Job 15 / Habbakuk 2 / 1 Peter 3-5
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?
Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
Job is afflicted by God's worker at God's behest (called satan as metaphor) to test his faithfulness and loyalty to the One he had committed his life to. Job is living as a righteous man before God, then all of a sudden he is stricken with evil, or what seems to be evil. Instead it is from God, meant to forcefully push him toward His righteousness, to make him hold on tighter to the God he serves and loves, and strengthen his faithfulness and loyalty toward Him while showing him that all the other things are expendable and replaceable (even children and wives), and that nothing matters except one's covenant with God.
"If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
The letter from Peter is to encourage those to whom Peter was shepherd, to continue in what had already been started in them. The supernatural life of the united Father and Son had been planted in them, and with it brought all kinds of testing in their natural animal lives to purge the animal from them and teach them to listen to another master's voice than the one who had been ruling them all their lives before the revelation of the Father came to them. God is big on the choosing; He chooses those to whom the revelation of His existence is given, and they choose Him over what is available and appealing to them on the level they are comfortable with—their own animal life and the right to live that life like all the animals live theirs, who don't possess that revelation.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
God requires that a man give up what is precious to him in order to find what is precious, and offering a conceptual sacrifice (one that isn't worth that much to the man in the secret places of his heart) will not be acceptable to God who sees into the secret places of the man's heart, where he lives.
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll.
It was not an easy thing to keep choosing to follow a man who had been killed but whom now was said to be alive. To believe something that seems utterly impossible and which is not being validated by most of the humans directly around you, is not easy. Throw in physical violence, abuse and ostracism and you have something that must have been compelling to go through with what following the real Jesus meant.
They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
Because of the stigma it often meant much heartache, grief, and the pain of physical suffering. That was from God to test their faithfulness by setting them apart from the animals who were causing them to suffer. Those who wanted to follow this God were given a choice that was compelling and real, and choosing the right while rejecting the wrong would purify them as a people who had been chosen to be God's people and suffer for the sake of His Christ, as he had suffered for the sake of his Father.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Choosing to give up what your animal self naturally loves brings a substantial suffering that is genuinely motivated by wanting to please the Father who is calling that one. Choosing to throw God some scraps of your life while you hang tightly onto the lion's share—because that's what you see the religious people doing—might be sanctioned by the human "experts" (because it's convenient for you to support their need for money and egotistical fluffing), but has nothing to do with the God who is secret and can only be found in the secret places of the heart where no one else can see to validate or condemn. What the made up gods require is doled out and regulated by the humans who elevate themselves to the position of expert to get things for themselves, just like a bank president learns how to ascend to his position above the more common—to get things for himself. The real God is not validated or condemned by the humans because they don't even know who He is or what He's doing, nor what He has been doing since the beginning of this creation.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
It's all for good, even though it may seem bad. The suffering seems to come from nowhere, and it's not like the suffering that happens in the world to its participants. That suffering is just the natural reaction to whatever action was in place, like suffering for violating the humans' laws. We know that because the Lord came to us, he was and is causing all kinds of things to happen which seem wrong on the outside and cause grief and shame for us and others. Yet we have to continue to walk in the way and work he started in us, because we know it is right in that place where he lives in us, the same place Peter spoke to, the way Job knew his heart was true. If we abide in him, we will be able to do that. But if we look from the perspective of the animal we will be overwhelmed and unable to continue.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The animals would want us to admit that we are wrong and don't hear the secret revelation of the Father calling His own sons, and just submit to their animalistic order. If we did that we would be saying that we hate the Lord and the life he is giving us, and we despise the situation we know he caused to happen—in the tradition of the firstborn Son who was utterly shameful and totally unacceptable to the humans at large. It is for our good, to push us away from being acceptable to the humans and closer to our Father (who is against the humans and all their ways), to be able to comprehend the reality of His world and the knowledge of His will, by and because of the presence of His life in us, which effects that revelation.
