God Has Not Abandoned You – Lessons Learned from the story of Job

The book of Job is one of the most unusual and, for many, hard to understand. Was Job a real man. How can satan re-enter Heaven and talk to God?  Since God is holy and perfect, why would He allow satan, who represents evil and sin, into His presence? Why would He enter into such a strange “deal” with satan over the life of Job, the most righteous and faithful man of God on earth at that time?  Was this just an allegory? Many think so.

If the Word of God is inerrant, infallible truth, Job must be a real, historic person and his story an important one— not an allegory. Chronologically, Job is placed after the Creation, Fall of Man, and Noah and the Global Flood. Historians placed Job before the Abraham story as both were considered patriarchs.

As I studied and prepared this message/series, it quickly became clear that it would be easy to get bogged down in even more challenging subjects and conversations than the ones we read. I covered those key questions in the introduction. To help us stay somewhat focused so I can help mine the key lessons God has for you and me, I am going to touch on several briefly but not go deep at this time. Following are the key areas we are going to mine to uncover them.

  • God made Two Deals with the devil (and Job had no idea what was going on)
  • Who Needs Friends Like These? (Wrong) Message: We suffer according to our sins.
  • God Joined the Conversation. Reminded all Who is God and what sovereignty means.

Introducing Job, a righteous God-fearing man who was blessed with family and possessions – a man of great wealth.

“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. His possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.  His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send word and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send word to them and consecrate them, getting up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job did so continually.

1. Job the righteous man of God (vs 1-5)

  • Job the man
  • Wealthy – family and great possessions
  • Job’s spiritual oversight of his family – He was “priest” over his family

2. “A Deal with the devil’? (Part 1) (vs 6 – 12)

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan  answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man,  fearing God and turning away from evil.”  Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  Have You not made a fence 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.  But reach out with Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will certainly curse You to Your face.”  Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not reach out and put your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

So much of this we do not understand right now.  Job the most righteous, godly man in his age was about to be overwhelmed by satan. He had a good point in that some people today think  that rich people or others who appear to be very blessed in material or professional ways have it easy.  They have no worries so it is easy to “trust God.”  Be honest. Have you ever had such thoughts about someone else or considered someone may be thinking that about you?

3. satan attacked Job in ways we cannot imagine or relate to; Job remains faithful. (vs13 – 22)

“Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,  a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the female donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”  While he was still speaking, another came 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.” While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three units and made a raid on the camels and took them, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,  and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” Then Job got up, tore his robe, and shaved his head; then he fell to the ground and worshiped.  He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Despite all this, Job did not sin, nor did he blame God.”

4. The final straw – God allows satan to attack Job physically and emotionally. (vs 2:1-10)

Again, there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.  The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you  considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds firm to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”  Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has, he will give for his life.  However, reach out with Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face!” So the LORD  said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” Then Satan went out  from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with severe boils from the sole of his foot to the top of his head.  And Job took a piece of pottery to scrape himself while he was sitting in the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold firm your integrity? Curse God and die!”  But he said to her, “You are speaking as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we actually accept good from God but not accept adversity?”

Despite all this, Job did not sin with his lips.

Even Job’s wife, the only other one who was spared her life, had something to say to Job.  She must have been angry with God because her family had been taken from her too. The sight of Job suffering interminably and unendingly led her to tell him to curse God and die.  Just get it over with so the suffering will stop. God must have abandoned us.

It is safe to draw the conclusion: Job also must have felt abandoned by God. He was a righteous man who served God and lived well. God even showed him off to satan which led to THE arrangement that Job was never made aware of. Despite the first set devastating and deadly events, we read Job’s unbelievable response in the verses above. As we close part one of this series, one question jumps off the page for us to grapple with:

Would you be able to respond like Job? No sin. No blame.

For Christ’s sake,