Summary: Using Job as an example, we can live our lives with integrity through all circumstances by placing complete trust in God.
Job 1:1; 2: 1 – 10 -- Good and Bad at God’s Hand
Intro: Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seemed to go right? --- There was once a man who was having just such a day. His car had broken down on the way to work, he was late for work, was told by his boss that the promotion he was hoping for was given to someone else. One thing after another happed throughout the day. At the end of the day he was lying in bed mentally and physically exhausted. In frustration he cried out, “Why me, God? What have I done to deserve this? Why does everything always go wrong for me?” --- Suddenly the ceiling opened up, a huge hand with a pointed finger began thumping him on his chest while a big booming voice said, “Because you tick me off!”
I. Let me tell you about another man. This one was named Job. His story is told in the book named after him.
A. The ancient Jew believed this life was where God was present and dealt with humans. People were rewarded with blessings when God was happy with them and punished when God was not happy.
B. This is the story of a wise, good, pious, and immensely prosperous man who suffered the loss of all the blessings he once had and who suffered physically yet maintained an unshaken trust in God.
C. Job may mean “hated” or “penitent.” It is related to a Hebrew verb that means “to treat as an enemy,” or “the object of persecution.” Verse 1 tells us basically about Job: his homeland, his name and the qualities of his character. The first 2 are not as important to us as the last.
II. Job’s character is presented in two groups of two words: perfect and upright and feared God and turning away from evil.
A. Job was a faithful man. Generous, happily married with 10 children (7boys and 3 girls), followed God’s word, did God’s work, was strong and healthy. Job seemed to have it all!
B. Job is described as perfect and upright. Upright simply means to be straight or not deviating from any of God’s standards. The word perfect in Hebrew is TAM and means to be complete or entire, not lacking in any respect. He was a man who had absolute and complete integrity and that endeared him to God.
C. A recent Lou Harris poll of over 5,000 children between 4th and 12th grade in public, private and parochial schools found that 65% of H.S. students say they would cheat on an important exam. 53% said they would lie to protect a friend who had vandalized school property.
III. Some say there are 2 things certain in life: death and taxes. I have heard it said there are 3 things certain: death, taxes and suffering. (Ricky Burke – “Are Good People Exempt From Suffering?” – Sermon Central.) Bad things happen to good, Godly people.
A. We all feel pain and suffering. The Job in us endures the loss of loved ones, the break-up of relationships, the loss of jobs, family pressures, physical and mental illness. But do we endure as Job did?
B. Job found the truth that life is not always fair. But, finding a way through the pain and living to tell about it makes us who and what we are. Following Job’s example, we must be faithful through the good and bad at God’s hand.