When things in your life seem to be going horribly wrong, here's something to remember. God's truth abideth still. His kingdom is forever. No matter what the accuser says, no matter what life delivers, no matter what trials may come, no matter if you find yourself along with David saying, I am in the lowest pit and darkness is my closest friend.
Let's spite the devil and sing praise to God. Things in Job's life went terribly wrong. Disaster struck his family and he lost all of his children.
His wealth and his health were taken from him. In the end, he learned important lessons about God. He learned that the events of his life, the good and the bad, are in God's sovereign care. These are lessons you need to remember as well, especially when things go bad for you. Today, Stephen comes to the last message from his study of Job.
It's a lesson he's calling Almost Happily Ever After. Open your Bible to the end of Job as we get started right now. Ask someone who lost a child if having another child replaced the hollow part in their heart. Ask someone who has suffered with a painful disease or an accident if they ever completely forgot the effects.
Ask someone who was abandoned by family or friends. Ask the victim of crime or abuse if they look at life exactly the same way they used to. Let's not trivialize Job now that we've come to the last chapter and say, well, you know, he had more children and his diseases cleared up and he got rich again. He lived happily ever after, almost. He will never look at life again the same, even the good things. He's going to have a deeper appreciation for his health like he never had before. He's going to look at money and business and wealth with an entirely different perspective.
He isn't going to clutch it ever again. He will hold his children and his grandchildren a lot differently than he did in the past because he knows what it's like to lose them all in about 39 seconds. That's how long it took the messengers to deliver the news. It's not quite happily ever after, but many wonderful events have reaffirmed his faith. They're taking place in the last few verses of this book. Let's look at them together. First, God speaks on Job's behalf.
Wonderful that he has spoken and now that he speaks, he speaks these words. Look at verse 7. It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, remember he was the oldest, he was the representative of the others, my wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends because you have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has. Can you imagine this scene? Nobody knows where Elihu went. He seems to have disappeared as quickly as he appeared. But these three friends have spent hours, in condescending, unfeeling, uncaring, super spiritual speech after another, castigating Job as a rebellious wayward man and a man worthy of this judgment.
These are former friends. You talk about kicking a man when he is down. They have added grief to his misery. In fact, Eliphaz, you remember, even made up what he believed were the horrible secret sins that Job must have committed to receive from God such terrible judgment. Eliphaz and the others have implied even that Job's sins were the reason his children had died and his fortunes were lost. Not so, God thunders. Job is my servant and you Eliphaz and you other two know it all, pietistic windbags.
Okay, I'm adding that part. You need to come to Job and you need to have Job, my servant, pray for you. Is that the ultimate vindication or what? What do you think Job's doing here? I mean, what would you be doing if you were dancing around saying, nah, nah, nah, nah, or something spiritual like that?
No. He's already repented of saying more than he should have and he has suffered so. For those of you who suffer, you know there are more important things than being right.
You are actually completely satisfied with having the pleasure and the smile and the commendation of God. He called you his servant. Now I see Job sitting here with tears trickling down his cheeks.
He called me his servant. Next, Job prays on his friend's behalf. This is proof that Job wasn't gloating, the fact that he's praying. Look at verse 10, the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends.
By the way, don't miss this in our hurry. Job prayed here not for himself, not even for his own restoration, not for his healing. He prayed for these men who had wronged him, which means he had forgiven them. He was praying for God to show them mercy and forgiveness too.
How does a person do that? I think it's because he recognized that he had maligned God and God had forgiven him and now he in turn can forgive those that have maligned him. See our problem in forgiving others is that we have forgotten how much we have been forgiven by God. A truly repentant sinner is most willing to forgive other sinners. Further on here in verse 10 we read that Job has had the Lord increase all that he had twofold.
What exactly does twofold look like? First God restores Job's family circle and adds to it. Look at verse 11, then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him and they ate bread with him in his house and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him. This is a surprise to me.
I didn't know Job had brothers and sisters. Where have they been? The chips were down.
Where were they? Well, we really don't know. It may be that they hung around and helped. However, the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint, a manuscript old enough in fact for our Lord to even quote from, includes a lengthier passage earlier from this book that I mentioned months ago that indicates Job's wife had to go through the humiliation of cutting off her hair and selling it in order to buy food. We have every indication, although we can't be sure, that Job's family had left them out to dry.
They just hung them out. Frankly, I believe that along with Job's three friends, they were all afraid. We probably would have been too. They were afraid that with this kind of judgment that they believed was against God that should they help out, they could receive the judgment from God as well.
So they kept their distance, which means in order for this family gathering now and all these former friends to take place in verse 11, for this kind of fellowship that's indicated here, there would have been apologies tumbling out from everyone and forgiveness tumbling back. They would have said, sorry, we were wrong. We didn't believe that you were innocent. We, like everybody else, thought that God was just backing the truck up with his judgment because of evidently secret sin. We should have known better. We knew you walked with God, but well, forgive us. No. And I never want to see you again.
