WHAT ABOUT JOB?
1. Our theme is: God is good and good means good.
2. We base that on Jesus, the complete revelation of God. John 14:9; Heb 1:1-3
a. Jesus said God is good; good = what Jesus did. Matt 19:17; Acts 10:38
b. Jesus repeatedly said He did the works of His Father. John 14:10
3. In recent lessons, we have been examining some of the “Yes, but…” questions brought up by this series.
a. Yes, but what about suffering? What about trials and tribulation?
b. Yes, but what about the fact that God is sovereign and can do what ever He wants?
4. One of the most common ” Yes, but…” questions is — What about Job?
a. How do you explain what happened to Job?
b. That is what we want to deal with in this lesson.
5. Job has the potential to be a tremendous source of inspiration for us, but instead, it is a source of fear because we don’t understand the character of God.
a. And, let’s be honest, we don’t really care about Job.
b. The bottom line is: is this stuff going to happen to me?!
6. The account of Job is the story of a man who stayed faithful to God despite tremendous hardships.
a. People try to prove and disprove all sorts of things from Job and end up missing the whole point.
b. The purpose of the Book of Job is to show us God’s mercy and to commend Job’s faithfulness and patience.
7. Let’s briefly summarize the Book of Job.
a. It begins with a conversation between God and satan.
b. satan then destroyed Job’s wealth, his children, and gave him a terrible case of boils. Chap 1,2
c. satan’s goal was to prove Job only served God because of the good things in his life, and if those things were taken away, Job would curse God.
d. Three of Job’s friends came to comfort him in his tragedy — Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.
e. Most of the book is a dialogue between these four as they try to figure out why all this happened to Job. Chap 3-31
f. His friends said he must have sinned miserably to be so afflicted.
1. Eliphaz used a dream to prove his point.
2. Bildad used some proverbs to prove his point.
3. Zophar used experience and reason to prove his point.
4. Job insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong and did not understand why all this was happening.
g. Finally, a man called Elihu came on the scene, rebuked all four men, and talked about God’s justice and mercy. 32-37
h. Then God spoke and rebuked Job and his friends.
i. In the end, Job repented of some things, prayed for his friends, and God restored to him twice as much as he had before. 38-42
8. As we begin our study of Job, we must remember all the keys we have been learning about how to read the Bible in context.
a. If we interpret Job in light of the rest of the Bible, we will find that God is good and good means good.
b. But, if we read Job apart from the rest of the Bible, without the guidelines we’ve learned, we have a problem.
9. We must read Job in light of Jesus and what He reveals to us about God.
a. The common idea we have is that God set Job up and let the devil attack him — it seems to say that. (Did you know most of us read the book with preconceived ideas?)
b. But, Jesus never did anything like what we think God did to Job, so God could not have done what we think!
c. How do we explain this apparent contradiction and sort it all out?
1. There is one NT comment on Job, so let’s start there. James 5:11
a. Job is commended for his patience (endurance); he stayed faithful to God despite his hardships.
b. Our attention is drawn to the end of Job’s story.
1. You have seen what the Lord did for him in the end. (New Life)
2. You know that after all his trouble, the Lord helped him. (Everyday)
2. We look at Job and say: “Why did this happen?”, but the Holy Ghost, through James, says: “How did it end?”
a. Job 42:10 tells us the end of Job’s story — the Lord turned his captivity and restored to him twice as much as he had before.
b. What happened to Job is called captivity; Jesus came to set captives free.
1. Jesus was the will of God in action. Luke 4:18; 13:16
2. That sounds like the God we have been learning about.
3. We use the Book of Job to try to explain why bad things happen.
a. But this book does not deal with the question why.
b. The NT tells us it is a book which shows us the mercy of God and the patience of one of his servants.
c. The Book of Job actually shows us the futility of asking why.
1. Job and his friends all speculated about why the bad happened to him.
2. None of them were right, and all ended up being rebuked by God!
3. Asking why was a waste of time and energy!
1. satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy according to Jesus, and we clearly see satan’s handiwork in Job. John 10:10
a. Job’s oxen, asses, and camels were stolen and his servants killed. 1:15;17
b. His sheep and the servants tending them were burned up. 1:16
c. A roof collapsed on his children and killed them. 1:19
d. Job was afflicted with boils. 2:7
2. Some say: yes, satan did it, but God allowed it.
a. Remember: God allows people to sin and go to hell.
b. That doesn’t mean He desires it, or is behind it in any way — human beings really do have free will.
