Listen:  150.5

The book of Job has an amazing STORY and an important MESSAGE. The STORY begins with a brief description of Job, his righteous character, and how the Lord blessed him for his godliness. In Job 1:6-7, we see Satan and his angels approaching God’s throne in heaven and in verse 8 the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (NASB). Satan’s response to that is in verses 9-11, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the works of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” This challenge by Satan sets the stage for the rest of the book, for God allowed Satan to take just about everything from Job, all his possessions, his children and even his health. And yet Job did NOT curse God. Satan lost that battle and God was the victor! From Job 2:11 through 31:40 we have three friends of Job seeking to comfort Job in his trial, but they ended up condemning Job, believing he must have committed some great sin to have brought down God’s wrath upon him. Job took offense at their accusations and tried to justify himself by referring to his perfect life. Another man, named Elihu, who had heard the whole exchange between Job and his three friends, was angry with all four men. Job 32:1-3 reads, “Then these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But the anger of Elihuburned, against Job his anger burned because he justified himself before God. And his anger burned against his three friends because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.” Elihu then gave his thoughts on the whole matter, followed by the words of God Himself, resulting in Job being humbled in the dust, as we see in Job 42:6, “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job’s repentance before God resulted in God ending Job’s trial and in 42:10 we see that God blessed him with “twice as much as he had before.”

The MESSAGE of this book is equal to or greater than the STORY. Who of us hasn’t entertained the question, “Why do the righteous suffer?” And, “If God is love why would He allow His people to be afflicted?” This is a mystery to us, but the book of Job answers these questions in a masterful way. In short, God has two goals in mind.

1) God permitted Job to suffer FOR HIS OWN GLORY. We saw at the beginning that even after Job lost nearly everything he had, he did not sin by cursing God. This brought glory to God, for surely it was God’s grace and power that sustained Job and kept him from rebelling against God and cursing him with his lips.

2) God permitted Job to suffer FOR JOB’S OWN GOOD. Even though Job was a godly man who walked with God, the accusations of his three “friends” revealed a self-righteous spirit in Job. Without the trial, Job may never have learned that deep down in his heart pride was lurking and his being condemned by his friends brought this to the surface. Job himself had said in Job 23:10, “But He knows the way I take; When he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (NKJV). What Job didn’t know then, was that being put in the furnace of affliction would also REMOVE THE DROSS OF SELF-RIGHTEOUS PRIDE.

May we take this message to heart, dear fellow-believer, for we are all called upon to suffer. God has lessons to teach us that we could never learn in any other way. And remember, the trials we may pass through are not only FOR OUR GOOD, but FOR GOD’S GLORY. Let’s close with the precious words of 1 Peter 1:6-7, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (NKJV).   (150.5)  (DO)