A Lesson From Job

I.  Job’s Test: Job chapters 1&2

The summary of this story is that Job was an upright, godly man whom God had richly blessed with material wealth and ten children.  God gave permission to Satan to take away everything that Job had been given, to see if he would still praise God.  Job responded with the words. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1: 21b)

Satan is then given permission to afflict Job’s health.  He again responds with wonderful words of faith. ” Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

Clearly Job passes the test in the first stages.

Job’s friends then come to comfort him and instead of offering comfort they accuse him of wrongdoing.  He argues with them, saying that he is not guilty of anything, and that he does not understand why these things have happened to him.

II.  Job’s Misery Job 7:1-10

Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth?
Are not his days also like the days of a hired man?
Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade,
And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages,
So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me.
When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?’
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.
My flesh is caked with worms and dust,
My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
Oh, remember that my life is a breath!
My eye will never again see good.
The eye of him who sees me will see me no more;
While your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be.
As the cloud disappears and vanishes away,
So he who goes down to the grave does not come up.
10 He shall never return to his house,
Nor shall his place know him anymore.

As time has gone on and Job continues in his misery, he longs for death to take him.  He is tired of life.

III Job’s Faith Job 19:23-27

“Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
24 That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

This is a wonderful declaration of faith and hope in the midst of misery and despair.  Job believed that even after his flesh was destroyed he would one day stand before God his Redeemer.  I see in these verses both hope for today and confidence in tomorrow, a confidence placed in faith in our redeemer, a hope that goes beyond the grave.

IV.  Job’s Lesson

When bad things happen in our life, I believe it is appropriate to ask ourselves some important questions.

Has this evil come about because of the consequences of some bad choices on our part?  If we get hurt because we decided to try “car surfing” and we fall off the vehicle, do we really need to look for any other reason for our injury?

Are we living in unrepentant sin?  If we are willingly, and knowingly, continuing in a sinful behavior it is entirely possible that God has removed his hedge of protection, or his hand of blessing.  If this is the case, we simply need to repent of our sin.

Are we living in rebellion or disobedience.  Are we like Jonah?  Has God given us direction that we have refused to take in our lives?  If this is the case, then we need to listen to the voice of the Spirit and follow the guidance that God has given to us.

If none of the above questions apply to us, then we can recognize that the circumstances are a test.  We can pray and ask God for deliverance.  We can remember that God is with us, that He is in control, and that we are ultimately victorious as we trust in God.

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