Out of Ignorance – Job 3-37 – Sermon Notes

How will people around Job speak and act in the face of such misery? Repetitive circle. Job speaks, a friend speaks, Job replies, etc. Nothing new after chapter 5.

What to say when you suffer (3:1-26)

It’s ok to wish you’d never been born. Sometimes life feels so bitter that you feel it would be better if you didn’t exist.

It’s ok to wish you were dead. This book is written just from the perspective of living in this world. Job says the appearance of the dead is peaceful.

It’s ok to ask ‘why?’

It’s not ok to try to kill yourself. Job isn’t willing to kill himself. His conviction is that life isn’t for him to take at his will but for God to take at his will. It’s not an unforgivable sin. It’s a wicked thing to do.

It’s not ok to complain about God. Job says hard things to God , not about God. Often we complain about God like he’s not listening.

It’s not ok to curse God.

Remember you will probably fail when you’re suffering. Jesus fulfils perfectly what Job anticipates for us.

What to say when others suffer (4:1-5:27)

Our unenviable record…

Eliphaz’s first mistake:

He thinks his desire to speak means he ought to speak. Pride is always unwilling to confess ignorance. He’s certain he knows the answers.

Eliphaz’s second mistake:

He thinks ‘what you sow you reap’ equals ‘what you reap you sowed’. It’s not true that if something had happens to you that you have sowed something bad. God knows the reason. We need to do what Job does and trust him.

Eliphaz’s third mistake:

Someone upright did perish. It’s wrong to link a person’s suffering with their sin. If you have a problem with the idea of innocent suffering, you can’t be a Christian. That’s the whole idea of Christianity. Jesus suffered to prove God will overturn all evil powers.

Say nothing. Job’s friends were most helpful when they said nothing.

If you have to speak, still say nothing. Trust them to ask for the right advice at the right time. Wait.

Say as little as possible. It’s ok to convey that you’re shocked.

Remember we’re souls and bodies.

It doesn’t get better.

Expect to get it wrong and look to the innocent sufferer. Jesus is also the one whose suffering means we can be forgiven for all the dumb stuff we’ve said in the past and will do in the future.

Out of Nowhere – Job 1:1-3:1 – Sermon Notes

Nothing bad is said about Job in this book. As far as this book is concerned, he is perfect. He is rich beyond the wildest dreams of most people. Rich enough so that his family can have their own homes. It all went. Ten children dead. Job worshipped. It was The Lord who gave. It is The Lord who removes. The explanation never comes. Job doesn’t have any idea why this has happened.

Job’s wife gets a bit of a bad press. It is impossible to watch the suffering of someone you love and not wish for it to be over. Just because somebody loves you doesn’t mean their advice is good. Cursing God is always a bad idea.

Job is helped by his friends. They care about him and make an arrangement to meet up. It must’ve been tough. There’s nothing they can say or do to make him feel better. Silence is better. The friends sit for seven days and say nothing. The fact that you love someone is no indicator that your response to them will be helpful. Faith means that suffering needs an explanation which very often we don’t seem to have.

Satan is an accuser. The person envisaged here isn’t the Satan (as referred to in the NT). He has a charge to make against God and Job. He is a sinner. Job doesn’t love God for what he gives, but for who he is. He praises him when he gives and when he takes away. God permits Satan to cause Job great pain. When Job speaks, it’s not to curse God but to curse the day of his birth.

Just because we don’t know the reason doesn’t mean there isn’t one. We know there is a reason for Job’s suffering. Who God is is worth worshipping. Why does God not tell Job everything? He tells us what we can handle because he loves us.

Just because this is why Job suffered doesn’t mean it’s why we will suffer. There are various reasons in the Bible why people suffer. It can be a foretaste of judgement. It can be a discipline causing you to strengthen your discipleship. It can be designed to display the glory of God.

Trust God that knowing the reason wouldn’t help you. We can see why this matters. Believe that one greater than Job has come. Information isn’t the thing we need. What we need to know is what Job knew before any of this happened, which is God is there and God is good.