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The Lord Helps Those Who...

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 8, 2020 7:00 am

The Lord Helps Those Who...

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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December 8, 2020 7:00 am

Christians have experienced suffering since the very first days of the early church. And for as long as believers have faced trials, we have also been asking: How should we respond? The world seems to praise those who pick themselves up by their own bootstraps and forge ahead. But does God? In this Bible Study Hour message, Dr. Boice offers us a biblical perspective on suffering.

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Looking to the Bible study human ministry of confessing featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically as a whole category of expressions in the English language which I meant to suggest by the title of tonight's study of the book of James entitled, as the Lord helps those who everybody knows how that continues.

The Lord helps close to help themselves. Seems to be a popular way of thinking, and consequently we have many of these sayings that are just like it or perhaps others. This one praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and sing all the praises you want but don't forget to keep the bullets flying reason I think of those particular illustrations and sayings is that I think we come in this section of the book of James chapter 5, beginning with verse seven to some advice is given, perhaps along those lines, but nevertheless for the category of people whom we might identify as those who are unable to help themselves.

Certainly when we talk about our responsibility of Christians, we don't say that having become Christians were, therefore, to sit back and do nothing.

God gives his work to do and if there's a battle to be fought, certainly we should lay hold of all the ammunition we can shoot it in the right direction.

Suppose you can't do that. Suppose you are one of the troops. Suppose you're one of the destitute, the downtrodden, the underprivileged of the world. Or suppose or simply up against the forces greater when you are well. I think James is talking to people like that because he has some advice for them, and his advice is twofold. He says simply be patient then explains what he means by that.

Secondly he says stand fast is look at each one of those. I'm not sure why he brings in this particular matter just now.

It may be that he's just been talking about the rich who oppress the poor and having given a warning to the riches attention rightly certainly logically turns to those who are the underprivileged East talk to the ration is given a warning to the rich, and he saying you're not to oppress the poor, but he knows perfectly well that in most cases the rich are going to go on doing precisely that.

Anyway, so one of the poor to do well. He doesn't say perhaps under certain circumstances, there might be a place for it, but he doesn't say rebel against your oppressors. Your people were unable to do that. What he does is tell them to be patient and that is not saying you say be patient because there's nothing else you can know and be patient because maybe the rich will treat you a little bit better know he saying.

Be patient. Remembering the God you serve. When you remember that you remember the God you serve is a just God, the Lord Jesus Christ his son is returning again and judgment. The time is coming with the injustices that are inflicting you now are going to be made right.

We were people who only believes in this life.

We thought that all there is is what we have now then, of course, is kind of an argument would be meaningless areas, talking to those who know that there's a future world, and there is a sovereign God and there is such a thing as justice, God is a just God.

So he says if you find yourself in this kind of a circumstance weight. Knowing that in God's own time justice will fall. Reminded of that occasion. The story of a farmer out in the Midwest who was an ungodly man lived in a more or less Christian community and on Sunday all the other farmers would go to church.

This farmland was right across the door from the church and to demonstrate his independence of religion and his freedom of spirit. On Sunday mornings, he took special effort during the summer months. The plow while everybody else was in there worshiping singing praises to God's tractor was going up and down the Paros of and on the pharaohs and the summer went by in the time of the harvest came and he gathered it in late September and early October and then he wrote a letter to the newspaper explaining his position. He said all summer long. When the others were in church observing what they call the Lord's day. I've been working in my fields. God is not punish me for my action. He's even blessed by efforts not only have my crops succeeded. I've even been able to raise additional crops of those who forfeited work on one day of the week were unable to do the editor of the paper must been a Christian printed the letter in full, but not at the bottom under this man's signature. The editor added God does not settle his accounts in September and that's true. This is what James is saying he saying that while we are undergoing persecution. While there is trouble.

Why were in distress. The days we go through may seem long we have to remember that this is not the end of the matter and the judgments will come. This secondly introduces at this point, however, and I think he does so with the kind of judicious violence that we expect from the writers of Scripture areas talking to the downtrodden is telling them to be patient until the Lord's coming, even uses an agricultural image to explain what he means when he says this and by the way, while you're at it. Don't grumble against other Christians brothers or you will be judged because the judge is standing at the door.

What's his thinking. I think his thinking is this is talking to the righteous, the godly about their oppression and he saying remember the end is not yet the judge is coming, the wicked will be punished because he knows human nature and because he knows the Christians easily think along these lines. I am therefore the righteous. They are the ungodly and everything I do is right and everything they do is wrong, directs a word to the Christians and says while you're at it, don't forget that same judge is your judge and you must give an answer one day to him who judges all the affairs of men. So while you wait in patients. Just make sure that your own conduct is aboveboard is something else. Not only does he tell the Christians to be patient. He tells them to stand firm and I said that because patients while undoubtedly very difficult virtue to achieve is nevertheless sort of passive thing is we think of it that way or simply sitting there holding your Tom waiting, hoping that someday your affairs will be vindicated.

