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Crushed But Not Squished
02/22/2009
Scripture: James 5:10-11; Job 1:12-22
Track 2 of 11 in the Job: Endure to the End series
Running time: 55 minutes, 37 seconds.
We will see as we study Job, the greatest testimonies that point to Jesus are not necessarily the ones that preachers preach from the Gospels, but the actions of those who show patience and faith in God while experiencing the deepest darkness life can dish out. Centuries later, even James refers his readers to look back at Job's example and model his patience. Job took blow after blow after blow and still remained faithful and patient. His name became a by-word for heroic endurance.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Crushed But Not Squished

There are some events that hit with such ferocity that the images and sounds of those events don’t ever leave our memory. Just the mention of the dates reminds us not only of the devastation, but we can tell people where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news.

December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor
November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas
September 11, 2001, 9/11

There are probably other dates that have tremendous meaning to you because something devastating happened or took place that left scars a mile long on your life. For me. November 12, 1999 and November 27, 1999 are dates that are always in the back of my mind. Believe it or not, I think about those dates more than I think about my own birth date. Those were the dates my parents died due to a motor home accident. One day things were going great and in a flash, bad news came that Dad was dead and mom was hanging on for her life. Two weeks later when mom seemed to be making a full recovery, a blood clot broke loose in her leg and within minutes killed her.

All of us probably can relate similar events that happened in our lives. The point is not that bad things will happen in our lives and in the lives of those we love and care about, the question we have to ask ourselves is how are we going to recover and continue to live life the next day. As I ended last week’s lesson, I gave you 4 very important and very real principles:

There is an enemy we encounter we can not see…but he is very real.
There are trials we endure we do not deserve, but they are permitted.
There is a plan we explore we will not understand, but it is best.
There are consequences we experience, we could not anticipate, but they are necessary.

These are fact. There is no getting around them. There is no sense lamenting about them or even complaining that its unfair, we must deal with it and all of us know that the quicker we recover the better life will be. Life goes on and there are many better things out there to experience. Yes, life will be different but maybe it was meant to be that way in the first place.

Life can be very ironic. Often we experience life events that at the time, when they happen, the event seemed devastating. In the end, it only led to something much better. Can you give me some examples? What kind of advice do you give a person who experiences events like these?

When we study Job and all the events that happen to him, it is almost unreal how much bad fortune can happen to one man all at the same time. But we have to factor in one very important bit of truth, never underestimate the evil, the ferocity of Satan. He hates you and me so much and we have no comprehension what he is capable of doing. It would be terrifying to fully know what he wants to do to us if allowed to be set free on our lives. With Job we get a quick glimpse on how fast Satan does work and the scale on which he is willing to act.


While experiencing devastation in your life, however it comes or whatever form it takes, after it is all over and life hands you a new day, what do you want to be remembered for?

James 5:10-11 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

We will see as we study Job, the greatest testimonies that point to Jesus are not necessarily the ones that preach the Gospel, but the actions of those who show patience and faith in God while experiencing the deepest darkness life can dish out. Centuries later the life of Job, even James refers his readers to look back at Job’s example and model his patience. Job took blow after blow after blow and still remained faithful and patient. His name became a by-word for heroic endurance.

As we dig deeper into this book, there are facts about God, Satan, mankind and Job that can be disturbing. Quietly reading Job I ran across proverbs that had deep meaning, conversations that were very surprising especially between God and Satan and reactions from job’s friends that made me stop and wonder what they were really saying. Job’s losses gets even more intense as the reader realizes that all the terrible events in Job’s life happen without warning and are totally undeserved. What is even scarier, God admits it.

How many of you have seen the movie, The Truman Show? How is the book of Job like that show?

As we read the events in Job’s life, he is totally unaware what is going on in the background. He has no clue what Satan and God are talking about. He has no clue what is coming and why the events are taking place. Truman was the same way. He was totally unaware that what was happening to him in the background was seen by the rest of the world. Like those watching the Truman show, with Job, you and I also are allowed to see the plot before it happens. The only question for Truman and for Job, how will they react to the events swirling around them? How will they survive? Will Job get crushed, stomped out, will he curse God or will he endure?

Is this the way God works? If so, then is it already predestined and we have no choice? Is it cruel of God to act this way? How scary is a horror movie the first time you see it? Does it lose something in it’s effect when you watch it the 2nd time or the 3rd time?

How many of you have never read the Book of Job?

Job 1:12-19 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” SLIDE 6: While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

I don’t know about you, there are a lot of things I hope I can endure, but one I know will be excruciating to me will be the loss of one of my kids. If I got a call in the middle of the night and someone told me my business was on fire and later that night it was a total loss, I would be sad and concerned but I wouldn’t be personally wiped out. I have never experienced the loss of a child and I hope I never do. Pam and I have come very close but by the mercy of God, it didn’t happen. I can’t imagine the pain a loss like that must bring with it. But in Job’s case, he loses all of his kids at one time, 10 kids gone.

