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Job - Lesson 1

Introduction to Job

                        Why Study Job?

                Most of us would admit that it is a bummer of a book.  Who wants to read that type of stuff. Most of us would prefer not to study this guy. Maybe fear that it could happen to us in some cosmic God vs Satan game.

                I believe that our hearts hunger to be stimulated by examples of great character being modeled in everyday life.

                Our heroes dont have to be perfect but they need to be courageous, authentic, clear-minded  and determined to endure at any cost.

                Heroes need to have integrity, consistency, admirable men and women, not because of a sudden burst of bravery, but stuck it out to the end.

                        Job does teach us that life is difficult and UNFAIR.

                We can handle the difficult part, but the unfair part is impossible.

                Something kicks in, deep within most of us, making it almost intolerable for us to accept and cope with what is unfair.

                Our drive for justice overrides our patience with pain.

Journey Thru Job - Unfairness

                        Stories of Unfairness rock us to the core:

                1972 Olympics, Mens basketball.  The refs force a replay of the last 5 seconds three different times until the Russians beat the Americans.

                Or the single mom, who moves to Houston to work for Enron.  Husband had left her with 3 kids (all under 15) to chase the newer model. He is doing well, you are doing well, the company is growing but something is not right.  You wake up to the news that Enron is bankrupt and your job, your health benefits, your retirement are all gone

                        I love how Eugene Peterson in his introduction to Job puts it. (p3,4)

                        What we know about Job:

                Probably lived around the time of Abraham due to his age.

                Man of well-deserved prosperity, godly gentleman, good husband to one wife, and great father to 10 adult kids.  Then he loses everything but his wife.

                Then misery and mystery are added to the mix of total calamity.

                He gets skin ulcers, friends dont recognize him, his wife tells him to curse God and die, and his friends tell him he deserves it.  Wow

                Remember that he is just a man.

  Job -   The Land Between

Priest or Usher

                        Jobs business:

                He had 7,000 sheep, sell the wool, keep some back for winter clothes and food

                He had 3,000 camels for the transportation industry

                He had 1,000 oxen to plow the fields

                He had 500 female donkeys for the delicacy of donkey milk.

                        Overall Jobs life was a happy one. This guy was Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Howard Hughes all rolled together but he was not out of touch.

                        Read Job 1:4-5 We find Job conducting burnt offerings for his kids. The day I read that I wrote in my Bible, Am I a Priest or an Usher?  Where are you? Do you just usher your kids to church or are you the Priest?  Do you know what a Priest is?

                        Read Job 1:6-12

                Pause and remember that Satan is not a small red fella with horns, tail and a pitchfork sitting on your shoulder. 

                Satan is real, he loves working behind the scenes.

Response to Devastating News

                        Read Job 1:12-22

                        We need to remember that Job knew nothing of the Heavenly conversations.  All he knew is one day delightful, the next dreadful. Suffering is harder when we do NOT know why.

                        Imagine being a guest at Jobs house after the series of messengers come bringing the dreadful news. He doesnt even have time to process each one.

                        Camp out on v. 20, notice the five verbs. Arose, tore (sign of utter grief), shaved (loss of personal glory), fell (not in desperation but to) , worship.

                        Before moving on, might I suggest that you try this sometime.  Fully prostrate on the floor worshipping your CREATOR.

                        Notice no bitterness, no clinched fists yelling at God, no how dare you do this to me after walking faithfully with you all these years.

                        Lets face the facts squarely.  We arrived in a tiny naked body, and we leave in a wrinkled naked body.  We take nothing because we brought nothing. Which means that we own nothing.  God owns that house, that car, those kids.  Not you.  The sooner you embrace that, the more God can do through you.

Takeaways

                        There is an enemy we encounter that we cannot see and he is REAL.

                        There are trials we endure that we do not deserve, but they are permitted.

                Nothing touches your life that has not first passed through the hands of God.

                God is in FULL control and because HE is, He has the sovereign right to permit trials that we do not deserve.

                        There is a plan we explore we will not understand, but it is the BEST. Our perspective is dreadfully limited.  We see in the pinpoint of time, but Gods view is panoramic.      Gods big-picture, cosmic plan is at work now, and He doesnt feel the need (nor is He obligated) to explain it to us.  Frankly, it is none of our business what His plan has 5 years from now.

                        There are consequences we experience, we could not anticipate, but they are necessary. What has happened is a NECESSARY part of your spiritual growth.  YES, NECESSARY.

                        The silence of Gods voice will make you wonder if He is even there, if He even cares. Realize that He is, and He does.

Group Questions

                        On a scale of 1-10, 1 being Total Usher, and 10 being Total Priest, where would you fall individually and as a couple?  Why?

                        In a conversation with a non-believer, how would describe Satan?  What are his boundaries?  How does he work today?

                        While Jobs story is one of endurance in the face of storms, it is also a story of living life in the Land Between.  The Land between where life is not as it once was, and where the future is in question.  Are there expectations that you have placed in your life book that you need to take to God for understanding? Like the Israelites coming out of Egypt, do you  yearn for the fish and onions of yesterday?  How would you counsel someone to let go of those desires?

                        Read I Timothy 6:7-8.  How do you define contentment?  What needs to change to live out scripture in your life?

Job Lessons: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 1011| 12 | 13 | 14 | Next and gt;

Click here for .PDF document of the entire Job series

2010 Steve Heller, All Rights Reserved

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