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Neighbor

"Permits" evil

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Shalom all,

I think the message that is often missed in the reading of Job is of Yahweh's heart on the matter.

It seems to me that Yahweh has great faith in Job.  For in His words He speaks so proudly of Job which and shows His great faith in him.  He believes that, whatever hasatan does, Job would remain loyal and strong.

Despite the outcome of the story, what a wonderful thing this is to realise!  That the Creator can have faith in people like Job, trusting them to do and choose the right thing...  Incredible.  You would expect that faith from Yahweh in His Son, but to a mere man?  How amazing He is! 

Love & Shalom

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20 hours ago, Neighbor said:

So why the idea that God permitted  or only allowed?

I think this was the main question?

It is a difficult one that has gathered various opinions over the years.  From the scriptures we have seemingly opposing statements like "God does not tempt anyone with evil"  - James 1 

yet we have Job and

-  Abraham commanded to offer his son as a sacrifice

-  And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech  - Judges 9:23

-  Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. - 1 Samuel 16:14

-  etc.

When I come across these types of issues, I have learned to realize that the problem is in my concepts: the way I have been trained by teachers and life experiences.  God is consistent, but he can do different things at different times. 

I think that a big clue is in the James passage. Context, yet again.  James can be difficult.  Martin Luther doubted the inclusion of James in canon as the wording can make it difficult to reconcile.  I don't hold that view as I think it can be reconciled, if you keep in mind your foundational truths as you read it.

So in our passage about not tempting with evil. James says:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Foundational Truth - Jesus died for the sins of the world: once for all.
Foundational Truth - The unforgiveable sin is rejecting Jesus as illustrated in Matt 12 and Hebrews 10.

James is talking about trials.  What is a trial?  We all recognize that the difficulty in our lives are trials or testings to build our character towards Hope (see Romans 5).  What is being tested often?  Our ability to stand resolved against the opportunity to doubt God.  This was clearly the issue with Job, etc. 

God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden, then told Adam and Eve to not eat.   I will not be so insolent as to think God did not plan ahead.  He put the tree and gave the command.

Who did the tempting?  Satan

What is Satans ultimate goal?  I believe it is to supplant faith in God with anything he can use.  He wants to destroy our faith to cause us to die in the unforgiven sin.  That is Evil complete (the sin of the canaanites is not yet complete)

Does God send the trials? Yes.  Does God send bad things?  Yes.

Does he tempt or want us to complete our sin?  No he has done everything he can to prevent that.

So while it seems God plays too close to the edge, it is a deadly game and he is the master strategist.

I hope that makes sense.  Not thinking very clearly right now, so I am not sure I connected all the pieces.

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Hi, James is a favored and helpful to me book.

As to tests and trials; I find that for me I have no excuse regardless.  I need not find my fault(s), my sin against God to be because of anyone nor any thing except me. I am depraved from my own beginning in this body of flesh. My redemption is not within me, nor in Paul or James' inspired accounts, but in Christ Jesus alone. My separation from God is reconciled by God  through His grace alone because of his mercy alone.

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23 hours ago, Neighbor said:

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.

 

My first impression is do you think that G_d did not know where Satan had been? One of the names of Satan is devil/accuser so Satan is always accusing anyone of only serving G_d because of the good things they have or recieve. Take those away and they will not willing serve Him as Satan seeks to justify his own rebellion against G_d at every opportunity. G_d on the other had knows the true nature and heart of His servant Job and that Job is going to teach Satan a hard lesson. I see Job not just as a lesson about being a faithful servant like Job was but G_d showing all the Angels in heaven and those fallen including Satan a lesson.

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4 minutes ago, Tampered With said:

My first impression is do you think that G_d did not know where Satan had been?

I think God speaks in a very Jewish manner, or Jews speak in the manner of God. When  a question is posed it is not to ask of that which is unknown  but instead to declare a topic open for discussion.

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21 minutes ago, Neighbor said:

I think God speaks in a very Jewish manner, or Jews speak in the manner of God. When  a question is posed it is not to ask of that which is unknown  but instead to declare a topic open for discussion.

I agree.

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