Summary: This message looks at the faithfulness of Job in the face of the overwhelming problems.
Maybe his name was Job Murphy, cause it seemed that anything that could go wrong did go wrong. You might recall the story from the Old Testament book that bears the name of Job. If you have your bible with you then you can find it by going to the middle of your Bible which should be Psalms or Proverbs and then turning toward the front.
Job was the righteous man’s poster boy, the Bible tells us that He was blameless, a man of complete integrity, who feared God and stayed away from Evil. And just to top it off we are told that he was the richest man in the area. But these aren’t the things that made Job famous, and we’ve all heard of Job, even if you don’t know the story of Job you probably have heard the expression, “The patience of Job” an expression that was most often used in reference to my Mother’s dealing with her youngest son.
But you have to know the story to understand the reference. Now the first part of the Story is a little confusing, I don’t understand it, and really can’t explain it. It would appear that one day the angels appeared before God reporting on what they had done and Satan shows up. During the ensuing conversation God questions Satan on his activities and Satan responds by saying “I have been going back and forth across the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” And at that point God draws Satan’s attention to his servant Job and how righteous he is, and Satan says “sure, and why wouldn’t he serve you, you have always protected him, and his property. Everything he touches turns to gold, take away his possessions and I can guarantee that he will curse you.”
Now what I don’t understand is why at this point God agrees to allow Satan access to Job, someday I might understand it, but right now I don’t. A long time ago I discovered that God is way up here and I’m way down here and I can’t understand everything that God does, but that’s ok, because if I could understand everything about God he wouldn’t be much of a God. After all I can’t even understand woman. But that is what happens. Not very long after this conversation Job is at home when a servant arrives telling him that his enemies have raided the farm stolen his oxen and donkeys and killed all his farm hands. Just then another messenger arrives and says “you’ll never believe what happened boss, fire fell from the sky and burned up your sheep and shepherds” And a third guy arrives on the scene to inform Job that all his camels have been stolen by raiders from the north.
Now you gotta admit at this point Job seems to be handling it pretty well, until the fourth messenger arrives to tell his boss that a powerful wind hit the house where his children were celebrating with their oldest brothers and there have been no survivors, all ten children have died. It was at this point that Job broke down in grief. But even with that listen to what he says in Job 1:21 “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
Man, and the bible sums it up in the next verse by saying Job 1:22 In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
Well someone must have come along and said “Cheer up Job, things could be worse” cause he cheered up and sure enough things got worse. Kind of reminds me of what Paul Anderson said “I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.”
Up to now the tragedies happened to the things and people surrounding Job but not Job himself, and Satan told God, “Well sure, he can still praise you, he still has his health, let me take that from him.” And again I don’t understand it but God agreed, saying “Just spare his life.” Now personally I think Satan underestimated Job as a parent, I think that the death of his children would be a far greater tragedy then mere physical discomfort. But Job became covered with boils from head to foot, yuck.
But you know Satan had some smarts because of all the things that Job lost, Satan left him with his wife. You say “Denn, that’s just nasty.” Not so, listen to the comfort that Job’s wife offered in Job 2:9 His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”