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What Job Teaches Us About Our God
06/14/2009
Scripture: Job 42:2; Luke 18:27; Daniel 4:35; Job 4...
Track 11 of 11 in the Job: Endure to the End series
Running time: 1 hour, 06 minutes, 26 seconds.
You and I are a lot like Job, neither of us will ever have all the answers to our questions, we can learn a lot about life, ourselves and about God as we live our lives as His servants. Servant hood can teach us a lot about God.



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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.


What Job Teaches Us About Our God

We will wrap up study on Job this week. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. This last lesson will lead into a new series that we will start in two weeks titled, Death or Peace. It is all about communication and the message of a relationship that is offered to man. In life, in the true reality of life, man basically has two options to choose from, he can choose to die or he can choose to live. Those two options are the only ones God offers. There are no others. It is all up to us. Which do we choose?

Now in our day and age, two options are not acceptable. I don’t know about you but variety is something I like. I like to choose from many different options. In fact, that is what man always likes to consider, he likes to think about and consider his options in almost everything he does. In the beginning, Henry Ford made his Model T car black and when his customers after time complained about the black color and asked for other colors, Ford said his customers could chooses any color they wanted as long as the color was black. But that didn’t last long, once other car manufacturers offered other color varieties; black no longer was an option anymore.

What about you? Are you a person by nature who just has to have variety or are you a person who stays with the same things over and over again? Why? Who do you think likes variety more than the other, women or men? What are the things in life where variety is an essential element?

Clear communication is essential. The right people need to communicate the right things to the right recipients. When those three ducks don’t line up, things backfire. For example, when inaccurate information is deposited into the ears of someone who may be unable to understand it, confusion occurs especially if the recipient doesn’t understand the context in which something is written. This is especially true when trying to communicate a Biblical truth. I have to be careful in two weeks when I start my new series, it is on a topic I have a tremendous passion for but one that many people don’t understand or have ever heard of before.

Imagine sitting with an eight year old starting in the book of Genesis. The first event you discuss is Adam and Eve in the garden, naked. A little later it says they both had relations with each other and had a baby. Shortly after that the son goes off and kills his brother and then Adam and Eve have sex again and have another baby. Then Noah and the flood and the destruction the flood made. But the story of Noah ends tragically and in shame. Noah gets drunk, uncovers himself in his tent and his son walks in on his father’s nakedness. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah gets even worse; men wanting to have sex with other men who were actually angels. God was not happy with those people and that lifestyle so he utterly destroys both the cities and all the people in it. It would be hard to imagine the look on your child’s face as he or she listens, wondering, Should I be hearing all this stuff?”

Now there is nothing wrong with what was being read or taught, but in the ears of a child he couldn’t help but wonder, “What is all this stuff the Bible talks about?” New believers can have the same reaction. Truth from the Scriptures can become confusing for them, especially when God is involved in unusual events. Can you imagine a young believer, not knowing a lot about God yet, coming up with the following questions; how would you answer them?

• Why would a good God allow His chosen people, the Jews, to live in bondage for over 400 years in Egypt as slaves? If he truly loved them, then why act this way?
• Why would a good God encourage the destruction of all the Canaanites when Joshua and his fellow Jews invaded Canaan? Why did God require that every one of them be killed including the women and children and even all the livestock?
• How could a good God consider David a man after his own heart when he committed adultery and caused a murder? It seemed God allowed him to get away with it.
• How could a good God stand back and permit an upright, faithful man like Job to suffer like he did?

What can misunderstandings lead to? In our faith, it could lead us not to trust God. Misunderstandings can cause us to back away from God and consider Him from a distance. It can bring fear and a desire to just forget religion.

I think it is best to listen to want Job thinks about these questions. In the book of Job, from Job’s own mouth, he tells us 6 critical lessons about our God that we should never forget. Some of the lessons are hard but we must have faith and trust that they are true.

What is fascinating about God’s message to Job in chapters 38-41, He asks Job 77 hard questions that God doesn’t give the answers to but by the time God is finished asking the questions, Job is down on his knees bowing in submission. The One who permitted, in fact personally approved of what happened to Job, offers no answers to any of Job’s questions about why all these things happened to him. And yet, Job humbly submits. You and I are a lot like Job, neither of us will ever have all the answers to our questions, we can learn a lot about life, ourselves and about God as we live our lives as His servants. Servant hood can teach us a lot about God.

Lesson 1: There is nothing God can’t do.

Job 42:2a “I know that you can do all things

After God went through all the things He could do without any effort, Job quickly knew the statement he said. There is nothing that God can’t accomplish.

The word “Omnipotent” is a word you have heard me say and use in this class from time to time. Does anyone know what it means?

Omni (all) potent (powerful or effective)

It means God is all-powerful. He has no limitations, needs no approval, faces no obstacle that hinders His activities in any way. His actions run their course without resistance. His works are always and completely effective. God does whatever he wants and it is always right. He needs no help, sustains everything without effort and withholds the most powerful creature ever created (Satan) with no struggle. Nothing alters God’s plan (not ever our prayers). He alone deserves the description, “awesome”.

