Today, from Chuck Swindoll. As flawed people with a sinful nature, we tend to misconstrue God's blessing on our lives. We assume, for instance, that His blessing comes in the form of financial freedom, harmony among friends, and a clean bill of health.
But that's our definition, not His. And today, on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll explores the mysterious ways of God. I love the title, This is My Father's World.
I always find myself wanting to add, and don't you forget it, because it's easy to forget, in this narcissistic age, thinking it's our world, or it's all about us. If there is any story in all the Bible that will make it clear that it is our Father's world, it's the story of Job. Job's sovereign God made a decision to permit Job to go through the ultimate shock and awe assault from none other than the arch enemy of our world and our souls, Satan himself. And Job took it and never lost his trust in the Lord God, remembering it's His world, it's all about Him and His plan, not us and our pleasure. Please remember that when this service is only a memory and this sermon is long forgotten, please remember whatever you go through is designed for your maturity. For God does not exist to make you happy, but to fulfill His will to bring you to maturity and to cultivate within you the qualities that make you like Christ, assuming you're a member of His family. And if you're not, you need to go back to ground zero, which is the cross where faith begins.
But we'll address that later. Right now, please turn to a few excerpts I'll read for you from the New Living Translation out of Job chapters one and two. A few verses out of each chapter will suffice.
There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless. A man of complete integrity, he feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. End of third verse.
He was, in fact, the greatest person in that entire area. Verse four of verse six. One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord and the accuser, Satan, came with them.
Where have you come from? The Lord asked Satan. Satan answered, I've been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on. And the Lord asked Satan, have you noticed my servant Job? He's the finest man in all the earth. He's blameless.
Man of complete integrity, he fears God and stays away from evil. Yes, replied Satan, but Job has good reason to fear God. You've always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You've made him prosper in everything he does.
Look how rich he is. But reach out and take away everything he has. And he will surely curse you to your face. The Lord grants Satan that request. The calamity happens in Job's life, and at the end of that initial series of calamities, we read in verse 20, Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, shaved his head, fell to the ground to worship. He said, I came naked from my mother's womb and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave, gave me what I had.
The Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord. In all this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
Another council happened in heaven the following period of time in verse three of Chapter two begins. The Lord asked Satan, have you noticed my servant Job? Finest man in all the earth, blameless. A man of complete integrity fears God and stays away from evil. He's maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him. Without cause, Satan replied to the Lord skin for skin.
A man will give up everything he has to save his life, but reach out and take away his health. He will surely curse you to his face. The Lord granted Satan that ability, protecting Job's life.
And finally, Job replied, having lost his health. Verse 10. He states. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? In all this, Job said nothing.
Wrong. God has given us his word not only to instruct us. But to prepare us.
For whatever. Just as Job had no clue what was going to happen, nor do you and I. Times like this are meant as part of the time of preparation. Listen closely to the Lord. As you hear from his word again about this story. You're listening to insight for living to study the Bible with Chuck Swindoll.
Be sure to download his searching the scriptures studies by going to insight dot org slash hope. And now the message from Chuck titled When Calamity Crashes In. Job never saw it coming.
Didn't have a clue. It was like he was at the bottom of the hill, relaxing, enjoying his family and the beauty of the world around him. And all the while there is this fully loaded 18 wheeler coming down out of control, speeding along at over 80 miles an hour with the driver sound asleep at the wheel about to crash into his life and slam him into another world. And he didn't see any of it coming.
None of it. But he was ready for it. Don't ever doubt that he may not have seen it, which is a matter of the mind, the eyes, being aware of what's coming.
No one knows. But being ready for it is a matter of a heart. And Job had spent his entire life preparing for.
Whatever. You see, Job wasn't enthroned upon his own throne. He worshipped the living God. Make no mistake about it. He had spent his life. Staying ready.
So there was no need to get ready. For what was to come. Shocking, though it was and grievous, though it became.
It's possible to live like that. And let's let's let's not misread the Book of Job. It is easy for all of us to jump right into the calamities. For there are the things that grab our attention almost out of the chute in his story. And you read a one event after another, after another, after another, until finally all 10 of the children are dead.
As a result of a tornado that wipes out the house in which they were. And you forget the first several verses. Which set the stage for the entire story. They tell us about the man himself. Merely a man. Not a super man. Not a supernatural human.
A man. There was a man from this place named Uz, not the wizard of. He was a man from the land of Uz, wherever it was. Blameless, not sinless.
Don't make it say what it doesn't say. Blameless. A man of complete integrity.
The word means whole, solid. No veneer, no hypocrisy. The same in private as he was in public. And he feared God. So he walked in humility.
He stayed away from evil. On top of all the other, he's a man of moral and ethical purity. A man like that gets noticed, especially by his peers. And the consensus among those around him was he's the greatest man among us.
Whatever award was given then, Job had earned it. Now, what makes this story all the more interesting is that you and I learn things that even the main character and his wife don't know. It's as if it is a great divine play. Curtains are closed and the director steps out from behind the curtain, leaving them closed, and he talks to you and me about something that occurred that the players are not aware of. I love plays like that, where the audience knows things that the people in the play don't know.
Where in this case, the reader of the book knows that the characters within the story don't know. Job didn't know that God and Satan had had a conversation. He didn't know about the agreement that was permitted by his sovereign God. He didn't know anything about what was to come. All he knew was he served a God he could trust, regardless.
And that makes Job unique. The director continues to talk with us, saying, On this occasion, when the Lord God and his subjects, the elect angels, have come together, there was also among them, Hasatan, the Hebrew says. Hasatan. He's got the hiss of a snake in his name. He's there too.
