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The Story of Job - His Loss

Sermon Series:

The Story of Job

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Job 1:20-22


Today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And everyone said, Amen. Amen. So I got a question for you. Who here keeps things that you do not need just in case one day, maybe you'll need them. My people. I don't know if it's because I'm 40 or because I'm a dad, but I saw this post the other day and I just totally resonated with this post. Breaking news, today I used a piece of wood that I kept in my garage since 2006 in case I might need it. Anybody got wood like that? Ask my wife, she'll tell you. Although, I think this kind of connects to what we're going to talk about today, actually. I think the subject matter before us is something you may not feel like you need right now, but you may. You may not feel like you need to know the story of Job right now, but one day you may.

And so, would you turn in your Bibles to Job, Job chapter 1, as we look at his loss today? Now, as you're turning there, just as we get going with this sermon series, here's some context for you with the book of Job. Job is from a land called Uz. We don't know exactly where it was, but what's important to know about this land is that it was outside Israel, meaning Job was not Jewish, and yet he worshipped the God of the Hebrew Bible. Job had 10 children, seven sons, and three daughters. Those are two important numbers for Scripture, denoting completeness and wholeness. Job was extremely committed to his children's spiritual development. In fact, Job would often make offerings on their behalf. Unlike so many parents today who don't really care about their children's spiritual well-being, Job was highly invested and cared a lot about it. In fact, we see that Job probably wasn't very familiar with Old Testament law because we see Job making offerings and sacrifices, which only priests should do. And yet God looked with favor upon this man. He was extremely rich and prosperous, which really flies in the face of our culture which thinks every rich person is evil. Job was extremely rich and prosperous. He cared for people. In verse eight, God says this about Job. He says, there's none like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. See, Job was not just a righteous man. He was a devoted man. Job had one wife that he loved and cared for. He was faithful. He was devoted. He was a man of integrity, integrity so strong it got the attention of God. Job was a man of worship. Job was good But that's not why we know about Job, is it? Unfortunately, good men largely go unnoticed in our world. It takes a tragedy for us to pay attention to anybody. Job's life is marked by tragedy. His life was about to change, and his life began to unravel even before he knew it. Job 1:6 says, Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them." Let's just stop there for a second. Let's have a little Bible study here. What is this important meeting and who are the sons of God? Now biblically speaking, the sons of God are part of God's divine counsel. Some of your translations may say angels, but here's the reality. These were spiritual beings that God created and uses to enact his will. Not because he needs them, but because he uses them. You can sort of think of this as the president's cabinet. So this divine council convenes and Satan shows up. Now there's actually some theological debate as to whether or not Satan should have been there, whether he was called there or not, or if he's just crashing the party. We can have fun talking about that later, but that's not important for what we're going to talk about right now. Either way, Satan shows up and it says that he's come from wandering the earth. Now we're not given the whole story here, but the Bible seems to show us that God, without any real connection, immediately points to Job. Satan shows up and God immediately brings up Job without any real connection. And so we're kind of left to think that God knows what Satan was up to. Satan was wandering, scouring the earth, having influence over people. And so God goes right to Job with Satan. Satan shows up and God says, have you considered Job? And Satan's like, oh yeah, oh yeah, God, we know about Job. We know you think he's all righteous, but here's the reality, God, he's only a good man because you bless Him so much. You take away His blessing, God, and you're going to see who He really is. You take away His blessing, He's going to curse you to your face. And God responds and He basically says, you don't know Job as I do. Go ahead, take away all that he has. Don't touch him, but take away all that he has, and you'll see, Job is faithful." And so Job's life was about to change. If you read your Bible, verses 13 to 19 describe how everything in Job's life was taken away. Remember, he's a good man who cares for his people. His servants were out working in the fields and they were killed by bands of murderers. His animals, his property, his income, his livelihood, and his animals grazing in the field were killed by fire and lightning. And need I remind you, this is in the day before insurance. No insurance adjuster was going to come and survey how bad things were. This was a total and utter, completely devastating loss, and there was no recovery or going back from this. All of Job's children were together in a house and the house collapsed and killed all his sons his three daughters


