As Christians across the world, the story of Job is being repeated in our lives. We are enduring designer trials – custom made tests just for you – in the same way Job did.
Psalms 33:15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
In this vein, let’s look at Lessons from the Trial of Job
God is Changing Who We Are
Have you repented of who you are, not just what you have done?
We focus on not doing wrong, but what about not being wrong
Examples: Abraham went through some trials not because of something he had done — the same for Job.
Job’s problem was not so much outward as it was inward. He saw himself in the wrong way – not the way that God sees.
Notice how Job saw himself physically in the trial:
Job 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
Job 7:5 My flesh is caked with worms and dust, My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.
In his current state he was unrecognizable, reviled, and repugnant
Do you think that God was making a point? Was He showing Job how his righteousness looked on the inside? How God viewed Job’s righteousness?
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
Our Christian walk is not just about what we do but also what we are. We must have both of these and the Christian and Judea world often leave one or the other out. ex. grace or law vs grace AND law
Our righteousness can only come from God but none the less we must act in a righteous manner.
This difference is in the way God viewed Job and his righteousness as opposed to God’s righteousness in him or us for that matter of a fact.
We HAVE to Suffer
It gets our attention! It teaches us what God wants us to learn
Job 33:19 “Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, And with strong pain in many of his bones,
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Pruning does some damage for the greater good!
Trials are a Time for Self-evaluation
It made Job start asking questions (Job 31).
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
Learn Everything Possible from the Trial
Pick it apart and dissect it.
Job did not understand why, we don’t always – at first – anyway.
Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, [completely perfected in the flesh in all areas]
If it is appropriate for Jesus Christ, it is for us too.
Don’t Make Excuses
Don’t justify yourself or seek vindication for why you are going through the trial – this impedes learning the lesson.
Job 12:4 “I am one mocked by his friends, Who called on God, and He answered him, The just and blameless who is ridiculed.
This is really difficult to do! We often look at how we think we are right instead of understanding why we are wrong.
Job 4:7 “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?
Don’t Worry about What Others Think
This takes your focus off of the lesson YOU are to be learning. This is truly difficult to do as well.
How do you think Job was feeling about what his friends were saying. If God would take up his court challenge surely God would see his point of view as well as vindicate him in the eyes of his friends.
People ridiculed him: Job 30:1 “But now they mock at me, men younger than I, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.
This was a distraction to what Job was supposed to be learning.
God ALWAYS has a Reason for the Trial
God is not capricious like Allah or Satan.
In Job 33:12–22, Elihu shows that God has His reasons the way in which He is working with us.
Job 33:13 Why do you contend with Him? For [Is it because] He does not give an accounting of any of His words. [for example: telling someone not to touch the hot pot or letting them learn the lesson by touching; which is more effective; God wants us to learn the first way but sometimes it takes the second; either way God does not have to answer us] Job 33:14 For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it.
If we are having trouble understanding:
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God [during a trial], who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Trials will always happen for a reason – just not always just for things we have done wrong! God is greater than this – His ways are wonderful and beyond ours.
We cannot fully comprehend the ways of God!
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
For the Perfecting of our Character
The test was so that his purity could be further refined.
1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
When we go through a trial, the connotation is that we learn by experience.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect [teleios: complete] work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
We have Trials because of our Faith
The world at large suffers because they are not faithful; Christians suffer because we are faithful!
James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
James 5:10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
James 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
The Severity of our Trial is not Uncommon
We are not the only ones to have gone through a trial of this magnitude – just because we have never gone through one of this magnitude. That’s what we thought with the last one that we went through and yet we are here today
God does not test us beyond what we can bear. As we grow we can bear more:
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Jesus Christ Knows our Pain
Jesus Christ our High Priest, Intercessor and Mediator knows what we are going through.
Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
God is Intimately Involved in our Lives
Job 29:2 “Oh, that I were as in months past, As in the days when God watched over me;
Job thought God was not watching over him. He knew Job was blameless and upright — how did He know this if He wasn’t watching?
Consider the sparrow!
Job 38:41 Who [God] provides food for the raven, When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?
The number of our hairs, which is far less important than our character, are numbered by God.
The trial was specifically crafted for Job. It was limited in scope as we saw in Job 1 and 2. Time and chance are not happening to us in this vein.
Even though it was beyond the comprehension of the three friends and their bad advice it accomplished exactly what God wanted
The story of Job continues to happen to Christians as God works with us where we are. God does not leave us – it is only US that can leave Him
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.”
God is not like the ostrich when it comes to the treatment of her children:
Job 39:14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground, And warms them in the dust;
Job 39:15 She forgets that a foot may crush them, Or that a wild beast may break them.
Job 39:16 She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; Her labor is in vain, without concern,
Job 39:17 Because God deprived her of wisdom, And did not endow her with understanding.
Death is not the Way Out
It seems sometimes that it would even be nice to just die and wait for the resurrection.
Job 14:12 So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep.
Job 14:13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.
There is an obvious peace that comes with death; and it would be nice sometimes to die and wait for the return of Jesus Christ. But even if we want to die, God won’t let us — this is another reason not to be afraid of dying. So if we aren’t going to die then what?
Job 35:14 Although you say you do not see Him, Yet justice is before Him, and you must wait for Him.
“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalms 27:14)
Job 40:9-14 Can you become God and do the things of God, if you could you could save yourself. But since you can’t you MUST wait on God – in spite of some of the things that you said in the past, your salvation can and will only come from God.
God is With Us to the End
If God has begun a good work in you then time and chance have no power over you. Trials are over when God says so:
Job 34:31 “For has anyone said to God, ‘I have borne chastening; I will offend no more;
Job 34:32 Teach me what I do not see; If I have done iniquity, I will do no more’?
