Temple Baptist Church - 1-16-2011
A. One of the most popular books in the Bible is the Book of Job. Job is a book of mystery to us and leaves many questions unanswered as to why God’s people suffer. Here, we find a godly, upright man who feared God and hated evil with all of his heart. He not only lived for the Lord, he sacrificed for his children and served as an example of godliness to all of the people of the east. A man noted and revered comes into hard times through no fault of his own.
B. We understand the conversation between God and Satan as well as what transpired afterward. Job lost his all of his children as well as his herds. In chapter two, he lost his health. Through all of this suffering, we find that Job maintained his integrity! (1:20-22; 2:7-10)
C. What I want to bring to our attention this morning is chapter 3:1. In the beginning of his problem, Job worshipped God and maintained his integrity but in this verse, we find that he cursed his day. He is no longer worshipping nor has he maintained his integrity. He is overcome with pain and grief; he is cursing the day that he was born. We find many references to this in the next chapters when he said that it would have been better for him to have had a still birth and never to have seen the light of day.
D. I thank God that I have read the last chapter of the Book and know that the goodness of God brought about a glorious end but Job did not have that benefit. All he knew was that he had lost all and the Lord had seemingly forsaken him. I understand to some degree where Job was spiritually. How many people have we seen that trusted the Lord in the beginning of their problems but later “failed” the grace of God?
E. There are several things in the first 2 chapters that I believe led to where Job was in chapter 3:1. These same things cause God’s children to give up on God when problems come.
Four Things That Will Cause You To Quit
1. The enormity of the situation! The combination of devastation and duration of Job’s problems where almost overwhelming. Life is full of problems. Job certainly had more than his share and all at once.
Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
a. We face them in one form or another almost every day. But, there are problems and there are PROBLEMS! There are times in our lives when we have problems that are enormous in size and extend over long periods of time. These problems “wear” on us spiritually, physically, and financially. They seem to have neither explanation nor end.
b. One messenger after another showed up on Job’s “doorstep” with increasingly bad news, ending with the death of all ten of Job’s children. Job worshipped God and did not charge God foolishly. In chapter 2, he lost his health also. Now, he is both grieved and in physical pain.
c. People often get out of the will of God in these circumstances and quit. Our life expectations are often unrealistic as we think that we will go the Heaven on flowery beds of east when in reality life is hard. When you realize that life is hard, you can make it!
2. The explosion of the spouse! When everything collapsed in his life, the one nearest and dearest to him said, “Curse God and die!” It would do us well at this point to remember that what Job lost, his wife lost. It was her children and possessions also. One of the hardest things for a man to handle is the devastating effect of problems upon his immediate family. Men and women are “heirs together” of the grace of this life so when problems come, they should draw closer to one another.
a. In times of great problems, it is a time when families should pull together and lean upon one another but many come apart at the seams during these times. Instead of family telling you to hang in there and everything will be alright, they begin to give up while giving to you the worst case scenario.
b. Families are born to stick together. We you lose everything else, you should still have your family. I have seen so many families disintegrate when problems come instead of drawing strength from one another.
3. The encouragement of the saints! I say that sarcastically! What wonderful friends Job had! “Our brethren have discouraged our heart” became a reality for Job in the next weeks.
a. I do believe that they were truly his friends because, when they saw Job, they rent their mantles, threw up dust, and said not one word of seven days and seven nights. I heard one man say that they could not have been independent Baptist preachers! Many times, when in adversity, your friends will forsake you.
b. Then, at other times, your friends will say the wrong things. It is not that they are mean spirited, it is just that sometimes they do not either know the entire truth of your situation or do not know what to say.
c. Much discouragement comes from those who are to stick closer than a brother!
4. The envelopment of solitude! Job, in chapter 3:1, is now overwhelmed with the magnitude of his problems. This man who “worshipped…sinned nor...nor charged God foolishly” in chapter one; this man who retained his “integrity” in chapter two; has now cursed his day in chapter 3. Job’s mind is no longer on God or those who surround him but upon himself. He now suffers from self-isolation. One thing that will cause you to give up quicker than anything else is when you withdraw from the fellowship of others.
a. There is strength in the presence of others of like precious faith. You can withdraw from brethren even though you are still among them physically. I have found that you feel so alone in a crowd.
b. I have seen so many people, when trials come, isolate themselves from others who love them. This self-isolation gives a person a sense of abandonment and causes him or her to think that others do not care.
Four Things That Will Keep You From Quitting:
1. The Goodness Of God – Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (21) 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. (God has been better to all of us than we deserve.)
2. The Sovereignty Of God – Job 2:9-10 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. (God controls our circumstances. He knows the end from the beginning.)
3. The Testimony Of God – Job 13:15-16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (16) He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him. (He SHALL be my salvation)
4. The Reward Of God - Job 42:12-13 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. (13) He had also seven sons and three daughters. (God will more than make it all worth your while, both in the world and the one to come.)