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

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Whether or not you treasure and worship God in your suffering and calamity is a greater issue than any decision that could ever be made in the Whitehouse or in the statehouse or in the congress or in the capitol building or in any parliament building.

John Piper says it this way "that the demonstration of the worth of God in the faith and reverence of his people is the most important matter in the world." Or he says it in another place this way, "the most important events in the world are whether the children of God reverence God in suffering." 

It is at this point that we see Job's wife giving in. In Job 2:9 we read the following about her in this regard

Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die."

Now don't be too hard on Mrs. Job. She had suffered a great deal too.  She too has lost all of her wealth; she too has lost all her possessions; and the thing that a mother cherishes the most has been taken and that's her 10 children. She is agonizing. And in this context, she sees Job covered with those boils and at the sight of her husband, her faith collapses! "Quit treasuring God", she says, "It is not worth it! Take your life, Job. End it! Deliver yourself from your misery. God is a hard God.  He must delight in your misery.  He does not care for you. He does not love you. Quit trusting him!"  

Satan must have smiled when Job's wife said this. And Job's heart must have stopped.

The one person whom Job needs behind him more than any other human, has deserted him!  For Job to see his wife, his helper, deserting him emotionally and spiritually during this great time of need must have been the greatest wound and the greatest thorn of his testing.  

But then comes Job's amazing second victory.  Look at it in Job 2:10

10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" 

In his response to his erring wife that we see here, the is no outburst of anger from Job. 

In most cases, when you visit people who are chronically ill and in great pain, you will discover that an outburst of anger is very common with those who are seriously sick and in pain. But this is not what we see in Job. There is no outburst of anger that proceeds from Job's lips.  What Job speaks to his wife here is just a mild rebuke.  He doesn't say what husbands often say to their wives in this kind of a setting. Job doesn't say to his wife "You always say  stupid things..."  You know husbands usually love to overstate their case to try to make their point. But in contrast to such husbands, Job is very controlled in what he says here to his wife.  He doesn't even call her foolish. 

Now you might be quick to object and say, "Yes, Job said his wife was foolish. The word "foolish" is there. I have seen it. He used it in his statement." Well, if this is your view, then you surely have not read Job's statement carefully.  You have to read it again carefully.  What does he say in Job 2:10? He says, "You are speaking as one of the foolish women would speak".  This is a mild rebuke and possibly, this mild rebuke was just what Mrs. Job needed because she never sins again with her lips, or at least it is not recorded in the book of Job after this.  And Job's wife is not even rebuked in Job chapter 42.  Evidently, in rebuking his wife, Job was carrying out his pastorly and priestly role in the home.  And it is likely that in this mild but necessary rebuke of his wife, Job brought her back to trust in his God and snapped her back to faith.

Considering Job's words that he added on in Job 2:10 as he was rebuking his wife in which he said "Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?"  we can rightly conclude that Job is still having here a rock-solid trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God. What Job is implying in this statement is that "God, you are in control. You are a good God. I don't have to know what you are doing and why you are doing it: but I trust you, and I trust your goodness. Nothing can ever happen unless you send it ultimately. Nothing can ever happen unless you govern it and control it, and permit it, and allow it, and ordain it. There is no sin in you and so I can trust you and your sovereign goodness."  And so Job did not let go of his faith in God. 

Now I want you to imagine the scene in heaven. I don't know how many angels there are in heaven. I know there is a lot of them.  But I want you to imagine 5 million angels, gathered around the throne of God, listening to what is going on, listening to dialogue between Job and Satan, waiting for Job's reply and wondering: Will Job collapse like his wife, Or will Job endure? Will Job give in to the pressure or will Job Conquer?

And what does Job respond with?  "Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord ...  and shall we receive good from God and shall we not also receive evil?" And 10 million angels hands are lifted in the air with a deafening "Yes" in the courtroom of heaven. Job, by grace, continues to trust his God and our God. Praise God!

Songs must have broken up there and then in the courtroom of heaven. Angels must have sung saying, "Worthy is the Lord, the God of Job to receive glory and honour and power and glory," I am just paraphrasing Revelation 4:11, "Worthy is the work of grace that the Lord has done in the midst of Job's calamity. It has brought praise in our hearts. Worthy is the lamb who will be forsaken for the sake of Job because the Lamb has preserved his servant."  You see the Bible can look all ways at once.  It is not confined in time.  It is true that Job didn't know about the coming Savior except in glimpses that God gave him but the lamb of God was nevertheless going to come. And the lamb will be slain one day and the slaying of that lamb is what enabling God right now to give a new heart to Job.  That is where it is coming from.

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