Summary: A message to encourage those who have bitterness in their lives to move on to blessing.
Brokenness: Bitterness or Blessing?
Job 3:1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
ILL - My family and I lived in a temporary home after a move and did not bother to unpack our boxes. My brother and I were kept awake each night by a bothersome cricket. After several nights of poor sleep we moved all the boxes out in an attempt to drive the cricket but were unsuccessful. Finally after a few more nights of poor sleep we emptied all the boxes to discover not a cricket but a fire alarm with a low battery. We had to get to the bottom of the box to find the source of that annoying chirp. This morning we are going to get to the bottom of bitterness.
Introduction: In all the pages of God's Word there has never been anyone who endured as much tragedy in their life as Job. I don't propose this morning to get into the details leading up to the series of events that devastated Job's life but I do want to focus on how Job responded to those events. Briefly, over a short period of time Job lost his fortune, his family with the exception of his wife who in her own grief told him to, "...curse God and die..." his friends and his fitness (health.) By the time we get to our key verse we have a picture of a broken man and just for the sake of context I'm going to read a few of these opening verses in chapter three.
First, there is Job's brokenness:
I. The Broken Life
a. Brokenness is common to man
Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Brokenness is a part of the experience of being human because of what happened in the Garden of Eden. As the representative of the human race Adam's sin and its penalty passed upon all men.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
b. Brokenness is result of our conduct
Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
Brokenness comes into our lives as a result of our own choices and conduct. I recall an anecdote that said here in the South that when you here the phrase, "Hey, watch this," it usually results in a trip to the ER! All of us have done things that have hurt us and others. We are free moral agents with the propensity and the inclination to do and say things that get us into the kind of troubles that can lead to brokenness. I heard a man say that a friend of his that "kept writing checks with his mouth that his body couldn't cash." That is true of all of us at one time or another.
c. Brokenness can come to the Christian
The thing that we need to remember about brokenness is that no one is immune. Even the best and choicest of God's servants have experienced breaking situations and circumstances in their lives. When this happens we almost always ask the question, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" One thing that stands out in Job's life is that he was a person of faith, a man who was approved by God and a man of sterling character for in Job 2:3 it says, "...Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause..."
Second, at this point every broken person has a choice; either they can give in to bitterness or to go on to blessing.
II. The Bitter Life
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
a. The tempted life
This first phrase in Hebrews 12:15 means to "take the oversight" to "be alert" to the fact that when trouble comes, and it will come, that you and I do not let bitterness "take root" in our lives. The truth is when these breaking experiences come we are often left with weakened defenses and our capacity to resist is diminished greatly. It should also be noted that it is at these times that the Tempter is able to exert a powerful influence on us. Even our Lord, who had been in the wilderness without food or water for 40 days, was not outside the reach of his influence.
Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.