Summary: Usually we only think of Job's sufferings, but he had many more years of great joy - both before and after his ordeal.
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1. Near Antwerp a city of northern Belgium, on the Scheldt River, north of Brussels, is a convent of monks. These monks take a perpetual vow of silence; they dress in rough sackcloth; shave their heads; sleep on hard boards; and eat bread, sour milk, and vegetables. Everyday, the monks go to the garden, to look at an open grave – this grave awaits, the first monk, to die.
2. I think most of us when we think about the book of Job, all we think about is his suffering. And yet, Job lived for many many years in great prosperity before his suffering ordeal, and many years after it.
Sadly many of us are just like that! All we tend to focus on are the hard times, the suffering and the trials. But if truth be known, we have spent far for years in prosperity then we have in grueling suffering.
3. The Joy’s of Job.
Job 1:1 (NKJV)
1 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.
I. First, the joy of Possibility.
There was a man – this is not a fictional character, but a real man.
A. He is presented in a plain historical fashion.
B. God presented Job as much a historical person, as He does Noah and Daniel (Ezk.14:14,20)
C. James, holds up Job as a historical example of patience in the midst of suffering (Ja.5:11)
Here is a man! Not a tree, or a chipmunk, but a man, and that in itself is a cause of joy!
“Men and woman actually are, and sense themselves to be higher than forms of the creation around them…For one thing, men and woman have “God-consciousness,” which animals do not have…Herein lies our true worth. We are made in God’s image and are therefore valuable to God and others.
God loves men and women far beyond His love for animals, plants, or inanimate matter. Moreover he feels for men and woman, identifies with them in Christ, grieves for them and intervenes in history, to make each of us into all He has determined we should be.”
[Foundations of the Christian Faith, Boice]
These nuts that leave their money to their dog is a good example of mixed up priorities.
Not long ago a man swerved to miss a dog, and a result hit Ann and my grandson. Such is the twisted thinking of Fallen mankind.
It is possible that man, who is created in the image of God, to have fellowship with God and that is the greatest joy afforded on this planet. 2 Chron. 16:9
If you’re a human being, you were created in the image of God. With the wonderful possibility of having fellowship with God. We have a mind that we might know God; Emotions that we might experience God’s love; A will that we might obey God. Job was a human being and that in itself is a cause for great joy.
II. Furthermore, the joy of having Property.
in the land of Uz – we don’t know for sure where exactly this place was but its not all that important that we know.
Job was a rancher, and based on the size of his livestock, he must have owned much land. He is not a city boy but a man living out in the country.
I, more accurately the bank, owns 5 acres out in the country – it is beautiful and a sheer joy to be away from buildings, traffic, and city sounds. I remember when we lived right next to the church; I found a tree in the back of the church and spend many hours in it with my Bible.
C. S. Lewis counseled his friend Malcom to see the Creator behind the creation:
“To be sure, we must enjoy the sunlight in the woods. But these spontaneous pleasures are patches of God-light and one must let one’s mind run back up the sunbeam to the sun.
Vernard Eller, “Clearly the view of the stars are intended to give one an awareness and enjoyment of God…The motive is not just the enjoyment…but the sole motive is the enjoyment of God Himself.”
I can picture Job sitting out on the porch in his rocking chair, surrounded by the open space, cattle, and trees. Looking up at the stars, and rejoicing in the God who made it all!
III. Thirdly, the joy of Piety.
A. He was Flawless.
Blameless – the Hebrew word tam often is referring to an animal sacrifice as “spotless, without blemish, no defects or flaws.”
This word is often translated “perfect” – in his PRACTICE Job was NOT perfect (6:24; 7:21; 9:20; 42:6), he is a sinner like the rest of us. This word is used of Jacob, another proof that it does not refer to practical perfection (Gen. 25:27).