Summary: A sermon series on Job
“God is Good..All the time!”
“The Danger of Fair Weather Faith”
An elderly lady walked into the local Baptist Church. An usher recognized her as a newcomer and said, “Welcome, where would you like to sit?” She said, “On the front row, please.” The usher said, “Oh, you don’t want to do that. This preacher is really boring. You’d be happier sitting in the back.” The lady said, “Do you know who I am?” The usher said, “No.” She said, “I’m the preacher’s mother.” The usher said, “Well, do you know who I am?” She said, “No.” “Good” he said.
Some people may think preaching from the book of Job is boring. But to me, Job is one of the most interesting books in the Bible. Literary scholars claim Job is one of the oldest books in history. It is written in poetic form like Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations. Old Testament experts believe it was written as an epic drama, like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. But that’s not to suggest Job was a fictional character. We could write a drama based on the life of George Washington, who was a real person. In the same way, most scholars believe Job was a real person who lived about 2,000 B.C. Most people are interested in Job because we can relate to the theme. The theme of the book is: “Why do the righteous suffer?” Well, if you’ve ever felt like Job or Job-ette, this book is for you. Let’s begin our study of Job by examining the first twelve verses. Job 1:1-12.
In order to appreciate the first message from Job, I want to give you a synopsis of the entire book of Job. In the beginning of the book, Job and his family are gathered together and everything is wonderful. They have each other, good health, and an abundance of wealth. In the next scene, God can be seen on His throne with all the angels, good, and bad gathered around Him. After God’s conversation with Satan, the devil sets out to prove Job only fears God because he has been so blessed. Satan is then seen striking Job’s children with a catastrophic storm in which all of them perish. If that wasn’t enough Satan then attacks Job’s health. He is seen afflicting him with painful skin sores. All of that action occurs in the first two chapters of Job.
From there, Job’s wife and three friends can be seen pointing their fingers at him as if to taunt him. Most people know of the first and last part of the story, but the largest portion of the book is devoted to the conversations between Job and his friends. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite. These guys believed Job was suffering because he had done something bad. They tried to persuade him to come clean and reveal his deep dark sin. With friends like these, who needs enemies? Then in the next scene, which is the climax of the story, God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind. To summarize, God asks Job, “What makes you think you’re smart enough to figure out why I do anything?” In the final scene of the story, Job prays for his friends, and God restores to Job more than he ever had before. In this amazing book, there are many things we’re going to learn about God and about ourselves, but the main thing we will learn about God is that God is good all the time. Let’s begin by considering four insights we gain from this book.
1. THERE IS MORE GOING ON AROUND YOU THAN YOU CAN SEE.
Job could see his happy family. But he couldn’t see the meeting in heaven. He could hear his cattle and sheep mooing and bahing, but he couldn’t hear the conversation going on between God and Satan. But as readers of the book, we are allowed to see what is happening in heaven. Job 1:6. “One day the angels (“sons of God or Eloihim”) came to present themselves (“to stand and report”) before the Lord and Satan (“the adversary”) also came with them.” From there in v. 7-12 a conversation takes place between God and Satan.
There are two things here that I want to point out before we move on. One, some people suggest that this dialogue was made up by the author of this book. Could this conversation between God and Satan really have happened? Other Bible passages tell us that Satan does indeed have access to God (Rev. 12:10). He even went into God’s presence to make accusations against Joshua the high priest (Zechariah 3:1-2). If this conversation didn’t take place, then the reasons for Job’s suffering become meaningless and the book of Job is reduced to fiction rather than fact.