3. Some say: “The devil is God’s devil.” = God uses him to deal with his people.
a. That would make God and the devil partners.
1. Nowhere does the Bible call satan God’s agent or God’s hit man.
2. He is called an adversary! Hebrew word translated satan = adversary.
b. Remember the house divided principle. Matt 12:24-26
1. If God is afflicting Job through satan only to turn around and set him free, that is a house divided against itself.
2. If satan is God’s instrument to work in our lives, then why are we told to resist him? James 4:7; I Pet 5:8
4. Once again, let’s consider some comments Jesus made.
a. Luke 22:31,32 Jesus told Peter satan would try to destroy him, but that He had prayed for him.
b. If God turns the devil loose on His children, wouldn’t Jesus be undoing the work and will of God?
c. Luke 10:19 Jesus told us He gives His followers power to tread on satan.
d. If satan is an instrument of God, wouldn’t that be a house divided?
5. Yes, but God is sovereign! He can do what He wants!
a. We learned in the last lesson that sovereign does not mean God is arbitrary or capricious = guided by uncontrolled will or impulse; changeable.
b. It does not mean God can do whatever He wants even though it is irrational and contradicts His Word.
1. He cannot deny Himself — His character or nature. II Tim 2:13
2. He does not change. James 1:17
c. The fact that God is sovereign means He is all powerful, the highest authority, and in complete control.
6. Yes, but God drew satan’s attention to Job, and turned Job over to satan. 1:8
a. Lit says: satan set his heart on Job — satan initiated the whole thing.
b. Yes, but what about 2:3 where it says satan moved God to destroy Job?
1. Did God do these things to Job? No, satan did.
2. Does satan control God? No!
3. Does God destroy for no reason? No! He will not harm the helpless. Matt 12:20
c. He still holds to his good ways even when I allowed you to go against him and destroy him for no reason. (New Life)
d. Here is an important key to reading and understanding the Bible.
1. Whenever you have one verse which seems to say one thing and ten other verses which clearly say something different, you don’t throw
out the ten in favor of the one.
2. You assume you do not have full understanding of the one verse — you put it on the shelf.
e. That’s why it is so important to know the character of God.
1. When you read a verse like this, or see or experience something you don’t fully understand, you can say — that doesn’t bother me because I know God is good and good means good.
2. I do not pretend to understand all the mechanics of God and satan meeting face to face and having this conversation.
a. But, it doesn’t bother me in the least!
b. I know God is good and good means good.
f. To destroy him without cause = lit: to swallow him up.
1. Job 1:7; 2:2 tells us satan roams the earth.
2. I Peter 5:8 tells us why — he is seeking people to devour.
g. The bottom line is this: even if satan moved God and he is God’s devil (NOT!!), we NT believers are told to resist satan.
1. You cannot look at someone’s experience to determine the will of God.
a. Many look at Job’s story and say: because it happened to him, it must be God’s will for bad things to happen to people.
b. If we use that line of reasoning, then we must say it is God’s will for people to sin and go to hell because it happens.
2. You must realize that everything in the Bible is truly stated, but not everything is true.
a. The Pharisees said Jesus was a sinner. John 9:13-16; 24. Is that true? No!
b. Yet it is truly stated — those men actually made those statements.
c. There are many statements in Job which are accurately recorded, but are not accurate statements. Job 1:21; 2:10
3. Job walked in much less light than we do.
a. Remember, the Bible is progressive revelation of God.
b. Job is possibly the oldest book in the Bible.
c. Job lived during the period of the Patriarchs (Abraham to Moses).
1. He lived before the Old Covenant was established.
2. No reference to Israelite history or the Law; he lived to be over 100; was the priest for his family.
d. His picture of God was incomplete, and there is no hint that he
1. We have not said all there is to say about Job — next week we’ll look at some things Job did through ignorance which contributed to the misery of his situation.
2. For now, remember, the Book of Job is the account of a man attacked by satan whom God delivered in a mighty way.
a. It should be a source of hope and inspiration for us.
b. Job wasn’t even an Old Covenant man, let alone a New Covenant man, and God helped him.
3. Can I promise you that what happened to Job won’t happened to you and me?
a. Jesus said the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. John 10:10
b. Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world. John 16:33
c. But, Jesus also told us He has overcome, and through Him, we can overcome — but we have to get our facts straight in order to do it:
1. God good…devil bad!
2. God is good and good means good!!