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In the dark? Look for The Son

HOW IS YOUR DAY GOING?

We, the people, the people of God, His children, the ones who have accepted God’s Grace, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, are at times, a people that are so full of ourselves, we forget to be humble in reverence to God Almighty. We, in essence, are very much like Job in the midst of his trials.

                Job was a righteous man that found favor in God’s sight. Chapter one of the Book of Job begins detailing Job, his number of servants, children, livestock, and such. Job’s children liked to party. Perhaps they partied too much.

Job 1:5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.

          Job would go give an offering and essentially pray for the sins he was sure his kids committed. Job is a loving father because he is consistently praying for them. So here is where the story starts to get good.

Job 1:6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

          The angels and Satan appear before God. I suppose we can think of that as a Monday morning briefing. As a kid I wondered why Satan appeared with the angels. Didn’t God already kick him out? The reason I believe Satan is with the angels as they appear before God is that, he, Satan, is inferior and still has to answer to God. If God allowed him to be there, who am I to question or you to question? God, the creator of all and if I may be so bold, master of the rhetorical question, asks Satan, “Where have you been?” God knows. HE knew before asking, but a careful study of scripture shows many times God asks the questions just so we have to answer not for his benefit, but for ours. Satan replies, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

          Satan for lack of a better word has free roam over this world. Scripture calls him everything from a lion roaming about to the prince of the air. So old Satan is roaming around. Notice now in the conversation that it is God who brings up Job. It was not Satan. Everything with God is a teachable moment. God uses his servant, the righteous Job as a teachable measurement of faith.

Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

         

 

 Satan, the constant accuser dares to question God.

Job 1:9-11 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

          Satan is saying here, “Oh God, he only fears you because you have protected him all all his stuff. If you allowed stuff, calamity, bad problems, and garbage to fall on him, he would cuss you and not believe!”

          He was right. Yes, you read right. Satan, for the most part, was right. Not about Job exactly. Job as we will look at did question, but in general, there are “CHRISTIANS” that love to play the part of Jesus freak, Bible thumper, and scripture know it all. However, when the storms of live cause friction or one thing does not go their way, their so-called relationship with God goes out the window. Everybody loves to be seen or thought of as a strong Christian leader, but when the chips are down, we go plum off the deep end demanding from God answers as to why the bad stuff happened to us. Why not old so and so. I’m a much better person. What about old Joe down the road. He cheats, drinks, cusses, why did this happen to me, God? Sound like anyone you know?  Satan had no idea that God was playing him for the fool. God of course has the answer to Satan’s boast.

Job 1:12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

          “Go ahead. You can have all his stuff, but you can’t touch him.” After God gives authority to Satan to attack Job’s material things, Satan leaves. Verses 13 through 18 details what occurs.

A.   Some livestock is taken and servants killed

B.   Fire from the sky falls killing 7000 sheep and servants.

C.   Raiders took camels and killed the servants.

D.   His children were killed as they partied. A wind came and destroyed their home.

All of this happened simultaneously.  Think you have had a bad day? The stock market crash has nothing on this bad day. Job does something that non-Christians and sadly I think many Christians do not comprehend.  He praised God.

Job 1:20-22 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
       "Naked I came from my mother's womb,
       and naked I will depart.
       The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
       may the name of the LORD be praised."

 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

        It’s hard for any parent to understand how a man could praise God under the circumstances that he just lost everything including the most precious of all, his children. I think it’s a testament that Job at this point was truly exalting God above all. He knew his place in the universe.

        The second chapter of Job finds a repeat of the angels and Satan coming before God. God again asks Satan if he has considered Job. God in his description of Job in verse three adds, “And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."  

          Satan retorts like a spoiled child, “Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."

          Satan knows the human condition doesn’t he? Take away his health and he’ll cuss you! How many times how we seen or actually have done this ourselves? How many times do we see folks who we call the salt of the earth, good people, fall to Cancer or some other disease? We spend time praying that our loved ones are healed then blame God because they aren’t. we use the flawed, human reasoning that, “Well, I prayed. I’m a Christian, God should help us.” I’m human. I feel the same way at times. The way of our flesh is flawed. But you know, here is the trick of trade so to speak: God and only God knows why some die from disease when prayers were consistently given. Remember Jesus told Paul when Paul complained of a physical problem, “My Grace is sufficient for you.”  God is constantly drawing his children closer to him.

          God replies to Satan essentially, “Go ahead. Give it a whirl. You just cannot kill him.”

