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Default Sermon: Lessons from Job: How Much God Loves Us - 01-23-2012, 09:42 AM

Lessons from Job: How Much God Loves Us
01.22.12
PM Sermon

Brethren, my vision becomes a blur when I think of the love of Christ for us, his children.

Our religious neighbors often quote John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." But they do so failing to grasp its true biblical meaning.

And while this verse is widely misused by Cafeteria Christians in pulpits every Sunday who shamelessly pick and choose which passages of the Bible they will and will not follow, we are the Beloved™ of God who stand in awe of it in the way intended by God. In Job chapter 1, we are given an example of God's love for us. Please turn with me...

"6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD." (Job 1:6-11)

So, for some reason, Satan is in company with the angels to come before God. When he arrives before the Almighty's throne, a heavenly wager is made once God goes to bragging about how awesome Job has been as a faithful worshipper. So God says, "Go ahead, Satan. You can do what you want with Job. Just don't harm him." And from there, life gets really difficult for dearest Job.

God allows Satan to kill his children, his servants, to steal his animals, and totally destroy all that he knew and loved--and all at once. Job never cursed God or charged him foolishly (1:22), and so - despite three stupid friends who discourage him upon their arrival in the next chapter (2:11) - Job remains faithful and is praised by God for his righteousness.

Aren't you glad we have this account in Holy Writ of just how much God loves his servants? Because of a mere bet, God gave up his faithful to be pummeled by the forces of evil. Because of a wager with the Prince of Demons, God destroyed a man's entire life. Because of a simple wager, God brought his finest of servants to ruin, killing his family and robbing him of his wealth. Because an evil angel came and taunted God about one of his children, God said: "Wanna bet?" Yes, simply to look good in the eyes of the heavenly host, the Lord God our Father allowed an evil, malicious force to hurt one of his own prized servants. Don't you love how God loves us?

And that wasn't all. Satan still wasn't satisfied with Job's continued fidelity, so he goes back before God...

"3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life." (Job 2:3-6)

And so the wager continues. Satan says "Job will bend if you let me hurt him!" God again says: "Wanna bet! Go ahead and harm my most faithful servant. Hurt him as badly as you want, just don't kill him."

"7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes." (Job 2:7-8)

Job sits in silence for seven days, still grieving over the loss of his family and everything else, hurting, aching, and scratching himself with a piece of broken pottery. Why? Because God had a wager going in heaven and he had to win! Poor Job languished in agony with a condition that was more painful by a hundred-thousand times than your worst ever FLU. He sat, broken, and with no hope for future prospects of any kind. Why? Because that's how much God loves us. He curses his children with death, tragedy, and sickness just to settle a bet in heaven.

But God always comes through! Hallelujah!

You see, brethren, God believes that no matter how much wrong he does us by allowing bad things to happen, he is still right no matter what. So all he has to do is give stuff to his suffering servants and things are suddenly better. No harm done. Job is finally rewarded for his righteousness...

"10 the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters...15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren." (Job 42:10-15)

Job is joined by his distant family who came and mourned with him and gave him lots of money and farm animals. And on top of that, God gave Job NEW sons and daughters, and these daughters were prettier than the ones he lost to Satan. Having more children certainly makes up for ones that are dead! Amen!

So, as you can see, staying faithful to God is well worth it. What we learn here is that the next time you develop sores on your body, God might be testing you. When Aunt Olga dies of Ovarian Cancer, God may well be testing you. When tragedy strikes and you find yourself in the waiting room of your local ER, hoping and praying that God will guide the doctor's hand to allow your offspring to make a full recovery, there was probably a wager going on in heaven right before it all started. Can we pass the test?

Aren't you just thrilled at the way God loves us?

Let us stand for the invitational hymn.

Pastor Ed



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Default Re: Sermon: Lessons from Job: How Much God Loves Us - 04-04-2012, 01:31 AM

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Originally Posted by Pastor Ed Lowman View Post
And on top of that, God gave Job NEW sons and daughters, and these daughters were prettier than the ones he lost to Satan. Having more children certainly makes up for ones that are dead! Amen!
If only God were to bless me as He blessed Job. I don't even need the daughters to be pretty, just loyal. As long as they are well-proportioned, anyway.
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