A FAITH THAT WILL NOT BE BROKEN
Job is at his breaking point; his debate with his three friends has reached the temperature of the Sun, so to speak! At the heart of Job’s pain is his so-called three comforters and the big question of “Is God for me, or is He against me?” Under the assaulting words of his friends, his faith appeared to be ready to collapse under the weight of his trials. Here is… A man that is at his breaking point due to his suffering and is ready to collapse under the weight of his trials. A man who has felt the fiery condemnation of three friends and their skewed theological view of truth. A man who feels that this isn’t fair and that he has been abandoned by God in all this.
Steve Lawson said “If ever there were a time when faith was faltering on the brink of failure, this was the time.” Satan had gambled that this breaking point would come to Job, as he tries to convince a holy God in the opening chapters. But what Satan doesn’t understand is this! God has already declared that Job would not deny Him. Job 1:8 we read “And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" Job 2:3 we read “And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason."
What we learn from this unfolding story of Job is that, our faith might bend, but it would never be broken. Even with all the assaulting words of his friends, even in his pain and brokenness, his faith held strong! Just as God said it would, it’s in the conflict and suffering, we see Job’s confidence in God, is renewed. I want us to see this truth as we dive into Job’s response once again. I want us to see that though our faith may seem weak and non-existent at times, that our God has us right where He wants us. Though we may bend like a tree, the child of the living God we will never be broken because the child of God is safe in the arms of a sovereign God.
Take for example Peter, when Jesus said “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. “Peter said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death." Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me." Luke 22:31-34
Did Peter’s faith bend at the pressures of this world? Yes
Did Peter faithfully stand by Jesus’ side ready for prison or death? No
Did Peter lose his place in the kingdom of God when the rooster crowed? No
Remember when Jesus restored Peter? “Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go." (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, "Follow me." John 21:16-19
Though Peter bended, God was faithful and restored Peter to realize our faith is not in our self, it’s in the person of Jesus Christ. We as the children of the Living God need to understand something very important when it comes to God’s faithfulness! Paul said “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” 1 Thess 5:23-24. Even when our faith seems weak and non-existent as Paul wrote to Timothy “if we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny himself.” 2 Tim 2:13. One theologian wrote “God cannot go contrary to His word; that would be to act contrary to His nature and perfections, and would be a denying of himself, which is not possible; wherefore His faithfulness will never fail, even though, the faith of his people does.” This chapter is a renewal moment in Job’s life as he reminds himself of something that is very important for each and every one of here this morning. I want us to look at this chapter and see the contrast between Job and Jesus Christ.
The First Thing I Want To Contrast Is That The Righteous Will Be Ridiculed. (v2-v4)
Let’s start with Job, because he says his friends are causing him more grief than everything that has happened. (v2) Their insults were hurtful and relentless, as Job says here over and over again. (v3). But what did Jesus say would happen to those who follow Him? “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matt 10:21-22
When does our suffering cease? Jesus said “at the end!” At the end of this mortal life. James wrote this to remind suffering brothers and sisters “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12. Though you face ridicule as you suffer, you will receive a crown in the end.
At the end of the race, not at the beginning,
or the middle, but the end.
What about Jesus did He face ridicule? We read in the Gospels “…Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.” Matt 24-31
We know from Marks account “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross! "So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe." Mark 15:29-32
Jesus already endured the mocking from the soldiers; know He endured the taunts and mocking from the people. See! We look to our Lord Jesus Christ as He went beyond our ridicule to save us from eternal damnation. I want to cry out with Paul when he said “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Phil 3:10
The Second Thing I Want To Contrast Is That You Will Be Despised And Rejected. (v5-v19)
Job felt not only rejected and ridiculed by his friends but ultimately by God. (v5-v6)
Job felt that he was suffering injustice at the hands of God. (v7)
Even Job felt that those closest to him deserted him, his inner circle of people have walked away from him. (v13) What’s worse! Job was despised by his “one flesh”; his wife refused his attempts to get closer to her, as he goes through this suffering. (v17) Even young children who showed him honor at one point in time, turned to mock Job because of his condition. (v18-v19)
What about Jesus Christ, how was
He treated by the ones He loved?
John’s gospel we read “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” John 1:11. In John’s gospel we also read that Jesus was rejected by family “For not even his brothers believed in him.” John 7:5. What we can learn from this is that; you are in good company because we have a Great Shepherd who was despised and rejected by the very one’s He came to save.
