(Part 1 of 2)
Job 23:1-6… “Then Job answered and said, Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words, which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me” (KJV).
These are the words of Job. His name means “hated” or “afflicted and persecuted”; also “the cry of woe.” He was hated and afflicted by the devil and persecuted by his friends. Job was one of the greatest men who ever lived on this planet (Ezekiel 14:14). He was great in righteousness, one who feared God and shunned evil. He was great in wisdom. People came to seek his counsel. Job was also great in accomplishments (Job 29).
Job, in his greatness, became the center of a debate between God and the devil. Job 1:6-2:1-10 tells the story. God asked the devil, “Where have you been?” The devil said, “I have been roaming the earth, going up and down, and looking into people’s lives.” God said, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him in the earth. He is blameless and he is upright. He loves me. He hates and shuns evil.” The devil said to God, “You have put a hedge around him. That’s the reason that he fears you. Take away the hedge and he will curse You to his face.” And so the trial begins… God had faith in Job; the devil did not.
Job went through five great trials, so great that they were almost beyond human endurance. First, Job suffered the trial of poverty. The wealthiest man of his day lost it all. He went from riches to rags in one day. Second, Job suffered the trial of sorrow. His ten children were murdered in one day by a storm. Third, Job suffered the trials of sickness. He was afflicted with boils from his head to his feet. Fourth, Job suffered the trial of rejection. His wife looked at him and said, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Give God up and die.” Fifth, Job suffered the trial of slander. His friends, instead of encouraging him, accused him of all manner of evil, and told him that God was giving him exactly what he deserved. That’s a lot of trial for a man strong in faith…
There are four important lessons to learn from the book of Job:
First, there is a lesson in theology… The lesson is this: God is a good God, and the devil is a bad devil. The book of Job teaches that it was not God who brought evil upon Job; it was the devil. If it were not for God, the devil would have killed Job. It was God who delivered Job and re-established him in the community as a man of faith and integrity who feared the Lord and served Him. God prospered him with a double portion.
Second, there is a lesson in reality… The reality is this: this world is a battlefield where a fierce war is raging. The devil’s ultimate goal is to steal, kill, and destroy, and to turn you away from the Lord. He wants to destroy your hopes, dreams, and visions. And when he has done that, he wants your life. You have an enemy in this life. It is the devil, not God. Face this reality: the devil is out to destroy you; God is out to save you. You are in a war and you cannot fight him off all by yourself. You need a strong person to help you. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ who God sent to destroy the works of the devil. Your adversary, the devil, seeks to rob you of your wealth, your health, your family, and your character.
Third, there is a lesson in sovereignty… God is sovereign. God does not owe us an explanation for anything. We are accountable to Him; God is not accountable to us. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). God did not explain to Job what was going on. Job cried out to God in his trial and God remained silent to his cry. When He is through testing you, you will come forth as gold. God knows you. He knows where you are at. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. Never question His authority (note Job 23). It’s God who establishes things. He creates, He gives you life and breath, and He knows what is best for you. God is sovereign.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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