This all happens not just in a day, but in a moment For the news of all this came at once in one terrible moment Job lost all his wealth his way of life, and his children. I once heard it put like this, you can approach Job from one of two chairs. Everyone reads the story of Job from one of two chairs. You either read the story of Job from an armchair or a wheelchair. You either read the story of Job from an armchair, where you've never really dealt with true pain and suffering and loss. And so you can only engage the story of Job intellectually or philosophically, kind of with your finger to your face, just, hmm. Or you read the story of Job from the wheelchair, maybe not literally, but symbolically, as you have had a life marked with pain and suffering and difficulty. And as we read the book of Job, it becomes quickly apparent from which chair you read this story. And I would say the vast majority of us sitting in this room, especially here in America, the majority, not everyone, but the majority read us, read the book of Job from the armchair, from a place of comfort. And I'm not saying that there aren't people in here who haven't dealt with real trials or faced things bigger than themselves, but the way you engage Job shows the chair from which you read Job. But as we look at what happened, one thing we all have to ask ourselves right now is in your greatest moment of pain, how do you respond? What do you do in that moment? Well, we're going to find out from Job what he does. So Job has been told that he's lost it all, his wealth, his way of life, his own children. And this is how he responds. This is what he does. And so, would you hear the word of the Lord? Job chapter 1, we'll read verses 20 to 22. Would you hear God's word? Then Job arose

and tore his robe. He shaved his head and he fell on the ground and worshipped.

And he said, naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. This is God's word. Let's pray. We'll continue.

Let's pray.

Father in heaven above, you are good. You are sovereign over all. You give and you take away. And we thank you that in the midst of this, you have given us the greatest gift there is, grace. That you gave your son to die in our place for our sins, so that we might not receive what we are due, but we would receive grace, a favor from you that we do not deserve. So as we look at the story, Father, we pray, Lord, we'll never fully understand it. Would you help us in some small way to begin to see your goodness in the midst of this story as we wrestle with this, that by you, we would in some way be prepared for our time of suffering? We pray these things, Father, for your glory, by the power of the Spirit, and in the name of your Son, Jesus. And everyone said, Amen and Amen.

Church, as we get going, and as we get going for this entire series, do not forget this thing. What is Job's objective? What is Satan's objective? What is Satan's objective? He's not just trying to torture Job because he hates the human race. Satan's great objective in this is to get Job to reject his faith. Satan is trying to get Job to turn his back on God. That's what Satan's great objective is. That's what it was for Job and I think that's what it is for us. Satan will use any tactic for that to happen. Now, in the story of Job, it happens by taking away things. He wants to take away Job's livelihood and his children to get Job to turn his back on God. But I think, in our day and age, he's given us a lot. He's given us a lot to keep us happy and distracted so that we don't feel like we need God. See, I think Satan's great objective is to get you to turn away from God, and he'll do that through supply or through suffering. And I think for a lot of people in our context, Satan is having such victory because he's given you so much, you don't feel the need for God, so you don't turn to God, and proverbially in your heart, you've already turned away, and Satan has won without even showing his hand. But the book of Job reminds us that no matter what Satan is doing, God has a good plan behind it. So, as we continue with this story, here are a few things that I want to pull up from this message, from this chapter, as we consider Job. Here are some tools that you may or may not need for the future, but are probably good to keep around. Three things we see from the Book of Job. We worship God not because of our wealth, but because of His worth. We worship God because of Him, because of His goodness. Three things we see from our passage. God is worthy of our worship, even in our laments. The second thing we see is that God is worthy of our honor, even in our loss. And the third thing we're going to see is that God is worthy of our devotion, even in our lows. So, first thing, God is worthy of our worship, even in our lament. Church, let me say this to you. I think this is one thing we all need to hear. The best way you can prepare for times of suffering and pain is to know God. To know God and to know who He is. And I say this not because of my great experience, I say this because I know and love my church and I think about the people of this church and they have already taught me this. It is hard to preach a message like this and not think of specific people from our church family who have had Job-like experiences, who have lost and lost deeply. It's hard to preach a sermon like this from the armchair to those who I know who read the book of Job from the wheelchair. I know men through demonic opposition have lost everything in a job they love. I know mothers who have spent years on their knees praying for their children only to have lost them. But we all have to understand, whether you approach Job from the wheelchair or from the armchair. We all of us approach God who sits on the throne. A God who sits on the throne and answers to no one. A God who sits on the throne and does not owe us anything. A God whose every action leads us to ultimately one response, and it's to acknowledge that He is God and that we are not, and His ways are beyond our ways. And I am telling you now, at the end of the day, I'd rather have a God who's bigger than my understanding than a God I can wrap my mind around. So God is worthy of our worship, even in our laments. Job lost it all, and then he arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and he fell on the ground and he worshipped. What's going on here? What we see here is a man broken. We see a man broken in half. He's crying out in pain. He's grieving. He's mourning. He's lamenting. But what is his response? Worship. His response is to worship.



