VII. JOB, LIKE HIS FRIENDS, BEING HALTED
IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF RIGHT AND WRONG,
NOT KNOWING GOD’S ECONOMY
Job, like his friends, was halted in the knowledge of right and wrong, not knowing God’s economy, not realizing in an adequate way the purpose of God’s creating of man. He and his friends were devoid of the divine revelation and of the experience of the divine life. He had no idea that God had no intention to increase his perfection, uprightness, righteousness, and integrity. Rather, God’s intention was to strip all these human virtues which he had as his contentment, that he could seek and gain only God Himself. Neither his friends nor he were in the line of the tree of life as God ordained man to be.
God put the book of Job into the Bible as a black background. The speaking of Job and his friends indicated that although they apparently were godly men, they were short of God, and they did not express God. Job and his friends came together to debate, not to fellowship. They had nothing of God to fellowship with one another.
We need to consider our speaking today in the church meetings. As we are practicing the New Testament way, we desire to nourish, to feed, all the saints that they may be perfected, equipped, to speak for God. What we want to hear is nothing other than God in Christ with the church. We speak what we are, we speak what we have, we speak what we enjoy, and we speak what we love and appreciate. If we love Christ and appreciate God in Christ, that is what we will speak. Then our prophesying in the church meetings will be rich in God with Christ and with the church. However, many have been members of the Body of Christ for years, but still they cannot speak even a short word for Christ. We may talk about Christ, but we may not live Christ or have the practice of appreciating Christ or exalting Christ. If this is our situation, how can we minister Christ to others by speaking Him for the divine dispensing? I hope that from now on our church life will be full of Christ, with Christ in our praying, praising, and prophesying.
The Bible is a consistent book. It begins with God, and it ends with God. It begins with the tree of life, and it ends with the tree of life. It begins with the river of living water, and it ends with the river of living water. This shows us the consistency of the Bible.
In this consistent book, the subject is God’s economy, God’s eternal plan, God’s arrangement, to have man to contain Christ—to have Christ as man’s life, as man’s nature, and even as man’s person. Our having Christ as our life, our nature, and our person means that we are constituted with Christ. As a result of being constituted with Christ, we become a Christ-man, a Christian. Then we express Christ by living Him, by magnifying Him, and by exalting Him. When we come together, whatever we do—our singing, praying, speaking, prophesying—will be an expression of Christ.
Paul’s speaking in Ephesians is very different from the speaking in the book of Job. In Ephesians 1 Paul spoke of the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies: God’s choosing, God’s predestinating, Christ’s redeeming, and the Spirit’s sealing. Through such blessings the Triune God becomes one with all His beneficiaries, making them the church, the Body of the One who fills all in all. Then in chapter three Paul said that he bowed his knees to the Father and asked Him to strengthen the believers with power through His Spirit into their inner man, that Christ may make His home in their hearts, that they may be filled unto all the fullness of God to become God’s fullness, His expression.
God could not speak such things to Job and his friends because their kind of spiritual culture was very primitive. Therefore, when they spoke to one another, they could only rebuke and vindicate, uttering words of vanity and emptiness. In Job 11:12 Zophar called Job "an empty-headed man."
We should not appreciate the speaking of Job and his friends in a positive way but only in a negative way, as a black background for the bright revelation in the New Testament. I hope that through this study of the book of Job we all will be brought into a further step of our divine culture in order that we may be filled with the dispensing of God in Christ as our life, our life supply, and our everything.
(Life-Study of Job, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)