Stand fast. By contrast, while it has what we might call certain passive overtones. Nevertheless suggests a more aggressive behavior. It suggests holding firm to that which you pairing up under the impression that you might give testimony of the gospel, not retreating that what you know so he saying while you would during such things.

Nevertheless endure. With this in mind that you are the ambassadors of God, you are the emissaries of the most high your those to whom God has entrusted the gospel therefore hold fast that which you have an sure that you live for him. I'm sure that in James's day as an hours I was a very difficult thing to say and probably people in his day would say well that's fine for you to say as long as you're not suffering as I'm suffering what I'm suffering and you are suffering as I'm suffering, you wouldn't say such things. Well, James, at this point goes on together. Some examples and he reminds them that this kind of persecution is unjust treatment that they are enduring, is simply that which the godly at all ages of no directs her attention to the prophets, first of all first 10 brothers is an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord, as you know, we consider blessed those who persevere as a name there precisely what profits he has in mind, we could easily run down a list of the prophets and verify his teaching. We think of Stephen's great speech on the occasion of his martyrdom. He went down through all of Jewish history. As he got to the end.

He reminded his hearers that there was not a prophet that they had no not a messenger. The godsend would not been rejected in his time, even those he said and testified of the coming of the righteous one. And then he said when the righteous one came the epitome of God's revelation. The messenger was above all other messengers you killed him as well. This is what James is saying certainly not encouraging us to seek out persecution is not encouraging us to seek suffering but he saying if you do go through this for the sake of righteousness. Remember it is not uncommon for the people of God. All the prophets before you have suffered such things are we to think simply because we live in America that we won't suffer for our profession of faith. When we take a stand upon God's teaching of Scripture and attempt to live by that, contrary at times the teaching for the drift of our culture that we won't suffer may be God's grace will spare us such things, but if it comes not to think that this is anything special to us as if somehow God is suddenly abandoned us to suffer when he didn't do that before.

Oh James says just remember when you're in such circumstances, but it happened, the better men than you and better women than you remember prophets and from them or in patients and stand firm. I said he doesn't mention what profits he has in mind that's true, but in the very next section deed the continuation of verse 11, he does mention one individual. But a prophet so far as we know. Nevertheless, one of his name is synonymous with patience and suffering the name of Joe. I think probably the reason why he mentions Job is that in Job's case, we have an outcome of the story sees just said, be patient and suffering because you have a righteous judge, will settle all things of the last day and undoubtedly the case of Isaiah, God did settle the account in the case of Jeremiah, God did settle the account but we don't know precisely how that happened less than judgment upon Israel at the time of the deportations is to be taken is that kind of a vindication case of Job. We do have the outcome of the story and therefore James as he thinks about patience and steadfast endurance and suffering naturally terms the job on Jones is a very interesting story Re: men's lessons to be learned from Joe. One lesson is that suffering often comes those who are God's people, not because they're somehow off the track and sitting in God is using it to get them back on the track. Sometimes that's the case I was talking along these lines as part of an exposition of Romans five. Just this past week, and afterward a woman came up and told me of a tragic accident.

She had had you been driving along the highway at 50 miles an hour and a young man driving 100 miles an hour being pursued by a state trooper for a traffic violation crashed into the back of her car knocked over an embankment, so she was pinned underneath the car broke 31 bones in her body and was just barely.

After all this time recuperating and she said that the first two Christians who came to her after her accident, said boy is amazing what God has to do to some people to get them back to the path of obedience, may I point out that while that may be true that is certainly not the kind of thing that we can instinctively assume about somebody else only time we are to start our reasoning without train of thought is when we are suffering and of course that's the time when release disposed to do so. Tragedy comes into our life, we have to ask Lord have I gotten off the track, but I don't something wrong. Are you bringing this into my life to get me back to thinking about you, but is not always the case as a second kind of suffering and tribulation, which is not corrective but constructive as God uses it to develop character. The author of the hundred 19 Psalm says in one place before I was afflicted, I want to spray after I was afflicted, I gave attention to your word. What he saying is that God what tribulations to work. Patients and patients experience and experience, hope above all, to give them a desire to study the word of God, so it may be the case if it's not a corrective matter. The nevertheless God is using such things to develop character in us.

You're trying to train for an athletic event. You certainly don't get in shape by refusing exercise exercises painful. Nevertheless, through the pain you develop the muscles that you need to compete and simply put, this is what happens spiritually.