We would have said they had it coming. Yes. Come on over. My appetite's coming back. I'd love to eat bread with you. We are all forgiven.
Wow. I don't know how many months later, Dinah, the Septuagint names her that, comes up behind Job and whispers, you won't believe it, old man, but we're expecting. Verse 13 says he had seven sons and three daughters, the exact number of children they had raised before. But wait, now God had promised that he would double Job's fortune and God indeed, you do the math, he doubles the number of sheep. He doubles the number of camels, oxen and donkey. But Job still has only 10 children.
That does mean though that Job does indeed have twice the children. He didn't entirely lose his first 10. They still count. They're still alive. And he will one day see them in paradise. God restores Job's family circle and added to it. Secondly, God restores Job's financial security and adds to it as well. Go back to verse 11, the latter part. It says, and each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. Now this money, the Hebrew text doesn't indicate a value that we can understand. All we know is that everybody gave him a gift of money and a ring of gold.
One classic painting that I came across shows the scene. Job is cleansed, he's dressed in fine clothing, he's seated under a tree on a chair with a long line of well-wishers that just bleeds off the edge of the painting, standing there waiting to make amends. This is how Job was able to purchase new livestock and get back on his feet.
But don't overlook the fact that this would be a slow and tedious return. God did not restore to Job in one afternoon what he took away in 39 seconds. But how wise of God. He knew that Job's healing and restoration would include people, conversations, work.
Job now knew all of that was far more important than just wealth. And did you notice how proud he seems to be of his daughters? I think that's kind of interesting. He names them for us. First is named Jemima.
That interesting? I've seen her picture. It means dove. Keziah means perfume.
And the third, I'd read it if I had time, but I just don't have enough time. I think it's Karen hapuch. It means horn of eye paint. Horn of eye paint.
Was she being punished for something, maybe eight months of colic? I don't know. No, this phrase actually referred to a bottle of dye used to paint the eyelashes, the eyelids, and the eyebrows to make the eyes more attractive.
Interesting. You know, for those dads who are looking for a verse against eye shadow, the godliest man in the east actually named one of his daughters eye shadow. Don't you hate it when that happens?
Sorry, guys. Verse 15 tells us that in the land, no women were found so fair as Job's daughters. And their father even sweetens the pot by giving them an inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 more years and saw his sons and his grandsons and his great grandsons and his great great grandsons.
Four generations of sons. And Job died an old man full of years. That's the Hebrew way of saying satisfied with a full life. If anybody qualified to live happily ever after, I think it'd be Job. And even Job will eventually grow ill again. He'll probably stand by more fresh graves along the way. And he will eventually die. Then he learned the real story. That his affliction, as great as it had been, was light and momentary, producing a far greater weight of glory far beyond comparison.
2 Corinthians 4.17. Now before we say farewell to Job, let's hear his life echo once more across the span of some 4,000 years. I have 25 sermons in my library preached by Charles Spurgeon on the life of Job. I wanted to see what this renowned pastor and preacher had to say to his congregation in the 1800s on his last sermon. After reading it I thought really what I ought to do is get him to just read it to you.
So well done. The book is entitled Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. In this sermon, Spurgeon preached these words. This may seem to be a very trite observation, commonplace, and such as everybody knows. But, beloved, the very thing that everybody knows are those things which we need to hear. Those old things which we did not care about in our prosperity are most valued when we are cast down by the terrible blows of tribulation. When I read that, it made me wonder where you were when we started this journey a year ago and where you are now. Perhaps for you the truths didn't matter much back then.
Maybe. They really matter now. You remember this book began with Job sacrificing for his children in case they had inadvertently said something wrong or acted improperly. They were already on their own.
They were already in their own homes. They had their own families. But Job was a shepherd. He cared for his family. Not just physically but spiritually.
The book began by introducing us to the best representative of mankind on the planet to sort of set us up. There was no question Job was a godly man which led us to that first observation. God's children are not immune from trials. Maybe a year ago you thought that wasn't true but now you know it is. Christians are not given some sort of flu shot against hardship.
There's no such guarantee. Maybe you said under your breath, yeah, okay, I believe that God's children can suffer great trials but not godly children. Godly people have been given a free hall pass against hardship. We had no idea that godly people actually invite harassment even from fallen angels who hate God and God's people. And the accuser soon came against Job. You remember if he could get Job to walk away from God, if he could get Job to stop worshiping God there is no greater pleasure to Satan than seeing God robbed of worship which is his highest aim. So Satan came to God and he accused Job before God and then Satan came and accused God before Job and he does the same thing and maybe he's doing it to you right now or one of his emissaries.