Why he was permitted, we don't know. If it ever happened before, we're never told. But on this occasion, he is there. The Lord notices him and speaks to him. What have you been doing? I've been walking up and down across the earth, observing here and there certain people.
You notice Job? Blameless man of integrity, purity, humility. Walks with me, loves his wife, great father.
Ten children. Wonderful business. Camels that are on caravans bringing back a prosperous business world that he has cultivated. And I blessed him, yes. Hasatan says, Of course he walks with you. Who wouldn't build a wall around him and his family and his home and his possessions?
Of course he walks with you. You spoil him. You take those things away. It's a different story.
For some unrevealed reason, we're told, the Lord agreed. You may reach out and take away everything he has. Verse 11 states, But keep your hands off Job. You see, even even if he permits such things, he places the limitations on Satan himself. You go no further.
You leave him personally alone. That's good enough for the Satan. One day, here it is again, one day. There had been no night warning ahead of time, no sky riding that morning, no cloud formation, no whispers in Job's ears. One day, just like happens in your life and in mine, one day that dawns like all the others, allow me, all hell breaks loose and the forces of hell come against him. Not only do the calamities occur one after another, they come immediately one upon the other.
Look at how it reads. One day, Job's sons and daughters were feasting in the old brother's house. A messenger arrived at Job's house with the news.
Your oxen were plowing with the donkeys and they were feeding beside them. When the civilians raided and they stole all of your animals and they killed all the farmhands, I'm the only one escaped to tell you. While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with his news. The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all your shepherds. And I'm the only one escaped to tell you. While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with his news. Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I'm the only one escaped to tell you. While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived and says, your sons and daughters. No, no, no. The worst possible thing Job could imagine, the house in which they were all feasting, enjoying one another, collapsed and they are all dead.
I deliberately pause and give you a moment to catch your breath. Job needed a while, for he and his wife are the only ones left to bury the dead. We forget that. He and Mrs. Job, grief-stricken, tear-streamed down their faces, lay all of their adult children to rest.
One is bad enough, two would be horrible, three unimaginable, but all ten of them gone. On that windswept hill, Job is left to respond. Verse 20, he stood up, which tells you that he had been on his face. Now he stood up, tore his robe in grief, and if you will allow me a little bit of preacher's imagination, I believe he took his wife in his arms and whispered, sweetheart, we've lost it all, including those we loved so much. But the one we have loved most has chosen to do this for some unrevealed reason. Please observe, he shaved his head, fell again to the ground to worship, to worship, to worship. No cursing. Hasatan despised that moment most of all.
How could that possibly be happening? You see, the way Job lived his life, God owns it all. So when he chooses for whatever reason to remove it all, he has every right to take it all without an explanation.
Will you remember that? Will all of us please remember that the same God who gives has every right to take? Nebuchadnezzar spoke of it following his insane years in the field, when he took the pen in hand in Daniel's writings, and he added verse 35 of chapter 4 of Daniel, all the inhabitants of the earth are as nothing. He does according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can stay his hand or say unto him, what are you doing?
What a statement of sovereignty. Nebuchadnezzar, the once proud king who had been brought to nothing. Our God is in the heavens. The psalmist speaks.
He has done whatever he pleases. And just as the psalmist and just as Nebuchadnezzar, Job worships. You're listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll.
To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at insightworld.org. Here at Insight for Living, we don't know exactly how this message strikes you today. We do know, however, that many of our listeners readily identify with the suffering of Job.
Perhaps you're dealing with the mystery of God's timing, or maybe like Job, you're in the aftermath of suffering a massive loss. Whatever the case, we urge you to keep listening as Chuck Swindoll continues this message about what to do when calamity crashes in. This is message number five in a brand new 12-part series called Clinging to Hope. In addition to these daily programs, Chuck has written a brand new book by that title, and there's a complete chapter devoted to today's topic and 11 other topics as well. We're confident you'll appreciate reading this uplifting new book, Clinging to Hope. To purchase a copy right now, go to insight.org slash hope, or call us.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. When you also include a donation to support the Ministry of Insight for Living, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're helping people around the world as well. I saw this note from a pastor in Nigeria who said, Dear Pastor Chuck, for 25 years, your daily radio messages have been a great blessing to my spiritual growth as a Christian and a young seminarian. And today, as a pastor, your online daily devotional has been of great blessing, inspiration, and encouragement to me and my family.
We use it every morning for our family devotion. It's your gifts that allow us to reach pastors like this one. Thanks so much for giving generously toward the ambitious goal of reaching all 195 countries of the world, a mission we're calling Vision 195. To give a contribution today, call us.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at insight.org slash donate. Travelers who want to take a tour to Israel have lots of choices, but do measure up to the thoughtful journey prepared by Insight for Living Ministries. With a proper mix of historical information and biblical context, we provide ample opportunities to pause and let the wonder in.
Our goal is to create special moments when you deepen your love for the Bible and draw closer to your Lord. Experience an unforgettable 12-day tour to Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. To help you grasp the significance of each site, you'll be accompanied by hand-picked Israeli guides, and we choose the best, along with seminary-trained pastors and professors to enhance your spiritual journey. No organization I know of offers this level of exceptional, in-depth instruction and personal care for Holy Land travelers. To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444.
Just imagine walking along sacred sites and watching the Bible come to life. Make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer. Chuck Swindoll continues his message called When Calamity Crashes In, Tuesday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When Calamity Crashes In, was copyrighted in 2019 and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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