Well today we get to the end of the book of Job. God is continuing to speak, and Job is listening. “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?”(41:1)
Leviathan is another word for a crocodile, but toward the end of the chapter, the reference seems to aim toward Satan himself.
When Job answers, there is total humility before God. He realizes that his speculation has been inaccurate. “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”(42:3)
He goes on to say, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee.” (42:5)
When we started out, Job was self-assured that he had been this perfect man. Now, as he stands before God, Job realizes how small he really is. He also realizes how great God is. “Therefore I retract and I repent in the dust.” (42:6)
There is a moment for each of us when we face our God. Hopefully, we receive that moment in this life, because we will face Him sooner or later. (It’s not a good thing to wait until later). As Job sees God for the first time, he realizes that no one is “righteous” before God. Our Creator is so holy that there is no human who can compare.
It is in this frame of mind that Job repents and realizes that much of his speculation has been inaccurate.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
So God’s grace is poured out upon Job, in that he receives back double what the devil had stolen from him. He had 7,000 sheep before; now he has 14,000. He had 3,000 camels before; now he has 6,000. He had 500 yoke of oxen before; now he has 1,000. He had 500 female donkeys before; now he has 1,000. He goes on to have more children and his life is blessed for 140 more years. Job lives to see his grandchildren to four generations. What a blessed life, wouldn’t you say?
Over the years I have seen many people want to claim that they were going through the “Job experience.” I personally never claim that. Job was not in covenant with God and I am, through Jesus.
Of course, I have had times when obstacles were really prevalent, and “going got tough.”I have recognized those times as times when the devil was raising his head in my life. However, I always sought the Lord for the proper weapons to be used for my defense. I know that my Father is for me, and not against me, and He has provided us with weapons of warfare which destroy the works of the devil.
Remember, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
After having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to go into Asia, Paul has a vision of a man from Macedonia calling him to come. So he heeds the Spirit of God and sails to Philippi, a leading city of Macedonia. The episode which ensues is one of Paul’s finest.
As he is preaching the gospel, a young girl is following him, crying out, “These men are bond servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” (V. 17). Now since she is speaking the truth, it would be easy to assume that this girl is a witness sent by God. However, she isn’t.
Rather than helping Paul’s mission, the girl is hindering it. Her continual shouting is creating confusion for those trying to hear Paul’s message. So Paul casts a demon of divination out of the girl, and she immediately stops the irritating behavior.
More trouble for Paul and Silas. The girl’s masters had been using her for fortune telling and such., and now with the demon out of her, she has lost her power to do that. So her masters charge the two apostles with “proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept.”(V.21).
The magistrates tear off the robes of Paul and Silas and beat them with rods. (Inflicting many blows). (V. 23) Then the two are thrown into prison – not just the prison proper, but the “inner prison.”
Now put yourself in their predicament for a moment. You have been stripped and beaten with many blows, so you are bloody and hurting. Then you are thrown into an inner prison where it is dark and moldy. Finally your feet are put in stocks. Your very life is being threatened. What would you do or say? Most people would have a pity party at that point. (We are trying to do God’s will, and this is what we get. Oh, God, where are you?)
Not Paul and Silas. In fact at midnight, they are singing hymns and praises to God so that the other inmates hear them. (They must have been singing pretty loudly). These amazing men of God are showing to all the reality of their faith. Their praises at this dark moment are drawing angels to the scene.
And God shows up! An earthquake shakes the prison and everyone’s chains are unfastened. Imagine that. The moment is so profound to the chief jailer that he runs in and falls down before Paul and Silas asking how he might be saved. This God is real!!
So the first church in Philippi is started by the jailer and his family and friends.
Then Paul brings to the attention of the magistrate that he is a Roman citizen, and he is released.
Once again, what the devil had meant for evil, turned out to be for good. The first church in Philippi was now started on a strong foundation of faith in God’s power.