That's why he's called the accuser all the way to the book of Revelation, the accuser of the brethren. It is his mission in life to tell you that God is not worth keeping and to tell you God isn't worth following. He reminds God that you are sinful and he repeats to you that God is absent.
He whispers in the ear of God that you are unfaithful to him and he whispers in your ear that God is uninterested in you. Maybe you're hearing messages like that today and you didn't a year ago but Job will sing of God's faithfulness in those early days. You remember that great text where Job in chapter 19 said I know that my redeemer liveth. No wonder Martin Luther the great reformer would write him texts of Christ's victory over Satan. He understood the battle. We often forget it. We think it's with things we see alone.
Not so. He would say to his congregation hundreds of years ago and I quote him let us spite the devil by singing praise to God. How's that for an introduction of a hymn.
That's why we'll do it. We'll spite the devil and sing praise to God. And so he composed words specifically to rile Satan while at the same time worshiping God listen to these old words with new ears. A mighty fortress is our God a bulwark never failing. Our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing for still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe. His craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate on earth is not his equal. And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us. We will not fear for God has willed his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim we tremble not for him. His rage we can endure for lo his doom is sure one little word shall fail him. That word above all earthly powers no thanks to them abideth. The spirit and the gifts are ours through him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go this mortal life also the body they may kill God's truth abideth still his kingdom is forever. Let's spite the devil and sing praise to God. No matter what the accuser says no matter what life delivers no matter what trials may come no matter if you find yourself along with David saying I am in the lowest pit and darkness is my closest friend for truths may mean more to you now than ever before.
Let me give them to you quickly. Number one whenever you conclude that God isn't present he is your member. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13 5 Joe was convinced that God was absent God had never been more present. He is present tense. He is not only past tense and future tense. He is present tense. He not only was and shall be he is. Whenever you conclude that life is hopeless.
Secondly it isn't. I've got plans for you. God says to them generations ago not because you deserve it. And he says to us I've got plans for you not because you deserve it. In fact your wayward is real maybe believer today but I have plans for you because I've promised it.
That's why. And I will give you a future and to hope whenever you conclude that God isn't present he is whenever you feel life is hopeless it isn't. Third whenever the enemy of your soul whispers into your ear that God doesn't care he does.
And so we cast all our care upon him because he cares for you. First Peter 5 7 4th whenever you believe God hasn't heard your crying he has. I was crying to the Lord with my voice and he heard me out of his holy hill. Psalm 3 verse 4 in my distress I cried unto the Lord and he heard me.
So I'm one hundred and twenty verse one. Well you say but what about you know wayward believers. Maybe he's tired. Maybe he's going to start over. No Jonah said how wayward can you get. I called out of my distress to the Lord and he answered me I cried for help and you heard my voice. Jonah chapter 2 verse 2. Christian whenever the accuser of fifth whispers in your heart that God has ceased loving you it's a lie not just for let me give you five. Whenever the accuser whispers in your heart that God has ceased loving you it's a lie.
God never has. I am convinced I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present or things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8 38 he covers it all. Paul was convinced not by the beatings he received. He was convinced not by the stonings he endured. He was convinced not by the storms and shipwrecks that God could have kept from happening. He was convinced not from the abandonment of the churches that he had planted and the friends that had deserted him and the believers he had discipled not by any of that for what assurances can life provide for you or for me. Paul was convinced because it was the revelation of God's truth to him for our trials will one day seem light and momentary yielding eternally a weight of glory far beyond comparison. Peter wrote after you've suffered for a little while a little while the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself perfect confirm strengthen and establish you to him be dominion or glory forever and ever.
First Peter 5 10 and 11. Listen ladies and gentlemen living happily ever after is not going to happen on planet Earth until the earth is remade. And when all the redeemed with our robes dazzling and clean stand beside our sovereign Lord and face eternity this sovereign one who has chosen by the way to retain his wounds while healing us of all of ours. That's when it will begin. Job Chapter 42 was not the end of Job's story and your story is not finished either. There is for all of us who follow Christ an ending unlike we can imagine. It is way beyond a fairy tale but it's for real.
It is for real. There is a coming Prince a prince of peace who will one day come. He will come and there will be a palace. There will be a throne. There will be the court of Heaven's kingdom and the streets are even made of gold. And we will live there happily ever after with our prince who one day that day will set everything right. Dear friends he will one day set everything right. So by all means in this temporary day no matter what comes we can begin even now saying to him be the glory forever and ever.
Amen. What a wonderful ending to our study through the life of Job here on Wisdom for the Heart. This lesson is called Almost Happily Ever After and it comes from the series When God Speaks. If you missed any of the lessons in this series please go to wisdomonline.org and you'll find them under the free resources tab. Navigate to Wisdom for the Heart and all of the sermons from Job will be there. For information dial 866-48-Bible then join us next time for more Wisdom for the Heart. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-11 00:48:28 / 2023-05-11 00:57:13 / 9