John Baartz - Job's Willingness - Dumaresq, New South Wales, Australia - 1958

Job 10:2, “I will say unto God, 'Do not condemn me; shew me, wherefore Thou contendest with me.'” Is that not the need in our hearts from time to time? Our Heavenly Father never evades any question that we ask. “Shew me…” The request goes with the question. The circumstances of his life were opening up good opportunities for the devil. Satan said, “Now touch his property and see what will happen, this one who is perfect and serves you.” The Lord saw into the heart of this man and saw what He saw in the heart of Saul of Tarsus. There was the germ of a saint in the heart of a sinner, and God never stopped until He got it.

Job was a successful farmer, the greatest man in the East. What does true greatness mean? A person went into a town and wanted to get in touch with the mayor so he asked a man on the street, “I want to get in touch with the great man in this city.” The man replied, “There are quite a few of us.” We could be great in the eyes of men but not in the sight of God and so, not one of God’s children. God says, “Not many wise…” are called. It is good that He does not say, “Not any.”

Adam Hutchison stayed in a house once and the woman of the house said to him, “If this lowly way is God’s way, what hope would the king of Persia have of hearing it?” The Herods got the opportunity, but they despised it. The answer Adam gave was, “You get saved and you might be able to give him your testimony.” This woman’s husband got the chance of giving the king his testimony because of the position that he held. That man will never tell you of his speaking with the king of Persia. He is a very humble man and the King of kings is ruling in his heart. From amongst the common people of the earth God has His most valuable souls. Elijah called in at that humble cottage and ate bread, and every time they took that circuit they dropped in and there was a welcome awaiting them. We are not told that woman’s name but she was spoken of as a ‘great’ woman. Don’t despise what you are in Adam. The multitudes were very precious to Jesus.


God is very faithful in giving the answer to an enquiring heart. “Shew me…” Perhaps Job was thinking, “It seems to me that You are against me.” Only faith will unfold it to us. How shall I inherit this thing? It cost Abraham something. The Lord asked for a sacrifice and he gave it and protected it, watched it and saw that nothing would remove it. Darkness fell over it and he fell asleep. Abraham had a long distance strategy. He kept the right standard before people and God said to him, “Abraham, know of a surety thy seed shall be a stranger in the land that is not theirs…”


They were in Egypt for four hundred years, “but afterwards they shall come out with great substance.” There was great suffering and delay. An assurance of His promise is suffering and delay. The delay in Abraham’s lifetime made the promise seem impossible, but God is faithful to His chosen and afterwards they did come out of Egypt with great substance. Abraham, “staggered not at the promise…” it reads. He walked by faith. If we keep our eyes on Him who loved us we will grow more and more like Him. Our steps will not falter, but will become firm and true.

At the close of Judges we read that, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” and again we read, “David enquired of the LORD.” The Lord said to Abraham, “Get thee out and go to where I will show you.” He had the dealings of God in his life and walked by faith. Rebekah asked, “If it be so why am I thus?” She had her mind on the promise and all that was in her heart. God did not hesitate in answering her. “Two nations are within.” Every child of God has those two nations within and that is where the suffering and delay lies. God is faithful.


The substance of the Gospel of Christ is still to make ready a people for the Lord, a generation that makes it possible for us to dwell in the eternal inheritance. It goes on down here. There is a question found in the second Psalm. “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?” In Acts 4 after Peter and John had been delivered from the council, we read that they met together and the subject of their meeting was first of all, prayer. It says, “They lifted up their voice with one accord to God.” Then they looked into the second Psalm.


It takes experience brought to us by the hand of God leading, to bring out the beauty and revelation of the written word. There is true substance for souls from that Psalm. “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?” We sometimes evade a question fired at us, but it is not so with God. Verse 7, “I will declare the decree; the LORD hath said to me, 'Thou art My son. This day have I begotten thee.'” Go where you like in the religious world, but once we stand out and receive Christ and obey Him, immediately there is opposition, but oh, what joy.


