Wednesday Night Lesson: ‘Events In Our Lives That Are Visible’

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James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

James is not suggesting that pain should bring us pleasure. Instead he is telling us that there is reason for joy, even during times of trouble, because we know that God is able to use pain to produce patience in us.

The phrase ‘divers temptations’ refers to various kinds of trials and testings. This particular Greek word is sometimes translated as trial and other times as temptation. In Matthew 4 it describes Satan’s effort to entice Jesus to sin. In Jn 6 it is used to describe something Jesus did to His disciples in order to test their faith.

John 6:6  “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

Note that James says in vs 2 – “the trying of your faith…” The various temptations James is speaking of refers to trials that God allows to come into our lives in order to produce spiritual maturity. Note that these trials ‘worketh patience.’ So often we pray for God to give us more patience, yet God does not give patience; He produces patience. He develops it by taking us through difficult times. Perhaps it will help us to understand when we note that the word ‘patience’ used here refers to endurance. The word literally means – ‘the ability to remain under.’

James tells us that when trouble comes into our lives, we must ‘let’ God have His way and accomplish His purposes. It’s all about our relationship with God based upon our faith in Him. For those who will let God have His way in their lives, He is able to produce a mature faith that is complete and strong and lacking in nothing.

When you think of trials and testings, what biblical character comes to your mind? Many of us think about Job. Note what James says about the example of Job –

James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job,  and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The phrase ‘the patience of Job’ means the endurance of Job. Job is an example of the truth that God is able to help us endure and to finish well.

And so we begin a series of studies tonight entitled ‘The Trying of Faith’. These studies will revolve around the life of Job.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, everyone his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

The book of Job helps to answer the age old question – ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ It also helps us to understand what our attitude should be towards suffering.

Was there actually a man named Job and when did he live? In the book of Ezekiel, God refers to Job in such a way that He groups him along with two other spiritual giants: Noah and Daniel. In addition, James refers to Job and his patience or ability to endure. Therefore we may conclude that indeed Job did exist and what we read about him is true.

The Bible says that Job lived in the land of Uz. Both in the book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles there is a man listed whose name was Uz. In addition, Jeremiah refers both in his prophecies and in the book of Lamentations to a land called Uz. In addition, there is a man in the book of Job whose name is Eliphaz the Temanite. Genesis 36 tells us that one of Esau’s sons was name Eliphaz who bore a son named Teman. Therefore it is believed that Job lived during the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the Patriarchal Period) in the land of Edom.

We’re not told who recorded this account of Job’s life. Some suggest Job himself. Others suggest that it might have been one of his three friends. Others believe that it was written by Moses and revealed by the Holy Spirit.

Over the next couple of weeks I would like for us to consider Job’s life in three ways:

I. Events in Our Lives That Are Visible

II. Events in Our Lives That Are Invisible

III. Events in Our Lives That Are Eternal

I. Events of Our Life that are Visible

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

A. Personal Integrity

First of all, consider Job’s personal integrity.

1. He was perfect

Scripture says that he was a ‘perfect’ man. That does not mean that he was sinless. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Later in his book, Job refers to God as his ‘Redeemer.’

The New American Standard Version refers to him as being ‘blameless.’ That means that he was morally upright and innocent of willful sin. Job was a man of outstanding moral integrity. It is much like Paul’s admonition that bishops and deacons should be blameless. They are not perfect, but there is no outstanding fault in their life that deserves rebuke.

As you go through the book of Job you see many of the ways that Job demonstrated his moral integrity.

a)  He feared God and was faithful to Him. Unlike many of that day,

Job did not worship false gods or idols. He understood the need of forgiveness through the shedding of blood.

b)  He was a family man who was faithful to his wife and children.

c)  He was generous and cared for the poor and needy.

d)  He was honest and just. He treated his servants with dignity.

e)  He was well respected in his community and often sought out for his wise counsel.

2. He was Upright

That means that he was righteous in his relationship with God. Like David, he was a man after God’s own heart. Note the Lord’s commendation of Job –

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

3. He Feared God and Eschewed evil

Job feared God. Job recognized the holiness of God and therefore feared sinning before God and sought to bring Him glory.

What a contrast that was to others of his day. Note the words of Paul –

Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

B. His Parenting

Job was not only a remarkable man in the community; he was a remarkable man in his own home.

Job 1:4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, everyone his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Job was an outstanding example of what a husband and father should be.

1. He was the Patriarch of his family.

The word patriarch refers to a man who is the leader of his family and clan.

2. He was the Priest of his family.

Job lived during the days when the Patriarch was also the Priest of his family. The law had not yet come through Moses and therefore it was the duty of the Patriarch to help care for the spiritual wellbeing of his family. Job continually offered sacrifices for his children, not because they were wild and rebellious, but because he wanted there to be nothing between them and God. Note that scripture says that he ‘rose up early in the morning’ to do this. His family’s spiritual wellbeing was his number one priority.

C. His Prosperity

Scripture also tells us about Job’s prosperity. He had been blessed with a big family. He had seven sons and three daughters. He also owned: 7,000 sheep; 3,000 camels; 500 oxen; 500 donkeys, and an enormous amount of servants.

The Bible says: “….so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.” (vs. 3)

Conclusion:

We might conclude that surely such a man – deserved to be blessed and to live a care-free life. God was indeed good to Job, but as we will see next week, not only are the events in our lives that visible; there are events in our lives that are invisible.

Job 1: 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

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