Lessons From Job (when life isn't fair)

Lessons From Job (when life isn’t fair), Loving God, part XVII

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I don’t know what it is, but the story of Job never gets old for me, have you read it lately?

Life is not fair. People can be nice, but they often disappoint us and leave us frustrated and sometimes cynical. Ever had a friend, that seemed like a good “friend” until money became an issue? Christian friends can be even worse, mostly because we expect more out of them. So when they let us down, it is a great disappointment.

Psalm 41: 9 Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
the one who shared my food, has turned against me.

Work can be enjoyable, but until the wrong boss is hired, or someone gets promoted ahead of you, or when the clients can’t pay up, work can get rather stressful and downright ugly.

Family can be the worst!

How about families? If your family is close, you are greatly blessed. I know people that don’t have close families and things can get really weird and difficult. The flip side with close families is that when parents, siblings or, God forbid, children die, it can be incredibly painful.

Life is just not fair. If you haven’t figured this out yet, you will. As my wife likes to say, the “fair” is in Pomona once a year. (That’s where the state fair is held in California.)

If you read the Bible regularly, it explains this. People are murdered, sold into slavery, raped, lied to, beaten, and even crucified unjustly.

Let’s consider what happened to Job:

In Job chapter 1: 13-17 Job lost all his donkeys, oxen, farmhands, sheep, shepherds, camels and servants. Then in verses 18-19 he lost all his children:

Job 1: 18 While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. 19 Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does!

Job 2:7 So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.

And his wife wasn’t very supportive (to say the least):

Job 2: 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”

Keep in mind that Job was blameless (Job 1:1), how did he feel after all this?

After 7 days and nights of silence, here is just a sample of his response:

Job 3: 11 “Why wasn’t I born dead?

Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?
12 Why was I laid on my mother’s lap?
Why did she nurse me at her breasts?
13 Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace.
I would be asleep and at rest.

Have you ever wished that you were never born?

Job is clearly an extreme example for us all to study. In a way, I have always felt that Job lived his life so that when things got really bad in our lives we could always say, “At least my life’s not as bad as Job’s.”

Job goes through this process of grieving and anger. He debates with his friends who try to convince him that he must have done something wrong.

After an unknown period of time and challenges from God Himself, it culminates here:

Job 42:  1 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.”

Shall we remain ignorant of God when we have a choice?

It appears that Job learned that he was questioning God out of ignorance. He admits that he “had only heard about God before”, but after he had seen God, he took back everything he said and repented. Imagine, someone with complete integrity (Job 1:1), repenting. This tells me that the more I  know God, the more I realize how far off the mark I am and that repentance is an ongoing process. Of course, his circumstances change a few verses later, but you really should read the book.

Job is a great book. These verses are only the highlights, but there are many things to be learned from this book. I recommend reading it in the NLT version, I found it easier to understand than in other versions.

I don’t want you to assume that I know God very well, but What God is teaching me is that the more I know Him, the more I can trust Him. The more I learn about how awesome, incredible, indescribable, unfathomable He really is, the less I question Him.

He wants us to trust Him. I don’t think He minds being questioned, but the only reason we question Him is because we don’t know (trust) Him well enough. I do know that He is more upset if we don’t put in the effort to know Him, than when we question Him.

Psalm 9: 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

Are you getting to know Him?

“Dear Lord, you are sovereign and I am a mere human. How can I even begin to understand you? My ways are not your ways, and your ways are not my ways. Please reveal yourself to me and help me to get to know you better. I want more of you in my life. Thank you for all you’ve done for me and for the path you have me on. In Christ’s name, amen.”

 



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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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