Summary: It is normal to question God when life tumbles in and wonder “Why” this is happening to us, but such experiences can bring us closer to God if we make the right choices.
WHEN LIFE TUMBLES IN, WHAT THEN? Job 1:1-22
Proposition: It is normal to question God when life tumbles in and wonder “Why” this is happening to us, but such experiences can bring us closer to God if we make the right choices.
Objective: My purpose is to help people realize that God really does love you even when life tumbles in.
Everyone goes through difficult times. Augustine put it this way, “God only had one Son on this earth without sin, but none without suffering.” When these times come upon us, we can react in one of two ways. We can either move toward God, or we can move away from Him. You may have seen trials produce both reactions in the people to whom you know. Joseph Lincoln caught this attitude when he said, “Trouble affects folks differently. Troubles are like hot weather, it sours milk, but it sweetens apples.”
One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is, “when life tumbles in, what then?” What happens when our best laid plans lie in ashes at our feet or when everything and everyone we have put our trust in has failed us? What happens when those whom we cherish are taken from us in death, or when our own strength and health fails us and we can no longer care for ourselves or those whom we love? Who do we turn to and where do we find comfort, peace and strength to endure with joy?
The name Job means "hated, persecuted" in Hebrew. He lived in the land of Uz, named after one of the grandsons of Shem. The father of Uz was Aram. Some scholars say that Job lived around the time of Abraham, one of the patriarchs. Some date it around 2000 B.C. for Job as the main character and may have been written by Moses according to Jewish tradition. At one time or another, almost everyone has felt like Job. While going through trials & times of suffering, we are often overwhelmed by self-pity. We want an explanation for why God allows trials to happen to us. The Book of Job records the troubling questions, the terrifying doubts, & the very real anguish of a sufferer. The Book can help us in the time when we are surrounded with troubles by giving us a glimpse of God’s perspective on our suffering. “Why do the righteous suffer?” Other suggestions: “Why does man serve God?” “How can a man stand before God?” The book addresses the issue of the suffering of people who are righteous. The Book of Job is not religious fiction. Job was a real person, not an imaginary character; both Ezekiel (14:14, 20) & James (5:11) attest to that. Because he was a real man who had real experiences, he can tell us what we need to know about life & its problems in this real world.
In summary, The purpose of this book seems to disprove the view that suffering or misfortune is a sign of divine displeasure and is always brought upon people by their own sin. In chapter one he deals with prosperity (1:1-5) and adversity (1:6-2:13).
I. A DESCRIPTION: AN EXAMPLE OF A PERSON OF FAITH (vvs. 1-5) “One who feared God and shunned evil”—Here in these verses Job is presented to us as straight in conduct as well as wealthy, contented, complete, conscientious, a great man—the greatest of his day. Whatever else this book is going to say to us, it makes clear that there is such a thing as innocent suffering.
1. Character: A wise man (v. 1) “blameless and upright”—Job was a man who lived in the land of Uz, southeast of Palestine in the land of Edom or northern Arabia. Job was “without moral blemish: or “morally whole” (blameless). He has perfectly met all of God’s demands. He was “straight” in the sense of not deviating from God’s standards (upright). He “shunned evil” by rejecting the opposite of God’s character.
Illus: “A Christian’s character, like a beautiful gem, is formed by pressure and polished by friction.”
2. Consideration: A wealthy man (vvs. 2-3) “And seven sons and three daughters” “His possessions were:--In the Middle East, having many children was usually considered as a sign of God’s blessings. In that day, wealth was measured primarily in terms of land, animals and servants, and Job had all three in abundance. Job did not let his family and possessions take the place of God.
3. Consecration: A worthy man (vvs. 4-5) “His sons would go and feast…Job would send and sanctify them…offer burnt offerings”—At each feast (celebration) and family get-together, like a birthday party, wedding days, harvest days and sheep-shearing days, Job fills a priestly role in his spiritual responsibility as he is concerned that his family receive forgiveness of any sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. His concern is that they might have cursed God. Job was a person of integrity as shown by his many good qualities that make his upcoming adversities all the more severe. No one deserved suffering less than he did and few if any have suffered more. Job was not attacked by the devil because he was a sinful man, but because he was a righteous man!”