Skip to comments.There Are Shades of Joel Osteen in the Book of Job
Posted on 10/11/2017 8:39:37 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
When reading the Book of Job, Im often struck by the similarities between Jobs friends and Joel Osteen. Granted, Jobs friends probably presented themselves in a much dourer manner than Osteen does. If not in their assumed scowls, it's the content of their unhelpful advice to Job that bears a similarity to the teachings of the smiling author of Your Best Life Now. More accurately, the words of Jobs friends are the opposite side of the same false coin held out by the message of self-idolatrous false-hope preached by Joel Osteen.
Many are familiar with the Biblical story of the ancient patriarch named Job. As way of a brief reminder of the first part of the story, after God allows Satan to afflict Job, three of the miserable man's friends show up. The Bible records, "They made an appointment to come together to come to show him sympathy and comfort (Job 2:11)."
Showing him sympathy and comfort apparently meant scolding him. However, Job rebuffs the lectures from each of his friends, but they persist.
The core of what Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar tell Job is that he needs to humble himself before God and recognize that he's a sinner who is being justly punished. Throughout their harangues, the three claim that the wicked suffer and the righteous live blessed lives. For them, Job's distress is proof that he is being punished by God for unrighteousness. If only he would say/do the right things, he could live his best life again once again be blessed by God.
Reprovingly, Eliphaz tells Job, "The wicked man writhes in pain all his day. ... Because he has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty (Job 15:20, 25)."
Building on Eliphaz's claim, in chapter eighteen Bildad lists a series of unfortunate events, so to speak, and then concludes, "Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God (Job 18:21)."
At one point, during the midst of the back and forth between Job and his friends, Eliphaz pleads, "Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you (Job 22:21)." His words echo Bildad's promise found in Job 8:5 -- "If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation. And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great."
If you haven't already picked up on the similarities between Job's friends and Joel Osteen, you are either unaware of the mega-pastor's teachings or you misunderstand the well-coifed charlatan. Or maybe you do understand Osteen, agree with him, and, hence, don't want to acknowledge that Joel Osteen basically equals Job's friends.
While expressed differently, the worldview of Osteen and the Book of Job's infamous trio is the same -- God is some form of a genie in the bottle, doling out goodies to those who respond the correct way.
The major difference between Osteen and Job's friends is that Osteen rarely mentions personal sin. For Osteen, when he writes -- "There is a seed inside you trying to take root. Thats God trying to get you to conceive. Hes trying to fill you with so much hope and expectancy that the seed will grow and bring forth a tremendous harvest. Its your time. You may have been sick for a long time, but this is your time to get well. You may be struggling financially, in all kinds of debt, but this is the time for promotion." -- he's saying that you're not being blessed because you aren't jumping through the right hoops.
For Osteen, jumping through the right hoops doesn't involve any repentance of personal sins or acknowledgment of one's failings before a Holy God. Osteen wants his followers to embrace the belief that if God is withholding blessings, it's because they don't have enough faith in themselves. At least Job's friends had a robust, albeit inappropriately and poorly articulated, view of personal sin. It was their understanding of God that was at the root of their problem. Osteen misunderstands God as well as the human condition.
In chapter one of Your Best Life Now, Osteen asserts, "Notice, God is always ready to do new things in our lives. Hes trying to promote us, to increase us, to give us more."
According to Osteen, God's plan involves good things in this life for you if only you'll believe in yourself enough. Have faith in you and God will bless you. And those blessings are of the material, temporal kind. Got it?
Except that's not how God works. In fact, that's kind of the point of the Book of Job.
Before getting to God's rebuke to Job and Job's friends, a brief reminder may be in order of how the events recorded in the book were kicked off.
In one of the most puzzled over passages in the Bible, Satan presents himself before God in chapter one. In verse eight, God asks Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"
Satan basically responds with the sputtering declaration that of course Job is faithful, look at everything that God has blessed him with. God then gives Satan permission to take away Job's health, family, and material possessions. Satan does, and that's when Job's three friends enter the picture.
Now, insert Osteen's claim that God "is trying to promote us" into the story of Job.