With the thought of awesome in mind, have we cheapened the word today? Think about all the things we give the description “awesome” to. Name me some examples. Sound systems, video games, cars, big trucks, etc.

Four times in scriptures, 2 times in the OT and 2 times in the NT does it say that nothing is impossible for our God.

Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

Lesson 2: It is impossible to frustrate God’s purposes

Job 42:2b no plan of yours can be thwarted.

There is no power strong enough to stop God at what he plans to do. His purposes can’t be blocked, slowed down or hindered unless God decides to. Everything that happens on this earth falls within the framework of exactly what God wants to happen. Nothing that happens is a stop gap reaction. God is never surprised. With God, things that happen on this earth are never out of his control.

Daniel 4:35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

When you add Job 42:2 up in total, what implications does this verse have on the church? What realities and truths do we have in our lives and purpose as we live our Christian lives and work as a church?

Lesson 3: God’s plans are beyond our understanding and too deep to explain

Job 42:3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

It takes a humble heart to make a statement like that. For many, especially for me, that statement is a hard statement to make. I am a person who has an opinion on just about everything. A lot of people are the same way but what gets me into trouble sometimes is I’m not hesitant to express my opinions. I am learning to hold my opinions to myself more and not express them too quickly or express them at all. I think the core message in Job is the statement in this verse. God’s ways are not our ways and his ways are beyond our comprehension and too deep to explain. He is not on our level. Our explanation of things and why things happen are nowhere as deep as God’s.

If this is true, then is it okay to be disappointed with God when bad things happen to us? Should we admit that there have been times when we felt like that towards God?

What might cause our disappointment? We learned about God his good, fair, compassionate and loving character and we anticipate His responding in ways that fit His character (as we understand it). But when God moves in ways beyond our understanding, this is when things get out of sync.

What if God were to stop and explain to us His reasons for why He did what He did, do you think knowing why would really help? Would His reasons eliminate the pain or take away the disappointments?

Lesson 4: Only through God’s instruction are we able to humble ourselves and rest in His will.

So if you are a person who needs to become more humble, how do you go about getting there?

Job 42:4-6 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

There is a critical fact to learn about true humility from this verse. Notice when job humbled himself, was it after his body and situation was restored or before?

Was there any threat by God that if he didn’t humble himself, God would wipe him out?

Job’s humility was a gentle, resigned submission to God’s will and he rested his case in God’s hands. Job didn’t try to argue his case, he just knew God’s ways were right and there was no debate.

Is finding humility in our society today a hard thing? Why? What one component is built into our society that makes it almost impossible to become humble? Our rights! Notice with Job, there is no talk about “his rights”.

For me, a type “A” person, humility is a hard thing to develop. What gives me hope in this is what Peter wrote. Peter also was a man who had troubles with pride. I hope someday to get to a point where Peter found himself when he wrote this passage.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I think what is important about humility is the timing. Notice from Job and Peter, we are to humble ourselves now, not after he has exalted us. Don’t wait. Pull back and stop the arguing with God and rest in Him. It is remarkable how different life is when we just let God take care of things and follow his way. Humble ourselves and submit to what he says.

Do you remember what I taught about true repentance? I talked about a contrite heart, what was a key point to having a contrite heart? A contrite heart makes no demands, it has no expectations. Humility is impossible without a contrite heart.

Lesson 5: When the day of reckoning arrives, God is always fair.

True or false: All God’s accounts are not settled at the end of the month!

What do you think this means? All throughout Job God was silent, but he wasn’t absent. God was observing everything, taking notes of who was saying what. Not one idle word was missed. He knew who spoke the truth and who didn’t and he knew why.

We need to take careful note of what is written in Hebrews.

Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

The opposite is true also.

Job 42:7-9 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.

God heard everything that went on. He didn’t say anything at the time but he did hear everything. Accounting did come to Job’s three friends. A critical point is found here, God will judge in his time. God is just and his justice happens when God decides to hand it down. No one gets away with wrong doing, in God’s time, it is dealt with.

Lesson 6: No one can be compared to God when it comes to blessings.

Job 42:9-15 lays out all the blessings that came to Job. They can be summed up in 4 words:

Accepted, restored, increased and blessed.

You and I live in a world today that is programming us to rush by words like “grace “and “blessing” to hurry onto words that are negative. These negative words try to bring us down. All the news today is negative, bad, alarming and worrisome. We very seldom hear about the good news. The negative is always promoted over the positive. Even the weather reports are the same way. Partly cloudy rather than mostly sunny; 20% chance of rain versus 80% chance of no rain.

Who does God bless, Job. This lesson we learn from Job is great news. And why was he blessed the way he was, 17B: Grace grace grace grace. We too live in Grace more than any generation on earth in the past.