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Neighbor

"Permits" evil

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Hi all. 

It seems to me that it is sometimes stated that God "permits" when referring to explanations about bad things happening  or about evil in general. That God never tests or causes trails to occur in one's life.

Is that what is shown within the telling of Job? God permits, or is it more than permits? I find myself asking  did Satan come to God  for the purpose of causing Job's troubles?  Seems to me Satan came to present himself. It is God that opened the conversation with where have you been, and then with have you considered my servant Job. God of foreknowledge and sovereignty over all that is predestined by Him, initiated the conversation and perhaps the "challenge" if that is what it is, not Satan.

Satan the evil one took the bait (seems that way to me). To what end?

I think it is so that I will be able to stand and withstand  evil today, knowing that this is not the end, this is not as good as it gets, the movie line of Jack Nicholson not withstanding for there is more than just this. 

Job seemed to know to accept what is from God whether he saw it as personally good and pleasant for the moment or not. He did plead to understand. He prayed for relief too. But even in this, God's sovereignty is testified to and Job was secure.

So why the idea that God permitted  or only allowed?

 ..."Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.  And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”  And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”  Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”  And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”

 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.  And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”  But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

 

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Some good questions. Because God is Who He is, He can do anything whenever. He gave freedom to all His created beings, and even haSatan - but He limited what could be done to Job. In the Tanakh there are many interesting and similar ideas when God interacts with His creation.  The end result is always of benefit, even if the means are hard for us to understand.

Point is, He is God. He likes to involve His creation in His ways. Sometimes it becomes apparent as to why. Other times it is unclear. His long term plans for the scattered nation can be seen in Pentecost. God plays the long game quite often.

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Dear Neighbor,

Very interesting question.  By my understanding, God who is all good and can do no evil, has endowed us with free will.  All evil proceeds from that which has fallen away or has fallen short of His divine will.  I do not believe that our Lord ever attempts to trick us or deceive us into sinning.  He does, however, allow the presentation of certain temptations to occur in our lives.  Why would He allow this?  I believe for the betterment of our souls.  This is often difficult to see with our human eyes, with the minds of men.  Each of us has a specific disposition toward specific types of sin.  Some of us will be tempted in certain ways, while others of us will be tempted in different ways.  I would like to include an except from the writings of the seventeenth century Benedictine monk Augustine Baker which may shed some light upon the topic of temptations in general:    

"...being sent us by God, they (temptations) are meant for our good, and to give us occasion to merit by
them. And those which God sends us are the most proper for us; for if they were in our own choice
we should choose least and last of all those that are most fit to humble us, and to withdraw our
affections from ourselves and creatures; so that the more displeasing to us and afflicting that any
temptations are the more profitable are they. Let none, therefore, be dismayed at the approach of
temptations, but since self-love cannot be cured but by application of things contrary thereto, let
us accept of them as a special gift of God, assuring ourselves that it would be perilous to be long without them.
And if we cannot clearly see how our present temptation can turn to our profit we
ought to content ourselves that God sees it; and otherwise He who is infinite wisdom and goodness
would never have permitted them to befall us; therefore let faith supply knowledge or curiosity."  
Temptations are seen here as blessings bestowed upon us allowing us the opportunity to draw closer to our ultimate eternal existence with God in the beatific vision of salvation.  For me, this allows me see the unpleasantness of temptation within a new light; a perspective which permits me to "make sense" of these distressful experiences.  Christ is always with us, fully aware of our needs and difficulties.  He will not allow us to become lost as long as we direct our will toward His mercy and guidance.  
 
 
 

 

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Job was a righteous man. God allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to do to Job except kill him. Even though Satan continued to torture him he continued to trust in God. This world is not the end. We fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. God uses bad things for good. There is a reason why God allows bad things to happen in our lives. Sometimes we do not understand why. We must trust God and have faith. 

 

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God allowed Job to be tested to prove His faithfulness. Satan was trying to prove a point that Job was a faithful servant only because God protected him (had a hedge about him). So by God "permitting" satan to bring these various attacks upon him, it showed that Job was faithful whether protected or not. 

God is good and I don't think He does any evil, but we live in a broken world and will experience the affects of that. Also, often time, when we face situations they're brought upon ourselves by sin/disobedience/etc. I do think, in a sense, that God allows it. Since He could say "peace be still" and it would have to stop. 

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51 minutes ago, Justin Adams said:

..."God plays the long game"....

Seems so.

As intriguing as a chess board might be to a pawn, - if a pawn had freewill. 

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Hi Neighbor,  

1 hour ago, Neighbor said:

So why the idea that God permitted  or only allowed?

 Wouldn't permitted be the same as allowed? All I know is that I'm glad the Book of Job was included in the Bible. It reassures me when bad things happen to people who seemingly seem good.  It shows me that I can't see the whole story and what is happening in the spiritual realm.  Job’s friends were certain that there was hidden sin in Job’s life and the events against Job was a result of sin. They felt they were correct in their judgment in him. I learned that we cannot judge others based on what they are suffering. God alone knows the purpose behind Job’s suffering and never even explained it to him either.  Job also gives me an example of trust and faith in God despite terrible circumstances.

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8 minutes ago, lovethelord said:

 Wouldn't permitted be the same as allowed?

Hi, Yes I think so. I tried to  construct the sentence with that connotation in mind.

 

8 minutes ago, lovethelord said:

I learned that we cannot judge others based on what they are suffering.

Yes, great  point to bring up! The question; who sinned the man or his parents  being answered as neither, instead the man is what he is  for the glory of God and to serve  and be used to God's  good purposes.

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I personally attest to the truth touched upon by more than one in this thread. I do my best to focus only upon those things in my testimony which communicate truth and are therefore good and worthwhile to the exclusion of the rest. There's no need for anyone to learn about the harsh lessons delivered to me in my rebellion,  only how these harsh lessons culminated in the Lord healing me of all my afflictions and delivering me from my own self. Christ set me free!

Job was the first book the Lord had me read. Even a righteous man (which I was not!) can suffer similar things, falling under the curse and losing everything except for his life. I was stunned speechless because Job, who was a better man than I could hope to be, was restored and greatly blessed in the end. This was what the Lord promised when he saved my life --- that a man who suffered under the curse would be blessed beyond measure --- and I would live each day knowing that God was with me. That's precisely what happened when I was born in Spirit. I'm never alone because the Lord is always with me. :)  

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