Today Pastor Gene takes a look at the book of Job as we continue in our "Rest of the Story" series. We take a look at the account of Job and the overall reason for suffering.
Video can’t be displayed
This video is not available.
Auto-generated by YouTube
good morning welcome if you're new here among us i'm crazy my name is gene i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor as a kid did you ever make shadow puppets never do that i think everybody does are you still a kid like me i like shadow puppets i heard a story of a little boy a sad tale actually he became an orphan his parents passed away he had no grandparents living no aunts or uncles so he ended up at an orphanage pretty sad he was depressed he wouldn't play with the other kids sometimes he wouldn't even eat there was also a night watchman at this orphanage kind of like night at the museum that we watched right we're watching part two soon the seventh movie day kind of like that and he would come early before his shift before the kids went to bed he'd give them gifts especially during christmas time he was santa claus and bring the kids toys but no matter what he brought to this little boy wasn't happy nothing seemed to make him happy he had trouble sleeping and one night he noticed the night watchman passed by his room with a flashlight he said wait so the man came in he asked for the flashlight so he grabbed the flashlight the man noticed that the little boy seemed entertained for once kind of happy so the watchman pointed the flashlight at the wall he made some shadow puppets for the little boy the boy smiled fascinating so the watchman let the boy keep the flashlight made him happy but this kind of turned the other way now all the boy wanted to do was play with the flashlight and make shadow puppets so during the daytime he kept the curtains closed he's in the dark all the time with this artificial light making shadow puppets he wouldn't go outside and play with the other kids at all now sometimes he would skip meals even if they brought it into his room they became concerned about him so they brought a doctor in the doctor came in and watched the boy he observed him for a little while after a bit he walked over to the boy and he took the flashlight away as you can imagine the boy was pretty upset favorite toy he started crying then the crying turned into screaming but the doctor knew let him cry it out but he kept going so the doctor walked up to the window and flung the curtains open now all of a sudden a flood of light like a hundred flashlights came into the room and the boy stopped crying then doctor walked up to the window and flung that open too and all of a sudden the sounds of birds chirping and dogs barking also flooded the room you see all of the better realities of the things the boy was trying to recreate were there the whole time ignored by the focus on the shadow of them today we find ourselves in genesis chapter 10 where we're looking at the rest of the story and we're going to address the reason for suffering that is the biblical reason for suffering a pertinent topic today as many navigate loss of property income sickness we'll be looking at the book of job today and some might wonder why we're doing that so early glad you asked the bible as i've told you in the past is not chronological the books are grouped according to categories so you have the old testament you have genesis through deuteronomy these are the books of the law or the torah the teachings then you have historical books joshua through esther then you have the poetry books or the writings job through song of songs or song of solomon so you've got your psalms proverbs ecclesiastes in between then you have your prophets your prophetic books isaiah all the way to malachi then you have the new testament begins with the four gospels matthew mark luke and john they are biographies about the life and ministry of jesus christ acts is a history of the early church and then you have letters to certain people in certain churches and then you have revelation which at first is kind of like some letters and then a prophetic book about the second coming of jesus now in this series we're going to be placing the books in their chronological order this can be very difficult to do you kind of got to be good at names so we're putting the books back in their order in this series last week we looked at noah at the bible study we took a closer look at his three sons that go on to populate the world shem ham and japheth genesis 10 where we're arriving today says this 10 32 these are the clans that descended from noah's sons arranged by nation according to their lines of descent all the nations of the earth descended from these clans after the great flood now when we get to shem this is the line that the israelites will come from and then subsequently jesus in it this section genesis 10 we see a guy named jobad many people think that this is job but it's even more likely that it's the job that appears a little later in genesis 36 but placing job there will interrupt a flow as we'll see but i'll explain later while genesis 36 is a better choice the story of job finds appropriate placement here after cain and abel seth and noah where there's a theme of suffering leading to new life or new beginnings there's also a theme of humility that sets us up for next week when we look at the tower of babel so here's the story of job i'm going to kind of paraphrase it for you so we can get through it and i'll point out some of the details here the story of job begins with job he's a man from us not oz from us kind of funny whatever he's a really wealthy guy wealthiest guy in the whole area he has tons of livestock tons and tons of animals seven thousand sheep so on and so forth he has children seven sons three daughters pretty blessed man he's a righteous guy his kids though like to party a little too much so job prays for them in fact he makes sacrifices for his children thoughtful he's worried that they might have cursed god in their hearts pay attention to that then it moves to what i like to think of or visualize when you read usually come up with visuals right like a throne room scene we're in the heavenly realms with god and satan the accuser comes in god says something funny he does this to adam and eve what you've been doing like he doesn't know well satan answers him i've been patrolling or roaming the earth god says well while you were doing that did you notice my man job starts bragging about job