Jesus in Job: Trusting God In Difficult Times
Jesus is clearly revealed in Job by suffering that is followed by blessing.
Job is the first of the five books commonly referenced by most theologians as the Wisdom Books of Scripture. Over the next five weeks we want to grow in wisdom together as we explore each book specifically.
Wisdom helps us live life from a greater perspective of peace, harmony and strength. We learn Biblical realities by instruction or we learn them by correction. It’s easier to be a student of God’s Word and learn these truths by instruction.
Biblically impoverished people live poorly constructed lives. There is enough difficulty in this world without contributing to greater pain as a result of our unwillingness to cooperate with God’s plans and purposes for our lives.
Job was going to church, praising God, paying his tithes, worshipping God and serving the Lord with gladness. Even though he was faithful in every way trouble still came.
Job 1:13-15 One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 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!" NIV
And so it all began. Job’s story of undeserved suffering brings us all to the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Regardless of what you may have been told, easy answers to this complicated question are insensitive and many times damaging. In the book of Job we see how honest pain surrounded by conventional religious wisdom can be very frustrating and many times contribute to greater pain.
Sometimes there simply aren’t answers for life’s difficult situations.
Deut 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. NIV
Corrie Ten Boom remembered asking her father a complicated question, “He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up and asked me to carry his travel case off the train. I stood up and tried but it was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning. It's too heavy," I said.
Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
Some things we must trust God to carry for us and just realize there are some things that have come into our world that were never part of the plan.
Gen 3:17-19 (God said to Adam because he had sinned) "Cursed is the ground because of you…It will produce thorns and thistles… NIV
We live in a fallen world but we serve a risen King!
Job 19:17 "My breath is offensive to my wife…
This is such an interesting verse and with just a little study we can have a much greater understanding of what is being revealed. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages the word for air and prayer are the same. In essence air is to the body what prayer is to the spirit.
When Job’s wife saw that he’d kept his spirit aligned with God and wasn’t cursing God in their painful situation she reacted. Job somehow kept his attitude right through all he suffered!
Purpose to be inspired by God even in seasons of pain!
Don’t just go through difficulty. Grow through difficulty. Choose to get better and refuse to get bitter. You pay a great price for your suffering. Don’t waste it but put it to great use as you worship God even in painful times.
Peace doesn’t come from the absence of problems. Peace comes from the presence of God.
GP4RL: Journal dates at the top of your Bible and every day turn the page.
In the Biblical sense, wisdom is the "ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding". The Wisdom teachings of the Bible follow from the two great themes of the Ten Commandments and the Greatest Commandments of Jesus : reverence to God, our Creator, and respect for all persons, everywhere.
Truth problems are the true problems behind our issues. To stop defeating ourselves we have to stop deceiving ourselves. Just because we think it doesn’t make it true. Word!
Following the ways of Wisdom helps bring us in harmony with God because these ways are in accordance with His will, as revealed in the Bible, and are pleasing to Him.
The ways of Wisdom also bring us in harmony with other persons because respect for others is the very essence of the Commandments. The wisdom teachings of the Bible are much more than an arbitrarily dictated moral code; they form a prescription for living in peace with the people we interact with daily.
Finally, acting with Wisdom brings us in harmony with ourselves, giving us a sense of self-worth and inner peace. This inner peace is achieved because we are acting in accordance with our consciences and avoiding the shame and guilt of following our instinctive behavior.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. (NAS, Proverbs 3:13-18)
Job and certain Proverbs can be read in the larger scope of what might be called non-Israelite wisdom. This references principles of wisdom that enrich your life, your family and your future. The assumption of the pursuit of this wisdom is that the world and its workings are understandable and even predictable. The more we understand the underlying order of the world the more we cooperate with that order to embrace a life well lived. Most people would be very interested in pursuing a life well lived.
Israel’s version of wisdom is much more distinct. Wisdom isn’t sought through human experience but rather through prayer and divine revelation. Prov 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Devotion and obedience to God are the foremost priority even before the pursuit of wisdom.
Psalms pulls every dimension of human experience into the presence of God. Any human experience, feeling or thought can be prayed.
As we ponder the cynical and sarcastic verses of Ecclesiastes we recognize the limits inherent in all human experience, appreciate it for what it is but learn not to confuse it with God.
Ben Carson is under fire right now for comments about the Egyptian pyramids housing grain. If you’re not careful you hear the discussion surrounding this and naively assume the Bible is wrong about the story of Joseph, 7 years of famine, etc. The Bible never says grain was actually stored in pyramids. Archaeologists have found evidence of grain in the pyramids but believe this to be part of a burial ritual for the pharaohs.
The reason I bring this up is because the book of Job says Job actually lived 140 years after his tragedies occurred indicating he lived more than 200 years.
We don’t know the author of Job or the actual time it was written. Evidence suggests Job lived sometime around Abraham’s time. Abraham lived to be 175 yrs old.
Prior to the flood the Bible says people lived for several hundred years. Even secular scientists agree that the earth had a very different atmosphere once upon a time. Reptilian fliers could not sustain flight in our existing atmosphere, as it is too thin. The atmosphere was different and apparently there was a form of canopy vapor over the earth providing an enriched atmosphere. Tropical plants have been found where tropical plants do not grow.
The atmosphere of the earth appears to have been surrounded by a layer of water and enriched with oxygen. The Dallas Cowboys have a hyperbaric chamber. They've discovered their injured players heal twice as fast when exposed to this enriched atmosphere.
We are all broken people living mended lives.
When difficulty comes rather than trying to figure it all out let’s just get back up and be known by our finish rather than our fall.