Thursday, September 22, 2011

How did he do it?

“For I know that my redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God.”
Job 19:25-26

How does one man, suffer the greatest level that anyone can suffer, and yet still extol the one that allowed the suffering?   Job had graduated from the school of Theology.  We learn so much about suffering, sovereignty, creation, heavenly creatures and spiritual warfare from the book of Job.  Job wasn’t just a nominal follower of God, nor a fair weather Christian.  Job lived out his belief and everyone around him knew it.  Job was constantly seeking to bring more glory to His maker. 
How did Job do it? 
  1. Job didn’t stray from what he believed about God (good sound theology).  He didn’t let his eyes determine his belief.  Clearly, Job was a man that spent much of his days with his eyes prayer and in worship.  Though he did not understand why God was allowing him to suffer, he did not cast aside his integrity (or faith in God).
  2. Job didn’t break his relationship with God when circumstances didn’t go his way.  Job didn’t deny God or look to other sources of help when the heavens were silent.
    1. What happens when we don't get our way?  We typically break off communication with God.  We stop praying and we stop having a quiet time.  Job understood the deadly consequences of ceasing communication with God.
  3. Job took action (you could call them resolutions) to build safeguards around his life.  He did this so that he would be more pleasing to God, so that he would live a holy lifestyle, so that he would be an example to family, friends and countrymen.  Look at a few of them found in chapter 31:
    1. v. 1: Job made a resolution that he would not lust.  I will not look with desire.  I will not stare.  I will look away when I see a woman who is dressed in a provocative manner.  “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
    2. v. 4: Job recognizes God never leaves him or forsakes him.  God has determined his days.  “Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?”
    3. vv. 13-14: Job has executed justice and fairness to all, including his employees.  “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me, what then shall I do when God rises up?”
    4. vv. 16-23, 31-32: Job shows compassion and mercy to anyone in need.  “If I have withheld anything...from the poor, from the widow, from the hungry, from the fatherless, for those that needed clothing, or harmed the fatherless...then let me be accursed.  I am not guilty of withholding from anyone that was hungry, even the stranger that was traveling by...including housing them.” 
    5. I will only worship God, I will not put my confidence in anyone or anything other than God.
      1. v. 24 Don’t put your confidence in money/wealth.
      2. v. 25 Don’t rejoice in the abundance of your wealth.
      3. v. 26 Don’t worship the sun, moon and stars.
    6. v. 29, 30: Don’t rejoice when those who hate you end up in ruin and don’t ask God to curse that person that hates you.
    7. vv. 33-35: My life inside my house, behind closed doors, is not different than my life in public.
    8. vv. 38-40: My business will be done with absolute integrity.  I have not wronged others, let the very ground that grows my crops testify to my integrity.

Conclusion (Job 19:25-26)
Job could respond the way he did because he had lived a life wholly and completely given to God’s glory.  It wasn’t about Job’s life, it was about living a life that found favor with his God.  Job had a perspective on our earthly life that few have ever grasped. Job understood that everything in this world was temporary and only what he did for God would last.  That’s why he could lose the most precious things in this world and still say, “I know that my Redeemer lives”.  He wasn’t cursing God, he didn’t change his viewpoint that God isn’t real or God isn’t all-powerful and therefore he couldn’t prevent this tragedy. 

Job knew . . .
a) his God was his redeemer and He was alive,
b) his God would conquer death, sin and tragedy and bring creation back to it’s original glorified state,
c) after the ravages of sin had taken the final toll on his body, he would be with God for all eternity.

“For I know that my redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God.”

Job 19:25-26

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