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Elkmont Baptist Church
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What lessons can we learn from the Book of Job?
Lessons From Job
May God bless you all!
Job is a book all about what he experienced, his responses, and the responses of his "friends." I really do appreciate the willingness of his friends to sit in silence with Job for so many days and mourn with him. I can't think of anyone today with that kind of patience. But although they may have spoken correct theology and doctrine, they were wrong about applying it to Job. But Job is also a unique look behind the veil of the physical into the spiritual realm where unseen things are always happening. We get a glimpse of the heavens, a little about authority and structure (Job 1:6: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them"). We also learn some valuable lessons directly from God and about God. Here are a few I have gleaned over the years:
1) I think the most important lesson is: God has never lost control. Satan is fenced all about with God's authority and is under control. God protects us, and Satan must gain permission before he can harm us. I will note, that whereas Job teaches us that a righteous man is well protected, and Satan had to go directly to God for permission to "touch him", we can open ourselves up to destruction, in effect, give Satan permission to touch us when we sin (James 1:15: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death"). Yet still, Satan seems restricted and under control. Take, for example, the situation with Peter (Luke 22:31-32): "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired
you, that he may sift
as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art
converted, strengthen thy brethren."
2) There are always unseen things going on around us that we may never find out about, but they are happening just the same. We entertain angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares"). Don't forget the warfare scene described in Daniel between the forces of darkness and Gabriel and Michael.
3) The Bible is accurate in all its truth, even the science - stating facts that weren't learned for thousands of years and have never been proven wrong. Job states: "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place,
hangeth the earth upon nothing"
(Job 26:7). We had no concept of space and orbits until thousands of years later!
4) People can be right (doctrinally correct), but very wrong (misapplied). So we need to be very careful about how we judge others and their situations. Job's "friends" spoke truth, but not about Job!
5) God is interested in the final product and knows how to obtain that product in the best possible way. This is different than the way I often hear it said. I often hear, "God is MORE interested in the final product than He is in the means He uses to get it." Wrong - He is interested in both!
6) Our trials all have a purpose. We may never know the purpose - but God does. Also, Job reminds me to trust and obey, and in God's timing get understanding. Job may never have learned why he went through his particular intense trial - but he also would never have experienced the very special ending he experienced - a face-to-face with his creator!
7) Remain faithful. Although somewhat rebuked for his desire to die, his disdain for his birthday, Job never "cursed God and died." In the end he was rewarded with double all that he had lost (his first 10 kids implied a paradise because received only 10 more children), and he was the means through which his three friends were kept from suffering great losses themselves. Note Job 42:8: "Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you
folly, in that ye have not spoken of me
the thing which is
There is good doctrine throughout Job, but there are also warnings not to misuse it as well. Being doctrinally correct must be tempered with love and discernment. Consider 1 Corinthians 16:14: "Let all your things be done with charity." And 1 Peter 4:8: "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
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