It's because he knew God. Because he knew God, his only response was to worship, whether, through happy times or horrendous times, our response to God is to worship. The God who in his goodness is present with us in our pain, even when he doesn't have to be there, but because he wants to be there. Because no matter what God allows, we need to understand that God is good. So if we see a disconnect between God being good and what's happened in our lives or the state of this world, if we see a disconnect, the problem isn't with God, the problem is with our limited understanding. Who here has ever actually read the book, Moby Dick? The movie doesn't count? Now, Moby Dick, you guys know that great story about the obsessed Captain Ahab and the white whale, right? This story was narrated by a character named Ishmael. Now in chapters 55 and 56, Ishmael, who's a whaler, right, goes out on the open ocean and hunts whales. He talks about how when he's on land and he sees all the depictions and all the paintings of whales, how they're so inaccurate. He talks about how even the best paintings of whales are insufficient because all these paintings are too small. He's saying a whale is this ginormous, beautiful, mega animal. You could never capture it on a small little piece of paper. And then he says, I'm going to read to you a part of what Ishmael says here. He says, there's no earthly way of finding out precisely what the whale looks like. And the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of its living contour is by going a whaling yourself. But by doing so, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him. Do you hear what Ishmael is saying? He's saying there's no way to truly know the power and the beauty and the enormity of a whale. And the only way to even come close to understanding is to get out there and the vast ocean and face this Leviathan yourself. But if you do, you'll never be the same if you even come back at all.

He's saying you can't know a whale just by looking at a painting. You have to spend time with them. Now clearly, the parallel here to God is profound. We have people who judge God who has never spent time with God. There's also a parallel for suffering. We have people who judge God who has never truly suffered even. They've never experienced suffering and yet they judge those who have suffered and they judge God who's sovereign over all. But when we move away from the distractions of the world and we approach God in prayer, experience God will never be the same, if not totally destroyed. But we will know that we have truly encountered God in faith when our response to God is reverent, holy, fearful, and worship. Listen to me, listen to me, especially if you are seeking God right now. If your response to God is judgment, mocking, scorn, scoffing, or criticism, I'm telling you right now, it's not God that you're approaching. It's a caricature of God that you probably gleaned from culture. For you to truly experience God is to bow to your face and declare you're not worthy, only He is. The right response to God is worship. For when we know God and His worth, we are in some small way prepared for loss and pain, and we worship even in our lament. I've sat with those of deep faith as they've tragically lost their spouse. They approach that moment differently than those who don't. I'm not saying it makes it easier. in some small way, those who know God, are prepared. Even when God is the one who allows the pain in our life, growing closer to Him in our pain is better than letting our pain drive us away from Him. As C.S. Lewis said, pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers in our pleasures, He speaks in our conscience, but He shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Translation, pain isn't God abandoning us. It's a way that He's using to draw us to Himself, which is why we can worship even in our laments. And secondly, God is worthy of our honor, even in our loss. And Job said, naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever met a truly humble person that you despised? Have you ever met someone and said, yeah, they're really humble, but man, what a jerk? No, no. There's something attractive about people who are truly humble. This is why the book of Job is so profound because Job is a truly humble man. But listen to me. This doesn't just mean he's nice to other people. When someone is truly humble, they know their place in the universe and that's hard to find Job is a humble man. He's not presumptuous. He's not assuming He is a man who knows that God owes him nothing He's a man who knows that God has every right to everything he has and that is a weighty Nearly impossible thing for us here in the West, especially in America, to get our minds wrapped around. What did you do to be born? Nothing. What did you bring with you into this world? Nothing. What will you take when you leave this world? Nothing.

Is anybody here really fascinated by ancient Egypt? I love to look up the ancient Egypt stuff. It's just, I think for me it's compelling, it's fascinating, there's so much mystery there. I love to look up the dynasties. And you know, every time they like to uncover a pharaoh's tomb, do you know what they find inside? A dead guy with a bunch of really valuable stuff. Gold and jewelry. I mean, arguably the most famous of all the pharaohs is King Tut. Do you know that King Tut, when they discovered his tomb, do you know that wealth in his tomb is estimated to be at least $750 million? Nearly a billion dollars worth of stuff this guy was buried with. Let me ask you a question. How much did any of the pharaohs enjoy the stuff they were buried with after they died? Nothing. You come into this world with nothing. You leave with nothing.

Your grave doesn't come with a closet to put your fancy clothes. Your grave doesn't come with a bank account to pull out money whenever you need it. Your grave doesn't come with a safe to keep your valuables in whenever you want to enjoy them. You came into this world with nothing and you're going to leave with nothing. And as hard as it is to realize and to acknowledge when everything is taken from you, do you know what you're left with? This goes against everything that our culture says right now. But when everything is taken from you, do you know what you're left with? You're left with everything you're entitled to. When everything is taken from you, the only thing you have left is what you are entitled to. Even our children belong to God. We're just given custody of them for a time. But a day will come when we have to give them back. We just hope that we're not around to see it. And Job said, "'Naked I came from my mother's room, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.'" Whether in prosperity or poverty, we only have what the Lord allows us to have, and it's all His anyway. And when everything gets taken from you, this doesn't mean you can't be sad, this doesn't mean you can't be mad, this doesn't mean you can't cry or lament. What it means is that we can still bless and honor God even in our loss. And it also means that God is worthy of our devotion even in our lows.

