Why did he suffer? – the question to be answered.
In order to answer this question we must take note of God’s record of Job’s life. This evening we will be reminded of three things from the life of Job through the account given in chapter 1, verses 1-5
I. The Setting.
A. The Introduction. 1:1-5
1. Job’s testimony
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Job did not begin his life in a state of perfection. God gets the worst out of us in order to get the best out of us. In Job’s early life, the Lord dealt with Job as He does with all of us, purifying our lives in the fire.
a. Perfect. What he was.
1). Perfection defined. – Complete, true (not sinless)
a). It can be known – seen in the lives of God’s people.
Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
b). It should be desired in others.
Song of Solomon 6:9 My dove, my undefiled…
c). It should be sought after in self.
Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
When we see it, we admire it, we want it – but what can we do to obtain it? –
2). Perfection accomplished.
Admit the truth – “Lord, I cannot control this body. Father, will you please take it and use it for your honour and glory?”
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Based on what he was, we see what he did –
b. He was Upright. Defined as ‘level, straight, right’
He is being described by the old saying – “on the level” – “are you being straight with me”? Job could be trusted!
1). Uprightness is an attribute of God.
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
2). Uprightness comes from knowing and doing God’s will.
1 Samuel 12:23-24 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
c. He Feared God.
1). He was wise
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
2). He was protected. You can read more about this when you get home –
Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
3). He was blessed of the Lord.
Psalms 115:13 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.
Psalms 118:4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalms 145:19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
The attribute of fearing God leads directly to the next –
Proverbs 14:16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
d. He Eschewed evil. The word is descriptive of one’s action. It means to turn from, to avoid.
1 Peter 3:10-11 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Job avoided sin, he turned away from it and he was commended by God.
What a great testimony! – Perfect, upright, feared God, and eschewed evil. This was a man who loved and trusted God.
2. Job’s family. 1:2,4,5 We are introduced first to –
Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
a. His children. He was blessed –
1). By their number.
Psalms 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
2). By their love.
Job 1:4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
They enjoyed each other’s company and included the unmarried sisters even though they could not return the generosity.
3). By their actions.
Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
They were not involved in overt sin. Job is not noted as rebuking them for their outward sin, but he did speak to them of these things, “Sent to sanctify them…”. He knew that believers could sin and he prayed for their sins of the heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
b. His wife.
1). Introduced in Job 2:9 “Then said his wife to him…”
2). Introduced as his only wife.
a). Job did not yield to the popular custom of the wealthy in taking more than one wife. It seems that he was not caught up in the “do it because you can” mentality.
b). In this we see another positive aspect of his character.
Genesis 2:24 “…shall cleave unto his wife and they two shall be one flesh.”
3. His Prosperity. Job 1:3
Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
Prosperity was not measured in ownership of land. We should remember that the only land owned by Abraham was a grave site. Many of the men of this age and area were nomadic – moving their livestock from pasture to pasture. Job’s wealth was measured in livestock and in the servants needed to operate his holdings and household. He may have been involved in both, having herds that moved from place to place but lived in a central location with his children’s houses located in outlying areas. I say this because he owned five hundred yoke of oxen which infers that he farmed land as well as owned herds of livestock. It is noted that he was the greatest of all of the men of his land.
God has testified of Job by speaking of his testimony, his family, and his prosperity.
How would we be introduced to Job today? “I know a very wealthy man that lives over in this area. He is the richest man in the country. He has a big family – ten children! He seems to be very religious.
Note that the order of importance to man is opposite of that of the Lord. The first thing that the Lord spoke of was that Job lived for the Him. The other things were incidental to that.
How do we view our own lives. Are we more concerned with prosperity and family than we are with our testimony for the Lord?
I ask you today – if you were to write your biography, would your testimony for the Lord be first – the most important thing to you? If not, there needs to be a change and it should be made today. Put God first!