don't you hate when people do that and you're like no no no starts bragging about me says well job he's blameless a man of complete integrity satan says yeah he's like that because you've built a wall of protection a hedge of protection around him him and his stuff if you take that away he'll curse you to your face god says okay test him so flashes to job he's in his house his kids are in their house partying doing their thing a messenger comes in job the sabian raiders came through they took your oxen and your donkeys killed all the servants too i'm the only one left before that messenger can finish up another one comes in job the fire of god has come down from heaven burned up your sheep they're not going to do it for me they make good cheap noises seven thousand of them would have been good guys come on back me up here before he can finish another messenger comes in this time it's the chaldeans three bands of them they came and they took more animals your camels in fact and then before he can finish another messenger comes in worst thing of all a whirlwind came through blew down your house killed all your kids what does job do he worships so now we go back to the throne room scene and it's almost exactly the same wording god's there satan the accuser comes in another rhetorical question where you been i've been out patrolling the earth did you notice my man joke he's blameless a man of complete integrity in fact didn't curse me when you tested them say and says skin for skin it's because you didn't let me harm him physically that was the stipulation the first one if i forgot it don't arm him physically this time if we do that then he's going to curse you to her face god says test them so it flashes to job now he's got all these nasty boils he's scraping him with a piece of pottery like a broken plate his wife's there if you're paying close attention to the store you might wonder why did satan let him keep his wife i'm going to stop there and just give you the facts of the story stop get behind me satan she says why don't you curse god and die that's why that was the objective right were you paying attention why don't you curse god now she's working for satan then his friends come along eliphaz zofar and bill dad at first they're really good friends to job they don't say anything at first they sit there with them and they mourn with them for like a week but then it goes to kind of like this courtroom scene where now his three friends become like these attorneys it's kind of how i picture it in my mind a courtroom where job is kind of left there without even the public defender to defend himself against these three attorney-ish like friends who are now playing the role of the accusers satan that's what it means and they take their turns accusing him the main accusation is that job you sinned you must have sinned and that's what happened that's the main one there are other things and then there's these cycles job gives like nine defensive speeches defending himself i didn't sin is the basic thing he's saying over and over again this is the bulk of the book of job that's really what happens but then elijah shows up on the scene he's an interesting character it's another little uh a pre-figure of john the baptist if you read it carefully and you're paying attention he kind of paves the way remember it said that john the baptist is a messenger paving the way for the lord god's about to show up so if you know the story you go back and read it again knowing this you see that more clearly paves the way then god shows up and whirlwind job 38 it's my favorite because god takes this sarcastic type position he says job and i'm paraphrasing put on your big boy pants scurger loins literally put on your big boy pants because you got to answer some questions here's the deal where were you when i made the whole world tell me if you know where were you when i took the measurements for the earth so it's this very kind of funny language that should bring up some ironic imagery it's not possible we'll take measure or something like that it's humorous but he's mocking job interesting then go pray for your friends i don't want to hear them right now so job you go pray for them then he's healed and his fortune is doubled whoo gets twice the amount of sheep now he's 14 000 sheep he lives a long time another 140 or 170 years so he's like 240 something it depends on the version we'll get there by the end of this message varies a little bit it lives a long time past 120 years if you're a bible study lives for a while now this is usually where the story kind of stops in fact most people stop at the fortunes doubled i've been in church for a long time isn't that what people hang on right ah but he got twice as much back for his suffering that's cool well hang on that and they missed the point no matter what happened to job he recognized god as sovereign the first time he does this this is his reaction to just losing everything except the wife okay job 120 job stood up and tore his robe in grief and he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship he said i came naked from my mother's womb and i'll be naked when i leave the lord gave me what i had and the lord has taken it away praise the name of the lord and all of this job did not sin by blaming god in fact his response was worship no wife jokes it's all about god's sovereignty the theme this all comes from god regardless of what the tool is inflicting it it's all with god's permission nothing happens outside of that so many ask the question why why suffering well there's another reason why we're placing job here in proximity because our answer came right away at the very beginning of the story remember adam and eve they sinned and what happens adam now has to toil to get things to grow out of the soil eve she's now going to experience suffering in childbirth but there's a little more to it and on the more to it i hear a lot of opinions and if you've been around for a while you guys know how i feel about the opinions of man versus the word of god i don't like it again recently i've been asked the question who i'm reading i love when people do that because it gives me the opportunity to answer with god i'm reading god it was great because this time the guy was kind of smart not smart enough not to ask that question but smart enough not to say anything after i said i'm reading god he laughed checkmate because what is he going to say that's great gene i know you're reading the bible and everything