Job 2:7-10 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

 9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" 10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

          Job’s children are dead, the livestock dead and or stolen, his skin is covered in sores, but by the Grace of God, amen his wife is still with him. She chews him out. His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" I don’t believe old Job had life insurance, so it’s a bitter pill to read that the wife just wants him out of the picture. “You just need to die!”  Job responds with true philosophic words. "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" It goes back to what I said earlier. Are we a people that praise the God of the living, the King of kings when our health is good, the bills are paid, and we got a steak on the plate, but curse his holy name when one thing does not go our way? I have. There I admit it. Chances are I may not be the only one admitting it now. The Bible is clear that God allows the rain to fall on the just and unjust. Satan attacks us. He goes after the Christian more than the non-believer I believe. However many times Satan attacks, we have to remember that the accuser does not have any real power over us, the children of God. The Bible teaches that we are to resist the devil and he will run from us. The Father is still in command, the Son, Jesus Christ is on the throne.

          Job, a righteous man, in the eyes of God had his entire life turned upside down. His servants, animals, and children were taken away. Satan infected his body with sores. He listened to his wife tell him to curse God and die. Scripture teaches that Job did not sin up to that point. But old Job throws himself a pity party. Starting in chapter 3 he poetically says, “Why me? Why? Why? Why? Oh me. I should have never been born.” The Book of Job starting with chapter three until thirty-seven in great detail showcases four individuals and their take on Job’s situation. The situation resembles that of a debate throughout the rest of the book save the ending. The friends each have their say and Job in kind responds. While each one speaks from their own view, their speeches possess various bits of truth.

          Job stood steadfast in his faith until he was influenced by three friends. Sound like anyone you know? We look to the self-help books and those idiot doctors and self proclaimed media kings and queens on television to dispense advice and wisdom for all of our problems.  

          Eliphaz says that he has had a secret revelation from God. He informs Job that Job’s suffering is a direct result of sin. The Bible teaches that we indeed reap what we sow, but we know that is not the case with Job. Job has his reply to that accusation. Basically Job tells his “friend” to take it (the accusation) back.

Bildad is a jerk in my opinion. He appears angry, well maybe self-righteous, is a better word. He is mad that Job clings to his innocence while questioning God. Bildad speaks under the thought train that God could not be unjust and would not punish a “just” man. Job’s response was in Chapter 10:2 “I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me.” You see the change?   

 

After listening to his peers and their take, their opinion on God’s view, Job started to question. It is not slightly, it is arrogant for Job or anyone of us to say much less think that we will tell God anything.

          Zophar’s thoughts were based upon his belief that good old Job was a hypocrite.  Job responds again, in my opinion, he sounds a bit arrogant. He, Job, is assured he will be vindicated.

          Elihu a younger man speaks to Job and says that the suffering is a tool used by God to train and mold us. I know that if we think about our own lives and the trials we have endured, most will agree with Elihu. Earlier I said God is always drawing us closer. I believe that he is also teaching us. Everything, every horrible situation to the best of times can be a teachable moment for us from God.

          Finally, God speaks to Job in chapters 38-41. For lack of a better phrase, God Almighty lets the fur fly so to speak. God blasts him with rhetorical questions. Recall from earlier I referred to the Father as the master of these. Here are some of the questions albeit a bit paraphrased from chapters 38-39:

          “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”

          “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!”

          “Where does darkness reside? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Does the rain have a father?”

          “Does the eagle soar at your command?”

          Beginning in chapter 40:2, God Almighty says, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him.”

          The answer to God’s question is me, you, your friends, your uncle, your sister, your aunt. It goes back to what I said earlier. “Why, WHY, WHY, God? It’s not fair, God! She wasn’t supposed to die! The baby wasn’t supposed to have Cancer!” We all ask why at some point.

          Job replies starting with verse 3. Job covers his mouth after admitting he was unworthy. God proceeds to begin anew with the rhetorical questions. This continues until chapter 42.

Job 42:6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

          If we look back at the “heroes” of the Bible, the men God blessed, we see righteous men that were flesh and bone complete with their failures. Peter, David, Paul, Solomon, and Job are some of the examples. Each repented then was lifted up by the Almighty. We too, my friends, can be like that. We can be righteous in the eyes of the Almighty by repenting and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior. A life lived for Christ is free of sin in a way. Yes, we are human and even as new creations, Christians will fail, but the moment we sin, the Christian will be convicted by God’s Holy Spirit, the Great Comforter and we will then repent to the Lord. There is no condemnation in Christ. He, Jesus Christ, died for the sins of the world so that any and all who believe in Him will have eternal life. Repent today friends if you have never given your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. Today is your day, the day of salvation. Come to Jesus, turn away from your sin. Let Christ, the Son heal you today as God the Father healed and restored Job so many years ago. 

          There’s nothing special about this prayer. It just expresses the desire in your heart to help you understand that you need the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father God,

 Lord I know that I am a sinner. I know that Jesus Christ is your son. I know He died for me on the cross so I can spend eternity in Heaven with you. Father, today, I repent, turn away from my sins. Lord I want Jesus to come into my life. Lord, I know He died and rose on the third day. Lord I will live my life for you and be the best Christian example I can be to the world. It is in the precious name of Christ, I pray.