Job 34:33 Should He repay it according to your terms, Just because you disavow it? You must choose, and not I; Therefore speak what you know.
Just because you say, “I’ve learned my lesson,” does’t mean that you have or that God thinks you have. We don’t get to decide the terms of our trial. Job pleaded to be done but it was in God’s timing not ours.
God doesn’t give up on us, saying, “Oh well!”
Therefore it’s imperative that we completely vet the trials that we go through so that the lessons are not lost on us. To stick our head in the sand or ignore a trial does not make it go away. God will not give up on us. That should bring a few verses to mind
Job 10:20 Are not my days few? Cease! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort,
Job 10:21 Before I go to the place from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of death,
Job thought he was going to die, but God was not finished with him yet.
We are Not to Lose Faith
Job 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job never cursed God. Though he did not understand and questioned God, he did not lose faith.
Job 13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;
All the way throughout Job believed ultimately that God is just.
Do not Lose Sight of God’s Righteousness
Learn to See God
Job 35:14 Although you say you do not see Him, Yet justice is before Him, and you must for Him.
Job 42:5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
Job 42:6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”
This directly tied into Job’s problem.
Job throughout the trial elevated his righteousness above God’s.
Job 9:15 For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him; I would beg mercy of my Judge.
Job 9:16 If I called and He answered me, I would not believe that He was listening to my voice.
Job 9:17 For He crushes me with a tempest, And multiplies my wounds without cause.
Job 9:21 “I am blameless, yet I do not know myself; I despise my life.
Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.
Job 29 the I, Me, My chapter: Job told of how he acted righteously.
Job 32:1 So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
Job 32:2 Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God.
Job could only see himself in this and not God. Elihu begins to make it clear to Job
Job 33:12 “Look, in this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man.
Job 33:13 Why do you contend with Him? For [Is it because] He does not give an accounting of any of His words. [Your assumption may not be true] Job 33:14 For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it.
“Do you think this is right? Do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s’?” (Job 35:2).
What does God have to say:
Job 40:2 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”
Job 40:8 “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?
Are you questioning me and my ways?
Humility was needed here.
Psalms 116:6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
This is what God was doing for Job.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
God brings low and humbles the proud (and He did with the set of questions that He asked Job)…And then blessed him with double what he had before.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
What Job failed to see was the Righteousness of God.
God is Righteous
We get our righteousness from Him, we are not righteous in and of ourselves or for what we have done. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. We only know righteousness through Him
Job 33:26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness.
It does not come from the law.
Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Philippians 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him [or see Him] and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
Philippians 3:11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
It is a gift from God:
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Romans 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. [justification, means to be “made righteous” Made right; same root words] Romans 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Romans 5:18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Righteousness is being like God and having the same character as God: perfect, holy, and righteous.
Learn in the Good Times
One of the hardest things in life to do is to evaluate ourselves critically in good times!
If we were to go over the Bible and study it and understand it and then go over it again — and all along implement the things that we are to do and how we are to be, then we could avoid many trials. We won’t avoid all of them, but we can work our way through them in a better fashion with what we have learned from the trial of Job.
Don’t Be a Part of a Person’s Trial
If you cannot be a part of the solution, definitely do not be a part of the problem.
Job 13:4 But you forgers of lies, You are all worthless physicians.
Job 13:5 Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom!
Job 16:2 “I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all!
Job 18:2 “How long till you put an end to words? Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak.
Job 18:3 Why are we counted as beasts, And regarded as stupid in your sight?
Do we see the wrong attitude here?
Job 26:2 “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength?
Job 26:3 How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many?
HOW NOT TO HELP
Callous remarks…a word NOT fitly spoken
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.
Not helpful with the obvious advice
Job 5:8 “But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause—
Job 5:17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
Continues in the same vein
Then back to the insensitivity
Job 5:25 You shall also know that your descendants shall be many, And your offspring like the grass of the earth.
Job 5:26 You shall come to the grave at a full age, As a sheaf of grain ripens in its season.
Job 5:27 Behold, this we have searched out; It is true. Hear it, and know for yourself.”
children just died; he is covered in boils to point he is not recognizable (looking like he is at death’s door); we have judged you rightly if you would just listen to us.
DO NOT STEP ON THE TOES OF GOD IN ASSUMING
like Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar did
The principals are correct, but the application is incorrect.
Job 42:7-9 God chastises Eliphaz and the others for accusing Job
Job 42:7 And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.
Job 42:8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job.
He prayed for them (intercessory prayer and God honored it).
In the END Good and Bad will be Judged Fairly
God is fair and just, of this there can be no doubt.
There are lessons to be learned when:
Job gives a litany of examples in chapter 21
1 Peter 2:19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
But this is not the end of judgment and God allows it for a reason.
God Seldom “Rewards” us Immediately
God does not immediately punish or reward: to do does not allow for repentance and the other does allow for building character which comes from making the right decisions over time. Plus the one that endures to the end will be saved – so it is necessary to continue doing good all the way through our life.
God is Just
This is what Elihu is addressing and trying to help Job see where he is going wrong:
Job 34:5 “For Job has said, ‘I am righteous, But God has taken away my justice; [God is not being just to me] Job 34:6 Should I lie concerning my right? My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
Job 34:10 “Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding: Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.
Job 34:11 For He repays man according to his work, And makes man to find a reward according to his way.
Job 34:12 Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.
Even though it may seem that life is not fair, God is a God of justice.
At the end of Chapter 27, Job shows that the wicked do not really get away with evil.
In the very end there is the Kingdom of God and there is a Lake of Fire.