like that but why don't you read this book by some guy and all his opinions on what god says no thanks i'll stick with the bible the more in the word i am the less i like man's opinion about it if you're in the word a lot it does a good job of translating itself for you so that's what we're going to do today we're going to look at a lot of scriptures we're going to look at this old testament book through the lens of the new you can view the new testament as a commentary on the old skip some of the other commentaries so let's see what god says about suffering what jesus says about it john chapter 9. very interesting little parallel to job here jesus and his disciples run across a man blind born blind it tells us his disciples act just like job's friends what did he do to deserve this or what did his parents do who sinned somebody must have sinned for this guy to be born blind here's what jesus says god gives us the answer it was not because of his sins or his parents sins jesus answered this happened so the power of god could be seen in him ah jesus heals him he's the light of men it's all about god and his glory not ours we mustn't miss that point as i said earlier many of these new testament books they're letters and many of them are written by someone who has experienced suffering sometimes a great deal of suffering there are also letters called prison epistles because they're written by paul while he's in prison where he's suffering we'll look at philippians in particular today one of these prison epistles there are some in which people are experiencing sickness galatians paul writes that that's the occasion that's why he arrives in galatia he gets sick he has to stop there in first timothy paul offers a suggestion to remedy timothy's frequent stomach illnesses surprisingly it isn't prayer it's medicinal second timothy another letter written by paul while he's in prison furthermore this time he's convinced that he's about to die he's about to get executed in it paul prepares timothy for anticipated and further suffering saying this so never be ashamed to tell others about our lord and don't be ashamed of me either even though i'm in prison for him jesus with the strengths god gives you be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the good news and he continues to say you know how much persecution and suffering i have endured you know all about how i was persecuted in antioch iconium and lystra but the lord rescued me from all of it yes and everyone not just someone and everyone who wants to live a godly life in christ jesus will suffer persecution the bible also tells us that god is our father and as such he disciplines us the new testament teaches that if god is that superior father well that's going to include discipline that's what a good father does doesn't spoil his children there's a context here but we are in our series in the book of hebrews and we talked about that it's probably like a sermon or something being preached in it we learn this from chapter 10 we get the context of suffering they're jewish christians and they're tempted to go back to judaism give up jesus so the whole theme of the whole thing is that jesus is superior to all of these different things and that old religious system he's better but the preacher is going to address the suffering and he likes it to discipline in fact i'm not even going to read you the really tough verses he says he punishes his children the word there in greek is the same for the flogging that jesus gets before the cross it's pretty serious it goes on to say hebrews 12 7 as you endure this divine discipline remember that god is treating you as his own children whoever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father and if god doesn't discipline you as he does all his children it means that you are illegitimate and not really as children at all since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the father of our spirits and live forever as children we're children of the greatest father ever we are not undisciplined spoiled children if we are then we're illegitimate maybe tough to hear but that's god's word not mine our father does bless us hear me now our father does bless us at his choosing but our father does not spoil us with those blessings especially with the things of the world let's look at the full counsel of god's word on that to be clear first john 2 starting at verse 15 do not love this world nor the things it offers you for when you love the world you do not have the love of the father in you for the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure a craving for everything we see and pride in our achievements and possessions these are not from the father but are from this world and this world is fading away along with everything that people crave but anyone who does what pleases god will live forever suffering has its purposes god as our father uses suffering in different forms for different purposes as a pastor i've noticed something it's very rare to meet a new person on sunday who's come in with a winning lottery ticket i don't get that very much hi nice to meet you pastor i can't wait to praise god for this winning lottery ticket and give the church 10 percent maybe it'll happen today that would be great doesn't happen often you see it's often suffering that most effectively drives us to our knees or to church what do we do when we get the winning lotto ticket right we forget about god sometimes and we go get all the things that this world has to offer suffering tests our faith job 23 10 but god knows where i am going and he tests me i will come out as pure as gold the new testament affirms this first and second peter are very interesting letters give them a read more so in second peter the context here is that the roman emperor nero he's really mean to christians he begins burning them alive so when you read first and second peter you kind of have to have this in your mind that these christians are suffering greatly peter's trying to encourage the church don't fall away he says this first peter 1 starting at verse 6. so be truly glad there's wonderful joy ahead even though you must endure many trials for a little while these trials will show that your faith is genuine it is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold though your faith is far more precious than mere gold so when your faith remains strong through many trials it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when jesus christ is revealed