Also but then in addition these two purposes, the God sometimes has for suffering. There is this third and highly exalted purpose, which is simply through the suffering of one of his chosen ones. God might bring glory to his own name. Job is an example of the third case of suffering reason.

We know that is that it's indicated the very beginning of the story. Job was introduced in verse one, were told where he lives lived in a town called us and then this is what said this man was blameless and upright, he feared God and he shunned evil juror does not mean the Job was sinless, but it does mean that so far as is possible human being. 11 upright life. Job fell into that category. Then it tells his inventory was relatively rich had seven sons, three daughters, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys. In addition to this he had all the servants to take care of his animals balance the introduction. There's the person whom the story is going to deal. The scene shifts to heaven and in heaven. We see the throne of God and God and all the angels are there, were told that Satan and his host come to present themselves before God. Not sure I fully understand how that was done any right that was a conversation and in this particular case, God initiated the conversation initiated by asking a question of Satan. He said Satan were you coming from and Satan said all I been in the earth going up and down the length of it that was sort of the icebreaker, then got asked really pertinent question God through attention to Job, he said, have you considered my servant Job, that there is not a man like him in all your blameless, upright before me, he fears me and he shuns evil. I don't know whether Satan had personal contact with Job, Satan is not omnipresent the way God is he is a created being. You can't deal with everybody at once.

But undoubtedly he had heard of Job, and perhaps it even had some contact with Job.

I think a little later on in the story. There's a suggestion that might've been the case. At any rate he knew who God was talking about. Job was proverbial, even in that day certainly among the hosts of Satan and Satan's response to God, was this no wonder Joe worships you made them a rich man. Why wouldn't a person worship you as long as you bless them abundantly with material things God said to Satan were going to put that accusation to the test. Now, when God called attention to Joe and Satan responded.

The first thing Satan said was this, you put a hedge about him and about only possesses and protected him and therefore no wonder he worships you. You made them rich man and keep in the first half of that is an interesting confession and it's true. Oh, the second half of course is a slander what Satan was saying is it because Joe belong to God going to set up a hedge offense of defensive wall around him, so that Satan was unable to touch Joe.

That's why I think that perhaps Satan really had some personal experience. He tried to reach him but found that he couldn't so he confesses that that's a great lesson for Christians because it says nothing comes into our lives. It's not permitted by God because God has a hedge thrown up around all his own any rate, in this story in order to make the point in order to show that Job worshiped God for the glory of God alone and not what God could do for him. God said were going to lower the hedge just far enough for you to touch his possessions. But you're not allowed to touch his person. So Satan went out rubbing his hands together in glee thinking this is what I wanted all along that last time to get that mealy mouth grit and I'm going to make them curse God to his face and so disaster fell upon Joe were told about it.

First of all, servants came running where Job was in the servant said, the oxen and the donkeys were grazing and suddenly abandoned the marauders came out of the desert and they carried them off and they killed all the servants disaster number one while he was still speaking, a second servant came in the second servant said while the sheep and the servants were in the field. Fire fell from heaven lightning and it killed them all disaster number two while he was speaking 1/3 messenger came and said, the Chaldeans came in writing parties out of the desert. They took off all the camels and they killed the servants of their guarding them while at servant was still speaking, 1/4 messenger came in his message was the most dismal of all he said your sons and your daughters were gathered together in one house. Suddenly the whirlwinds struck the house and collapsed and killed them all in one moment Job's possessions and family are removed and Satan was looking on stood back, wringing his hands waiting for Job to do the cursing, which he Satan said he would do were told Job those stricken with a disaster did nothing of the sort. Instead, he got up toward his robe, a symbol of mourning. He shaved his head, and symbol of mourning.

He knelt down and worship and he said naked I came from my mother's womb naked. I will depart the Lord gave the Lord is taken away by the name of the Lord praised were told all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job triumphed. I we have the next scene of the grommets heaven again, God is there Satan and his host come to present themselves before God and God asked his question. Where have you been this time Satan's answer seems a little bit evasive. He doesn't mention nobody said all you know, I've been going up and down in the art, just like I always do and God won't let them off the hook. He said well how about it, how about Job, I Satan knew it was coming. He just knew God was going to ask him about Job, and he had his retort ready earlier you said Job worships you because you take care of that is your good to him. So he's good to you now, he switches his tactic and says the reason Job worships you is not that he loves you and reveres you because you take care of them, but rather because he's afraid of you skin for skin. He said Amanda get anything in exchange for his life.

In other words he was slandering Joe by saying the reason why Joe doesn't curse it was because he's afraid that if he does something even worse, will come upon it. And God said all right will lower the hedge a little bit further.

Now you can touch his person, but again you Take his life.

So Satan went out he afflicted Job with boils. He sat down in his misery racked with pain, even his wife came and said to him, why don't you curse God and die, yet were told Job didn't do it.

