My notes on the BOOK OF JOB (No. 1) A Suffering Man Who Did Not Understand
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God save bad people?
In one sense there are no good people:
None does good, no, not one (Rom. 3:12).
No one is good but One that is God (Matt. 19:17).
Not a just man on earth (Ecc. 7:20).
No one living is righteous (Ps. 143:2).
Why did Job suffer? We could ask, “Why didn’t he suffer more?” He actually should suffer the torment of hell forever like the rest of us. God could have “justly” sent him to hell—he was a sinner like everyone else. This much we know before we start.
I. DISASTERS of Job (Chapters 1-3)
II. DISCUSSIONS with Job (Chapters 4-41)
III. DELIVERANCE of Job (Chapter 42)
1. What he ENDURED was PAINFUL (James 5:10)
2. What he LEARNED is PRICELESS (Job 42:2-6)
3. What he TEACHES is PATIENCE (James 5:11)
A. Job was holy and human.
1. Job was blameless, upright, feared God and shunned evil (1:8). Ezek. 14:14, 20.
2. Satan accused Job of serving for salary. Take away his fortune and you will take away his faith. Take away his good life and you will take away his great love. You crush him and he will curse you (1:8-11).
3. Job admitted that God has right to do what He wants to fulfill His purpose (42:2).
4. He did not charge God foolishly at first (1:20-22).
5. He did not sin with his lips at first (2:10).
6. But that attitude did not last. Job was as human as the rest of us.
7. He spoke without knowledge—he didn’t know what he was talking about (38:1-3)
B. Job admits that he had sinned (42:1-6).
1. Things he accused God of:
a. Shooting him with poison arrows (6:4).
b. Scaring and terrifying him (7:11-14).
c. Trying him every moment and not leaving him alone for a moment (7:17-20).
d. Multiplying wounds without cause and filling him with bitterness (9:17-18).
e. Destroying the innocent and laughing at them (9:21-24).
f. Destroying the hope of man (14:19).
g. Delivered him to the wicked and made a target out of him (16:11-14).
h. He has wronged me (19:6-11).
i. He treats me unjustly (27:2).
C. Job did not always speak what was right (42:3).
a. He condemned God that he may be justified (40:8).
b. Job wanted to contend with (argue/correct/criticize) God (40:2).
Wayne Dunaway gandpministries.org
My notes on JOB # 2
I. Job may have suffered patiently, but he did not suffer quietly. He suffered severely, but not silently. He had a lot pain and thought he had a right to complain. Observe the following:
a. Job 6:11 I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
b. Job 23:2-5 He demands to understand.
c. Job 19:21-22 He thought God was directly responsible for his suffering.
d. He lost his fortune and his family. Satan took Job’s fortune and family. Satan tortured Job’s flesh and turned Job’s friends.
e. He lost his wealth & health. He went from plenty to poverty, much to misery, and riches to rags.
II. He suffered physically, mentally and emotionally.
A. Note not only the things he said, but extent of his physical suffering:
1. Painful boils (2:7).
2. Endless itching (2:8).
3. Changed appearance (2:12)
4. Sleepless nights (7:4).
5. Worms and running sores (7:5.
6. No hope (7:6-7).
7. Nightmares (7:13-14).
8. Weeping and dark eyes (16:16).
9. Loss of weight (19:20).
10. No rest from pain (30:17).
11. Skin black & fever (30:30).
12. Months of pain (7:3).
B. Note the mental anguish.
1. Wife turned against him. (2:9:19:17)
2. Brothers, relatives, close friends and those he loved turned against him (19:13-19).
3. Younger men hated him, avoided him, and spit in his face (30:1 & 9-10).
III. He asked “why” and he wanted to die. Is it right to do this? Maybe so or maybe not, but it is human.
A. He asked, Why?
1. Why did they not carry me from the womb to the tomb (3:11-12).
2. Why was I not like a stillborn child? (3:16)
3. Why is light given to a miserable man? (3:20)
4. Why is light given to one hedged in by God in pain? (3:23)
6. Why me Lord? (7:20)
7. Why do I labor in vain? (9:29)
8. Why do You contend with me? (10:2)
9. Why regard me as an enemy? (13:24)
10. Why do wicked prosper? (21:7-15)
B. He wanted to die.
a. He longed for the grave (3:21)
b. He wanted to be cut off (6:8-9).
IV. Satan took Job’s family & fortune. He tormented Job’s flesh. But he did not and could not take away his faith (13:15). Satan destroyed Job’s reputation and turned his relatives, but never convinced him to renounce his Redeemer (19:25). He took away his happiness and his health. But he could not take away his eternal hope (19:25-27).
