God reveals His will in affliction. It is in affliction we have revelation of our own pride. It is in affliction we see the old man, the natural man. It is in affliction we can appropriate, make relevant, and make applicable the truth of us being dead to sin and alive to God. Now, we can reckon ourselves dead to it. We can consider ourselves freed from the slavery of our own pride. Why? Because now we see it. If you can see it, you can walk in it. You are in Him, Whom all the fullness of the Godhead mightily dwells; you must see this fact, even as you see your own pride.
GALATIANS 6:8–9 – For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Elihu lets Job know: When you do righteousness, it does not affect God at all. You are the one benefiting from doing righteousness. If you do evil, it will not touch God, but it will hurt you. It also affects those you touch. When we see the wicked prospering, we fail to understand, sometimes judging God, blaming God—this is what Job did. If a man sows to the flesh corruption, of the flesh he will reap corruption. Do righteousness and you reap will righteousness, even the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Many think that because they sow kindness, their life should receive nothing but kindness from others. That is not what God is teaching. For example, we know that David feared God; going to extremes throughout his life to not touch God’s anointed. That is what he sowed. However, when David was king and became God’s anointed, Absalom, David’s son, touched his father. As well, a man named Shimei (a man who threw stones at David) touched David. What did David reap? It surely was not an avoidance of being touched, for he was touched. So where is the reaping? David reaped the spiritual response of God! David responded with com-passion towards his enemies, even though their deeds deserved death. David’s son became his enemy, and yet David’s response was like our Father’s response when we stray. David should have executed Shimei, but David’s response was mercy. Remember: Our responses are tested. The initial response to adversarial attack reveals what you have been planting in your fields.
Illustrating further, just because we sow gentle seeds to all we meet, does not guarantee everyone will be gentle to us. However, if we sow gentle seeds in the Spirit, the fruit of forbearance and kindness will be our immediate response when others act cruel to us. This is our reaping!
Sow to the Spirit and of the Spirit you shall reap fruit given to all those you meet; this is God’s Life revealed. Jesus sowed to the Spirit and reaped the Father’s response to every affliction. Let us say that you have gossiped, which is a sowing to the flesh, you will reap corruption. How does this corruption manifest itself? By producing a response—for when you are the target of gossip, your response will not resemble the mercy and compassion of Jesus. Surely, this is a corruption unlike God’s life; indeed, it is a corruption resembling the death found in a decayed body.
GALATIANS 6:10 – So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
After God teaches us about sowing and reaping in Galatians 6:9, we see verse 6:10 still pertains to the principle of sowing and reaping. When others gossip about you, when others touch you, you have opportunity to do good, opportunity to respond with fruit. This is your reaping if you have sowed to the spirit. Do not be weary in “doing good” to others!
This scripture passage also pertains to the opportunity to sow good seeds. When I have opportunity to edify my brethren or lay down my life for them, preferring them over myself, I should seize it. When the attack or crisis of this life bombards me, I respond out of these sowings. These responses will be gold, silver, and precious stones.
JOB 38:1–2 – Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”
Elihu ends his message in the book of Job by talking about God’s awesome majesty and greatness. As he stops, the Lord speaks out of the whirlwind, continuing Elihu’s message about God’s own greatness. God confirmed Elihu’s word with signs following, and God shows how the prophet was already speaking from heaven. How did God confirm Elihu? By not changing the message that Elihu was speaking. God just continued where Elihu left off. Also notice that God immediately uncovers Job’s sin; Job was speaking words without knowledge! Does he sound like a perfect man, a man not sinning with his lips, now? Under the surface lurks an ugly thing, iniquity God brings to the surface through afflicting inferno.
God spoke to Job through the affliction, God spoke to Job through His servant Elihu, and finally God speaks to Job from heaven itself. God does not speak once, but He speaks to us twice, even three times, but will we be dull of hearing, or will we hear from heaven. This is important! No matter what affliction you are in right this second, even though you think God is silent, He is not—He is speaking. We must determine in our heart to hear from Him and settle for nothing less. Maybe you have resolved in your heart that a certain affliction may have no deliverance for you…ok…I can accept that, but only if you can tell me that you heard from heaven.
JOB 42:5–6 – I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I re-pent in dust and ashes.
We must all hear from heaven, and finally we must see with spiritual eyes. The natural man does not want to see God or His own condition before God. We manifest the works of the flesh throughout the week and we never see it. The more resistant we are to see it—the more dramatic is the affliction bringing you to see it. Job saw and Job repented. We must see, we must repent, and we must consider that old man to have been crucified with Christ and buried. Now we are free, now we can be alive to Christ in that area we held in our own pride. God restored Job; the ministry of the three friends offered sacrifice because they did not speak of the Lord what is right. Finally, God is raising up an Elihu prophetic people speaking with an answer that reveals and restores.
JOB 36:7 – He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But with kings on the throne He seats them forever, and they are exalted.
God never forsakes the righteous; on the contrary, He sets them up as kings forever. There are many more details to this glorious book of affliction. I hope that you now see the book of Job differently.
An excerpt from “Temple Builders: The High Calling”
John Robert Lucas