Summary: Honor must be given to God when the righteous suffer patiently for Him. We can face trials with our heads up … knowing that God is at work in our lives!
Why do the righteous suffer?
Job, Part 1
Introduction (Job Slide)
- The book of Job is going to be a very challenging study for us
- Most people think of Job and look to define who he is by this book
- However, we fail to focus on the main character … God
- The book of Job asks many questions, of which we will explore together
- However, tonight I want us to try to answer one question in particular
- Big question: “Why do the righteous suffer?”
Point 1 – What does Job do for us?
- Lots of people look to this book to blame God for punishing mankind
-- For example, people think: “God is mad at you, so this is happening …”
- However, this is not what Job has been given to us to study today
-- As a matter of fact, Jesus also taught that God simply doesn’t do this
-- John 9:1-3, “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
- God is always seen as reigning supreme over mankind
-- However, this book shows us something interesting … Satan is used by God
-- He is not used to punish mankind, but rather, to reveal God’s purpose
-- IMP: His goodness, His protection, and His character are always displayed
- In light of this … an interesting question begins to unfold:
-- How will we respond to God when times are not always good and comfortable?
-- Will we worship God in the midst of problems and difficulty?
- APP: Our calling is always one of faithfulness; one of obedience to God only
-- When we spend our time focused on ourselves, we fully miss this concept
- This is one of the things Job will identify for us in the coming weeks
-- Most especially when the opinions of others attempt to speak for God
- Preview: There is a dangerous precedent set when we speak FOR God
-- When we try to say, “Well, what God should’ve done is …
-- Our sin is we try to invalidate what His word tells us, and who He really is
- Critical: This book allows is to HEAR the words of God directly
- TRANS: So, why do bad things happen to good people? Or …
Point 2 – Why do the righteous suffer?
- HUGE: The righteous suffer because God, according to His infinite wisdom, chooses for them to suffer (to reveal who He is).
- At first, this may (and usually does) appear to be unfair or unjust
-- But in Job, we get a rare treat not found in other places (esp. in life)
- We get a view behind the curtain of eternity to see the higher purpose
-- We get to see God’s view of His creation, not just our view in front of us
-- This allows us to appreciate and learn more about who God really is
- FACT: Job definitely loses a lot in this book, but he gains more than loses
-- Job 42:12-16, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.”
- The anguish he experiences does have a reward we can learn from
-- His pain, his suffering, can be used to show us that God is still worth it!
-- Job 42:5, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
- What Job realizes is that God is real, and we need to realize that as well
-- Matter of prayer: That would we learn more about who God is for ourselves
- Standing between the world of light and dark … a clear message emerges:
• There is always a battlefield that we will face
• There will always be a struggle that we have to deal with
• There will be problems that seem like that they have no answer
- But God … God has a purpose that does not require our understanding