The Third Thing I Want To Contrast Is That When We Suffer We Seek Mercy From Others. (v21-v22)
In our hurts we desire and seek compassion from others to comfort us. We seek others to show “pity” towards us, not cutting remarks to shame us. (v21) Remember what Job said previously “Have I any help in me, when resource is driven from me? “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job 6:13-14
What about Jesus, did He come seeking mercy? No! Jesus came to display mercy and extend mercy to sinners like Job. Mark’s Gospel we read “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34. The Greek word that is translated here as “Compassion” is used to describe only Jesus in all of the New Testament. This was a compassion that reached a level that was far deeper than human concern and empathy for people in pain. Job can’t see his request for compassion being met, but its right before him, despite his suffering. God is and has been, displaying mercy and pity towards Job the whole time, despite what Job thinks or feels.
But for Job he didn’t see it that way! Why? Job wanted mercy so bad he desired that someone would write his story out for others to read and see that he did nothing wrong and that he was innocent. (v23-v24) What’s interesting about this! His story was written down and millions of people have read his story and been encouraged as they go through their own season of suffering.
The Fourth Thing I Want To Contrast Is Our Hope Of A Redeemer & Resurrection. (v25-27)
This is the foundation of this whole letter! Job hoped for a redeemer!
What does Job know? By faith Job knows he has a living Redeemer, who will stand upon the earth, and Job will see Him with his own eyes one day. Job renewed and kindled his hope in his suffering by looking to the Redeemer, someone who would bring justice and vindicate Job. (v25) “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last day he will stand upon the earth.”
“Redeemer” in the Old Testament, is a kinsman, someone who pays a price on behalf of an impoverished relative, in order to affect the release of relative. (We see that in Numbers 5:8; Ruth 3:13, 4:1-8 )
In the New Testament this word refers to Jesus, whose death comes to represent both payment for sin and freedom for the believer.
Job’s displays a renewed faith in God. And despite the deep despair of his heart, this was a strong statement of faith in God. Why? Job believed that no matter how others saw him in the present, God would have the last word over Job’s life. Job knew that there was someone who would redeem him from all his brokenness and suffering one day.
What about Jesus, what is the
contrast between the two?
Jesus is the fulfillment of Job’s hope; and hope of every lost sinner on the planet.
This goes back to God’s plan of redemption due to the Fall, the very first of many Gospel promises. “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Gen 3:15
David wrote “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” Psalm 34:17-22
Matt 20:28 says “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
What does this mean for you and me? Romans 8:1 say “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Paul wrote “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Gal 1:3-5
Gal 3:13 we read “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"
This is why Job’s hope never broke; this is the foundation of our hope. Not only did Job hope in a Redeemer, he also believed in a literal resurrection. Job hoped to gaze upon God in all His glory throughout all eternity. To see Him face to faced. (v26-v27) Job believed that he would live again and see God. Job knew that the Redeemer would defend him, ransom him and resurrect him. See! Jesus in not only our Redeemer, He is our resurrection.
In the Gospel of John we read “Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:17-26
Do you believe this?
Because Job did, even with his limited knowledge of God. What Bildad described in the previous chapter was fulfilled in Jesus Christ for sinners, who turn to Christ and live. Job’s experience of Hell is completely fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ, when he went to the cross and took upon Himself the wrath we deserve.
“Whatever Job desired, Christ Jesus
is the fulfillment of that.”
So “lean in” and rest in His unlimited supply of compassion, mercy, redemptive grace that leads to a resurrected life. As Charles Spurgeon “The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head.” Resting your head in the Redeemer who has guaranteed a place to reside with Him for all eternity. As Paul said “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Cor 5:1
Job’s present Hell and suffering is nothing compared to the eternal weight of glory for those who look to what is unseen. Understand! That our present troubles can easily blur our vison and bring us down. It can easily cause our hearts to wonder to other things, but we must look Heavenward. In order to make sense of our pain and suffering we must look to the Cross of His redeeming grace. Though Job was bent to the limit, he never broke, because he placed his hope and trust in a sovereign God. A God who would redeem him, and resurrect him, one day; so that Job and you and I, can look upon His glorious face.
An unshakable faith
in a turbulent life.
Our hope and rest is found in no other, our hope is only in the One who said He would do it. As Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26
Do you believe this? Because Job did!