Summary: Job discovered through all the adversity in his life that what he really needed wasn’t some thing but some one. That someone was God.
Job 42: 1 – 6 – Mercy
Intro: The story is told of a Welsh woman living in a remote valley in Wales. She went to a great deal of trouble to have electrical power installed in her home. The electric company noticed her use of electricity was minuscule. A meter reader was dispatched to check on the matter. The man read the meter then went to the door and when the woman answered he asked, “Do you use electricity at all?” --- The lady answered, “Oh yes. Turning the light on every night makes it so much easier to see how to light our lamps. Once they are lit we turn of the light.” --- Sounds very similar to the way many Christians apply the power of God in their lives.
I. Verses 1 – 3 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”
A. In the book of Job, he arguing with God, his friends and his wife. But here we begin to see a different Job emerge. Until now, Job has been concerned with himself and the necessity to justify himself and his ways to God.
B. Here in these verses we see Job beginning to acknowledge God’s power and ability to implement plans. Job doesn’t completely understand God or how God works; but Job does not understand God’s power.
C. Most people today still think of God as Job did. They even think of their pastor as Job thought of God. They don’t see him during the week, don’t know what he does all week and don’t understand him on Sunday.
II. In this final chapter of the book of Job, we discover that Job passes from a formal understanding of God to a firsthand knowledge. Through all his suffering, Job has come to know less about God; but he comes face to face with God as a person.
A. Why has Job not “seen” before this? Job’s revelation does not leave him at peace. In fact, it left him overwhelmed with the sense of his own incompleteness. Not only does Job “see” God; but he also “sees” himself as God sees him.
B. Verse 5 – “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” The language used here for “seeing God” has a special place in Israelite religious tradition. Seeing God is rarely permitted and often associated with a momentous occasion in the life of an individual or a people.
C. In our own lives it usually isn’t that we CANNOT see something, but that we are AFRAID of looking squarely at what we can glimpse just at the periphery of our vision. We don’t want to see that bad things happen to good people. We don’t want to see that we cannot secure our lives or our families against all harm. So, we hide the truth from our eyes and choose to NOT SEE.
III. Verse 6 – “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job acknowledges the presence of the chaotic as a part of the design of creation.
A. Previously in the book of Job, God has reassured Job that God has everything under control. God’s power of creation and re-creation is stronger than the power of the chaotic.
B. Job’s focus is no longer on himself and his own problems and loss. He begins to focus on God and then Job’s desire for righteousness is annihilated and he is able truly to repent and show his sorry for his lack of trust in God.
C. “Repentance” is the mood of the creature man who realizes that he is creature, and that God is forever God. God loves us and cares for us not because be deserve it; but because our God is a God of mercy.
Conclu: What Job discovered is simply this: He didn’t need a list of rules or laws to keep. He didn’t need someone to tell him what to do or not do to win God’s favor. We, like Job, must discover that we need the Lord. Greg Nelson and Phill McHugh wrote a little chorus that sums it beautifully. “People need the Lord, people need the Lord; at the end of broken dreams, He’s the open door. People need the Lord, People need the Lord; When will we realize that God must fill our lives. Yes, people need the Lord.