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Life Can Be So Unfair
Scripture: Job 1:1-12
Track 1 of 11 in the Job: Endure to the End series
Running time: 56 minutes, 15 seconds.
I would venture to say most Christians have a very limited understanding of who Job was. Those who attempted to read the book of Job usually get through the first few chapters but very few delve into the depths of this mans life. More importantly, very few know the spiritual strength this man had and displayed throughout his life. Life can be an awesome thing especially when the years move in our favor. But what happens to life when it becomes filled with tragedy, pain and loss How awesome is life when humiliation and hardship drives every day through the years of your life Welcome to Job's world.

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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.

Life Can Be So Unfair

Over the past few years in this class, we studied several people Christians would classify as heroes. Men like Moses, Sampson, Elijah, David. There are many others like Gideon, Samuel and Solomon, that come to mind when asked,”who are the heroes of the Bible”. Very seldom do we ever consider the man Job as one of the super heroes from the pages in scripture because we usually remember him as a man a very bad fortune, a man of suffering, someone who had so much going against him that he had little time to be a hero.

I would venture to say most Christians have a very limited understanding of who Job was. Those who attempted to read the book of Job usually get through the first few chapters but very few delve into the depths of this man’s life. More importantly, very few know the spiritual strength this man had and displayed throughout his life. Life can be an awesome thing especially when the years move in our favor. But what happens to life when it becomes filled with tragedy, pain and loss? How awesome is life when humiliation and hardship drives every day through the years of your life?

Job is a hard book for Christians to deal with. The circumstances in Job’s life can leave the reader heartbroken and confused. Confused because we ask the hard question about God and don’t really get a clear answer, why does God allow pain and loss to creep into the lives of those He loves? Job just wasn’t a man of God, according to God, at that period in time; there was no one better than Job. If tragedy can happen to Job, what about us? Does God really feel the pain we feel? Why can’t He show mercy on those we dearly loves as they waste away to nothing because of cancer or some other terrible illness?

Life is Difficult: What are your thoughts about that statement? Is it true for you?

Life is Unfair: What are your thoughts about that statement? Is it true for you? Is there a difference between a life that is difficult and one that is unfair? Which is more tolerable, a life of difficulties or a life that is unfair? Why?

But what do we do when life is both tough and unfair at the same time? What does a person do then? In many cases, life can give us a double whammy. When it has us down on the ground and we are reeling in pain and disappointment, it can give a person a swift kink in the stomach as well. Welcome to Job’s world. What we are about to study is considered by many as one of the greatest masterpieces of the human mind. Many believe the book of Job is the best written piece of literature found in the Bible.

It is not the suffering that Job experiences that troubles many about this book, it is the undeserved suffering that causes many to stay away from its pages. We understand punishment when we disobey commands or are caught doing something that is wrong, but the surprise comes when we do right and still get knocked down. When we do the very best we can and reach out to receive our reward, life can and will at times knock us into the dirt and not think twice about leaving us there without help.

Job the man: He was a man of genuine piety. He was also rich and he deserved every dollar he had. He was a godly gentleman, wealthy, a good husband and a faithful father. In a matter of moments Job is hit with extraordinary disasters and is left bankrupt, homeless, helpless and childless. All he has left is 10 graves where his kids are buried and a weeping wife next to him. Job, in this situation says the following:

“Whether our God gives to us or takes everything from us, we will follow Him”

In light of all that happens to Job, how can Job actually say and believe the statement he just made? By his side stands his sobbing wife. As she stands there and hears Job’s great statement of faith in God, she says the following:

“Just curse God”

How much pain does a person have to be in to make a statement like Job’s wife? Have you been close, or maybe at least thought it?

The book of Job can be summed up in less than 20 words, almost sounds like a country and western song title: I can’t eat by day, I can’t sleep by night, and the woman I love don’t treat me right.

Unfortunately it gets worse for Job. Not only has he lost everything, he has a wife who continues to tell him to curse God; he develops terrible sores on his body that just drive him crazy. While sitting there in his pain he looks up and there stands his three friends. Now these just aren’t any kind of friends, they actually show up and sit with Job for 7 days just staring at him without uttering a word. Just imagine:

1. They don’t recognize him which tells him his looks are not too keen at the moment.
2. The sight of Job causes his friends not to utter a word for 7 days
3. And once they start speaking, they nothing but blame, accusation and insult. “Tour getting what you deserve”.

But what is even worse, the chattering of his friend’s insults are drowned out by the silence of God.

Job 1:1-5 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.

It is important to note that the book of Job is in many ways like other writings in the Bible and yet is in a class by itself. It is considered poetic and wisdom literature like the Proverbs, Psalms, Lamentations and Wisdom. What makes it this way is what is contained in the book. The reader will find Laments, Hymns of Praise, Proverbs, Prophetic Speech, Wisdom Poems, and Reflective Questioning. The Book of Job draws on many types of literature to set forth its message, but it does not belong to any one of these categories. It must be interpreted as unique both in literary type and message. Job is not a conventional book.

