Speaking the Truth in Love
Lessons from the Book of Job
The stories revealed in the Bible are written for our learning and profit (Rom. 15:4). One such story is that of Job. We see that Job learned many were not helping him.
SATAN. We see this from the first part of the book (Job 1:1-12). Satan is saying, "Job serves you only because you have blessed him. Take away his blessings and he will curse you to the face." Consider what Satan does to Job (Job 1:13-22). Satan tries a second time (Job 2:4-6). His second charge: "Take away his health and he will curse you to the face." Satan is likewise relentless in trying to destroy us (1 Pet. 5:8). We can escape and conquer him only through Christ (1 John 5:1-5). Job knows the temptation to turn against God is not the answer to his questions or problems (Job 1:22, 2:10).
FRIENDS. Job's 3 friends came to comfort him. But they were really more a discouragement than comfort. As Job said, "Miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:2, 17:10). The philosophy of his friends was: (1) The wicked suffer. (2) Job, you are suffering. (3) Job you are wicked (Job 22:4-6). (4) Therefore God will punish you until you repent. Job knows his friends do not have all the answers. He also knows he is not guilty of the wickedness that his friends are accusing him of. Friends can only truly help us if they point us to God.
FAMILY. If Job had leaned on human support instead of divine guidance we would not have a happy ending to our story. Job's wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). Look at a passage in Job 19:13-20. We need to put our trust in God. He is our true friend and helper (Heb. 13:5-6). Job realizes family does not have the answers (unless they point us to God).
JOB'S PROBLEM. Job, despite problems and the hindrances of Satan, friends, and even family, puts His trust in the Almighty God. But Job had a problem. Even though He recognized God was in control and did not forsake Him, he dared to contend with and rebuke Him. Notice the following:
Job 7:12-21 - Job complains of what God has/has not done, that are really from Satan.
Job 10:1-17 - Job claims God will not acquit him of his iniquity.
Job 13:3-18 - Job wants to defend his ways before God.
Job 14:3-6 - Job asks why God troubles such a man.
Job 16:6-17 - Job claims that God has worn him out and delivered him to the ungodly.
Job 19:5-12 - Job claims God has stripped him of his glory.
Job 23:2-7 - Job complains, is bitter, and wants to present his case before God.
Job 30:20-23 - Job charges God with being cruel
Job 40:2 - This passage sums up Job's problem. He contends with and rebukes God.
Job thinks he knows that God is responsible for his suffering. But who really is? Satan.
Please notice how God answers Job. He points Job to His wonderful creation and many things that Job, even though he is wise, knows nothing about.
1. Job 9:1-10, 26:7, 11, 38:31-33 - Job recognizes God's Heavens, but God shows Job that he cannot control them.
2. Job 40:15-24 - God tells Job about the Behemoth - maybe the king of all land creatures. Could be a description of some sort of dinosaur. God's message: Job, you cannot control the behemoth and you dare to stand before the Creator of the Behemoth?
3. Job 41:1-34 - God tells Job about Leviathon (Ps. 104:26) - maybe the king of all creatures in the seas. This seems to be a creature such as a dragon, a large crocodile, or a whale. God makes the point again that you cannot control Leviathon, how do you think you will be able to stand before the Creator of Leviathon?
In these examples, Job recognizes what God has created but he lacks the wisdom to understand it. Therefore, how dare Job the creature, question God the Creator (Ro. 9:19-24).
Job 42:1-7 - Job, God's servant, gets the point (James 5:10-11). God shows Job, by His creations, that Job's wisdom is nothing. Job's only true wisdom is in his submission to the Almighty Creator who has made and controls all things. Job may not have known the whole story of what Satan did to him, but he did learn one thing. No one is to question, contend with, or rebuke the Almighty Creator!
*When we are tempted to question God's will, we must remember our Creator (Eccl. 12:1-2).
Job got the point, have we? You may be a really good person like Job was. But have you submitted completely to God's will? God is the Creator and demands complete obedience without question (Romans 1:20-25). How about you? Do you need to become a Christian tonight? Or are you contending with God in your life? Have you resisted the Creator? If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for you, you need to repent (like Job) of your sins and be buried in the waters of baptism for the forgiveness of sins. TONIGHT. NOT NEXT WEEK; NOT NEXT YEAR. NOW IS THE TIME TO OBEY! Learn from Job. Look at how God blessed Job when he truly and completely humbled himself to God (Job 42:10-17)."Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up" (James 4:10).
We hope to see you next time on "Speaking the Truth in Love"!