Summary: Suffering, trails, restoration, faith
THE STORY OF JOB
Job 1: 1-22 (p359) Sept 26, 2010
Right before I left for New Orleans the History channel was running a series of shows remembering the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on American…Kari and I watched many of them "Hotel Ground Zero" "102 minutes that changed American" and "The Sotry of flight 93"
All of them bring me back to that time--the feelings of disbelief, grief, and anger.
While I was watching the flight 93 story there's a telephone call from one of the passengers on the plane to his wife and he tells her…"Our planes been hijacked. There are three guys on our plane that say they have a bomb. They've already killed one person please call the authorities. And all the while he's talking his wife keeps telling him "No!!! This can't be happening
"We have a perfect life! Good Jobs. Great Kids. Nothing bad ever happens to us.
And that’s the first reaction of many of us when tragedy strikes. "Lord, there must be some kind of mistake…these things are not suppose to happen to me.
But God's word clearly teaches: Sometimes they do. John 16:33 says "In this world you WILL have trouble".
And that trouble sometimes has nothing to do with how good you are, or how good your life is, or how bad you are, or how bad you've been. Jesus said, "He causes his sun to rise on the eveil and the good and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt 5:45)
That scripture doesn't help the wife whose saying "No, were good people, we have a good life, everything perfect…this can't be happening."
What's she really confessing is how all of us think: God rewards you when your good…He punishes you when you're bad. Tragedies shouldn't happen to "good" people.
It’s the same reason the disciples came to Jesus in John chapter 9 when there was a young man who was blind from birth and asked "who sinned and caused this young man to be blind, him or his parents?"
Jesus said, Whether, he was born blind so the power of God might be displayed in his life."
The book of Job really messes with his way of thinking…"In the land of UZ lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." 1.
Verse 5 even tells us, "He was the greatest man among all the people of the east"
Job's not just good…he's great! He's righteous, has a beautiful family, 7 sons and 3 daughters who ever love to spend time with each other---They'd have feats in their homes to spend time together" Jobs rich, he's healthy, and he's happy."
Those first 5 verse fit right into our thoughts that God rewards good people and punishes evil people…but then the phone rings….the plane is hijacked, the buildings come down…the heartbreaking news of cancer, the folks devolves into a bunch of zeros… TRAGEDY STRIKES HARD.
In one day this blameless and upright man loses his family, his house, his livelihood and for the rest of the book Job is saying "God, what's going on?' I thought I was what you wanted me to be? I thought I was doing what you wanted me to? Why is this happening to me?"
And this isn't a sin…"In all this Job did not sin on what he said." (Chapter 2:10)
Job is 42 chapters long, and for 37 of those chapters Job's wife and Job's three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar tell him he must have done something to displease God…that God is punishing him…."Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" WOW!!!... that's some encouraging stuff, huh?
Job's response…"Your talking foolish…shall we accept good from God and not trouble?"
Good is easy to accept…trouble, not so easy. Here's one of the first challenges I see in the book of Job.
II FRIENDS THAT THINK THEY'VE GOT GOD ALL FIGURED OUT.
Job's three closest friends start out great. Almost perfect in how you'd want friends to love you when your hurting..
Job 2: 11-13 (p. 360)
They get together, decide to share in Job's pain with sympathy and comfort him. Job's hurting so bad he's unrecognizable--they put on the garb of mourning "ripped clothes + ashes" and then because he hurting so bad they just sit with him for a week.
[I'm not sure any of us have been exactly where Job is…but we've hurt, and there are no words and your true friends are running in when everyone else has left. Job hurts so bad he wishes he'd never been born…curses the day of his birth.
But then his friends hear his grief and speak like they know the answers…they have his trouble figured out…and they try to give him the same answers for 37 chapters…