The story of Job is one of the most controversial and debated accounts in the Bible. The shortage of background information on the book sometimes begs the question, of whether Job was real? As a result, some have concluded this is, in fact, a parable or allegory.
Nevertheless, the incidents recorded in the book of Job have actually happened somewhere in the time history. Most Scholars believe Job lived in the desert lands of modern-day northern Arabia. A careful study of the book can reveal a vast number of lessons we can learn from the life of Job. In my sermon tonight I want to share six lessons with you that I believe will be helpful.
1. The Righteous shall Suffer
Read Job 1:1-11
A. This is the theme of the book of Job. It is human nature to try to find a correlation between bad behavior and bad circumstances and, conversely, between good behavior and blessings. The book of Job, however, teaches that the righteous shall suffer indeed.
B. There is several reasons but the Bible shows the devil’s destructive behavior is one main reason why there’s suffering in this world. It also teaches us that God permits His children to be tested. Not because he wants to hurt them but because He trusts them to be faithful in times of trials and temptations. He takes great pride in them.
C. The next reason is the sovereignty of God. It means that God has the power, wisdom, and authority to do anything He chooses within His creation. Does this mean God is a spoiled brat ignorantly wielding His power without attention to consequences? Certainly not.
Whenever we happen to suffer on the grounds of righteousness let us not forget that the sovereignty of God allows Him to use Human suffering to serve a greater purpose in His plan for us, (2 Corinthians 4:17).
2. God is always in Control
Read Job 1:12-22
A. It’s a fact that humans control freaks. Take it away and you take away their integrity. The Devil knows this and uses it to his advantage. He tried it with Job by challenging God Job will turn his back on Him if Job loses control of his life.
B. The Devil does the same to us today. He suddenly knocks our lives out of balance when we least expect it causing frustration and disappointment towards God as well as the people around us.
C. Job’s story, however, shows we must stand firm even when all is lost because the almighty God is aware and in control of everything that happens to his beloved children.
Satan could not attack Job without permission from God. Besides he could not take Job’s life because God did not permit it. Don’t panic when you lose control of your life because you never were in the first place. Remember that God has a purpose and a plan even in chaos. He is in control of everything. Stand firm because, in all of these, His purpose is to bless you, (Romans 8:28).
3. Accept Good and the Bad
Read Job 2:1-10
A. Satan attacked Job’s wealth and family. But in all of these Job did not shun God. Then in the last bid, Satan attacked Job’s physical body. He covered Job’s skin with painful sores.
B. Everything that happened to Job affected his wife also. But she responded differently. She urged Job to curse God and die! If serving the Lord means being treated like this, she reasoned, it was better to die.
C. Job’s response, however, was extraordinary. “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble.” (The Hebrew word rendered “foolish” denotes oral deficiency.)
We must recognize that God does not owe us good. It’s a gift that we accept. Likewise, we must understand there may be a “gift” that we should accept in adversity also, (1 Peter 4:12-13).
4. God is not mad at You
Read Job 4:7-8
A. Then Job is visited by his friends. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. They were speechless for seven days. When they finally spoke their words weren’t edifying. They assumed God is punishing Job for a sin he committed in the past.
B. Their argument reminds us of ‘karma’ a widespread theological concept prominent in Buddhism and Hinduism. Sometimes we also assume problems come when God punishes us for past transgressions. But, does He?
C. Certainly not. God doesn’t hold back sin in order to punish us later. He doesn’t stockpile sin. But he does the exact opposite. He forgives and forgets when we confess.
The life of Job is proof God’s people do suffer. Bad things happen all the time to good people, so don’t judge a person’s spirituality by his painful circumstances or successes, (John 7:24).
5. God’s Plan of Love for Us
Read Job 38:4-7
A. By now Job has been through a load of pain. Satan snatched his family, wealth, health, honor, and even friends. At this moment he cried out that God shall reveal his love for his servant.
B. God responds to Job but probably not in the fashion Job would have expected. God said He created the world and everything in it and where was Job when He accomplished all that?
C. We may wonder why would God remind Job about His power and might when Job begged for a glimpse of His unfailing love. God was saying He knew one day the human race will sin against him and bring a curse upon this earth. But He still made them because He loves them.
God knew you will sin and rebel against Him one day. Still, He created you because there’s only one version of you and he loves you for who you are, (Psalm 139:13-14). His love for you doesn’t change. Therefore don’t measure the length of God’s love by your circumstances.
6. God Gives Us a Way Out
Read Job 42:1-17
A. Job, was a righteous man. He had the life most people at that time could only dream of. He had wealth, a loving family, and the respect of everyone. Then one day he lost everything in a matter of minutes. It begs the question if God is good why does He allow bad things to happen?
B. God did not create evil. But Adam and Eve willfully disobeyed God ushering evil into this world. God in his love holds that evil back so that it will not be evil only all the time.
C. Every once in a while he permits that evil to wreak havoc for a season to remind us that this life is not the best life. Rather the best life is waiting for us in Heaven. Job had a good life but God wanted to remind the best is yet to come. In the end not only did God deliver Job but doubled everything his servant had.
God respects our boundaries and He will always provide a way out, (1 Corinthian 10:13). That way is none other than Jesus, (Hebrews 4:15). If you are tormented by the evils of this world come to Jesus just as you are and he will give you rest, (Matthew 11:28).
Job shows our responsibility to God is to obey Him, trust Him, and submit to His will, whether we understand his actions or not. When we do, we will find God in the midst of our trials—possibly even because of our trials. We will see more clearly the magnificence of our God, and we will say, with Job, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5).
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