For many people, the book of Job is a troublesome book. It tells the story of a righteous man who loses everything dear to him, who suffers horribly, who seems victimized by the very God he worships because it is that very God that turns Satan loose on him.
But as always … there’s much more to this story than meets the eye! Let’s take a quick look at Job’s story — and see what spiritual Truths it has for us, when we look at it from a metaphysical perspective. We only have blog space for a few snapshots as we journey through the entire book of Job, chapters 1 thru 42.
The narrative begins with a description of Job as a man “perfect and upright, one that feared God, and turned away from evil” (1:1). Job’s goodness is so great that God says to Satan “There is none like him on earth” (1:8).
Satan insinuates that Job is pious because he has been blessed and protected. Satan says, “Put forth thy hand and touch all that he has and he will renounce you to your face” (1:11).
Jehovah gives Satan permission to deprive Job of all that he has in order to test him. Job loses all of his material possessions, his sons and daughters, his livestock, his servants, everything! Job is crushed, but he still professes discipleship.
When Jehovah rejoices that Job still praises Him, Satan hints that only Job’s possessions have been affected. He suggests to God that if Job himself is afflicted he will turn from God. So Jehovah says to Satan, “Behold he is in thy hand, only spare his life” (2:6). Job is smitten with painful sores and boils from head to foot” (2:7). Chp 3 verse 25 explains Job’s dilemma. It says: “What Job feared came upon him.” Sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself in the same situation? Listen to what happens next.
Three of his closest friends ( Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) hear of his plight and come to comfort him. Chapts. 3-31 are discourses between Job and his friends: Eliphaz believes Job is suffering because he has sinned; Bildad believes that if Job was more upright he would not be in the trouble he is in; Zophar rebukes Job for being so self-righteous and fearful, and urges him to repent.
Job reproaches them for their judgmentalness and feels forsaken by his friends and Jehovah. “I have been wronged. I cry for help, but there is no justice.” (19:7)
Finally Job looks deeply within himself and prays earnestly. And then declares “Let the Almighty answer me!” (31:35). When he does, his three friends leave him and Elihu comes to his rescue. With the arrival of Elihu, Satan backs off. The story ends with Jehovah giving Job twice as much as he had before (42:10) and Job lives happily ever after.
Despite the happy ending, the literal interpretation of this story leaves unanswered questions and unquestioned answers. Why did Job have to suffer in the first place? Why did God co-conspire with Satan to cause Job’s suffering? Are we pawns in the battle between good and evil? What was God thinking, you might ask?
All of these questions are perfectly natural questions – if we take this extraordinary story literally. The real meaning of Job’s suffering becomes clear when we take a meta-physical look. Metaphysically, the Book of Job is a case study in Mind Action. And as I mentioned earlier, Chp. 3:25 tells us why Job suffered: “What Job feared came upon him.”
The characters mentioned in the Book of Job are the thoughts, qualities, attitudes, and beliefs we hold in our consciousness. There metaphysical interpretations are as follows:
- Zehovah represents the Christ of us, our God-Self
- Satan symbolizes the tendency within each of us to forsake our divinity.
- Eliphaz represents our lukewarm desire for spiritual wholeness
- Bildad is our on-again/off-again awareness of our Christ potential
- Zophar is our fault-finding nature which blames others for our troubles
- Elihu is the Holy Spirit, the still small voice
- Job represents that aspect of us that outwardly seems centered and dedicated to truth principles, but inwardly chooses to be fooled by outer appearances and then allows fears, doubts, and a sense of unworthiness to get the best of us.
So, here’s the metaphysical meaning: Our God-Self (Zehovah) honors our power of choice even if that means allowing us to deny our divinity(Satan). When we fall upon hard times, the Job in us, (represented by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zohar) fears the worst in outer appearances and allows them to get the best of us. However, once we remind ourselves that it is our own error thoughts which have caused us to miss the mark, we can go to Headquarters (Elihu) and listen for that still small voice. In the story God doubled Job’s prosperity. Metaphysically the number ‘2’ represents unity with the Christ of us. So, with the right Mind Action, the two natures of us, human and divine, become one.
Why do we suffer? Here’s the answer. Are you ready? We suffer because we believe we are separate from God. And because we believe we are separate from God, we believe we are separate from one another. And because we deny our oneness with one another, we build and perpetuate a collective error consciousness which gives power to outer appearances that reinforce our belief in our separateness from God. That sequence of Mind Action is the cause of all suffering.
We know now that there were warnings in recent history of impending disasters. We’ve had credible forewarnings about Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the space shuttle “O” rings, the tsunami, the levy capacity in New Orleans, and the worldwide terrorist threat. Health research organizations continue to withhold vital information because they want to be first to market with their discovery. We are allowing crime, greed, and drugs to leach the soul out of America because there’s money in it. We are complicating the future for our children because we are complicating the present with our error thoughts, choices, and actions.
So what can we do? What I have just described seems so overwhelming, doesn’t it? But here’s the bottom line: Each of us has the power of God in us. We are God expressing Godness as us. We can change the outer world when we change our inner world. And we can change our world when we apply the truth principles that have been passed down to us from the beginning of time.
When the ‘Job’ in us stops giving power to outer appearances and accepts our divinity, it will be the second time fire is discovered by the human race – the fire of enlightened Mind Action. When that happens there will be no more suffering.
We invite your thoughts, insights, comments, and questions.
About the Authors: Combine a flair for the dramatic, a deep understanding of metaphysics combined with the teachings of Jesus, and a zest for ministry, and you have defined the dynamic duo who are at the heart of The Metaphysical Website. Revs. Drs. Bil and Cher Holton are co-ministers of a growing church in Durham, NC, prolific authors, and dynamic speakers. Learn more by visiting them at www.TheMetaphysicalWebsite.com