Words For Today's World
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Journey To God’s Blessing Job 1:1-5 The first trial of Job happened when he was at the height of his prosperity. The first five verses give us a description of Job’s character and his wealth. Trouble comes when you least expect it. In our lesson today the devil timed his assault on Job on a day when there was: Festive rejoicing; when Job’s family were together at a banquet of unusual magnificence. They were "eating and drinking wine” in their eldest brother’s house. This was a grand time of entertainment provided by the firstborn son of Job. The devil timed his assault on Job on a day when the entire household of workers was busy. The whole household of Job was a stir with unusual activity: the ploughmen were plowing the fields with the assistance of the oxen. The she-asses were in the pastures nearby; the shepherds tending the vast droves of sheep which spread themselves across the plain; and the camel-drivers going and returning with their caravans of costly merchandise. The devil timed his assault on Job on a day when there was unmingled happiness. A time I imagine when Job was surveying his earthly gift from God, observing the loving unity and innocent gladness of his children, and beholding the faithfulness and diligence of his servants, at a time when Job realized that his cup of earthly pleasure was full and even overflowing. The devil timed his assault on Job on a day when he thought his possessions were secure. A day in which not a single cloud appeared in all the wide and clear horizon; not even a shadow dimmed the brightness of the sky, not a speck of trouble anywhere could be detected to excite Job’s alarm. It was such a day that seldom falls to the proportion of God’s people on earth to enjoy; and the selection of that day above all others for casting Job down from the pinnacle of his greatness and the summit of his happiness was doubtless craftily designed that the very loftiness of Job’s elevation might intensify the depth and severity of his fall. Let’s look at the management of the trial. Job’s prosperity overthrown. Just when you think you have everything in order the devil suddenly attacks. Sudden in its coming was the attack on Job’s stronghold. The attack was carried out by a sudden surprise attack upon everything Job had and it came without any warning. Had Job been forewarned he could have armed himself and maybe stopped the catastrophe that befell him. To be forewarned is when men see danger they can usually adopt measures to prevent them. The devil did a universal sweep; as soon as he got permission from God he didn’t fall a step behind. With one terrible swoop of disaster he descended on the fair scene of Job’s prosperity, and he left nothing untouched with his devouring rage. The devil showed no pity in his devastation, the devil’s miseries are generally cruel, destroying everything in one overwhelming, remorseless destruction. The devil was cunning in his device; he used everyone and everything at his disposal. He used people, the Sabeans, destroying the oxen and the asses, and the Chaldeans to steal the camel. By the devil being given power as, the prince of the air, he used the lightnings and hurricanes so that it might appears to Job to be the work of God’s ordinary providence so that Job would think it was the hand of God whom he loved and served doing this destruction. Then the devil skillfully arranged his reports. The devil sent messenger after messenger, one by one, carrying the full narrative of misfortunes so that it might not be declared all at once, but with exquisite torture protracted to the utmost twisting the knife, so to speak, to inflict more and more pain. There was calamity heaped upon calamity; not a single messenger arriving with good news, but each one with a heavier burden than the one before him. Stroke after stroke; not one messenger having any grace, but each one telling with excruciating minuteness of the details dwelling on his tale of misery, and with something like selfish satisfaction, emphasizing the fact of his own escape, to be the bearer of the appalling news, not perceiving that that might only be an aggravation of Job’s distress; and with no interruption in the awful flood of adversity, not so much as a moment to breathe in, but on and on in one continuous stream: the writer writes, "While he was yet speaking;" and, "While he was yet speaking;" and, "While he was yet speaking." Clearly if Satan’s handiwork was evident in his preparation for the trial, it was equally apparent is his management of the same. Let’s look at Job’s reception of the news. Job received each report with remorseful sorrow. This is seen in the symbolic actions of rending or tearing off his garments. Like Jacob did when he was told that Joseph was dead. Also like King David when he was told that Absolom had been killed. Then you have the shaving his head like they did in the time of Isaiah and Micah. The tearing of the clothes reveals the intensity of his hurt and expression of his emotion, and the shaving of his head pointing to its calmness and moderation. Then with devout submission Job Acknowledged:his original destitute condition, he came to the conclusion that "Naked came I out of my mother’s womb". He saw that his catastrophes had only set him back to where he was at first. Paul said we brought nothing into this world and we certainly can’t take anything out. 1Timothy 6:7. Job thought of his prospective departure from this world: "Naked shall I return thither;" so that after all he had experienced a little earlier what was certain to befall him in the end. His entire dependence upon God for all the blessings of his earthly life: "The Lord gave;" so that he himself could claim no total ownership in anything he had lost. Job’s devout recognition of the hand of God in his afflictions and losses: "The Lord hath taken away;" so that not only had he laid his hand upon him who had perfect right to do so, but in removing his possessions and children he had merely taken what belonged to him at first. So Job with lowly adoration fell on the ground and worshiped; turning the destruction that Satan had caused against him but, retaining his steadfastness and maintaining his integrity; not cursing God to his face, but solemnly, reverently, and devoutly adding, "Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jehovah!" Now let us look at THE VERDICT ON THE TRIAL. Even through Job suffering in his flesh, scraping scabs from his flesh, through his wife telling him to curse God and die, he held on. The bible shows that Job was commended by God. The statement that we must regard as the transcript of the Divine judgment upon the trial is stated in this writing, "In all this Job sinned not, neither charged God foolishly." In Satan’s second attempt he had to admit to God, the fact of Job’s steadfast allegiance to Him throughout his first onslaught, the fact also that Job never stopped trusting in the divine deliverance of God. So that wherever this story of Job is read we find and have to admire the courage and fidelity of the stricken Job. So, what is the take-away from this lesson? What did we learn? 1. We learned that if God has his times and seasons, and Christ has his hours, and man his opportunities for working, so also the devil has his days for his Satanic movements. 2. We learned that the devil’s assaults upon human virtue and Christian fidelity are always characterized by absolute wisdom, with regards both to the times and the instruments, as well as the methods of attack used by Satan. 3. We learned that the power of Satan to injure man is virtually unlimited, at least when God permits. 4. We learned that you can go from riches to rags, and that the most prosperous estate of man may, in a moment, be converted into the profoundest misery, as the brightest day may be followed by the darkest night. 5. We learned that misfortunes seldom fall upon God’s people singly and alone, and they are apt to be misconstrued as to their origin and design, but should never fail to lead the heart closer to God. 6. We learned that God’s people should in times of adversity remember their origin or their beginning and prepare for their end. Knowing that you brought nothing into this world, and that you will not be able to carry anything out. 7. Lastly we learned that, whether suffering or rejoicing, saints should imitate the devotion of Job, recognizing God’s hand in everything, and "in everything give thanks." God is not slack concerning his promise. God has no respect of person. What he did for Job, he can and will do the same for those that remain faithful to the end. Whatever the devil has stolen from you, if you just wait on God you shall receive more. Look at this: (Luke 18:28) Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. (Luke 18:29) And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, (Luke 18:30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. What ever you have lost in this world for the sake of the kingdom of God; God said you shall receive multiple times more, look at this statement, “in this present time.” Meaning you don’t have to wait to die to be blessed. Just like Job received his blessing doubled of what he lost, his health was restored, his family was restored, his children and substance was restored, If you have lost anything because you were faithful to the Word of God, you too will receive manifold more. Your cup will not only be filled, but it will be running over. You can’t beat God giving, no matter how you try. (Philippians 3:7) But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
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