“NUGGETS OF GOLD FROM JOB” CONTAINED IN GOD’S WORD – FROM HIS PERSONAL LOCKDOWN
Read: Job 1:1-19
We are introduced to Job in chapter one. He is known to God. He feared God. He had an Awe of God. Job shunned evil. He was a Righteous man. He was exceedingly wealthy. He loved and cared for his family. He wanted his children to be right before God, so he gave sacrifices to God, in their name.
Satan has always looked to fulfil his ministry. Jesus says that Satan, also known as the Devil, comes to “kill, steal and destroy.” (John 10:10) One day Angels came to present themselves to God and Satan also came with them. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?” He answered, “from roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then The Lord asks, “Have you considered My Servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Satan does know Job. He has considered a plan of attack against him. So his reply to The Lord is to lead into that plan being put into effect. “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord gave Satan, within spoken boundaries, permission to test Job. What ensues is Satan throwing everything at Job. Killing, stealing, destroying his wealth, his family, his reputation.
Job, when his servants bring him the news, makes a phenomenal response. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship.” What a response. Job threw himself into God. The Presence of God. The Hands of God. The Mercy of God.
- Job Remembered: Where He Had Come From (Job1:20-21)
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart.” “The Lord gave and The Lord has taken away; may The Name of The Lord be praised!” This is True, God focused Worship. Job’s worship did not depend upon what The Lord gave to him! When I served as Assistant Pastor at Southport Mrs Dawes used to pray weekly at our prayer meeting, “There are no pockets in the shroud!” I thought it an odd thing to say. Now I live life with a fuller understanding. Perhaps she gleaned her wisdom for life from Job?
- Job Remembered: Whose He Is (Job 2:9-10)
“His wife said to him, Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die. He replied, You are talking like a foolish woman shall we accept good from God and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job accepted the Sovereignty of God. The chorus that we sing, Sovereign over us, reminds us to live in the reality of that Truth.
- Job Remembered: Who Is For Him (Job 16:19-21)
Even now my Witness is in heaven; my Advocate is on high. My Intercessor is my Friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend.” The writer to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus sits at the right hand of The Father interceding for us. The Apostle Paul tells us that The Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Throughout our journey of life, in what we define as the good and the bad, Jesus and The Holy Spirit are praying us through. It does us good to remember that!
- Job Remembered: The Victorious Day To Come (Job 19:25-27)
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him with my own eyes – I and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
The Day of The Lord will be a Victorious Day. We will have a resurrected body. We will see Him for ourselves. This perishable will put on imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44a). There are days in our lives when need to remember that this is not all there is! We have an Eternal Future. There is coming The Victorious Day. Jesus IS The King of kings, and The Lord of lords!
- Job Remembered: God’s Way of Sanctification (Job 23:10-12)
“But He knows The Way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept His Way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips. I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.”
Sanctification is an old fashioned word but it speaks of us being transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. This is a daily happening as we read The Word of God and apply it, living to fulfil God’s Commands and Precepts. This also occurs during times of crisis, when we feel the heat of a situation, as the heat of the furnace is turned up. How we respond, in and to God, develops in us God like quality. It’s when we look back that we see that we have changed from one stage of glory to another.
- Job Remembered: His Manners (Job 27:6)
“I will maintain my Righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” In my early years I repeatedly heard at school, in my all boys school, “Manners Maketh Man!” During this period of Lockdown, with so many zoom meetings, and increasing tiredness, I confess that last week I nearly lost it. This is unusual for me! As I sat there listening my private internal thoughts, and blood pressure began to rise. This verse has helped me through. “Thank you! Job.” No one is worth losing my integrity over. Nothing is worth cashing in my righteousness, nor corrupting my conscience. Counting to ten. Deep breathes in and out – whatever we need to do, do it! This will mean that we can stand clean before The Lord. And we can live with ourselves.
- Job Remembered: To Pray For His Three Friends (Job 42:8b-9)
“My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what The Lord told them, and The Lord accepted Job’s prayer.” Job’s Prayer Released God’s Blessing into the lives of his three friends. It also brought the Release of God’s Blessing into Job’s life. (Job 42:10) “After Job had prayed for his friends The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” If we withhold Blessing on peoples lives then we become prisoners of them. Jesus tells us to pray for those who persecute and curse us. This releases us, as well as them.
Conclusion (Job 42:12)
“The Lord Blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” Some years ago I turned this verse into a Personal Prayer. “Lord, Bless the second half of my life more that the first. To be honest the first half was Blessed. I realised that in Scripture, and through life experience, it seems that more fall from God’s Standard, Will and Way in the latter part of their lives. I do not want to become part of that statistic!
So, Father I pray for us all, and I pray for myself, “Bless the latter part of my life more that the first! Amen”