Series: The Case for Job

The Case of Job: Part One

God’s Sovereignty is Absolute

 

Mark Webb1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
(Job 1:1-22 ESV)

.

Outline

  • Where is this place called Uz?
    • Lam 4:21, Uz = Edom
    • Eze 25:13, mentioned
    • Sabeans
      • From Sheba near Yemen today
    • Chaldeans
      • From Mesopotamia
  • When do these events take place?
    • May be the oldest book in the Bible
    • May have predated Moses
      • Lives before the giving of the Law on Sinai
      • Functions as the priest for his family
      • Job 42:16
        • Total lifespan around 200 years
        • Abrahams father lived 205
        • Job lived during the age of the patriarchs
    • Moses may have written the Book of Job
      • Moses lived in the land of Midea
      • He may have learned of the story of Job when he lived in Midea
  • Job is described as perfect, upright, God-fearing and one who turns away from evil.
    • Is this describing someone without sin?
    • We know that this isn’t so because
      • Theologically: all men fell in Adam
      • The words perfect, without blame etc
        • Are used to describe outward moral
        • For example: Blameless is the same word Paul uses to describe himself in Phil 3.
      • The law could not accuse him of anything, he was outwardly good.
        • Outwardly Job was as good as it gets. God said there was none other like Job. The best of the best
        • Yet Job was a sinner
          • In Job 42. Job repents. Job repents of sin.
    • It is never the trial; it is never the temptation that brings sin into your life. The temptation will only manifest what is already in your heart.
    • Illustration: Sin is like an impurity in a bar of gold; it may look completely pure but put it in the fire and melt it down and you will see the impurity come to the surface.
    • In the same sense the test and trials that come up on us in life never make us sinners but they manifest sin.
  • Job is also a rich man
    • Possessing sheep
    • Camels
    • Oxen
    • He’s a big farmer
  • Job is also a family man
    • A happy family
  • Job is a religious man
    • He thinks of the things of God, a godly man.
    • He offers sacrifices for his children- just in case
  • The plot thickens the scene shifts from earth to heaven
    • An assembly of the sons of God
      • A phrase used to speak of the angels
      • Sons not in the sense that Jesus is the Son of God
        • Jesus share the same nature of the Father
        • Christ is the only true offspring of God, so called only begotten Son
      • Angels are sons in the sense they are created
        • Men also are referred to as offspring of God in Acts 17
          • In a creative sense
        • Men are called sons of God in the adoptive sense
          • They who receive Christ by faith are given the authority to be called sons of God
    • There are other assemblies like this in scripture
      • 1 Kings 22:19
    • The idea is the angels are gathered around God and God is making use of them as his messengers
    • If our eyes were opened we would be astounded to the amount of the angelic activity
      • If we did see we may worship them as John did
      • That is our tendency
    • God sometimes uses the angels to bring about his purposes
    • Satan himself comes as one of the angels
      • Satan is called upon to give account of what he is doing
    • God calls Satan’s attention to Job
      • Satan did know of Job first
    • We may be surprised to find that Satan is a moral creature
      • In this assembly, God, angels, man all have a sense of right and wrong
      • Satan is concerned of right and wrong
      • He is acting as a prosecuting attorney leveling charges against Job
        • He accusing Job of hypocrisy, sin, he just in it for the money
        • He has a keen sense of right and wrong
    • This is a contest of ideas, what is true and what is not
      • Satan like a prosecuting attorney is hyper-moral
      • Satan is charging Job and seeks to proof those charges
      • He says to God that Job is only righteous because of God’s protection
      • Take it away and the evidence of hypocrisy will be seen
      • Satan charges God also, of buying off his servents
    • Now it is game on
      • God gives Satan permission to take away Jobs stuff
      • Not allowed to touch his life, just the things he has
      • Satan is efficient when given permission
  • Now Job worships
    • Vs 20-21
    • Acknowledges God as both the giver and remover of these things
    • One of the most amazing declarations of fidelity in the Bible
  • That’s the story. What do we learn?
    • God’s sovereignty is absolute
      • There is no duality- good versus evil
      • Almost all eastern religion is based on this idea
      • Satan cannot make a move unless God grants it
        • He’s like a dog on a leash
        • He cannot go an further than he’s allowed to go
      • Did Job say the Lord gave and the devil took away?
        • Satan was just the instrument
        • Job acknowledges the fact that the Chaldeans, the wind, the lightning are all in the hands of the Almighty God
      • This is a hard doctrine, but the opposite is tougher
        • If it’s not true then God is powerless
  • Mark’s first funeral in Wyoming
    • A girl of 18 was engaged and going around visiting family
    • In one home there was a rifle on the wall her finance took the rifle to show her and it went off and the bullet shot his fiancé and killed her instantly
    • The family called Mark as they had no pastor there, a town 80% Mormon
    • What do you tell the young man?
      • Tough luck? That’s the way the cookie crumbles?
      • In the Law it tells us that if two men go to chop down a tree and an axe head comes off and kills one man the other man is innocent because the Lord took the man’s life.
      • What else makes sense?
      • These things are in the hand of God almighty
  • The problem
    • It’s only someone that sees that God has done this that is presented with the problem
    • Satan is to present to Job a problem that will bring out that Job doesn’t trust God
    • If Job thinks the wind, Chaldeans etc did this then Satan’s scheme fails
    • The only way this works is if Job believes God did these things to him, for this to be a test for Job’s faith.
  • Some assert is the Book of Job is about the salvation of Job
    • Job is being stripped of his own righteousness
    • We also experience a crisis time where we choose whether to cling to God’s righteousness or our own
      • Part of being a Christian is turning your back on your own righteousness and clinging to the righteousness of Christ.
      • This is an ongoing problem, in every trial, until we die
  • Is the Book of Job simply giving us an explanation of why we suffer?
    • We all want to know why we suffer
      • Job never knew the heavenly events that led to his suffering
      • At the end of Job we still do not know why
      • We do know who brought the suffering and who can take it away
    • We want to know why good things happen to good people
      • RC Sproul Jr “that only happened one time and he volunteered for it”
  • In this study we will seek to understand the true theme of Job
    • The real theme to the Book of Job is not suffering
    • The real theme is legalism
    • Satan is accusing Job of being a legalist
      • Job does good things with the expectation of being rewarded with good things
      • The idea that Job could put God into debt
  • The one thing that saves us from legalism
    • Is the good person that bad things happened to
    • In Christ alone we are delivered from legalism
  • The NT is filled with people receiving good things that they had no right to get
    • And the scandal that erupted from it.

~ Mark

About Mark Webb
Mark is Pastor and Senior Elder at Grace Bible Church.  In addition, he has traveled to speak at conferences throughout the United States, as well as, Mexico, Canada and Europe. In Dallas, TX, on the family cotton farm, he learned to shepherd at a young age. He received a B.A. from Rice University in Houston and went on to pastor churches in Wyoming, Tennessee and currently in Mississippi. He and his wife, Linda, have been married for forty-two years and have three adult children, and eight grandchildren. Visit Grace Bible Church’s Grace Messenger.