English Evening Service on June 4 Messenger: Don Frank
Title: Lessons from a Long & Full Life Bible passage: Job 42
Introduction: Scientists tell us that 90% of an average iceberg is out of sight, under the water. That's truly amazing. What we can see is only a 10th of the whole thing. It seems to me that many things in life are like that, even life itself. And what about the God of the universe? Let's see what the iceberg can teach us about the lessons that Job had learned in his lifetime.
Lesson 1: Learn Who God Really Is (verses 1-6)
We see Job, throughout the book named for him, arguing angrily with his 3 friends and venting his anger against God Himself. And yet never once did he curse God or blame Him. Might we call Job a truly godly man? Acts 13:22 tells us that King David was a "man after God's own heart." Yet David, in so many of the psalms that he composed, such as Psalms 13, 35 and 42, would often begin by expressing his anger against God very directly. But by the end of that psalm, David would come back to God and tell of his love and trust for the Almighty!
We see the same thing with our friend Job. After God agreed to Satan's ideas in chapters 1 and 2, Job's life fell apart! For most of the 42 chapters of the book of Job, we can read how Job was irritated and extremely frustrated at the ignorant advice his friends gave him. Then Job talked directly to God shouted in pain and anger in Job 13:23, "Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and sin."
Then finally in chapters 40-41, Job meets God in a whirlwind and talks directly with God! Job then realizes how wonderful and powerful God really is! Job 42:1-6, "Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. 4 You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ 5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance." This is maybe the biggest lesson that any of us can learn about God!
Lesson 2: Prayer Has Great Power (verses 7-9)
Then God turns to Job's 3 friends next and really lays it on the line in verses 7-9, "7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: 'I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.' 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer."
So now, God confirms to the friends and to Job himself a truth that we know from the book of James 5:6, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."
When our lives align with God, when we seek Him and trust Him in any situation, even one as drastic as what Job went through, then our prayers have great power and have really wonderful results! What shall you and I pray for? What great things does God want to do through our prayers? Shall we talk to Him and ask His will? Then we too can receive wonderful results!
Lesson 3: God's Blessings Are Beyond Compare (verses 10-15)
Job 42:10-15, "10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! 11 Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring. 12 So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 14 He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers."
Isn't this fantastic? Not only did the 3 friends receive forgiveness from God, but because Job was faithful all the way through this testing, God doubled the wealth that he had when he first started!
Now, I'm not saying that God's going to do the same thing for you and me if we faithfully follow him and talk to Him from our hearts. What I am saying is that is that when God blesses us, He doesn't do it halfway! "God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him." - Jim Elliot.
Even now in our lives, God is pouring out His sweet blessings in abundance. And He's not going to stop! Job just kept receiving more and more from God:
- God gave him twice as much as before.
- His family and friends came back to him.
- They brought gifts of gold and golden rings.
- The number of his animals exploded!
- He had 10 more children!
- His daughters were the prettiest in all the land and included them in his will!
Lesson 4: God Wants to Fill Our Lives (verses 16-17)
Job 42:16-17, "16 Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. 17 Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life."
And so, God poured out so much into Job's life that it became completely full! This is a basic truth of the Christian life that "God loves to reward His children." As we study His Word, listen to messages, talk to fellow believers, this one point seems to be overlooked pretty regularly. But it's true, God loves to give good things to His kids!
Look at Job. He had two complete sets of families, 20 children in all! And the Scripture says he, "lived a long, full life" of move than 140 years. Scholars believe that it took about 30 years to make his first family, then another 30 years to get his second family going, plus 140 more years till he passed away. He got to see his kids, grandkids, great grandkids and even his great, great grandchildren - 4 generations in all! Boy, I'm telling you, that had to be a rich, full life!
Conclusion: God rewarded him for his faith and He promises the same to us. Times have really changed and there's no chance that God's going to give us 140+ years of life on this earth, but we have something even better - the promise of eternal life, dwelling in the house of the Lord forever! I don't know about you, but that has to be the best reward of all!
As we bring our time together tonight to a close, let's reflect on all these lessons God taught Job. 1. Let's always remember who God really is - our Creator, our Master and our Savior. 2. Let's never forget that prayer is the most powerful tool that we have. With it, we have access to the power of heaven itself! 3. Let's take time daily to rejoice in the amazing blessings that God showers on us! 4. Let's enjoy the rich lives that God has given to us here on earth - and then rejoice even more for what waits for us in our Papa's house in heaven!