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And Job Lived Happily Ever After Or Did He
06/07/2009
Scripture: Job 42:10-17; Job 23:10;
Track 10 of 11 in the Job: Endure to the End series
Running time: 59 minutes, 54 seconds.
Wouldn't it be great if we could be in Jobs position at the end of the book without going through what he went through How good would it be to gain his knowledge without all the suffering IMPOSSIBLE! Stay realistic and realize that cannot happen. It takes fire to refine gold.



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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.

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And Job Lived Happily Ever After…Or Did He?

What was your favorite story to tell your kids at bedtime? Did they have a favorite one that they always asked for? What made them their favorites? Which kind of stories do you like the most, those with happy endings or those that really don’t end or leave you up in the air to make your own conclusion? Why?

So many great bedtime stories start with, “Once upon a time” and usually end with, “And they lived happily ever after.” I guess we want them to end that way because the main purpose of the story is to get our kids to calm down and allow their sleepy urges to take over. There is nothing worse than to have a child asking questions while you are trying to get them to fall asleep. We would never tell them a story that would cause them to engage in a conversation or to want to know the answers to several questions.

But as kids grow older, questions do pop up and they just have to know why their favorite characters lived happily ever after. Stories in the real world don’t always end with perfect endings. As kids begin to experience this fact, the fairytale innocence fades away that eventually causes them to respond, “Happily ever after? Get real!”

This reminds me of a story about a little 4 year old who rushed into the kitchen all excited about the story she had heard in daycare. It was about this beautiful woman, the princess, who fell fast asleep. Along came a handsome prince who kissed her – and she suddenly awoke! “And do you know what happened next?” asked the perky preschooler. “Why yes – they lived happily ever after,” said her mother. “Oh, no – they got married?”

How many times has it happened to you when you mistook a fairytale for reality? You start off with a great idea, a wonderful plan or expectation to realize that it wasn’t based on reality? In fact, reality showed up and the result was nothing like you expected? Are there any examples?

You buy a new house – your dream house, but in short order you discover that it is really no dream but a nightmare. Everything breaks down, things don’t work and a lot of money needs to be spent to get it in livable condition.

You get a new job – your dream job, but quickly the job was not something that was going to fulfill your lifelong dream, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Instead of it being fulfilling, the job tried to suck the life out of you.

You get a new car – it smells wonderful! The paint jobs looks great, it runs beautifully until next Monday when it won’t start or when the guy next to you open his door and leaves the mother of all scratches on the side of your car.

A new baby – remember thinking how awesome it would be to start a new family, to have an adorable little girl or boy to love all the time? Then the baby arrives and after 37 hours of labor, your new baby refuses to breast feed, or it has colic so bad that she doesn’t sleep through the night for 18 months. And before you know it, the child is 13...well, let’s not go there.

After all this, you want to find every book that ended with anybody living happily ever after and burn them. Farewell to fantasy land, the world is not perfect and not even the great characters from the Bible lived happily ever after, not even Job. To some, this is a surprising statement. But it is true as we will see today in our lesson. But here is what is important to note, Job didn’t suddenly go right to heaven. He continued for many more years to live on this earth.

Job 42:10-17 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.

He was wonderfully rewarded
He received twice what he lost
He had 10 more kids

How many of you would consider the ending to Job’s life to be awesome? How many of you would like to be rewarded the way Job was rewarded? How many of you have and don’t realize it?

God was not happy with Job’s friends; he judges them and found them way short on knowledge and wisdom. He told them they did not understand God the way Job did and God required them to present sacrifices. In the end God asked Job to pray for them and Job did expressing his forgiveness to them. Unlike the way they treated Job, Job forgave them of all they said to him. It was after that moment God restored everything to Job.

Describe for me the reality in verses 10-17. Did all this happen at one time, poof, all is better? What was the reality and how many years did all this require?

In all that happened to Job, do you hear the one loud noise that is running in the background? What is it? Silence…no more words from Satan. the adversary stands silent in defeat.

Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Way back when Job was sitting in a heap of ashes and full of sores, he made that statement. In fact, Job makes three statements that are critical to know and understand when going through a crisis in life:

1. I know that God knows my situation. He knows the way I take.
2. I believe it is God who is testing me. When he has tried me.
3. After the trials have ended, He will bless me in a unique way. I will emerge a better man.

