Job 1:14-22 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,
15 when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,
19 and suddenly a great wind came from across[b] the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Where do you go in trouble? To God? Or "to pieces?"
--Sooner or later, more or less, trouble will come.
--Troubles seem to increase, despite modern gadgets.
--Job said, "Man is of few days, full of trouble," and he ought to know, for Job had plenty, as we see.
--So let's find God in, to lead us out, of trouble.
--In the end, Job's troubles proved a blessing!
As a background, look at Luke 17:12-14, of ten lepers - the worst of diseases - who came crying, "Jesus..have mercy on us." Jesus surely does, to all men.
--Jesus told them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests," as one was to do when healed of such.
--They had to trust..believe..obey the Lord for as yet they were not healed! They went, in faith!
--Then, "as they went, they were cleansed." By obeying!
--They believed, started, as if already healed, and, "as they went, they were cleansed" (v 14).
--Don't miss this principle - for it is for us all.
--Whatever it is, believers are blessed as we obey.
Yes, God suffers. For us; with us. Jesus sure did.
--All His days on earth, "doing good," in healings..feeding multitudes..miracles.. raising the dead, He had His troubles and testings of our enemy, Satan.
--Even to a cross, though sinless; for our sins, paying a debt He didn't owe and debt we could not pay.
--Jesus said, "I am come that you miight have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). I want it.
You, or those you know, have troubles, but none like poor old Job. The whole book is how he handles it.
--Not just Job's hurts and heartaches, but his faith.
--What faith he had! And patience! His love to God.
Troubles. Who is behind them? Not God! The devil!
--God does not willingly afflict His own children.
--But Whom "the Lord loves He chastens," (Hebrews 12:6).
--Job was "blameless, upright, feared God, and shunned evil..did not sin nor charge God wrong" (v22).
--He had no idea what God is doing, or why - he loved, trusted, and obeyed God through it all; was blessed.
Picture Job's pain. O, all this poor man suffered.
--Note how the devil does that to us - first by accusation - accuses Job before God! He will us too.
--"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan said, "Touch all he has and he will surely curse You (God), to your face" (Job 1:9-11). He still accuses us!
Satan does it not only by accusation, but affliction as well. Sadly, Job lost all ten children..and their families, at one time..and all Job's possessions!
--What sorrow upon sorrow. Then losing his health.
--And painful boils over his body! Ever had boils?
--Even lost his wife's support and encouragement.
--In fact, Job had the cruelest kind of affliction - short of Jesus Christ, on Calvary's cross!
--Job was enduring the bitterest adversity, as "when it rains, it pours." Job faced floods of trouble.
We also see, Job faced some abandonment by friends.
--His friends and neighbors came, accused him of sin.
--When they should have comforted they made it worse.
David went through some tough times, cried "My God, why have You forsaken me?" (Psalm 22:1). He felt so.
--For a time, on the cross, Jesus quoted this verse, as one of His seven last words - this of David.
--For Jesus was, on Calvary, forsaken so we never be.
Does God forsake? Not today. Not His saved ones.
--Jesus promised "never to leave us, nor forsake..lo, I am with you always." Yet we may feel forsaken.
--My dear friend, whatever comes, the Lord is with us.
Job had more than his share of miseries. Some now do.
--What may we learn? What's the secret of victory?
--Indeed, Job had patience. Faith. Endurance.
--He had precious fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
--He also obeyed the Lord, "In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job 1:22). Trusts God.
--Job didn't know what was going on, or understand it.
--But, like the lepers, Job trusted; obeyed the Lord.
--He knew where best to turn in time of trouble - God!
We remember Job mostly for suffering, rather than His faith, family, fame, or fortune. God prospered him.
I appreciate encouragers. People who understand us.
--What we are going through. Who lift us up; help.
--Who have words of kindness; not complaints, criticisms, or fault-findings. But who see the good!
--And, lovingly, gently guide us aright, for better.
--Study this book. Job didn't have much of that.
--And, parents or children, or friends, or bosses - unknowingly, sometime, don't have much either.
--We can hurt one another emotionally, and be hurt.
--And the sad part, those who do, don't know it.
--How we need more love for loved ones, and friends.
In Seminary I studied Job for a semester, each word.
--Dr. Evan A. Reiff was professor. Godly, Gifted.
--Well qualified to teach Job - theologically, knew the Lord and the book. I profited much from it.
--Experientially he knew suffering - for he had the problem of bleeding ulcers. But, a man of joy.
--All too young, with a family and career (later became president of Hardin-Simmons University, down in Texas), as my family and I visited him.
--What a blessing, he and the Seminary were to me.
People face all kinds of adversities, as did Israel.
--We don't know why bad things happen to good folks.
--But they do - even in the allowed - if not perfect - will of God, for you and me. Don't despair.
--Go to the Lord in prayer. The Savior can help us!
--So we may "prosper in all things and be in health, as your soul prospers" (III John 2).
Consider for instance all St. Paul went through, and so many others in the Bible. Think of all these.
--Paul wrote, "We are troubled on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not foresaken; struck down, but not destroyed - always carrying about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body" (II Cor. 4:8-10).
--Let all this soak into our thinking, for our life.
--He, in prison, writes "..fulfill my joy by being like-minded" (Phil. 2:2). "Joy!" All need it.
--Troubles can get us down, but not out, with Jesus.
--As we grow in gentleness, godliness, grace and joy.
Not in Job's case, but many time, sin causes troubles.
--When we break God's commands - in sin of all kinds, or in abusing our bodies, or minds, in many ways.
--Like Satan, sin is real. Sin can afflict us.
--Sin can take us farther than we ever thought we would stray .. keep us longer than we thought we would stay .. and cost us more than we ever thought we would pay. So think of its price .. and pain.
--It is something you and I can avoid, with the Lord.
King David acted immorally, and paid in many tears.
--But David repented. He changed. God forgave him.
--Now sin does not cause all our troubles, certainly.
--There are several different causes, as Job shows us.
--But sin does bring trouble - sin of one troubles many, we, and those we love and know us. A Savior needed.
In time Job was delivered, healed, had ten more children, and God doubled his possessions (Job 42).
--Job's faith and godliness enabled him to see God.
--Job not only "saw God" (Job 42:5). He saw himself.
--As good as he was, "I abhor myself, and repent, in dust and ashes" (v 6). He grew in God's holy will!
--Was "blameless (not sinless), upright, feared God, shunned evil," (2:3). Yet Job, had imperfections.
--You and I, like Job, can always improve in the Lord.
--Seek the Holy Spirit's leading and infilling.
--To become more gentle, understanding, Christ-like.
--I know that I can be improved and pray for it daily.
When Job "saw God" - he was able to see his own flaws.
--More than ever, Job drew closer and closer to God.
--What happened? "The Lord's blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning" (42:12).
--He was doubly blessed! That's the way God works!
--This tells me we never lose when we trust the Lord!
Difficulties may darken our days - all kinds - but a dawn is coming, like that resurrection of Jesus, from a cold, dark, lifeless tomb.. to give hope and life.
--Better days, my friend, can be yours, with Jesus.
Our Risen Savior said, "You must be born again" (John 3).
--It is not an option, but "You must be born again."
--Find the Lord; ease troubles.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 914