I want you to paint for me the picture of what Job was doing just a few seconds before Satan struck. What was going through his mind and what do you think he was doing? What did the scripture say Job was doing while his kids were feasting together?

You want to talk about shock and awe news; this has to be the worst in history for one person to endure. Gustave Dore, back in 1860, created several woodcut prints depicting events from Scripture. One was when Job received the news of his ruin. In fact the name of the print is “Job Hearing of His Ruin”. As you look at this picture, describe for me what was going on and the immediate reaction of Job?

Unfortunately there are several examples of the same types of devastating news. In World War II the Sullivan Brothers all died during the same incident, the sinking of the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52), the vessel on which they all served. The brothers' parents were notified of their deaths on January 12, 1943. That morning, the boys' father, Thomas, was preparing to go to work when three men in uniform, a lieutenant commander, a doctor and a chief petty officer, approached his front door. "I have some news for you about your boys," the naval officer said. "Which one?" asked Thomas. "I'm sorry," the officer replied. "All five."

Of all the tragedies that happened to Job all at the same time, which one seems the cruelest? Why? To me, the cruelest was the loss of the kids. With all the other reports, others were to blame. If revenge was a considered option, Job knew who to go after. But with the kids, how can you defeat an “act of God” event?

Job 1:20-22 Then, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

To understand this we first have to focus on the opening word, “Then”. We do not know how much time passed between Job’s hearing the news and responding to it. It could have been all the rest of the afternoon he lay there. He could have stumbled outside to look into the distance and to see with his own eyes the remains of the house his kids were feasting in, now in shambles. He may not have responded until after the burial of his kids as he stood beside the ten fresh graves. We just don’t know when he gave his response.

In the Hebrew text verse 20 is comprised of just 9 words. Of the 9 words, 5 of them are verbs. In the verse on the screen there are 20 words and still 5 of them are verbs. When you read your Bible, always pay attention to the verbs. They move you through the action of a narrative, helping you to enter the event as though you were there yourself.

• First: Job arose (He got up)
• The next verb tells us something strange, he tore his robe. This was the sign that a person was in horrible grief. It was the action of a man in anguish.
• Third verb, he shaved his head. Hair is always pictured in scripture as the glory of an individual. It was an expression of his worth. The shaving of the heads is symbolic of the loss of personal glory.
• His fourth action is to fall on the ground. Let’s be real careful to understand, he didn’t collapse. He fell for another reason. He wasn’t on the ground to wallow and wail.
• His fifth action, he worshiped. The Hebrew verb means to fall prostrate in utter submission and worship.

I dare say that most of us have ever worshiped like that before. In ancient days this was the sincerest expression of obedience and submission to the Creator-God.

I don’t know about you but there was a lot of cursing going on in the background while Job lay prostrate with his face to the ground in worship. The scriptures don’t actually say it but if you are paying attention and listen close enough, you can hear it loudly. Where is the cursing coming from? Who is doing it?

Satan is the one cursing. He hated it! He resented Job’s response. Of all the things Satan did to him, he still worships God. The wicked spirits probably sat with their mouths open in shock to Job’s response. There was no blame, no bitterness, no cursing, no clinched fists raised to the heavens, only worship and praise to God.

Job yells loudly something you and I need to hear and must understand. He yells at us a question, Do You Get It?

Do you get it, that when you stroll through your house and home and see all the wonderful things you have, they are on loan from God and he can take it back? Don’t get attached.

Do you get it, when you get behind the car you drive everyday that it too is on loan from God? He can take it any time. Don’t get attached.

Do you get it, that the business you have, the job you have or all the finances you live on are on loan from God. He can take it back at any time because they are His. Don’t get attached.

Get it in your head and heart, everything is God’s and is on loan from Him. Don’t get attached.

What is the point to Job’s statement found in verse 21? Job’s point is simple, it is never about stuff. The problem comes when possessions own us, when the car drives us, when the business works us or our job enslaves us to what it wants us to do.

When you can’t just walk away from your home, when you can’t just give your car over to someone you don’t know, when you can’t just leave your job or your business without thinking about it, then maybe you aren’t as free as you think you are. With Job, stuff never owned him.

Job endured heroically because he learned to live heroically.

Job never considered himself the sole owner. Since he never considered himself the sole owner he had little struggle releasing everything back to God because he knew all he had, even his kids were on loan and someday could be taken back by the real owner.

When we were born, as a baby we entered this world with our tiny fists clenched and screaming but we always leave this world with hands open on our silent chests. Naked in and naked out we go. In between those two realities God allows us to use and enjoy all the wonderful things He loans to us, How did Job go through all the tragedy without sinning, without cursing God?

It can be summed up in three words: Hold Everything Loosely!