Summary: A sermon on the importance of families living for Christ
“Before The Children Went Away”
( Job 29:1-5)
There is no one in the Bible that can so touch the heart of compassion than God’s servant Job. In one fell stroke of providence, Job was robbed of everything he had in life. Let me take you on a journey down to the Uz mortuary. There is a receiving line that consists of many of Job’s friends and acquaintances, lined up to give Job their condolences and sympathy. Just behind Job and Mrs. Job are ten little caskets all lined up in a row. Job is dressed in sackcloth for mourning and Mrs. Job’s eyes are swollen from the thousands of tears she has cried over the loss of her ten darling children.
In this passage we can almost envision one of Job’s friends walking up to him quietly there at the funeral home and asking him how he was holding up, and how he was going to carry on. We can see Job’s face and hear these words come from his lips as looks with a distant eye in retrospect and exclaims,
“Oh that were as in months past, as in the days of old when God preserved me; when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; as I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; when the Almighty was yet with me, WHEN MY CHILDREN WERE ABOUT ME.”
Understand, Job had lost it all. His cattle, his sheep, his oxen, his servants, his land, his houses…and the encouragement of his own wife who said to him…”Curse God and die” Job in a moment of great faith responded, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” We admire Job for his strong faith, but at best he was still human and the loss of his seven sons and three daughters must have been the heartbreak of his life. This caused Job to reflect upon his life and say, “Oh that I could go back and do it all over again to those times when the children were still at home.”
Was Job looking back with regret? NO I THIINK JOB WAS LOOKING BACK WITH JOY AT THE HAPPY TIMES HE HAD WHEN HIS KIDS WERE ALIVE.
Yesterday, I went to the hospital to visit and a dear lady spoke to me who had just lost her husband 18 months ago. She said “The thing that keeps me going now is thinking about all the happy times we had together.”
Job was a godly man (Job 1) One that feared God and shunned evil. He directed his family right, he had no regrets about the way he had raised his children, but that did not keep him from missing them.
The loss of Job’s material things made him sad, but the loss of Job’s children really caused him to think and re-evaluate his home situation. Job could not go back because the children were all gone…but there are many here this morning who still have your children about you. You are in the process of raising a family. As we look at Job’s situation let us take a few minutes this morning to re-evaluate where we stand in relation to our family that is about us this morning…
I. THE PROVISION GOD MADE FOR THE HOME
1. God created the home to be a happy place. A place to have some happy times. A place to create fond memories. If your children were put on the spot this morning could they honestly say that their home is a happy place?
For some the home has become a battle ground between husband and wife. A place of abuse.
In early puritan times, a man was expected to make provision for his home both materially and spiritually. If he did not do that he was counted worse tban an infidel and was subject to be brought before the presiding elders of the church and give an account.
A happy home is a home where children are taught to respect God and their parents. A place where children feel cared about and loved and provided for.
2. A happy home is a place where fences have been erected
A man I knew in Maryville, TN who attended our church came to me one day and asked me to pray for his grand daughter. Her pony had been brutally attacked by rottweilers and killed. The owner of the dogs had been warned by the authorities time and again to keep his dogs inside the fence and to not lot them roam the neighborhood, but he refused. Because of this brutal attach the dogs had to be destroyed. Was it the dog’s fault? I think not. It is bred in the instinct of some dogs to chase deer and other animals. The fault was with the owner who did not take the time to erect proper fences to keep the dogs from getting out and doing damage to themselves or someone else.