Temple Baptist Church - 7-30-2017
Job 1:20-2:10; 23:10-12
A. What a great series of messages to preach. The key to walking with God is agreement with God coupled with a wholehearted trust of His will and way. This morning, I am going to preach one of the toughest messages that I will ever preach but also one of the most important ones.
B. The Book of Job is said to be the oldest book in the Bible. Eusebius gave the date of 1800 B.C. as the time of its writing because of the customs or lack of customs mentioned in the book. Moses wrote the Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the Bible, around 1500 B.C. I will take their word for that. The antiquity of the Book of Job shows that suffering has always been present with God’s people. From the death of Abel coupled with the exile of Cain, in Geneses 4, to the present—life has been hard and sufferings great.
C. Job is an honest book of the Bible that spells out the often-underserved trials that we face. Not trials and troubles of our making but sufferings that greatly affect our lives. Trials that we cannot control or understand.
D. Job was a godly man who loved God and eschewed evil! Job was a godly family man who loved his children! Job was a priestly man as he faithfully sacrificed and prayed for his children. Job was a wealthy man in a right way as God blessed his faithfulness!
E. Job was a wealthy man who lost all his possession, servants, and children. The Sabeans came and stole Job’s the oxen and asses while killing his servants with the sword. Fire fell from heaven and devoured Job’s sheep along with those servants who kept them. A great east wind smote the oldest son’s house in which Job’s 10 children were eating and drinking. His worst fears realized in a moment of time.
F. Job maintained his integrity. He sat down in sackcloth and ashes and said: “And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:21-22)
G. Satan struck Job from head to toe with boils. Job’s wife told him to curse God and die! Job again maintains his integrity!
Job 2:7-10 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. (8) And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. (9) Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. (10) But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
H. Job’s three friends came to mourn with him and for seven days sat quiet. Then, these three friends attacked his integrity and accused him of sinfulness. Job tried to defend himself and then begins to curse the day of his birth.
I. In chapter 13, Job stated his condition of peace of God: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Sound familiar?
Luke 22:31-34 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: (32) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (33) And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. (34) And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
J. Peter said almost the same thing that Job said 1800 or more years before. Both Peter and Job set the conditions of peace: both were ready and willing to die for the Lord! BUT God chose a different path for both. There are some things worse than dying. Remember the saying, “I was so sick that I was afraid that I was going to die. Later, I was so sick that I was afraid that I wouldn’t die!”
K. When we get to chapter 23, we find Job confused, helpless and begins to be hopeless!
L. As I begin this message, I want everyone to know that memorized verses of the Bible (I am not belittling these verses because they are both important and right) often sound hollow to the child of God when they are in midst of trials and troubles that they do not understand. Again, I am in no way speaking evil against the precious truths of the Bible but know what I am talking about because I have personally stood with God in confusion.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Philippians 4:12-13 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Need I t go on? Every one of us know these verses and I could quote more. Yes, every one of them is a promise and is true but, when we allow our circumstance to shroud these precious promises, we begin to walk in confusion!)
M. As a pastor, I discovered long ago that God must use those verses to speak to hurting hearts. When someone who is not in trouble quotes them to someone who is in the depths of despair and sorrow, they do not have the same “ring” as when God speaks them to their heart.
N. Job 23! What a chapter! Job has had enough! He has searched for God and failed to find Him. God does not speak, neither does He seemingly hear. Job 23 is an answer to Job 22:25-30. Eliphaz the Temanite said in so many words, “God will defend you; God will hear you; God will deliver you IF you are righteous and innocent.”
O. In verses 1-9, Job said that his complaint was bitter. If he could find God, he would order his cause and argue with the Almighty. But, everywhere Job looked, he found only silence and emptiness. God was nowhere to be found in his life and there was no relief for his grief.
P. Job 23:10-12 shows a man who was still willing to walk with God in confusion.
Q. Three times we find the phrase “There was a day!” (1:6, 13; 2:1)
R. As believers, we often set the guidelines of our peace of God. This message could get extremely long so I will get to the gist of it. Peace with God is something God does but the peace of God is something that each of us control. If we suffer in a certain manner or for a certain period, we will trust the Lord. BUT:
1. There may come a day in your life when you have no answers. Nothing makes sense as you search for verse after verse in the Bible but things are all going “south” in your life. Will you walk with God in your confusion?
2. There may come a day in your life when you are confused with your circumstances. Right goes down hard while wrong prevails! The righter that you try to do the more wrong that happens to you. Will you walk with God in your confusion?
3. There may come a day in your life when your friends sit with you while forsaking you at the same time. They will remind you that God blesses faithfulness and rewards judgment to the sinful. They may say that your circumstances were created by sin or disbelief in your life. Will you walk with God in your confusion?
4. There may be a day in your life when God seemingly does not hear and relief is nowhere in sight. You pray and seek God but He is silent. You search your heart but find no cause for such pain and suffering. Will you walk with God in your confusion?
5. There may be a day in your life when you just must continue with God despite everything going wrong. At this point, so many fail of the sufficient grace of God and fall to the wayside. Will you walk with God in your confusion?
a. Walking with God and circumstances need have nothing to do with each other. I have heard preachers say that Job was blessed double in the end of his life. Yes, God did bless Job and he lived a long life with much happiness, BUT, he and his wife suffered the loss of their first 10 children all their life! Job never understood why he and his wife suffered so but they stayed with God in their confusion.
b. There may well come a day in your Christian experience when things happen that can make you bitter. There may come a time when you will even complain to and argue with God. There may be a time when the heavens seem to be made of bass, your prayers go unanswered, and God is silent. These are times when many of God’s people fail of the grace of God and choose not to walk with Him.
c. As I get toward the end of life, I have found that I have many unanswered questions. To the unsaved, this would make my serving the Lord a matter of foolishness. Why serve a God who allows sad things to happen to His children? At this point, I have no problem saying that serving God is not an option to me, it is a continual way of life.
Job 23:11-12 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. (12) Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.