God's ways are God's ways, and those ways are beyond the comprehension of humans, unless God reveals Himself to humans. One of the things that God has revealed to those who put their faith in Jesus is that His plan is that they will be remade to conform to the image of Jesus. Frequently, but not always, that plan involves suffering and pain. Look at the life of the Apostle Paul, as well as the other Apostles. In fact, ask Christians suffering persecution in China if they're living their best life now. They'll probably say "yes," not realizing that the person who coined the phrase means things like good health, job promotions, and a bigger house (a bigger house is something he talks a lot about in his book).
Job's friends assumed that if Job were faithful, God would've given him bigger flocks and a larger family; when, in fact, that's not what was going on at all. God was working in Job's life for His own purposes and glory. Suffering is not due to lack of faith.
At the end of the book, God shows up and tells Job that humans have no right questioning God. Chapters thirty-eight through the end of the Book of Job are a demonstration of what it looks like for the Sovereign Creator of the universe to call out finite humans.
After dealing with Job, God turns to his Eliphaz and says, "My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right (Job 42:7)."
Joel Osteen would do well to heed God's angry words to Job's three friends.
Can’t stand that smarmy guy.
I was talking about the guy not the building he uses for his church. I know other preachers rent out his building like Joyce Meyer as an example. I took about maybe three minutes of his preaching and just gagged.
In one of the most puzzled over passages in the Bible, Satan presents himself before God in chapter one. In verse eight, God asks Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”
Job 42:5 I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes.
I encourage all to read the before and after of the above.
Frauds like Osteen make me want to puke and they do more to turn people away from God then they do anything good in their so-called Ministry.
Olsteen is taking in God’s money and using it for whatever and he’ll be accounting for it before Him.
Joyce Meyer is no saint either; multi-million dollar jet, big mansion, husband drives a hundred thousand dollar car, get’s paid thousands a year for whatever. She says her wealth comes from God but it comes from scamming folks into sending her money.
“For a time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” 2Timothy 4:3
JOB42:12 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.
JOB42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
JOB42:14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
JOB42:15 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.
JOB42:16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons sons, even four generations.
JOB42:17 So Job died, being old and full of days.
God. KING JAMES BIBLE TOUCH - KJV (Kindle Locations 22628-22635). Kindle Edition.
So the rest of the story is that after a time of trial, after Job gained a greater understanding of God and repented his having a superficial relationship with God, then God made Job more prosperous than he was before when Job was merely “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”
For those of you who continually play the game of “Who shall ascend into heaven? or Who shall descend into the deep?” I leave you with these words from Saint Paul:
ROM10:05 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
ROM10:06 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
ROM10:07 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
ROM10:08 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
ROM10:09 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
ROM10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
God. KING JAMES BIBLE TOUCH - KJV (Kindle Locations 44588-44596). Kindle Edition.
Job did not send money to Joel Osteen or to Reverend Ike.
Mike Murdock seemed even sleazier than Osteen, but I haven’t seen him in a while. It seemed that Murdock never talked about ANYTHING but money, e.g., “Sow a seed of $40 and I’ll send you my new pamphlet called, ‘God wants you to prosper.’”
Osteen's humble $10.5 million mansion and guest house in Houston's most exclusive neighborhood River Oaks.
What makes you think that Job wasn’t the Joel Osteen of his age? In order to have gorgeous daughters, one has to have a gorgeous wife. ;-)
Here is more of the rest of the story, that you may have missed. God told people to give money and gold to Job and have Job pray for them.
JOB42:07 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
JOB42:08 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
JOB42:09 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
JOB42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
JOB42:11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
God. KING JAMES BIBLE TOUCH - KJV (Kindle Locations 22617-22628). Kindle Edition.
Wow...did you miss the point of those scriptures.
Job's friends had given him bad advice and false teachings while Job was suffering.
God, being decidedly upset with them, said that unless they made a burnt offering, and allowed Job to pray for them, He wouldn't accept their prayers.
THEN all of Jobs friends and relatives (that were still alive) returned to him and brought him gifts. God didn't command them to give gifts to Job, they just did because they felt sorry for all the loss and pain he had gone through.
This is not the same thing as paying a pastor. Not even close.
“after God allows Satan to afflict Job”
Technically, God said He would not intervene. “Allow” makes it sound like God was an active participant.