Summary: Even though the Christian life is primarily characterized by abundant life and joy, there are seasons where the Lord allows us to go through dark valleys. It is often during those seasons that we encounter God, and our faith is strengthened and deepened.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT #6: PAIN AND SUFFERING
OPENING TEXT: “After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said: "May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, A male child is conceived.” (Job 3:1-3).
• Have you ever felt like that before? Today, we are going to deal with the topic of pain and suffering, and look at a Bible character who had a really, really, really bad day…
INTRO: An overview of the five categories of the Old Testament:
• 5 Law Books; 12 History Books; 5 Wisdom Books; 5 Major Prophets; 12 Minor Prophets
• The 5 Wisdom Books: Job, Psalms (worship & prayer), Proverbs (wisdom for daily living), Ecclesiastes (the meaning of life) and Song of Solomon (God’s love for us).
THE STORY OF JOB: PART #1 – INTRO TO JOB
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.” (Job 1:1-3).
• Job was a good man who was blessed by the Lord: He had 7 sons and 3 daughters…
• 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and many servants.
THE STORY OF JOB: PART #2 – A GLIMPSE INTO HEAVEN:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the Lord and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the Lord and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” (Job 1:6-11).
• God was bragging on Job, but Satan said Job only loves God because God blesses him.
• God said, “You can do anything to his stuff, but don’t touch him.”
THE STORY OF JOB: PART #3 – JOB’S REALLY BAD DAY:
• the Sabeans took the oxen and donkeys and killed the servants.
• lightning killed the sheep and the servants, the Chaldeans raided the camels.
• a tornado destroyed the oldest brother’s house and killed all 10 children.
• How did Job respond?
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 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." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:21-22).
• He grieved his losses, and then he blessed the name of the Lord!
• v. 1-6 - God brags about Job again, Satan said, “If you stole his health, he’d curse you.”
• v. 7-8 - God let Satan smote Job with boils
• v. 9 - Job’s wife said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
o Isn’t this what many people do when they go through tough times? They get mad at God. If only they knew the Bible truth of John 10:10: The devil steals, kills and destroys, but Jesus gives life – abundantly!
What would most people do in Job’s situation?
• He lost everything – all of his possessions, loved ones, and his health.
• He didn’t turn to drugs, alcohol, or get all sad and depressed and turn from God.
• v.10 - Job’s response: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"
• How could Job have such confident faith, even in the face of suffering? “For I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25).