Job 9:20, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” At times we are apt to try and justify ourselves, like the little girl who was told not to turn on the tap, and when her mother found the tap running she asked the little girl who had turned it on. She said, “It wasn’t me. It must have been Topsy.” Topsy was the cat. Job recognized the folly of it. There is nothing so precious as to have the consciousness of God dealing with our life. Take the humble place and let God justify us.


A verse found in Job 13:15  gives us a good ideas of the manner of Job’s question. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” God was trying to deepen that man’s trust. Trust is faith in its infancy. Mary and the others went to the tomb. They were prepared to find a dead body but they found sweet fellowship in Christ.


Two disciples went to Emmaus and Jesus Himself joined them as a stranger and disguised Himself as a stranger to hear what they thought of Him. One said, “We trusted that it was He who should have redeemed Israel.” He knew what was in their hearts. “Fret not thy soul..” Trust in the Lord. A wall that frets, weakens. Commit your ways unto Him and He will bring it to pass. Faith posts a letter in a pillar box and gets an answer and that is what God wants.


Job 23:16, “For God maketh my heart soft.” A young woman was travelling in a train, and by her demeanor, some young fellows knew she was religious. One of them, wanting to take a rise out of her said, “Would you pray for me?” She immediately kneeled down and said, “Lord, make this man’s heart as soft as his head.” God wants to get the best from the soft human heart.


Some say, “I would like to be in the place where God could trust me.” If you would like God to trust you, you can be sure He will try you. It was not until after He had tried Timothy that He trusted him. Paul, too. It is a wonderful privilege to handle the mysteries of the Kingdom. God does not expect the impossible of any of us.


In Job 41:24, it says, “The heart is as firm as a stone; yea as hard as a piece of nether millstone.” The stone on which the wheat was gristed, it had to be very hard. That is a picture of the human heart and except it is broken there won’t be very much done. In spite of the hardness of the human heart, “He cutteth out rivers among the rocks.” That describes the softening process. Saul of Tarsus was the same, his hard heart was made so soft.


The reason He contends with us today is to quicken our spiritual appetite. “Thy word is more than my necessary food…” Job was able to say. One time at home years ago, I was milking and I noticed a storm rising. This could stop me from going to the Wednesday night meeting and I was longing to go. I hurried with my work and was delayed by the horses getting out and I had to put them back in. Eventually, I came in for tea late and Mother said, “Tea’s ready,” but I said, “I have not time for tea.” Mother said, “Don’t be so stupid.”


When I arrived at the meeting, I found there were two brother Workers there and we looked into the life of Timothy, from the time he heard the Gospel to the time that he went out to preach. After the meeting as I opened the gate, something constrained me. It was seven years from the time Timothy professed till he preached, and I thought, “Seven years from now, where will I find myself?” I kneeled down and prayed and I believe my prayer was heard or I would not be preaching today.


He wants to encourage our hearts. Jesus came to bring the gift of God, the gold of God’s love. God’s dealings with Job were bringing him through the furnace and enriching his soul in the service of the Lord.


When God brought out the children of Israel, He told them His reason. Seven times in Deuteronomy He gives it, “That it might be well with thee.” Sometimes part of God’s promise is delay and suffering. For four hundred years they waited. God revealed to Job the hope of the resurrection. Job 19:25, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth….I shall see God,” and so on to the end of the chapter. “The root of the matter is in me.” In a previous verse Job says, “The hand of God hath touched me.” What was the result? “The root of the matter is in me.” Coming into touch with God through the Gospel puts our heart into that condition where the right things can be produced in our lives.


Verse 23, “Oh, that my words were now written, oh, that they were printed in a book. That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever.” He got his request and that is how the Scripture came to us. The first book printed in book form was the Bible. The world will see it best in your life and mine. Let us bow to the will of His dear Son.