Summary: In view of many church members ’personal problems happened in a short period of time, this sermon is trying to find some insights for encouragement in answering the question “Why Do Good Righteous People Suffer?”
I think this will be a year of trial for our church. There are bad news everywhere! Our Children Ministry has been hard hit! Julie is off because of surgery, Pastor Byron has cancer, Alan So’s mother passed away and leaving for HK, Gladys has back and shoulder pain, Paul Hung’s father in law fell & hurt, Mrs. Ng (Daisy' mom) also has cancer. They are all veterans in CM and make us wonder what will happen to the rest of us. People have been very concern about what will happen to our children program this coming Spring & Summer programs.
Many of us may have the question “If God is good, why he lets people suffered and died?
Today, I suppose to preach on the 40 Days of Community - Part 4 theme on How We Help Each Other Grow but I am taking a detour to as God has put a burden on me to talk about this subject:
“Why Do Good Righteous People Suffer?”
The insight is found in the book of Job on the subject of theodicy (the defense of God’s goodness and power in the light of existence evil and the suffering of the righteous).
Job was a righteous man. With a life filled with prestige, possessions, and people, he was suddenly assaulted on every side, devastated, stripped down to his foundation. But his life was built on God, and he endured. Let's turn to the book of Job Chapter 1 and learn about the mystery of the suffering of a righteous person and try to find an answer to the age old question: Why do good righteous people suffer?
2.0 Job the Blessed 1:1-5
The meaning of Job's name is somewhat uncertain. Job is a common West-Semitic name in the 2000 B.C. It may mean "Where is [my] father" or "the persecuted one", possibly suggesting orphancy or illegitimacy.
But surely Job was a historical person. In Ezk 14:14, God mentioned Job as one of the three righteous men along with Noah & Daniel. He lived in the land of Uz in the area to the S.E. of the Dead Sea. In Lam 4:21 Uz is referred to the same territory as Edom where Ruth is from.
From 1:1-5, we learn some of his background.
vs1 Job - the model "Christian" (Perfect, just, reverent, turn off evil)
“Blameless, upright, feared God and turned from evil.”
vs2 Job - the blessed parent with many children (7 sons & 3 daughters).
vs3 Job - the great wealthy successful businessman.
vs4,5 Job - the model parent.
vs4 Family in harmony. (His sons & daughters love one another.)
vs5 Responsible parent in the family to teach, reproof & correct his children.
- Self as a model vs1.
- Send servant to remind them & purify them vs 5b.
- Rise early to intercede (pray) for them vs 5c.
(Also a type of Messianic expiation of sins. Romans 8:26,27)
v2:9 Job - the one woman's husband.
What more can we ask from such a "perfect man" and a blessed life?
But, one day his life was changed forever. Just like the attack of the World Trade Center on 911, everything crumble down in a matter of minutes!
2.0 Job the Cursed One 1:13-19
We then follow the story & jump to vs13-19... One day Job’s life is devastated.
Here the passage will give us deep insight of why we need good foundation in God. And we need that insight and maturity to prepare us for our own life experience in tempest time.
Satan attacked him:
vs14 The attack begins - Oxen & donkeys are taken by the Sabeans (the Arabians) and the servants slew. Only 1 servant lived to report the bad news.
vs16 "While he (the messenger) was still speaking" - Fire consumed the sheep & servants. Only 1 servant lived to report the bad news.
vs17 "While he was still speaking" - Chaldeans raid the camels & servants slew.
Only 1 servant lived to report the bad news.
vs18 "While he was still speaking" - Sons & daughters are killed by a great wind.
Only 1 servant lived to report the bad news.
Do you see the parallel picture of the airliners crashing to the buildings one after another up to 4 planes in 911? This is exactly how Satan works! The result is very shocking to the world and those in it. How could all these things happen, all at the same time? In our own little parallel in ChM… People are sick and threatened with death.
You think Satan is timid, think again! When he strikes, none of us may stand except with the grace from our Lord Jesus Christ. The blow will not be once but many times over.
Try to put yourself into Job's shoes! What will then happen to you?