Summary: This sermon from the Book of Job deals with our role as Christians when ministering to those who are hurting.
Imagine this morning if you would that you are in a Mediterranean paradise. [Short pause] There once was a man who lived there. He was a good man. He raised his children to the best of his ability, he supported his wife in all her endeavors, and yes … he fully trusted and followed God.
This man was into agriculture; as were must of that time period, raising a herd of animals. He had raised and sold livestock for many years; and with each year, his blessings seem to grow and grow and grow.
It is probably important to tell you that he was also an avid fisherman and a sailor who enjoyed going out onto the sea to fish, reflect, and recharge: to simply smell the salty freshness of the sea.
It was on one such day that he got up early, it was a beautiful day, and got his stuff together. The kids were asleep, so he peaked in and then turned to leave. He stopped back in his bedroom and left a rose on the pillow beside his beloved wife. He creep downstairs, went out the door, jumped in his boat, and headed out to sea. The waters were calm and the day was young … it was paradise: or so he thought ….
It was just a little later in the morning when his life began to change. The kids had gotten up and left for school. When they were only a few blocks from the school, tragedy hit. A drunken truck driver went left of center, hit the bus head on, and all of his children were killed.
The news came hard to the mom. She had just gotten to work with a smile on her face when the news came in. She was devastated: she couldn’t talk, she could barely sit. The doctors found out that the father was on the sea and a messenger was sent to radio out for him.
When he received the news, he too was saddened and troubled, yet he turned his boat around. With the dark, storminess of life surrounding him, he began the trip home.
Realize this morning that this man was hurting. As he rushed to his wife, he noticed that the sky was getting darker and the waves were becoming more choppy. He got on his knees and continued to pray that God would deliver him safely out of this storm.
Yet with each moment, his world was becoming darker, not lighter. The storm continued to grow and he knew that he too was in trouble. He radioed in for support and continued on his course.
All at once, the boat was hit by lightening and became dead in the water. All of the electronics were fried! The storm tossed the small ship around. A wave hit here, a wave crashed there: the ship was going down. He climbed up to the top and continued to pray to a God who did not seem to be listening.
Then it happened, he heard a noise. He looked up in the storm and saw the copter approaching. As it got closer he could see the doors open and a man leap out into the cold ocean below. The swimmer made his way to the boat, reached out for the hands of the man who was seconds away from drowning. He scooped the man up, pulled him to safety, held him as he began his ascent into the copter and returned home. As he was returning to land, he was thanking God that he had not been forgotten. He thanked God for sending people his way to help him feel his Savior’s presence in a time when he could not have done so alone.
I would now like to share a 2nd story with you this morning. It too is a story about a man who loved God, but lost everything. Hear today the story of a man named Job.
1. Job – Read text: Job 1: 1-22
2. What he had
a. A wife, 7 sons, and 3 daughters
b. 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and many servents
3. What he lost
a. His livestock to theft and fire
b. His servants
c. His children
4. His response was to bless God.
5. How others helped?
a. They didn’t.
b. Eliphaz stressed that the innocent do not suffer.
c. Bildad stresses that God rewards the “Good”
d. Zophar rebukes Job.
In both stories, you can see that God was there. That is the advantage of being on the outside looking in. We know from Job that God really did care. We also know from the 1st story that God cared so much for that man that he did send him a way to safety.