V. If seeking to be righteous exempted one from all problems and pain in this life then people would try to do right not because of God, but because of what they get from God. See John 6:24-26.
VI. We must learn to profit from suffering. Instead of just asking, “When am I going to get out of this?” Try, “What can I get out of this? Here are a few things we can get from suffering:
1. Patience (Jam. 1:2-3, 5:110-11; Rom. 5:3)
2. Sympathy (Heb 2:17-18, 2 Cor. 1:3-4)
3. Humility (2 Cor. 13:7)
4. Preparation (2 Cor. 6:16-18)
5. Salvation (1 Peter 3:18)
6. Closer to God (Job 42:5)
VII. The main lesson of all is this is in Job chapters 38-41. In the questions God asked we learn the three things that Job learned about God and the problem of human suffering:
1. God CREATED the world.
2. God CONTROLS the world.
3. God CARES about His world.
This is all that we really need to know! God does not have to explain to us all that he does or why He does it! This is what we need to tell others because this is what we need to know ourselves! God is too loving to be mean. He is too powerful to be manipulated. God is too wise to be mistaken.
THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ # 1
Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Wizard is a fictional character who lived in the Land of Oz. The film about “The Wizard of Oz” is ranked by some among the top ten best movies of all time. Dorothy and her friends (a Dog, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion) travel the Yellow Brick Road to the Land of Oz. They were “off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” In this article, we are “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz.” Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz.” A “Wizard” is a very smart, very clever, or very skillful person. The first chapter of his book shows that Job was a “Wizard” (clever, smart, and skillful). He was a “Wondering” Wizard because he “wondered” about his fate. (Why were all of these bad things happening to him?). He “wondered” about his future (How long was he going to suffer?). He “wondered” about his Father (Why was God punishing him? What had he done?). Satan had taken Job’s fortune and his family, tortured Job’s flesh, and turned Job’s friends. And even though he lost his family, his fortune, and most of his friends, he never lost his faith. This is why we need to visit this “Wondering Wizard of Uz”. He is an example for us all (See James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this article, and maybe one or two others, we will just mention a few lessons we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON ONE: God wants man to love and serve Him because of who He is and not simply because of what He gives. And this “Wondering Wizard of Uz” shows that some men will do just that. Satan accused Job of serving God for salary (Ch. 1:9-11). But Job proves that some will serve God for nothing. Some will love and trust Him simply because He is God. Some will serve God even if they are not blessed physically, socially, or materially. God’s people are to love Him and trust Him, come what may (Job 13:16). The book of Job also teaches us that man can, and sometimes does, lose things that are near and dear to him. It teaches us how important it is to: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). It illustrates how man will always be tested as long as he is on this earth and how important it is to maintain our faith in God no matter what happens to us or around us. Job shows us that faith that can be trusted can also be tested.
THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 2)
In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our second visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (See James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this second article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON TWO. God can allow a righteous man to suffer and still be just Himself. This “Wondering Wizard of Uz” proves this point without question. Job proves that God can, and does, sometimes allow righteous men to suffer in this life for no apparent reason. Of course, one thing I have wondered is: “How can God keep us from suffering as much, and as many times, as we all fail to live up to what He expects?” As one popular song says, “Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known?” The amazing thing is how God keeps us from suffering! Why does He, or why should He, bless us in any sense considering how sinful we all are? If any of us, who are responsible people, got what we deserve we would probably suffer as much, and maybe more, than Job did (and some will).
I realize that this does not solve the problem or answer the question concerning human suffering. But, in my judgment, it raises a valid point. Why does God bless us? One answer is: “Because He is God”. How can God allow good men to suffer? One answer is: “Because He is God”. Of course, when it comes to suffering in this life, there is no answer that will satisfy or relieve those of us who suffer. I know that some suffer because of their own sins (II Peter 4:15). Some suffer because of the sins of others (Joseph, Gen. 37-50). Some suffer because we live in a world of suffering as a consequence of sin entering the world (Genesis 3:16-19). Some suffer because of chastisement (Hebrews 12:6-11). Some suffer for righteousness sake or because they are Christians (I Peter 4:16). Some suffer in order that the works of God may be revealed (John 9:3). Some suffer for other reasons. And no explanation applies to every sufferer and no explanation relieves the suffering. But this “Wondering Wizard of Uz” teaches us that: “Patience involves, not only trusting God’s timing, but also trusting God’s judgment.” A truth that Job had to learn the hard way. Remember that God is too loving to be mean, too powerful to be manipulated, and too wise to be mistaken.
THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 3)
In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our third visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this third article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON THREE. One of main lessons we learn from Job is this: “The most important thing on earth is not the things on earth.” The most important thing on earth is “trust” in God. Job lost the things that most people consider most important, but he never lost his “trust” in God. Remember his statement “though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15)? This is the one thing that Satan could not take away. This is the one thing that Job did not lose. There are many things that are important to us on earth. For example,
- RELATIONSHIPS. All of us probably agree that earthly relationships are important. Job had some important earthly relationships. But he lost them. He had a relationship with his children, wife, friends and others. But all of his children died in one day. His wife, brothers, friends and others turned against him. And even the three friends who stuck with him accused him of some horrible things. Earthly relationships, as important as they may be, are not the most important thing on earth.
- WEALTH. Some people consider riches as the most important thing on earth. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with being rich. It can be a blessing. Job had plenty of earthly riches. In fact, when it came to riches, he was the “greatest man in the East” (Job 1:3). Like Bill Gates, he was famous for his wealth. But he lost all of his wealth. It was all “taken away” (Job 2:21). Many in our day have lost all of the wealth that they had. Investors in Enron and other stocks have lost their fortunes. Others have lost their money in bad real estate investments, bad business deals and other ways. Riches can be important when properly used, but they are not the most important thing on earth.
- RESPECT. Being respected is an important thing. Living in such a way that others respect us is a worthy goal for us all. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1). But “respect” is not the most important thing on earth. Job was respected and admired by those who knew him. But Job lost the respect of others. Satan was allowed to take it away. Job said, “even the little boys scorned me, when I appear, they ridicule me” (Job 19:18). Having others respect us is important, but it is not the most important thing on earth.
- REPUTATION. Having a good reputation is important. Job had a good reputation. Job said that there was a time when “everyone listened to my advice” (Job 29:21). He was like E. F. Hutton, when he spoke, people would listen. But he lost his reputation. Satan destroyed it. Even the younger men mocked and made fun of him (Job 30:1). Having a good reputation is important, but it not the most important thing on earth.
- HEALTH. Being healthy is important. God wants us to “prosper in all things and be in health” (III John 1:2). We are taught to “do yourself no harm” (Acts 16:28) and to “glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:20). Being healthy is important and we should all try to eat right, exercise right, and avoid things that destroy our health. Evidently Job was healthy for a long time. But he lost his health. After he was afflicted by Satan he lived for months in misery (Job 7:3). Having good health is important, but it is not the most important thing on earth.
Remember “the most important thing on earth is not the things on earth (relationships, wealth, respect, reputation, or health) because these things can change, be taken away, and/or destroyed. The most important thing on earth is to “trust in Him” (Job 13:15). When we go “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”, we should not miss this point. In our next visit to the “land of Uz”, we will learn some other reasons why “trust in Him” is the most important thing on earth.
THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 4)
In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our fourth visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this fourth article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON FOUR. In lesson three we learned that “The most important thing on earth is not the things on earth”. The things on earth (relationships, wealth, respect, reputation, or health) can change, be taken away, and/or destroyed. We learned that “The most important thing on earth” is to “trust in Him” (Job 13:15). When we go “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz” we should not miss this point. And in this final visit to the “land of Uz” we need to realize that “trust in Him” is not only “The most important thing on earth”, it is also “The most rewarding thing on earth”. This seems to be the main point God wants us to see when we visit Job. In James 5:11, James wrote, “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.” Note that we are to see “the end intended by the Lord”. In the end “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (Job 42:17). The “end” is what God has in mind for us from the beginning. It is the finish that counts. God’s ultimate goal is to never leave us in a state of suffering, sorrow or in sin. He may permit it for a time but He will bless us in the end. In “the end” we will realize that God is “very compassionate and merciful” and this will never be more evident than when He takes us to heaven. The “sufferings of this present time” (no matter how bad they are) are “not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Roman 8:18). I guess Paul said it best: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT). All Christians have been “grieved by various trials” but they will be “receiving the end of your faith” which is the “salvation of your souls” (Read I Peter 1:6-9). Just as God blessed the latter end of Job’s life more than first, He has promised to do the same for us. Remember, God has never promised us smooth sailing in this life, but He has promised us a safe landing. It is in this hope that we have “as an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:18-19). Job’s faith paid off in the end and so will ours. God saves the best for last. In the end, we will fully comprehend that God has always been our very best friend.