He said, shall we accept good from God and not trouble than the testimony of the story says in all this Job did not sin and what he said.

What did Job do Joe waited in patients and he remained steadfast in what he knew about his God many lessons that enter in at this point you know about his comforters. They calmly begin to give them comfort, which of course was not much comfort at all. We tend to ridicule Job's comforters, but let me tell you they did one thing that most of us don't even bother to do.

We are great on words and very little in the ministration of affection.

We don't even get the point.

One first thing were told about them is that they sat down on the ground with him, identifying him with him in his misery, and they didn't say anything for seven days and seven nights. In other words, they didn't consider that they had any right to speak to Job's condition until you first of all identified with them in his misery. Let's take that as a lesson we can be far worse than Job's comforters simply by saying to somebody was suffering all it's okay those things happen.

Everybody are all God really does some things to get you to pay attention or well maybe it's for the glory of God, or something like that. We have to do. First of all the sitdown with people and identify with them and then we have a right to speak the course. These people spoke, but they spoke wasn't very wise. They said basically you since somehow because suffering is linked to sin. Even if you don't know what it is you. Since somehow, or else you do know what it is you been keeping it silent all these years and putting on a front God not letting you get away with it. Job knew that he wasn't sent last, but he knew he had done anything to deserve all that humanly speaking and he must've been scratching his head saying there must be something more to this something that I simply don't understand and neither was counselors talk to them. Job replied argument by argument. He talked to them about theology tried to reason it out to show them the pharmacies of their argument. God allow that to go on page after page after page after page is why most people don't read the book of Job. At any rate, the time came when the counselors and finish. They said everything they do to say Job was still left in his misery is no better off than he was before and at this point God intervenes in the story you think don't you let the first thing God is going to say is Job.

I will explain it all to. I've been waiting and waiting for these miserable counselors to shut up so you could be free to listen to what I have to say I wanted you to exhaust all your reasoning so I could begin the answer you that's what God does. It would seem on the surface of the first thing God does is reduce Job misery even further because I Job is been hanging onto his his knowledge of God and his ability to reason about spiritual things. He's been adequate to the counselors they give an argument, but gives a perfectly adequate argument back but now God comes and says Job. What do you really know anyhow if you're going understand my will and my ways. You have to begin with the fact that when were talking spiritually, you and your human knowledge, no next to nothing, so he has a whole series of questions a whole series of interrogations where he asked Joe where were you when I made the foundations of the world were you standing around to observe and see how I did it when where were you when I created the animals. Where were you when I hung the stars in the sky.

Where were you when I made the wins where were you, I don't even know what all God did, but he doesn't. He goes on for chapter after chapter after chapter reminding Job of all these things are Job would probably never even thought about in his life, let alone understood when it gets to the end of the interrogation. Job is would seem as absolutely reduced to nothingness and he bemoans himself or any arrogance that he would possibly have been standing up to accuse God of wrongdoing or even notice to explain the ways of God. The sinful man that's at the point where God intervenes in the way comes about as this Job recognizing that, though he thought he understood better than his friends. Nevertheless really doesn't understand better than his friends and so he sees himself on the same level with Amity praise for them, the God will work with them and forgive them for the kind of arrogant comments and self-righteousness that they demonstrated in the conversation were told that God change the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends and what God did was give them everything back double gave them 1400 14,000 sheep doubling the 7000 he gave them 6000 camels doubling the camels. He gave them a thousand oxen. A thousand asses doubling what you previously owned in those categories servants then it's very interesting you gave him seven sons and three daughters didn't double sons and the daughters why because when the animals were gone.

The animals were gone.

I do not have imperishable souls of the sons and daughters. Though they were gone physically were nevertheless not gone there with God in heaven know they had died, though they had been killed.

Job still had the seven sons and three daughters are now God gave him seven sons, three daughters more.

All of this Job trial. This is what James is referring to. And he says when you suffer here these things in mind, give glory to God and trust in the outcome. God does know what he's doing God is not adorable on God is the righteous judge of the universe. Those who live righteously and suffer patiently and stand fast in tribulation will be rewarded by him properly. At the last day of father, bless these truths to us where in good health all goes well.

These stories seem mostly irrelevant DOS.

We can hardly identify with them when sickness comes people in our family suffer when they die. Stories do have meeting.

We pray that you would so write them upon our minds and cause them to sink down into our understanding when those troubles come to offices. They certainly do all men and women we might stand before the modern. The wisdom of this world, but rather in that wisdom which is grounded in Scripture and consists in our knowledge of yourself is the righteous and loving God grant we might grow in that knowledge blesses that in not for our sakes for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us, even Jesus, our Savior. You are listening to the Bible study hour with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

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