What makes life worth living, the trials or the reward after the trials? Wouldn’t it be great if we could be in Job’s position at the end of the book without going through what he did through the book? How good would it be to gain his knowledge without all the suffering? IMPOSSIBLE! Stay realistic and realize that cannot happen. It takes fire to refine gold.

We have mentioned this many times in class and it is very evident as a member of the class prayer group, there are many who have gone through the fire and for some of you, the fire continues to rage on. All around us people are experiencing some of the toughest times in their lives and the trials of life are weighing heavily. There are two words that are easy to say but are very powerful when fully realized, TAKE HOPE. Take hope that your situation is not going on without God’s awareness. The Lord knows the way you take and it is not without purpose. You are being tested and better times lie ahead.

There is one important thing to note, the rewards of Job didn’t all come at the same time and they didn’t come without work and living. To receive his fortunes from God, he had to go out and start his life and business over. He didn’t have his 10 kids fall into his lap, he and his wife who asked him to curse God and die, had to do something about it. Whatever Job did, God blessed him and he prospered. Candidly, Job had more than enough. Much more. He was rich before, now he is enormously rich.

If you are a person looking in from the outside of this rich man’s life, what are the temptations to avoid? What are some real mistakes we can make and assume?

What truth can be found with Job’s reward? Sometimes God chooses to bless a certain individual with much more than enough. What we must learn is to let it be. One of the ugliest sins a Christian can commit is envy over the good fortunes of another person. The great temptation is to remind God of how faithful you have been when you see your neighbor or a friend whose business grows and yours doesn’t. We should rejoice with our neighbor rather than outguess the Lord in such matters.

True or false: It is unfair and inaccurate to assume that most wealthy people have not earned their riches or did not receive them from the hand of God

For those who find themselves in Job’s situation after receiving his reward, what are the temptations to avoid? If you were Job and had to deal with his friends for several days and their critical speeches, what would be the last thing you would want to happen?

Job 42:11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

What is the obvious question here? Where were all these people when Job was going through his time of trial?

You have two ways of knowing how many friends you have, win the lottery or own a pickup.

But this is no lottery. God simply decided to unload enormous monetary blessings on Job. Suddenly Job is surrounded by all his brothers and sisters. What is interesting about this, his brothers and sisters were never mentioned before until this place in scripture. We also have to assume his three friends are there as well since Job totally forgave them of their bad behavior. And why not, forgiveness leads to restoration and their relationship is once again whole. There is nothing better to hang out with friends who stronger and better due to tough times.

I want to stop here a minute and think about this verse: and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

I find that statement very deep and interesting. Have you ever wondered how God restored all Job’s possessions back to him? Did they just fall out of the sky or appear to him? If he was to start over, how does one start over if he has nothing to start with? Maybe his family and friends gave him something to live on to get him started? How about you? What is powerful to me in this passage is how the family roots show up here to help and restore a family member. We don’t see these people at all earlier in Job but they do show up to help Job get his life back together.

Describe for me Job’s wife. From everything we know that happened, what insights do you have about her? Is there anything that surprises you about her? Is she as bad as most preachers paint her?

Job 42:13-15 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

What catches your eye here dealing with the kids? The girl’s names are recorded, not the boys. In researching their names, there doesn’t seem to be much significance in them. There is one fact though, scripture says there were no women more fare than they. Why, because they were raised right. Their characters were carefully cultivated. All of this came from wise parents, Job’s wife was a part of that. What about the inheritance? Is it strange that the girls received the same inheritance as the boys? What does this tell us of Job’s family and the treatment of his kids?

The statement I want to end our study on is this one:

Job 42:16-17 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.

Scholars estimate that Job was around 70 when he recovered from his ordeal. If he lived another 140 years after that, Job died about the age of 210. He would have seen 4 generations before he died. How awesome his life must have been after his trial from God.

But what is important to note, he still had to live his life, he still had to restore his relationship with his shaken wife, build a home, restart his business, raise another family from the beginning before he could enjoy the grand kids and great grand kids. Job’s life has a tremendous message for those of us who are approaching an older age or have already arrived there. We should never forget these:

• Your mind isn’t old so keep developing it
• Your humor isn’t over so keep enjoying it
• Your opportunities haven’t vanished, so keep pursuing them
• Your God is not dead, keep serving and seeking Him.

The book of Job doesn’t say, “And Job lived happily ever after”, but it comes real close.