2003-06-03 - Prayer for our Leaders
Job 1:6-8 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.' And the Lord said to Satan, 'Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.'"
We have finished the first section of Job 1 which was verses 1-5. The next section is composed of verses 6-19, where we see the affliction of Job. Job's affliction is described in four different ways:
1. The causes of it, Job 1:6, 7.
2. The instruments of it, Job 1:15, 16.
3. The manner of it, Job 1:14-16.
4. The time of it, Job 1:16.
We also see here that God is the principal cause of Job's afflictions. This may not be an easy pill to swallow, but it is clear from the text that God allows satan to put Job to the test. God Himself gives the permission. Satan is only the secondary cause. He was the one who caused Job his struggle, but he only did so under the authority and permission of God. We can see the malice and slandering of satan in verses 9-11.
Many, especially the Jewish Rabbis, wonder what day this was when the "sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord." Some have said that it was probably the first day of the year, others that it was the Sabbath day. In truth, all we have been told in Scripture is that there was a day. We are really told nothing more.
On the surface, it seems like verses 6-8 say very little alone, but looking deeper, they really say a lot. I would like to key in on the phrase, "Have you considered my servant Job?" This is because of the consequences of what happens when satan responds that Job only honors God because God has been good to him. My friends, if you have a computer and can read these devotionals you are in that camp. God has been good to you. Can you see your name there? Have you considered my servant Jeff, Henry, Jane, or Sally? Can you see your name there?
There are two ways to look at this question that the Lord presents to satan. One is as a simple question, but the other is as an affirmation. We can see this as a simple question or we can view it as if the Lord knew that satan knew of Job and the Lord was asking him if he had taken notice of the faithfulness of Job. It is as if the Lord was saying, "Have you ever met anyone like this fellow?"
This is where I would like to focus this devotional. If we take these two verses in this manner there is a lesson for us to learn here and a practice that we should engage in as a result.
Notice how the Lord selects His most eminent and strongest to put to the test. The second thing we should notice is that satan takes those who are strongest in grace and seeks to assault them. Those who can do the most for the kingdom of Christ, those who can put the most and largest bullet holes in the kingdom of satan, well, those are the ones who get hit the hardest with the assaults of the devil. It is therefore one of our central responsibilities, as "garden variety" Christians, (if you are like I am), to pray for our leaders. We must pray for those who set the godly example for us to follow. We see here that satan longs to assault them and our response is to pray for them and to long, even more than satan does for their failing, for their faithfulness.
There are lots of various angles we could take from these verses, but to pray for our leaders is maybe the most helpful for the church and the cause of Jesus Christ. We must pray for our ministers. We must seek the grace of God for those who have shown us the way in serving Christ. If we take the term, "my servant Job," in a general manner, we see that God has a special concern for him and for those who are faithful to Him, but also we can see the love God has for those like Job (John 10:3). Of Job the Lord says in verse 8, "There is none like him on the earth."
My friends, we must take these verses and resolve to pray for our leaders. I have been praying for revival for years. The last real revival in the United States was the prayer meeting revival, which began in NYC in 1858. There have been mini-awakenings, but no revivals since then. Let us consider our leaders, the Lord's servants, and let us pray for them. Let us pray and long for a new awakening, a new revival where thousands of souls are won to the cause of Christ and secured for eternity.
Soli Deo Gloria,