Summary: A sermon series on Job
“God is Good…All the time!”
Am I Better Off Dead?
Job 2:1-10; 3:11, 20-26
Am I Better Off Dead? Here’s the answer: YES and NO–it all depends. If you’re a Christian, yes, heaven is preferable to life, but you don’t get to set your departure time. If you’re not a Christian, no, you wouldn’t be better off dead, and you still have time to do something about it. As we are studying the book of Job, we find a man who has experienced so much pain and trouble that he insists he would be better off dead. In the first chapter we learned about Job losing all his wealth and most of his servants. To make matters worse, on the same day, a storm blew in and killed all ten of his children. The reason Satan brought this trouble on Job was because Satan alleged if Job suffered he would curse God. But instead, Job said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; May the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21) After round one, the score is Job 1, Satan 0. But the devil isn’t finished yet. Read Job 2:1-10.
In the third chapter, three of Job’s friends come to comfort him, but rather than comforting him they end up tormenting him. Next week, we’ll talk about them as we consider the topic, “With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies?” But for now, I want you to notice some of Job’s words of agony. He contends he would be better off dead than to deal with all the pain and suffering in his life. Read Job 3:11-13. He was saying, “I wish I had never been born in the first place.” Then he suggests that for him, death would be preferable to this misery: Read Job 3:20-26. Maybe you’ve never expressed it exactly in those words, but at some time, most people have wondered if they would just be better off dead. As we study Job’s suffering and Job’s words in these verses, we can learn three very important lessons.
1. Satan is persistent!
Job 2:7 “Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.” You’ve got to give the devil his due; he is a persistent old dude. Even though Job survived round one, the devil wasn’t through with Job. He gains God’s permission for round two. He is still attacking God’s servants today, so it will help us resist the devil if we can learn some of the methods of his attack.
*Satan can attack your health and your marriage.
Health: Satan afflicted Job with painful sores. Later, Job would describe his physical suffering, Job 7:5 “My body is clothed with worms and scabs; my skin is broken and festering.” (Job 7:5) Every sickness may not be a direct attack from Satan, but we can learn here that, when permitted, Satan will try to attack your health. In II Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul complained about a thorn in his flesh. Obviously, it was some kind of physical suffering, or he wouldn’t have described it as a part of his flesh. We don’t know what it was, but Paul said it was “a messenger of Satan to torment me.” (II Corinthians 12:7) When the Apostle Peter was telling Cornelius about Jesus he said Jesus went about “healing those who were afflicted by the devil.” (Acts 10:38) Just remember Satan wants to make you miserable, and sometimes he does it by attacking your health.
Marriage: Job lost his fortune, his family, and his fitness, but to add to his suffering, his wife survived. Satan is a sneaky dude. He will attack you by attacking those you love (Job’s children) and he may attack you using someone close to you. In this instance, Satan used Job’s wife. Satan’s allegation is that Job will curse God. That’s exactly what Mrs. Job suggested. She said, “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Before we get too critical, we must remember Mrs. Job was suffering greatly as well. She lost ten children, and she watched as her mate suffered physically. We’re wired in such a way that we would prefer to hurt instead of watching someone we love suffer.
The main thing to learn here is that Satan wants to drive a wedge between every husband and wife. Satan wants to drive a wedge between every parent and child. Job told his wife, “You are talking like a foolish woman.” He didn’t call his wife a fool. He said she was talking like a foolish woman. In the Bible, a fool is someone who “says in their heart, ‘there is no God.’” (Ps. 53:1) Job’s wife believed in God–but she spoke foolishly about God, as if God should be blamed for his suffering. But we see Job’s wife stayed with him, and in the end she enjoyed the blessings of God. So, don’t let Satan attack you through those who love you.