No one knows when this book was written or who Job was. There are hints that it was written maybe after David and appeared sometime between Solomon and Hezekiah. BUT, I don’t want you to be led astray by the main theme of this book. It is not as it might appear.

From what you know of the book of Job, what would you say the theme is?

If you read Job for an explanation of the trials and suffering of life, you might become more bewildered than comforted. The central question is not why the righteous suffer but why a person should serve God. Or, to put it in the terms of the one who first posed the question, Satan, “Does Job fear God for nothing?”

Are we wasting our time holding to the belief that there is a God who deserves to be worshiped? Are we fools for fearing God?

At the end of verse 5, there is a pause. Like a movie that changes scenes by fading to black, verse 5 brings the end to the happy scene in Job’s life. He was an upright man, not only taking care of his own life but also covering the lives of his family.

Ponder the difference in the opening statements found in 1:1 and 1:6

1:1 “there was a man”
1:6 “there was a day”

The first verse describes a man who lived on the earth. The sixth verse describes one day in the throne room of God. Describe for me the differences and can we comprehend actually what is going on in verse 6?

Job 1:6-7 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

In verse 6 we are immediately lifted from the earth to a heavenly scene. While Job is totally unaware, God is fully engaged in a plan that will amaze us and on some occasions, shock us. God is permitting things to get under way that we would never have expected. Without Job’s knowledge, something is happening in the heavenlies. As God looks out he sees angelic servants who have come to present themselves to Him. They are accountable to Him. They do his bidding as they carry out his will.

Among the angels is an intruder. Who is it?

In the Hebrew text his name is HAA-Sah Than”. This name is identified in the Hebrew text as “the Satan”. Every time he appears in the first two chapters, this is the name used. What does it mean? The verb form means to be an adversary, to resist. In the noun form, the name means the Adversary or the Accuser. Satan accuses God’s people day and night.

The Accuser appears among the other angels. Satan is not the little red devil that whispers temptations in your ears. Satan is the most attractive, most brilliant, powerful archangel that God ever created. He has not lost his brilliance nor has he lost his power. He is very real and as we will see later, he has personality. His total commitment is to destroying God’s people and opposing God’s plan.

Someone describe the dialog that goes on between God and Satan in verse 7. What are they saying to each other? Does God know what Satan is up to? What is Satan doing?

God asks Satan a very important question. A question we need to pay attention to. He asks Satan if he considered his servant Job.

Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 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.”

According to God’s perspective, what kind of man was Job?

I find it fascinating that the last word God mentions about Job is the word evil. God said that Job shunned evil. Evil himself latched onto that word and turned it around. Of course Job shuns evil, there was a reason.

According to Satan, why was Job able to shun evil?

Consider what Satan says, God had protected his body from illness, protected his family from harm, protected his possessions from destruction. God placed around Job a wall of protection. God blessed the work of Job’s hand and increased his possessions and family. His fame is known throughout the entire land. Basically, God is showing divine favoritism toward Job. The Accuser tells God, with all that in place, what do you expect. Why wouldn’t Job worship you?

From what we see in these scriptures about Satan, tell me what you think his personality is like? What was Satan’s clever plan? Put dirt in his life like everyone else and he will curse your name in a heartbeat.

Describe for me the permission slip Satan was handed by God. How terrifying is it to fall into the hands of such a terrible and evil presence? What had Job done to deserve such treatment?

There are four principles that remain true to this day we must be very aware of. From Job we can know the following and we had better always remember them:

1. There is an enemy we encounter we can not see…but he is very real. If it is not Satan, it is one of his servants (also angelic beings). His #1 aim is to destroy your testimony and then to destroy you.

2. There are trials we endure we do not deserve, but they are permitted. Life hands us trials that we do not deserve, but they must be endured anyway. In this process lies the mystery of God’s unfathomable will. Nothing touches your life unless it first passes through the hands of God. He is in full control and because He is, He has the right to permit trials and in many cases, undeserved.

3. There is a plan we explore we will not understand, but it is best. What happens to us might not be good for us, but it works together for good. Your tragedy might be someone else’s victory. Our perspective is dreadfully limited, God’s is infinite. God sees the big picture and isn’t obligated to explain it all to us. We probably wouldn’t understand it anyway.

4. There are consequences we experience, we could not anticipate, but they are necessary. We live in a time that has wrecked havoc on many people. The economy has ruined many hard working people. Frauds have taken billions from individuals and many are losing their jobs and some are now homeless. Most don’t deserve what happened. You might be one of them. Don’t get shook if God’s voice goes silent like with Job. God is not gone and God still cares. Trust your faith in God as He works out His will.