to the whole world suffering reminds us that our citizenship is not here peter calls us aliens sojourners we're just passing through that's how we must think so if we look at philippians this is my favorite book or letter of the bible i just love it i love it mostly because of that carmen christie poem that i recite to you guys all the time it tells us about the nature of jesus christ and what he did beautiful if i could just tear one page out of the bible if that's all i could have that would be the page it tells us everything we need to know right there but there's a context paul is suffering in prison so the philippians they're very generous they send him a gift with epaphroditus who gets so sick he almost dies but he gets well enough thank goodness to take this letter back okay really beautiful thank you note with a lot of great theology in it in it paul is kind of funny he says some really surprising things if you're reading it and thinking about what he's actually saying he says i'm really grateful to be here in prison because the whole roman guard's hearing the gospel isn't that great what a wonderful opportunity this is and you know what now that everybody's hearing it it would be so much better for me to just die so i can go home and be with the lord that's gain to me but for your sake huh i'll live on so i can help you out we don't think like that do we in that context he says this above all you must live as citizens of heaven conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the good news about christ then whether i come and see you again or only hear about you i will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose fighting together for the faith which is the good news if we jump back to hebrews and keep reading it says for this world is not our permanent home we are looking forward to a home yet to come suffering builds our character paul writes this to the church in rome we can rejoice too when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance and endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation and this hope will not lead to disappointment for we know how dearly god loves us because he has given us the holy spirit to fill our hearts with his love suffering he gets to humility look what job says so who am i that i should try to answer god or even reason with him he'll forget that a little bit but god reminds him the new testament affirms this second corinthians paul's writing he's got all these revelations from god interesting letter he's dealing with a couple of different things the church in corinth is dragging their feet on a collection he actually uses the churches in macedonia that would be philippi to kind of like brought him along they're being really generous why don't you pick up the pace on this collection for jerusalem the other thing he's dealing with is the super apostles these false teachers always a theme in these new testament letters some books are entirely about it like jude he's getting annoyed so he has to kind of like talk himself up a little bit so he talks about these revelations that he has but he balances it out second corinthians 12 7 even though i have received such wonderful revelations from god so to keep me from becoming proud i was given a thorn in my flesh a messenger from satan to torment me and to keep me from becoming proud it sounds like job a little bit and paul questions it too he continues three different times i begged the lord to take it away stored in the flesh each time he said my grace is all you need my grace is sufficient for you my power works best in weakness yours so now i am glad to boast about my weakness so that the power of christ can work through me that's why i take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults hardships persecutions and troubles that i suffer for christ for when i am weak then i am strong again it's about god's glory not ours and as such suffering makes us more like jesus what are jesus's requirements for following him deny yourself a tall order pick up your cross then follow me remember peter this is what he continues to write first peter 2 21 for god called you to do good even if it means suffering just as christ suffered for you he is your example and you must follow in his steps he continues dear friends don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange were happening to you instead be very glad for these trials make you partners with christ and his suffering so that he will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when is revealed to all the world peter's pretty interesting it seems like in the gospels peter doesn't get it like to get behind me satan thing that's where that comes from but as we read about him in the book of acts he does some interesting stuff and one of that stuff is they're told not to preach the gospel they're in the temple preaching the gospel the jewish leadership doesn't like it they don't want to hear this new jewish sect of the nazarenes this is these jesus believers so they're jewish they're very much jewish and it's just another jewish sect but they're causing problems for them they're saying things like you killed the author of life so they arrest them peter and the apostles but then an angel breaks them out of prison and they go right back to the temple and continue preaching the gospel they look for them they can't find them and they're like they're in the temple okay so they arrest them again and they bring them before the high council the high council wants to kill them stop it no we can't you have to do what god says okay you die then gamil or gamaliel he's actually find this out later paul's teacher paul learned at his feet he says smart guy he goes on to say hold on a second if it's some kind of rebellion like the past ones they'll be found out he'll be crushed but if these guys are from god we're gonna find ourselves fighting against god so they're like okay let's not kill them but we're gonna flog them real good first and then send them on their way that's what they do they whip them very brutal this is their reaction as the apostles left the high council rejoicing that god had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace he was flogging for the name of jesus and every day in the temple and from house to house they continued to teach and preach this message jesus is the messiah didn't slow him down if we go back to philippians for you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in christ but also the privilege of