Summary: 1- Lookinng but not understanding 2- Striving but not finding
INTRO.- Who said? Double, double toil and trouble.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) from Macbeth. Actually, these are the words chanted by three witches in the play Macbeth, as they mix a potion. Sometimes in life it seems like we have nothing but trouble, double toil and trouble.
Job 14:1 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”
ILL.- Goethe, the greatest of German poets, whose long life was one long success, said: “They have called me a child of fortune, nor have I any wish to complain of the course of my life. Yet it has been nothing but labor and sorrow; and I may truly say, that in seventy-five years I have not had four weeks of true comfort.”
Does that sound like you? Or your life? Double, double toil and trouble.
ILL.- Many people were deeply saddened when 13 year-old Will Reeve lost his mother Dana Reeve to cancer on March 8th, after she was diagnosed less than a year earlier. Of course, his father, Christopher Reeve died in October 2004 at age 52 after falling into a coma. He had been paralyzed since a horseback riding accident in 1995. It’s awful for that young boy. And yet there is far worse trouble. There has been far worse and will be far worse.
ILL.- Enter Job of the Old Testament. In some ways, it seems like no one person has suffered more than he did. Job seemingly had it made. He was the greatest (and perhaps the richest) man of the East. He had great wealth in the form of livestock. He also had 10 children (7 sons and 3 daughters), and was considered blameless, upright, feared God, and shunned evil.
And talk about a father of fathers. Every morning Job would make a sacrifice to God on behalf of his children. He apparently was deeply concerned about the spiritual nature of his children. He made sacrifices for them, saying, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their heart.” Would to God that we had that much concern for our children! Our greatest concern should be for their spiritual welfare.
Next enter Satan. Satan came before the Lord and He said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him….” Wow! Did you hear those words? WHAT A COMMENDATION! Wonder what God would say about us? I know that I don’t even begin to hold a candle to Job.
And we all know the rest of the story. God allowed Satan to tempt, test and try Job. All of his livestock were either killed or carried off by murderous raiders. Worse yet, Job’s 10 children were killed. And down the road, Job was inflicted with terrible health. He had painful, itching sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. He took a piece of broken pottery to scrape and scratch himself. Job was in misery. His wife had no compassion or faith. She said, “Curse God and die.” But in everything, Job did not sin or blame God.
Job’s friends supposed that Job was ill because of his evil deeds. But Job was innocent. Then, a wise man named Elihu explained the truth to Job and his friends. And God proved to them that God is great. God also showed them that he cares. Finally, God wanted Job to pray for his friends and he did. He probably prayed that God would have mercy on them in their ignorance much like Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In the end, God made Job successful again. Some have suggested that when Job learned the lesson of demonstrating mercy that’s when God turned his life around. COULD THIS BE TRUE FOR US? God gave him back his wealth (in fact, twice as much as he had before) and another 10 children. And Job’s daughters were more beautiful than any in all the land.
Through faith, commitment, and surrender God can turn things around for us in the midst of our toil and trouble.
Many people tend to blame God or the devil or someone else (Adam or Eve) for all their troubles and burdens. But it may be that we are the culprit. Someone said, “If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles in the backside, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for two weeks.”
It’s true that the devil is our enemy and is fully against us. But the Lord is on our side. He does not tempt us, but may allow us to be tested in life.
PROP.- From this text, I want us to consider some burdens that SEEM to come from God and how they can be overcome.