OK, let me explain the book of Job….actually, there is too much. Let me sum up. In the book of Job, we read about a man named Job from the land of Uz. Job was as devout a believer as you could find. As such, he was blessed as much as a man could be in the land of Uz. Could you imagine living in Uz? What do you assume the mascot would be? Back on topic, sorry. So in the land of Uz, Job had possession of 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants. It is a good thing he had the servants. Could you imagine getting up early enough to feed 7,000 sheep?
Anyway, you could say Job’s life was going pretty well. He had a bunch of kids, too. The kids liked to get together on the weekends at one of their houses and throw a shindig. After or during which, Job would sacrifice some of his livestock to atone for any wrong they may have or were presently committing. That is what a dad does, though. As my pastor says, “That will preach.” But, not today…back to Job.
So, God and Satan were chatting. Don’t you doubt for a minute that Satan has access to the throne room of God. How do you think he accuses you so readily. Anyway, God says to Satan, “Take a look at Job. He is as good a guy as I have made yet. He is a really good guy.” To which Satan replies, “Yeah, well. What have you done to test the guy? You have given him everything, who wouldn’t be devout when there is nothing wrong with his life. Give me a crack at him, and he will no doubt curse you to your face.” God replies, “Very well. You may test him, you can mess with his family and his possessions, but do not lay a finger on him.” So, Satan heads off chuckling his Snidely Whiplash chuckle, twisting his mustache and twirling his cane.
He sets about really turning Job’s life upside down. The following is an excerpt from the Book of Job. Chapter 1 Verses 13-22.
13 Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans [i]attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
So, as you can see. Job had a bad day. It was going to get worse, though. Shortly after that Satan came back to the throne room and he and God discuss Job again. God says, “See Job? Even after I allowed you to thoroughly mess with his life, he still loves and worships me. He is still a really good guy.” To which Satan replies, “Yeah, but you only allowed me to mess with his people and his stuff. Let me mess with him directly and will absolutely curse you to your face.” So, God gives him that opportunity with the restriction that Job has to live. So, Satan headed out and gave Job sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Imagine having poison ivy all over. Imagine the incurable itch that goes along with it. Now, Imagine having that itch from the soles of your feet to the top of your head, with no foreseeable end to the misery. Even his wife is telling him to “Curse God and Die.” Once again, “That’ll Preach.” but not on this one. So, Job is sitting there miserable. His wife is telling him to just give up and curse God. His friends are accusing him of abandoning God. Because that is the only way that this could have happened.
Now, I have heard it said that no one can verify the authenticity of the book of Job. It is simply metaphor for how to deal with strife. No one can keep their faith through all that. “Sure, that is just fine for those biblical people. Here in the present day, it is impossible to deal with that.” “God does not work directly anymore.” etc,etc.
Fast forward a few thousand years to the late 1800s. Horatio Spafford is a well known lawyer. He is heavily invested in real estate in the Chicago area. He is extremely wealthy and devout. One of his best friends is the famous preacher D.L. Moody. He is married and life is just, in general, going really well for Horatio. Suddenly, the fires hit Chicago and he loses most of his money. Now, his life is not as well recorded as the life or hardships of Job. But, we know, or are at least under the impression that he is still very devout. Two years later he decides that he and his family should take a vacation together. They decided to go to England to visit his buddy D.L. Moody who is preaching there. He had some stuff to take care of, so he sends his family on ahead of him. On the way across the Atlantic, the steamship his family is on is struck by another ship. Ok, so the Atlantic is a really big lake. I know we call it the pond when we are crossing it to England, but it is huge! What are the odds of seeing a whole lot of ships, let alone being hit by one. Anyway, all four of Horatio’s daughters die in the accident. 226 people, in fact, lost their lives. His wife survives, though. While he himself was crossing the Atlantic to meet her, he travels over the spot where his daughters died. It is here that he wrote the hymn “It Is Well”.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
(Refrain:) It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
And Lord haste the day, when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio did not get his daughters back. He and his wife had more children. They began a mission in Jerusalem. Job also did not get his children back. God did bless him more the second half of his life than the first. Please read Job 42. What is my point? My point is this. Bad things are going to happen. No where in the bible does it say we are going to have an easy go of it. No where does it say that it’s going to be puppies, kittens, and rainbows. You are going to get knocked down by life. Bad things happen. You can blame God. You can blame others You can blame yourself. You can just feel sorry for yourself. Or, you can get back up, brush yourself off, get back to work. Satan is going to accuse you. You are going to be tested. I want to end this with three scriptures. I also want to point out one thing. In the first chapter of Job, God asks Satan where he has been. To which Satan replies “From roaming the Earth and walking around on it.”
1 Peter 5:8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
You are someone.
1 Peter 1:7-9
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
You Will Be tested
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus wants to give you Life, Life, Life, and More Life. -That is the “Beau James version” of the above.
On a somewhat related note. Here is Pastor Beau’s Message titled “The Desert”.
Right click on this text to download.