Summary: An inductive exploration of the unfairness of life and an elimination of inadequate answers to the question “Is God unfair?”
Introduction: There are three ancient questions that are as current as the latest news bulletin. Many people refuse to think about them. Others consider them the “Three Questions No One Asks Out Loud.”
1. Is God unfair?
2. Is God silent?
3. Is God hidden?
The book of Job struggles with these questions. There is a very good possibility that this man’s story is one of the oldest in the Bible. If it is then we can safely say these questions are thousands of years old. But we’ve all heard echoes of them in the wake of September 11th. On the other hand, maybe you’ve heard them in the word of loved ones facing difficulties. These questions are as old as the story of Job and as up to date as today’s bad news.
Before we begin, let me be honest with you. I don’t believe we will find answers to these questions that will satisfy everyone. If God’s people have struggled with these “Three Questions No One Asks Out Loud” for thousands of years, there’s no reason to think we will overcome all the obstacles in the next three messages. I do believe we can find some very good reasons to trust in God’s character. And I believe we will bring these questions out into the open so we can begin to face them candidly.
LISTEN TO JOB’S STORY.
1. He had a flawless relationship with God. The Bible says, “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1 (quickview) ).
3. He was a very rich man. “He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:3 (quickview) ).
4. He cared about his children and their spiritual lives. The Bible tells us that “his sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job’s regular custom” (Job 1:4-5 (quickview) ).
5. He lost it all in one day, but at least he still had his health. “One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" (Job 1:6-19 (quickview) ).