his friends. His friends wanted wisdom, they wanted an explanation, and Jesus is the answer for that. When we're searching and yearning for an understanding and for wisdom, we should remember that Jesus himself is our wisdom from God, that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge reside in Him, Saint Paul says, and job cried out in the midst of his anguish. He said, Oh, if only there is someone who could put his hand on God and his hand on me and function as an umpire. This is what he cried out for. He was begging for a mediator. So the very yearning of the much suffering prophet of job was Christological. It was a yearning or the one mediator between God and men, Our Lord Jesus Christ. To him the glory and honor, as he has risen from the dead. Christ has risen. We hope that you have enjoyed and have 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 the Holy Fathers. Until next time,.

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