Summary: A sermon series on Job
God is Good…All the Time!
Presidents Calvin Coolidge was a man of few words, and the words he spoke were often blunt. A female journalist once told him, “Mr. President I made a $100 bet with another journalist that I could get you to say more than three words. Would you care to comment?” Calvin Coolidge smiled and said, “You lose.” That’s how he got the nickname “Silent Cal.” Some people think of God as “Silent God.” When they are going through painful trials and tribulations, they cry out, “Why, God? Why me? Where are you, God?” And it seems as if heaven is silent. But the Bible teaches God cares and He has spoken–we may just not be listening carefully enough. Sometimes God brings storms into our lives so we will listen more intently.
For centuries, Job has been the poster child for enduring pain and suffering. Since we’ve been in Job for the past two months, let’s quickly review the story of Job. The story began with Job as a happy, healthy, wealthy man surrounded by his wife and ten children. Then Satan, the accuser of the brothers, accused Job of serving God only because he was so blessed. Satan contended if God allowed trouble and sorrow to come into Job’s life he would curse God to His face. God disagreed with this evaluation, and in order to prove His point, God allowed Satan to afflict Job. Satan gleefully attacked Job, first taking his wealth, and then his children. In addition, Satan violated Job’s body by covering him from head to foot with painful, oozing sores. Job’s wife said, “Job, give it up. Curse God and die.” But Job said, “The Lord gives, the Lord has taken away. May the Lord’s name be praised!” Then to add to his suffering, three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad visited Job. They told Job he was being punished by God for some terrible deed. Most of the book is devoted to a cycle of Job’s friends accusing him, and then Job defending himself. Job’s statements revealed that he ping-ponged between faith and doubt. His faith bent but it did not break.
It’s an understatement to say that Job found himself in the midst of a storm. Then suddenly, as the storm broke in all its fury, God spoke to Job out of the storm. Let’s read God’s remarks in Job 38:1-3. Now when it says God answered Job, it doesn’t mean God gave Job the answers he was seeking. Instead of giving Job an answer, God started asking Job questions. By the time He finished, God had asked Job over 180 questions. Hear God’s voice and notice:
I. QUESTIONS WE NEED TO CONSIDER (JOB 38-39)
We won’t study each of the 187 questions God asked Job, so let’s just notice five:
1. Where were there when I created the earth? Read Job 38:4-7. I don’t have time to address the ongoing debate between whether we came into existence by Divine creation or whether we are the product of blind chance and random evolution. I don’t apologize for stating that I believe God created the heavens and the earth, and I think intelligent design and creation should be taught alongside the theory of evolution in our schools. But don’t miss the point. The Bible is not a science textbook that tells us HOW we were created. It is God’s love letter that tells us WHY we were created. Man is arrogant enough to suggest how life began, but everything man says is pure speculation and hypothesis, because as God reminded Job, nobody was around to see it!
2. How many sunrises have you made? Read Job 38:12-13. The Bible teaches that God not only created the universe, but that He also maintains it. As you know, the earth is orbiting around the sun at a speed of 66,000 mph, while at the same time it is spinning around (at about 1,000 mph) so that one part of the globe is facing the sun while the other is in darkness. If this didn’t occur every day, one side of the planet would freeze and the other side would burn up. And every morning the sun rises in a different place, because the planet is also tilting on its axis 23 degrees to create the different seasons. Otherwise each hemisphere would be too cold or too hot to support life. This is a meticulous operation...oh, but it just happens to do that by accident. Every sunrise has God’s signature on it, as He reminds us that He is giving us another day to live. God is maintaining life and order in the universe. Until mankind can control the orbit, spinning, and tilting of the planet, we’d better keep quiet about how smart we think we are.