Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
March 19, 2017
Central Passage
Job 1:1-2:10
Attached Document
Open Document
Description

Job 1:6-10 tells us, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, ‘From where have you come?’ Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6-10).

 

After Satan got the OK from God to test him…things fell apart for Job. One tribe took his oxen and donkeys. And they murdered his servants who were tending them. Then a messenger came and told him a fire had fallen from heaven and had consumed all his sheep…along with the servants who were watching them. While that man was still speaking another came and told him that the Chaldeans had attacked and taken all his camels…and that in the process they also murdered the herdsmen who were watching them. And before this purveyor of bad news had finished talking…another man came and told Job that a great wind had come and destroyed the house where his children were feasting…and killed all that were in it.

 

How would you have digested that much bad news in such a short time…being told that all your children and assets were gone…that you were now destitute? Well, Job set a standard for faith when he tore his robe…shaved his head…fell to the ground and worshipped God saying, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

 

In what was a terrible period of grief in his life…Job did not sin…nor did he blame God for what had happened. He, instead, blessed and worshipped God. Now that’s faith…that’s real faith.

 

It’s hard for us to understand why God allowed Satan to do what he did to Job. In chapter two the sons of God…also referred to as angels in some translations…presented themselves before the LORD a second time…and Satan with them. The LORD again asked Satan, “From whence do you come?”

 

Satan, of course, gave his standard answer. “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

 

God again pointed to Job as a man of faith and great integrity. And Satan responded, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”

 

So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”

 

So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD…and he struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And Job used a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in ashes.

 

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”

 

But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. What? Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

 

Virtually everyone here will…sooner or later…experience a bitter calamity. Some of you have already experienced what I’m talking about…something in your life that seems absurd and meaningless and undeserved…and in that moment you may have cried out, “Why?”

 

Most of our grief and pain does not come as a clear punishment for sins. Most of it comes out of nowhere and baffles our sense of justice. That's why the book of Job is so relevant for all of us. Job's suffering seems to come out of nowhere…and it has no connection to his character. His story is recorded for us so that we will have some help in living through the calamities that befall us…and so we will do more than just keep a stiff upper lip…but will bow reverently and trustingly before the sovereign goodness of God.

 

Scripture tells us Job wasblameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil.” If suffering is intended as a punishment for evil…Job was not a likely candidate. He turned away from evil because he feared God. He pursued righteousness and avoided evil. His reputation was blameless. And his reverence for God governed all that he did.

 

God had blessed him with seven sons, three daughters and huge numbers of sheep and camels and oxen and servants. He was the greatest of all the people of the east…and by today’s standards he was at least a multimillionaire.

 

Whenever his sons and daughters gathered for a feast…Job made burnt offerings for each one of them…just because of the possibility that one of them might have sinned or cursed God in their heart. He was extremely jealous for the honor of God's name…that it not be profaned…and he was extremely vigilant for the sake of his children…not wanting any of them to come to ruin.

 

But despite Job being a good man…calamity fell on him like a ton of bricks. In the course of one afternoon all his children were taken from him…along with all of his assets. Two of the calamities were caused by evil men…Sabeans and Chaldeans…and two were caused by what insurance adjusters would call “acts of God”…which were not at all acts of God.

 

To understand what happened to Job…we have to look outside the world. This world can never answer the great questions of life. Those answers are found only in heaven. So in the book of Job we’re given a glimpse into heaven to understand better why things happen here on earth.

 

That glimpse into heaven provides us insight into a meeting between God and Satan. God asked Satan where he had come from…and Satan told God he had been walking to and fro on the earth. Of course, God already knew what Satan had been doing…but maybe He asked just to see if Satan would lie. God is quite aware that there is no truth in Satan. But being the deceiver that he is...and thinking he’s the smartest bear in the woods…I’m not sure that Satan has ever understood that God can see right through him…or that God sometimes uses him for His purposes.

 

With his statement about where he had come from…Satan was probably being arrogant and telling God that he controlled the earth and everyone and everything on it. That’s why…I believe…God brought Job to his attention.

