When we last left off, we had God asking Satan from where had he come and he replied, from going to and fro in the earth, walking up and down in it. Because an all-knowing God who had no need to ask such a question since he would already know the answer, drew the conclusion that he asked the question for our benefit. We surmised that there had to be something important in this answer that God wanted us to pay attention to or something God wanted us to know. We know that Satan patrols the earth seeking souls (victims) to devour, which describes his activities on the earth and it informs us as to his character and the evil purpose for all his travel. With all of this in mind, let us set the stage for our scenario.
Imagine this scene taking place on a day when the sons of God came to preset themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them (Job 1:6). Satan comes before God, confident that he has secured one of God’s own. In his mind, he finally has enough evidence, his arguments are solid, he has scripted every word, he has rehearsed for every possible scenario, and he is ready to present his case. Remember, Satan is known as the accuser of our brethren, who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10).
Now is when the story really gets interesting. God, knew from where Satan had come, he knew why Satan had come, what he had come for, how he planned to collect on what he had come for, and who all of this was about. God even knew what Job had done, what he had said, what he had believed, and what was about to happen. But instead of waiting for Satan to present his case, God immediately puts him on the defensive by asking him about Job.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil (Job 1:8)?
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause (Job 2:3).
He forced Satan to take another course of action and to alter his original game plan.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 1:11).
But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 2:5).
Satan asked God to put forth his hand and touch all that he had and touch his bone and flesh.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord (Job 1:12).
And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life (Job 2:6).
God allowed Satan to put forth his hands and touch all that Job had and touch his bones and flesh. Why did God not put forth his hands and touch all that Job had and touch his bones and flesh as Satan had asked? For it has been said, God will not put more on you than you can bear. This cliché appears to fall in line with the old teaching of this story.
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations (Job 42:12-16).
It appears that God did not put more on Job than he could bear because he survived the test, and was blessed at the end of his life more than the beginning. But in case you have not noticed, things are not always as they appear when it comes to the things of God.
The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation (confusion), and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me (Deuteronomy 28:20).
According to this passage, the Lord himself will send a curse upon you so that you will be confused and a failure in everything you attempt to do. This curse will last until you are destroyed because of the wickedness that is in your life and because you have forsaking him. When you read this scripture, you could conclude that God brought these things upon you, almost like he is sending his personal curse upon you.
Here is the problem. Whenever text is translated from one language to another, some of the words change because there are no corresponding words that could be used that would capture the context of the scripture or the meaning of the original text. Whenever you translate one language into another language, especially English, there exists the possibility the something lost in the translation. We know that the Bible was written in two languages, with the Old Testament being in a form Hebrew and the New Testament in a form of Greek. When the Bible was translated into English, the original verb form was changed from the permissive to causative. Because English uses the causative verb form, the meaning of the original scriptures changed. Causative carries the meaning of involving or causing something to happen. Permissive carries the meaning of allowing something to happen.
The Old Testament, originally in Hebrew, was written in the permissive (giving permission, that permits, allowable and at one’s option) verb tense, but because the English language of the day when the King James was written had no corresponding permissive tense, the verbs were translated into the causative (producing an effect, causing) verb tense. For more information on the causative and permissive verb, read our three-part blog series titled, It Is All In The Tense.
Therefore, Deuteronomy 28:20 should have been translated something like, The Lord will allow/permit upon thee cursing, vexation (confusion), and rebuke. God will allow this to happen because you allow this to happen. In this case, God allows the curse to come upon you, if you allow the curse come upon you, because of the freewill that was given to you. For every decision you make in life there is some type of consequence (cause and effect) that will occur. It can be good or bad, a blessing or a curse, but something will result from the choices you make.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desires), and enticed. Then when lust (desires) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin, and sin, when it is finished (full-grown), bringeth for death. Do not err (be deceived), my beloved brethren (James 1:13-16).
The scripture says that when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him or her, because God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do wrong either. The scripture goes on to say that temptation is the pull of man’s own evil thoughts and wishes. And that these evil thoughts lead to evil actions and afterwards to the death. We are given a warning, told not to be deceived, but I have to wonder why?
The scripture also warns us not to be misled by believing that these things are from God. That old cliché, God will not put more on you than you can bear, appears to fall in line with the old teaching contained in the story of Job. Many people believe God is responsible for all the tragedy in the world. They believe he is responsible for the earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and all other natural disasters. They believe God is responsible for death or for not stopping someone from dying. Many people have been hurt by a tragedy, so they blame God for all that has happened to them. Many believe God is the creator of such things just to chasten them. So, who is this God we serve? Does he do all of these things he has been accused of or do we have it all wrong?
This is why many Christians believe that God is the creator of such things like physical pain, sicknesses, accidents, deaths and other tragedies and carries them out just to chasten then. The Old Testament scriptures are more than likely to be used to support this argument because the New Testament portrays God as a very willing healer and life giver. So the question becomes, does God put cancer on your body to teach you long-suffering and faithfulness? Does he cause some tragedy to befall you just to teach you to have more patience? These questions have divided the Christians community. Physical pain, sicknesses, accidents, deaths and other tragedies comes from Satan (John 10:10) and not from God. God will allow it but he does not cause it. Think about this, if God is the cause of all of these things, then he is working against all that Jesus came to do (John 10:10).
This is why studying is so important, then you will be able to rightly divide the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15). The original scriptures were in the permissive tense, but because the English language has no corresponding permissive tense, therefore the verbs were translated in the causative tense. This should help to end many of those contradictions that seem to appear in the Bible. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament because he changes not (Malachi 3:6). Therefore do not mix up good and evil or permissive and causative, for God is good not evil. Do not be misled by believing that these things are from God. (to be continued).
Enjoy your blessings - KW