III. GOD’S INTENTION WITH JOB
A. To Consume the "Perfect and Upright" Job
and to Strip His Attainments
in the Highest Standard
of Ethics in Perfection and Uprightness
God’s intention with Job was to consume this "perfect and upright" person and to strip his attainments, his achievements, in the highest standard of ethics in perfection and uprightness (Job 1:1).
B. To Tear Down the Natural Job
in His Perfection and Uprightness
God’s intention was also to tear down the natural Job in his perfection and uprightness that He might build up a renewed Job in God’s nature and attributes.
C. To Have a Job in the Line of the Tree of Life
God’s intention was not to have a Job in the line of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but a Job in the line of the tree of life (Gen. 2:9).
D. To Make Job a Man of God
Eventually, God’s intention was to make Job a man of God (1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 3:17), filled with Christ, the embodiment of God, to be the fullness of God for the expression of God in Christ, not a man of the high standard of ethics in Job’s natural perfection, natural uprightness, and natural integrity, which Job attempted to maintain and hold (Job 2:3, 9a). Such a person, constituted with God according to His economy, would never be entangled by any troubles and problems so that he would curse his birth and prefer to die rather than to live.
After God created Adam, He placed him in front of two trees—the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God then charged Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for if he ate of that tree, he would die (Gen. 2:9, 16-17). God wanted Adam to eat of the tree of life. If Adam had eaten of the tree of life, this tree would have entered into him and then would have grown within him. However, Adam ate instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree was thus sown into Adam and grew within him, and it has been growing in all of Adam’s descendants. At Job’s time the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was only two thousand years old, but now it is six thousand years old. Today the entire human race is a race constituted according to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In every human society, regardless of the kind of ethics it has, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is growing. As long as this tree is growing among the human race, there will be no peace.
Before we were regenerated, we were in the line of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When we were regenerated, Christ planted Himself into us as the tree of life. However, in our practical, daily living, are we in the line of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or in the line of the tree of life? In our married life, for example, we may be in the line of the tree of knowledge, and by the way we talk with our spouse we may not only grow this tree but also water it and fertilize it. What, then, should we do? We need to remember Paul’s word in Galatians 2:20—"It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me"—and turn from the tree of knowledge to the tree of life. If we do this, we will live Christ and grow Christ as the tree of life.
(Life-Study of Job, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)