 

Job’s fear of…reverence for…and love of God made him stand out from other people on earth. But Satan wasn’t impressed. He insinuated that the only reason why Job had reverence for God was in order to get rich…and that he honored God only because of the health and wealth with which God had provided him. “Remove that,” Satan said, “and he will curse you to your face.”

 

God could have said, “I don't need to prove anything to you or anybody else. I know the heart of my servant Job and that’s enough for me.” He could have, but he didn't. God chose, instead, to get an open victory over Satan for his own glory…a test that would show that in Job’s heart God was more important than anyone or anything else on earth.

 

Obviously, when the calamities came…when Job lost all his wealth…along with his children…inquiring minds questioned why this had happened. The answer is simply that something of immense heavenly significance was happening. God was in the process of demonstrating to the heavenly hosts…and to any others who had eyes to see…that He was the most important thing in Job’s heart…just as He should be the most important thing in our hearts.

 

Job's reverence is based on the value of God for who God is…not on anything else. Revelation of this truth is so important for us to know that God was willing to subject his prize servant to grief and poverty in order to make it known to us.

 

God’s victory over Satan is recorded in verses 20-21. “Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’”

 

God proved Satan wrong…as He always does. Job didn’t curse God when he lost his wealth and his children. He, instead, worshiped and blessed God.

 

This was so the superior worth of God would be evident to us all…the revelation of how God should be valued in every person’s life.

 

But Satan wasn’t through with Job…or with trying to prove God wrong. So in a second meeting with God…when God again pointed out Job’s reverence for Him…Satan said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.”

 

In other words, Satan was saying that Job was only reverent toward God because God preserved his health. Again, God accepted Satan’s challenge, but said, “Behold, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

 

So, just as Job was recovering from the shock of losing his wealth and his children…Satan infected him with a dreaded disease. Scripture tells us he was afflicted “…with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes."

 

Chapter seven tells us Job was covered with boil-like sores that opened and ran with puss…and that they got clogged with dirt and infested with worms. This was not some temporary allergy…or even a rattlesnake bite. It was a horrible thing…and it covered the top of Job’s head to the bottom of his feet.

 

Again, if you’re wondering why all this is happened to Job…the answer is not given in this world, but only in heaven.

 

Satan challenges the worth of God in the life of every person who accepts Him as Lord…in this case the life of Job. Satan tries to prove that it’s not God that Job cherishes…but the earthly pleasures of family, possessions and health?

 

Many people claim allegiance to God when things are going well for them…but that often changes in a heartbeat when problems arise. That’s when they start blaming God for every misfortune that comes their way…which has to bring a smile to Satan’s face.

 

What the book of Job tells us is that behind every apparently absurd earthly calamity that befalls us…there are heavenly transactions of infinite importance…and that the most important matter in the world is the demonstration of the worth of God in the faith and reverence of His people.

 

When Job’s health failed…it proved too much for his wife. She had endured the loss of her children and their wealth. But now…with the life of her husband draining away and leaving her utterly destitute…her faith collapsed. So she said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God, and die.”

 

That, too, must have brought a hopeful smile to Satan’s face…which turned to a frown when Job responded, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

 

Job would not relinquish his rock solid confidence in the sovereignty of God…and neither should we…no matter what trials we endure here on earth.

 

Imagine what it was like for Satan in heaven…surrounded by a multitude of angels…when Job responded to all the ills heaped upon him with praise to God. Imagine all those angels raising their arms in praise and shouting “Worthy is the Lord God of Job.”

 

And imagine what Satan did when that occurred. I can tell you. He fled from the presence of the praise of God.

 

In 1 Peter 5:8 we’re told, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.”

 

When you suffer…and you will if you’re a Christian…the way to resist Satan is to be like Job. Hold fast to your confidence in the free and sovereign goodness of God. Don’t curse God…reverence him. When you do that all heaven shouts the victory and Satan is defeated.

 

In 1 Peter 4:19 we’re told, “Let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.”

Contact Us
The Church on Thistle Ridge
Bible Search