1. The Old Testament was written for our learning (Rom. 15:4).
2. The main lesson from 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 is that we should not make the same mistakes that those in the Old Testament made (v. 11).
3. Job is specifically mentioned as an example of faith in spite of his suffering and affliction (James 5:10-11).
4. In Job, chapters 1 & 2, the Bible reveals the character of Job, the conversation about Job, and the calamity of Job.
5. The result was that he had days that were “full of trouble” (Job 14:2). His family, fortune, and flesh were affected, but he never lost his faith (Job 13:15).
6. In this study I want us to learn three important lessons from Job that ought to help us when it comes to facing problems and handling the troubles that we encounter in life.
I. DON’T DEMAND TO UNDERSTAND.
A. We can seek to understand when bad things happen to us.
1. It could be because of our sins (II Sam. 12:10-13).
2. It could be because of the sins of others (Joseph).
3. It could be because we live in a world of suffering (Gen. 3:16-19).
4. It could be chastisement (Heb. 12:5-11).
5. It could be for righteousness sake (I Peter 3:14-17).
6. It could be because of the work of God (Joseph, Blind Man in John 9:1-3).
7. It could be for other reasons.
B. We are not going to understand why bad things happen to good people. There is no real satisfactory answer to the problem of human suffering.
C. One mistake Job made was that he wanted to demand to understand.
1. He wanted to plead his cause and understand (23:3-5).
2. He wanted God to answer him (31:35).
D. Job had to admit that he had “uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not…” (42:3).
E. Job finally understood that he should not demand to understand. Some things were beyond his ability to understand. However, if he understood that God was wise enough to create and control the world and cares for everything in it, then that should be sufficient (Job 38-41).
F. God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9).
G. His judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out (Rom. 11:33).
H. We must recognize that there are “secret things” that belong only to God and it is not for us to know all of His dealings (Deut. 29:29).
I. Just because something doesn’t make sense to us does not mean it does not make sense. (Illust. A Watch to man in jungle or computers, television, telephones, etc.).
J. One lesson from the life of Job is that we should never demand to understand but rather determine to trust God no matter what (13:15).
II. DON’T BE DEFEATED BECAUSE YOU ARE MISTREATED.
A. As long as we are in the world with other people we are going to be mistreated.
B. Since the beginning of time the righteous have been mistreated by others:
1. Abel was mistreated by Cain. (Gen. 4).
2. Israel was mistreated by Pharaoh. (Ex. 1).
3. David was mistreated by Saul and others. (1 Samuel).
4. The three Hebrew were mistreated by Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan. 3).
5. Daniel was mistreated by the presidents and princes in Babylon. (Dan. 6).
6. John was mistreated by Diotrephes. (II John).
7. Jesus was/is mistreated by us all (Isaiah 53).
C. Job was mistreated by:
1. His wife (2:9; 19:17).
2. His friends (12:2-4; 13:4; 16:2).
3. His kinfolks (19:13-14).
4. Young people (19:18; 30:1-10).
5. Those he loved (19:19).
D. Yet he knew his redeemer lived (19:25) and he was determined to “trust in him” no matter what (13:15).
E. Paul was perplexed, troubled, and persecuted, but not defeated (II Cor. 4:8-10).
F. Joseph was mistreated but not defeated (Gen. 39-50).
G. Job, Joseph, and Paul remained faithful in spite of their opposition and won out in the end and so will we (Gen. 50:20-21; Job 42:5-13; II Tim. 4:6-8).
H. Sometimes we will be mistreated by husbands, wives, children, parents, brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends, business associates, etc. But we can’t be defeated because we are mistreated.
I. The Holy Spirit promised tribulation to those who trouble us and refuse to repent (II Thess. 1:6-9).
J. Jesus said we are “blessed” and should “rejoice and be exceeding glad” when we are persecuted for righteousness sake (Matt. 5:10-12).
K. In short, He said “don’t be defeated because you are mistreated.” Job wasn’t and neither should we be.
III. DON’T CUT A TRAIL BECAUSE YOU FAIL.
A. Don’t leave it all because you fall.23
B. Some of God’s greatest servants have been failures at times. Think about:
1. Noah … Gen. 9:20-27
2. Abraham … Gen. 12:10-20
3. Moses … Num. 20:7-13
4. David … II Sam. 11-12
5. Jonah … Jonah 1
6. Peter … Matt. 26:69-75
7. Barnabus … Gal. 2:13
8. John Mark …Acts 13:13
9 Job failed and admitted it …Job 42:1-3
C. Job was ashamed and repented in dust and ashes (42:5-6).
D. He failed, but he did not cut a trial (i.e., he didn’t leave God or quit).
E. There is a big difference in the response of Job (42:5-6) and the one of Judas (Matt. 27:3-5). Both failed, but their response was totally different.
F. A good man, though he fails, will not be utterly forsaken, but God will uphold him with His hand (Ps. 37:23-25).
G. We must learn to face our failures with faith. We must learn that failures don’t have to be fatal or final, but can actually help us be more faithful than ever before (42:5-6).
H. So, don’t throw in the towel because you committed a foul. Get back in the game with a greater determination than ever to finish the Christian race (Heb. 12:1-2; II Tim. 4:6-8).
I. Learn this from Job – Don’t “cut a trail” because you fail. (James 5:19-20; II Peter 2:20-22).
Conclusion: Don’t demand to understand the problem of human suffering. Don’t be defeated because you are mistreated by others. Don’t “cut a trial” because you fail in you own life. Remember the lessons God taught Job with all of those questions in chapters 38-41. God created His world and everything in it. God ultimately controls His world and everything in it. And, most importantly, God cares for His world and everything in it. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Corinthians 9:15).