Summary: Job teaches us about life from his words and from what happened to him and how he responded
February 9, 2003 Job 7:1-7
“Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man? Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages, so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn. My body is clothed with worms and clods of dust, my skin is broken and loathsome. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is but a breath; my eye will never see good again.
Experts say that when people are told what to do, they retain about 5-10 percent of what they are told. When they see what to do, they maintain about 20 percent of what they see. When they see and hear it, they retain about 40%. When they are able to discuss what they’ve heard, they retain about 60 percent of it. When they experience it, however, they retain 95 percent of what they’ve learned. That’s how a majority of people learn.
God’s Word from Job this morning tries to give us some lessons in life - some things he wants us to learn. The first one comes verbally in Job’s conversation with Eliphaz - in what Job says about life. The second one comes from looking at Job’s life experience - what he was going through. The third one comes from his response to life. Today we are going to-
Learn Lessons in Life from Job
I. Life is hard
By the time this story took place, Job had already experienced quite a bit of life. He had ten children, had amassed a great amount of property, and was the greatest man among all the people of the East (1:3). In other words, Job wasn’t a blow hard who would give advice to everyone and tell everyone what to do, and have no one listen. He was a well experienced and respected father and business man who had earned the respect of the people. As such, his words would carry good weight among the people. As an experienced man, Job gave us our first lesson on life as he asked two questions.
“Does not man have hard service on earth? First of all, life is hard service. That word is used throughout the Bible to often denote service in an army. When you join the army, the last thing you expect is a summer vacation. You’ll have to go through a boot camp and get in shape - pass the test to be a full bore serviceman. The Bible illustrates this basic fact throughout - life is work. Do you think it was easy for Abraham to travel hundreds of miles and live in a tent his whole life? Do you think it was easy for him to raise a child at one hundred years old? To live among foreign people? Even though God had granted him with riches, life was tough. He didn’t have an air conditioned tent or cruise controlled camel to go around on. Or think about David. Long before he ever became king of Israel, he had to fight bears and wild animals while he was watching sheep. Saul chased him throughout the countryside trying to kill him for a long time. Even after he was king he still had to deal with rebellious sons immoral generals. Life was not easy. And what did Jesus say? “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Mt 8:20) Life was not easy for Jesus - as he would often heal people late into the night. It was not easy for him to go to the cross - but with a resolution he set his course for Jerusalem and was ultimately crucified.
The second thing Job asked was, Are not his days like those of a hired man? Job may have meant to repeat his same point up above - that life is hard, but the idea of the hired man has a couple other concepts that go along with it. If I’m working as a hired man, I don’t own any of the equipment that I work with, and I am only paid with money. My job consists of doing what my boss tells me to do. What lesson in life does this carry with it? The first one is echoed in Psalm 24:1 which says, The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Everything that we use is not ours but the Lord’s. The second lesson in life is that our life is not our own - we have been officially “hired” by the Lord - to do his will. God did not make us His children and call us His children so that we could be the parents in the relationship and tell HIM what to do. The very role of a child is to say, “what can I do for you, Lord?” We are here to serve the Lord by using the things He has given us to the glory of His name.