Summary: This sermon was part of a study of Job in a contemporary service. It deals with longing for the past and living in the moment.
Tonight we will continue to look at the life of Job. What we have are some rambling thoughts of a guy living outside the box. Tonight I will do more philosophizing than preaching. You won’t get three points and a poem. Let me start off with a little ditty from Bruce Springsteen.
I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you, make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar,
I was walking in, he was walking out.
We went back inside, sat down had a few drinks
But all he kept talking about was
Glory days, well they’ll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, Glory days.
Here’s the start of another song see if you can tell me which song:
"Hey, everybody’s talkin’ about the good old days, right
Everybody, the good old days, the good old days
Well, let’s talk about the good old days
Come to think of it as, as bad as we think they are
these will become the good old days for our children, hum
Why don’t we , ah
Try to remember that kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow, hum
Try to remember, and if you remember then follow
Oh, why does it seem the past is always better
We look back and think
The winters were warmer
The grass was greener
The skies were bluer
And smiles were bright"
The faithful of God are no different. We think about the Glory Days, the Good Ole Days. We long for a simpler time, a happier time. A time when our faith was strong and we rejoiced in our salvation. It seemed like a family reunion every time we went to church. It was as if the words the preacher spoke came directly from the mouth of God.
But now, sadly, the luster has worn off. Our exuberant faith has been replaced by dull, disillusionment. The preacher’s words sound more like the teacher in a Charlie Brown cartoon than the very utterance of God. Oh, for a return to the Glory Days.
Job had a little pity party about the glory days too. Let’s look at what he had to say:
29:1 Job continued his discourse:
2 "How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, 3 when his lamp shone upon my head and by his light I walked through darkness! 4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, 5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, 6 when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
How often do we miss the moments of the present dwelling on the memories of the past? Could it be that these are the glory days of our life and we will look back with regret that we missed them?
As we look at the life of Job again this week, we see a man that is beset with grief, sickness, abandonment and discouragement. Hard to find anything to glory about there.
We have every modern convenience at our fingertips. We have surgeries that can give you perfect vision. We have doctors that specialize in every imaginable practice of medicine. We have computers that fit in the palm of our hand that allow us to look up virtually any piece of information we want or communicate with people on the other side of the world. With all these conveniences, can the 21st century believer expect to relish in a bed of roses without feeling a thorn or two? Of course not. Things go wrong. People get hurt. Sickness still comes. Hearts get broken. So, with all these modern surroundings we find that we really are no different than old Job.
If we then are unable to change our circumstances, how can we be happy and blessed when chaos seems to reign all around us? Must we accept and succumb to the problems before us, or do we just try to pray them away?
Rather, I think it is our attitude that must come under subjection to the Holy Spirit if we are to realize the hand of blessing in the midst of the storm. Let’s take a gander at some wise words shared by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth:
2 Cor 6:1-10
6:1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,
"In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you."