Summary: James in exhorting Christiance to follow the example of the patience of Job gives reasons for developing a 3rd lesson on Job and his great character of patience and faithfulness.
INTRODUCTION # 31
1. Open your bible to Job 1:20&ff.
2. In our two previous lessons from the book of Job we have learned about the great moral character of Job.
3. We have learned of Satan’s plan to try and get Job to curse God. Satan was responsible for Job losing all of his livestock and servants and Job’s ten children.
4. We have learned of Satan having the opportunity to use the forces of nature, such as God’s lightning and God’s wind, in bringing destruction on Job and possibly on other people on occasions.
5. In this lesson we will observe Job’s patience and faithfulness to God and the report that Satan brings more suffering upon Job.
I. FIRST, JOB 1:20-22 REPORTS JOB’S GREAT EXAMPLE OF PATIENCE.
1. Let’s read Job 1:20-22, “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”
2. What we have just read begins to give us a picture of the patience of Job. The Greek term for “patience” [is hupomeno]. It is made up of two words: hupo—under; meno—to abide.
(1) This word describes one who is patient in the sense that the individual is able to persevere even under a great weight of tribulation.
(2) This kind of patience is the kind of endurance that perseveres, not merely with dogged determination,
but with confident hope, even though we do not fully comprehend the situation perfectly; we place our full trust in God, and rest with the confidence that he will provide the proper resolution, in time and/or in eternity. Such a one does not blame God for his hardships, but has confidence that all will be well.
3. In Job 1:20a, Job arose and rent his mantle or “tore his robe” (NKJV). The expression “arose” does not necessarily imply that the individual was in a sitting or reclining position, but that he began to take some kind of action.
4. Job “rent his mantle” or “tore his robe” is referring to the upper or outer garment.
5. Job “shaved his head”. “This was a common way of expressing great sorrow. Sometimes it was done by formally cutting off the hair of the head; sometimes by plucking it violently out by the roots,
and sometimes also the beard was plucked out, or cut off.
6. Job fell upon the ground, possibly prostrating or stretching himself out before the Lord. This was a common practice among people of Bible times. Through such a posture they showed humility and their devotion to God.
Another similar example is of Joshua, in a time of great trouble. Joshua and other leaders of the Israelites fell upon the ground before the Lord: "And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads" (Josh. 7:6).
7. Back to Job 1:20e, “Job worshipped God”. Job knew that, despite the awful losses which had so suddenly fallen upon him, that God was just and merciful; he was the only source of strength and hope Job had; and despite the fact that the Lord had permitted these devastations to come upon him, he was still worthy of praise and worship.
8. In Job 1:21, Job stated that he had entered this world, naked and destitute of any material possessions. He knew that he would depart this world, taking nothing with him. 1 Tim. 6:7 teaches the same truth. "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out".
(1) Material possessions can only benefit us in this world; they cannot exist in heaven—heaven is the home of the soul, not of the physical body.
(2) In 1 Cor. 15:50 we read "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption".
9. His reference to returning to his mother’s womb is not to be taken as a literal statement. He entered this world through his mother’s womb, but he could not return to the same.
(1) In John 3:1-5 Nicodemus asked the Lord if the new birth meant that he should enter his mother’s womb and be born again. But Christ was speaking of a different kind of birth altogether. Job’s statement means that, as he entered the world without possessions, so he would leave the world without possessions.
(2) In Genesis 2:7 we read: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."