suffering for him now like some pastors today who try to brush aside these realities this suffering let's not talk about that but these are truths from the bible they often try to replace these truths with opinions about it or deny the reality of suffering altogether no job's friends don't necessarily go that far but they have a lot of opinions about job's suffering and sometimes they may have some good points mixed in but while they're trying to press their opinions so pridefully they missed the point again we saw the point god's sovereignty and glory not ours and as it pertains to us job says this job 34 starting at verse 14 if god were to take back his spirit and withdraw his breath all life would cease and humanity would turn again to dust now with the way we're arranging these books this should make you think of adam from dust he came and to dust he returned god breathed life into him when we get to abel what did that mean breath symbolizing his very life it was just a breath that's it and so are our days just like breath i've showed you that biblical truth no matter how much job got back none of it belonged to him anyway we can't take it with us here's what the new testament says about job in particular james 5 starting at verse 7 dear brothers and sisters be patient as you wait for the lord's return consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains and the fallen in the spring they eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen you too must be patient take courage for the coming of the lord is near don't grumble about each other brothers and sisters or you will be judged for look the judge is standing not the door he sounds like his brother jesus for examples of patience and suffering dear brothers and sisters look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the lord we give great honor to those who endure under suffering for instance you know about job a man of great endurance you can see how the lord was kind to him at the end for the lord is full of tenderness and mercy see what the new testament does with job connects that kindness to christ that is the context there christ is the context his coming second coming and christ says this john 16 33 i have told you all this so that you may have peace in me here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows but take heart because i have overcome the world how did jesus overcome the world he conquered death through the resurrection back to philippians 3 10 paul writes i want to know christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead i want to suffer with him sharing in his death so that one way or another i will experience the resurrection from the dead paul places all of his hope right there on the resurrection and so should we now it seems as if job might have hope in the same thing curiously job 19 25 but as for me i know that my redeemer lives and he will stand upon the earth at last after my body has decayed yet in my body i will see god or some versions say without my body i will see god but the book of job then ends with him dying that's it that is in most modern versions of the bible but in the bible of the early church the ones the apostles were reading the story of job ends differently there are some verses as we'll see throughout this series that have been redacted from many modern bibles so here's a very important part of the rest of the story now you can go back and watch it if you're new here today it's important to mention this here you can watch the bible studies you know the first part of the series the intro it was necessary because i told you that the old testament the scriptures of the early church were all in greek it was a greek speaking world they're writing the new testament in greek and they're quoting the greek version if you've been around for a while you probably notice that when they quote something in the old testament it doesn't often match perfectly it's because they're quoting the greek version not the hebrew version which as i told you is written hundreds of years after jesus so many bible translations will make notes lxx lxx lxx where it's different right a lot of the prophecies aren't there either in the hebrew version later so when we're looking at the greek version written a couple hundred years before jesus we see different things the early church felt that it was a superior translation that pointed to christ and i showed you a whole bunch of quotes that nauseam by early church fathers because a lot of people don't believe or get this affirming that that this is the superior holy spirit version we should be using and the greek version that one does not end with job dying it gives us some other information here's some of that info now these were the kings who reigned in edom over which country he also ruled first there was balak the son of beor some of you know who he is and the name of his city was done about but after balak there was job who was called job interesting that's why genesis 36 is a better technical placement you can pick up those books that's where you'll see pretty good translations of them the orthodox study bible uses the septuagint the greek version exclusively for their old testament they've stayed right on that line throughout history without changing they were against changing to the hebrew later now it also says this about job it is written that he job will rise with the ones the lord resurrects ah we see a resurrection from the dead in the old testament like the end of daniel but it's also here in job 2. in the bible of the early church job will rise from the dead job can be seen as a type of christ in this sense a blameless person who suffers at god's will but then is rewarded and in this case we'll even rise from the dead but for as much as job had the healing was only a foretaste of what we should really be looking forward to in christ and the rest of the rest of the story is that job will rise from the dead and we know that we will too because jesus did and like the boy with the flashlight all of these things are really just a shadow of what is to come in christ and this is why we never give up though our bodies are dying our spirits are being renewed every day for our present troubles are small and won't last very long yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever so we don't look at the troubles we can see now rather we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen for the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever amen