LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JOB
"Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful."(James 5:11)
1. THE MAN JOB.
A. Job was a holy man. (Job 1:5, 8; 29:11-16)
B. Job was a happy man. (Job 1:1-4; 29:21-25)
(1) Holiness and happiness are ordinarily connected. (I Pet. 3:10-12; I Tim. 4:8; Ps. 35:27; Gal. 6:7; Matt. 6:33)
(2) The prosperity of God’s servants does not always have to be in terms of material possessions and material comfort. (I Tim. 6:6-8)
(3) At any rate, the delight of the holy man is in God, not in things. (Ps. 37:4)
2. THE MYSTERY OF GOD’S WAYS (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6)
A. The mystery is God allows people to suffer. (Ecc. 8:14-17; 9:1-5; Job 9:24; 23:14)
B. Some reasons for suffering:
(1) To reveal what is in our hearts. (Deut. 8:2)
(2) For our holiness. (Heb. 12:10)
(3) To try our precious faith. (I Pet. 1:6-7)
(4) To prevent future sin. (II Cor. 12:7)
-- There is comfort in the fact that evil cannot happen to us without the permission of our loving and all-wise Father. We can’t put God in a box. (Isa. 55:9) He has his reasons for dealing with us that are none of our business. (Deut. 29:29) We are in no position to instruct God how he should run the moral universe.(Job 38-42)
3. THE MALICE OF SATAN
A. He seeks to hurt us. (I Pet. 5:8)
B. He is nevertheless in a mysterious way God’s servant to do us good. (II Cor. 12:7; Gen. 50:20)
C. In our afflictions the malice is Satan’s, not God’s. (Lam. 3:33)
4. THE MISERY OF JOB
A. He was afflicted in his property.
B. He was afflicted in his family.
C. He was afflicted in his body.
D. He was afflicted in his dignity
E. He was afflicted in his spirit
-- God’s people are not exempt from the worst things in life. (Job 3:25)Therefore let us not give people false hopes. Beware of an escapist Christianity. Instead let us teach people to prepare for suffering. (John 16:33; I Pet. 5:6)
5. THE MATURITY OF JOB (Job 1:20-22)
A. He acknowledged his nothingness.
-- Our sense of loss and injury comes from our mistaken sense of ownership. It is God who owns everything; we own nothing at all, not even the air that we breathe!
B. He acknowledged God’s sovereignty. (1 Sam. 3:18)
-- God has a perfect right to do whatever he wants with what he owns.
C. He blessed God in the midst of affliction. (I Thess. 5:18)
-- This is the only proper attitude that a creature can take toward the Creator.
D. He did not charge God with wrong.
-- There are a number of reasons why it is absurd for a creature (i.e. man) to accuse the Creator of wrongdoing:
(1) God is infinite and perfect in wisdom and goodness; man, on the other hand, is finite and sinful.
(2) The doctrine of God’s immunity from suit: there can be no right of complaint against the power that gives you the power to complain in the first place.
6. THE MERCY OF GOD (Job 42:10; 5:17-18; Jas. 5:11; Rom. 8:18, 28; Gen. 50:20)
-- For the person who trusts in God the end will always be better than the beginning. God’s mercy will make sure of that.
CONCLUSION: Even when we don’t understand why we have to undergo so much suffering, let’s continue trusting in God who loved us so much that he sent his only Son to save us. (Rom. 8:32)