Learn from Job to Worship God in Your Suffering (Part 2)

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In Job 1, Satan the accuser, the slanderer, the deceiver speaks to God about Job as indicated in Job 1:9 and says, "I am not impressed with your star student. I am not impressed with this star disciple of yours. I am not impressed at all with this star citizen of your kingdom. I am not impressed with Job". And Satan goes on to give several reasons to show why he is not impressed with Job and he says, "Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and on each and every side of his possessions?  You have bribed Job to love you by giving him prosperity. You have bribed Job to love you and worship you by blessing the work of his hands and increasing his possessions in this land. God, you have bought Job's love with bribery!"  That is Satan's accusation.

In essence, Satan is telling God that "Job does not love you for your sake. He loves you because you give him gifts. Job doesn't love the giver, he loves the gifts. You have showered Job with health, wealth and prosperity and that is why he delights in you.  Job is a mercenary. Job is a paid friend. He is a spiritual prostitute!  You pay, Job performs.  You put cash on the table, and Job will worship you.  But Job doesn't really love you for who you are. He loves you because of what you have given him.  That is Satan's accusation.

Satan also tells God, "Remove the blessings from Job and Job's worship will just disappear in a moment. He will even curse you to his face!"

As we saw in our previous study of Job chapter 1 that Satan's attack is really not against Job but it is against God. Satan is opposing God. Satan is telling God that God's grace isn't just weak on planet earth, it isn't even there!  Satan says, "I have been personally inspecting planet earth.  I have looked around.  I am not even impressed with this man Job whom you are showcasing and pointing to me now as a trophy of your grace. Your grace is not even in existence.  I have checked it out.  The alleged great recipient of your grace doesn't love you for your sake.  And neither does anyone else on earth.  Your grace is a myth!  Your plan of redemption is a legend!  Your kingdom is non-existent, its a fallacy! My kingdom of sin rules the world; not your kingdom of grace." This is how strongly Satan pots across his message despising Job and the work God that God is doing on planet earth.

And so God in his goodness and wisdom and holiness doesn't say to satan, "To hell with you and with your false accusations. I know Job's heart. Case dismissed."  Rather God allows a test to be carried out on Job by Satan. Why does God allow this test?  God allows this test to take place in order to demonstrate his fame, to prove Satan is wrong, to get a decisive victory over Satan, to demonstrate the power of his grace for all angels and all demons to see, for humans to have a record for history and for you to see today.  

Furthermore, God also allows this test on Job not only to strengthen and purify Job's faith but also to strengthen and purify your faith. God allows this test to strengthen and purify the faith of everyone who reads this portion of God's word for all time.

When this test comes, God enables Job to pass the test. By the grace of God, Job passes this test with flying colours.  "And Job rose and tore his robe, shaved his head, fell on the ground, and worshipped.  And he said, 'Necked I came from my mother's womb and necked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.'"  What Job is expressing to God here in the midst of his calamity is that "I will worship you, God, no matter what. I will trust you no matter what. I love you the giver more than the gifts you have given."

By the grace of God, Job indeed passes the test and wins the battle.  Job worships God, cherishes his God and values him above all his possessions that he has just lost, including his family.  Job says to God: "I value your sovereignty.  You have given me my servants. You have given me my livestock.  You have given me my 10 children and they all belonged to you before you gave them to me.  All I have is yours. If it pleases you to take everything away from me, I have no right to mummer and I have no right to complain.  Yes, it hurts!  Yes, it is painful!  But it is you who has taken them away. And you are the one who gave them to me in the first place.  You, therefore, have every right to take them away and so blessed be your name."  In all this, Job did not sin nor accuse God of doing wrong.

Job did not accuse God of injustice. He did not accuse God of unrighteousness. Job did not at all accuse God of sin or of foolishness or foul play or of stupidity or of wrongdoing. 

Considering what you know about God, let me just summarize what I think most of you would agree with as a  very good description of God's character.  This description comes from the  Westminster Shorter Catechism. Question number 4 asks the question: "Who is God?" and the answer that is given is, "God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth."  

We do sing about this God in our worship services.  But have you ever wondered why we come into God's presence with singing?  It is because the Lord our God is good.  And knowing what you know about God, it is even inconceivable that God can do something wrong, or sinful, or unjust, or unfair.  And the Bible's answer to such a thought is absolute NO. It is a resounding "No".  It is, in fact, a demonstration of great ignorance (and foolishness) to even think of charging God with wrong!

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