Summary: Job’s misery was a rough path to a grand finale. Job was God’s man for the mission of putting Satan in his place. Wealth, health, family and friends are no foundation on which to stand, only faith.
Today, as promised, we will complete the book of Job. Last week we left him in the midst of his misery with three friends who came to "comfort" him. Remember, when we met Job, he was wealthy and seemed healthy, he walked with God blamelessly, and he deeply cared about his 10 children and especially their spiritual welfare. Then we overheard a conversation between God and Satan where Satan accuses Job of hypocrisy or at least shallow faith, and God of propping him up by protecting him. Satan is given permission to take everything from Job, everything, including the lives of his children. But Job remains faithful. Satan still accuses God and Job and, because of God’s incredible patience, Satan is also permitted to afflict Job’s body, but not take his life.
There are many angles from which we might look at this book of Job. I went to see my mother Friday and she’s reading along with us. She told me that every time she reads Job it reveals new encouragements about God and his wisdom and way with us. We agreed that God knew Job’s strength and faith. God knows that Job will stand. God is not a tempter of man, but he does allow our testing at times. The real ignorant one in the story is not Job, or even Job’s three friends. The really ignorant one is Satan. He will not and can not understand nor see goodness. He is both blind and the blinder of all who listen to him. His way is the way of darkness and deception. As Jesus said, “When he lies he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” He is also a murderer. His goal is your soul’s everlasting death in hell. Peter tells us, Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Where is Satan? Did you notice nothing else is said about him after chapter 2? The sly serpent slithers off unwilling to accept the truth of Job’s integrity and continuing to seek a way to dishonor God and man. Look out! He has only disappeared from view temporarily. You can read about his work in the papers even today, and see his doings just about everywhere. He’s angry. He knows his time is short.
Listen to the last book of the Bible, Revelation 12: 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
His time is short…
That’s good news. For all who are in Christ we can know that Satan’s time is short. He will do his worst and he will fail, just as he failed with Job. Do you know why? Because for all who are in Christ and who are loyal to Him and who love not this world nor the things in it, but who live by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, there is sure and certain victory. We will face suffering for a season, but not without this assurance: the Lord knows those who are his! He who watches over you will not allow your foot to be moved! He who keeps you will not slumber.
God knows you and me. He knows our hearts. He wants us to be saved. He works for our salvation. God is the one who formed you and who planned for you to be here. He chose you, he redeemed you, he sent Jesus to die for you, because he wants you. He loves you.
But back to Job…
Job faces the horror of loss and pain and in the midst of it all he knows that God is in this whole thing. Notice, Job never once mentions Satan. Job never refers to any authority over himself but God’s authority. I have a hard time believing that Job has never heard of the tempter. But his eye is on the Lord his God. His cries are to the Lord. His anguish and bitterness are poured out before the Lord. As his friends join Satan in the accusing, Job refuses to listen. He knows his integrity before God. He rebukes them for falsely accusing him and continues to plead his case to God. Waiting, wanting, begging for relief and justice. He will look to none other! His words? My advocate is in heaven! I know that my redeemer lives! Though he slay me, yet will I serve him! Wow! Do you see Jesus in that?