By succumbing to the animal "experts" (those men who run the ecclesia), we would only be appeasing their animal fear of not having control of their environment, not possessing the power they need to feel they have in their effort to feel they are adequately surviving as good animals ought/need to feel. By doing it we would be pleasing the gods who are of course siding with them because they are inherently so good. The animal way is to transfer the way one feels about himself onto whatever god he chooses to adhere to i.e., the god feels the same way about the man that he himself feels. We can only barely now begin to comprehend the hold that our Father has had on us, because for the animal everything is temporary and it cannot know the truth. As long as we're in these bodies of flesh and bones we will be subject to the animal's power, hopefully always to a lesser degree as we grow in maturity in the new way. Then we can know the proper order of things in the world whose inhabitants are looking at the Father's face, not temporary blades of grass that spring up and then are gone.
The harmony in God's world is in the understanding and practice of His secret order—one that doesn't follow along the lines of what is acceptable to the rulers of the temporary creation, who are themselves temporary along with the power of their ability to rule. The prayer of Jesus that, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" reflects this harmony with God's reality, and a disharmony with that of the human animals who are ruled by the animal, which precludes God's rule in them (they can only ever love and serve their selves). Heaven is just another term for the spiritual dimension where God lives, the world that existed before this temporary creation, that which exists forever because God doesn't die. The earthly is the natural creation which is based on cycles of death where things temporarily exist for a while, but everything always dies. In God's world there is no disorder, no chaos of the flesh because the unclean animal that rules the humans cannot live with or even come near God—only the sons whom are being made pure (the animal nature is being extracted out of their heart) can come near their Father. What will exist is the peace of God, which is beyond what the mind can comprehend. The love of the Father and His sons will prevail, as the sons will all be perfectly found hidden in His Son, as he is perfectly hidden now in Him.
That's the difference between the son and the animal. Someone who understands the order of God, as Jesus did, has already been judged worthy to receive that understanding. Without that ability the man can only know the order of the animal, which is no order at all—rather chaos based on changing power structures. Whoever has enough strength to retain the power is in control. God's will is that the man who wants to be found in Him gives up his earthly power, his rights, his life, and instead gives himself over to becoming what the Father demands from His own sons in order that they be able to come near Him. The removal of the animal nature is not something done on a whim, or in one's spare time after he's done giving his life to himself and the world he serves. Men are ruled by the fear and anger of the animal so that the only thing they can do is offer some civility out of obligation to a command they think they are obeying, while at the same time they wish we would just disappear. In their hearts they truly hate us because we don't validate their position, because we hear the voice of the Father and respond, which puts us in direct conflict with them being able to control their world.
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
What God expects from His children is the opposite to what comes natural to the animal, because what they become is the opposite to what the humans are. The point to all of this is that that is totally impossible for the animal to please God, only because it is ruled by a force it cannot control. It is the will of God that men cannot just come to Him—they have to be invited. They have to be willing to give up the old way (a particular choice of response, not a generic acceptance), the way of the animal; for the new way of the Father of sons, not animals. The animal has no idea that it is even controlled by that consciousness. That is the beauty and perfection of God, that He set this thing up over man so that he could not choose Him, he could "Not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." It is the flaming sword of the cherubim.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
One of our goals will be to understand the order of God and acknowledge it by the way we live as we grow up into Him. That is the meaning of "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The Lord perfectly understood the order and will of God while on the earth, that he should be made subject to God's desire for his life and not his own. The animal can never know that because all it can know is its own will, which is chaos. There is no chaos in God's world, only perfect harmony because everyone knows and respects the order, and there's no question about who's right. There is no rebellion, as Adam chose, who was in turn given the nature of the animal. That was his big crime, that he disregarded God's order and said "No, I know better than you. I want to be in charge here and decide what's best for me." God's order is something we often consider an aside, sort of a by-product of our understanding about Him. However, not knowing it is the mistake of Adam, and knowing it is why the Father loved the Son (the second Adam).
In it (the ark of Noah) only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.
It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.