Look at this last verse, verse 22. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Even in Job's lowest moment, he didn't blame God. He was still devoted to God. Now, listen, I know I'm not an old man, but I got some miles on me. Ministry will do that to you. And there's one thing I can tell you that I've seen over my time. So much of the pain that people have in their lives is a product of their own choices. Not everyone. Terrible things happen. But as I've been a pastor and sat and listened to people who sat across my desk and listened to their pain. So much of it comes from people's own poor choices. God has shown them the good way, and they chose not to walk in it. And then they wonder why their life's a mess. And these people end up blaming God. They blame God because they didn't follow His ways. They followed their own ways. But listen here, Job did nothing to deserve this. Job followed God's ways. Job did nothing to deserve this and he still doesn't blame God. Do you know what's really powerful about this passage? Do you know what Job is doing when he doesn't blame God? He's proving Satan wrong. That is a powerful spiritual reality here. Yes, things in our life may come crashing down. Yes, everything may be taken from us. Yes, we may have to suffer immense loss, but there is a God in heaven who sits on the throne and He is good. And because our good God sits on the throne, you can have hope no matter what you face. And because you can have hope, you can still be devoted to God even in your lowest moments. As we look at the story of Job, there's so much more to the story. We're only getting going, and if you come back next week, you're going to find out it doesn't get better for him. And so as we look at this first message from Job, and as we look at the end of this first sermon, I don't want to tie a bow on this right now. I just kind of want to let us hang with this moment of loss and let us all wrestle with it for this week because in the book of Job, you have to wrestle with it. I don't want to tie a bow. I kind of want to just leave it as it is and pick it up next week. So rather than tying a bow on this message this morning, let me just end by maybe taking my stab at answering a question maybe we have. Does Satan still approach God for permission to bring disaster upon our lives? Here's what I'd say. Here's my way to begin to answer this.

The cross changes everything. The cross changes everything. History took a new turn with the cross. Our lives, when we believe, take a new turn. The cross changes everything. It's impossible to look upon the Old Testament, knowing where we are now, and not look through the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross brings light to our suffering. It brings assurance to our hope. It brings, yes, reality to the blackness and the grievousness of our sin. The cross brings fulfillment in some profound way to the story of Job. The cross changes everything. Jesus Christ told us this himself. You know this. We just looked at this at Easter. When Jesus was approaching the crucifixion, like literally as he is marching towards the cross, he says, now the ruler of this world will be cast out. No, Satan does not enter the divine divine counsel among the sons of God and sit and accuse you anymore. He sits among us and accuses us. He's still at work though, but his objective is still the same, whether through pleasure or poverty, he's wanting for you to turn your back on God. But the cross changes everything. See, Job, Job lost everything, but he stayed true to God. Jesus lost everything because we don't stay true to God. In our sin, we deserve the eternal suffering of Job. In our sin, we deserve the wrath of God that Jesus took in our place on the cross. The cross is so amazing. I don't think even Christians fully understand what happened. See, by faith, when we believe in Jesus on the cross, our sin has been removed because the payment for sin has been paid in full by Jesus himself. We sing that and we celebrate that regularly, but I think sometimes we forget there is an exchange that happened that continued to happen on the cross. See on the cross, Jesus took our sin and paid the penalty for it. But you know what also happens? By faith, when we place our faith in Jesus, we get his righteousness. The righteousness of Jesus, the Son of God, is now imputed into us so that when God looks at us, he sees someone who is more righteous than Job. He doesn't see us, he sees His Son within us. And now our relationship with God that's been broken has been restored through faith in Jesus. See the cross changes everything. It prepares us for the suffering that we will have on this side of eternity until God makes all things right. See the cross changes everything.

The cross helps us to prepare for the life that's before us. When we think about pain and suffering, we approach with certain lessons that we've learned. I'm telling you right now, we don't approach pain and suffering based on the powerful lessons of Job's suffering. We approach pain and suffering with the life-giving power of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. This is why we can say even louder than what Job did, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord. This is why we are a different set of people than the world out there. We can say the Lord gives and takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord. If you can say that, would you say amen?

Amen. Amen.

Would you please stand and let's prepare our hearts to worship? Would you bow your heads and just hear these words for a moment? The Book of Job is one of the most weighty subjects that we can ever approach. It's a story that needs to be wrestled with, but it's a story that should prepare us. Prepare us to worship. Prepare us for a God who's bigger than us. So before we go to prayer, if you are prepared to worship a God who gives and takes away, if you are still prepared to say, blessed be the name of the Lord, would you do me a favor, if no one else is looking, just raise your hand. As we sing, I encourage you, at some point, to raise your hand to declare that you believe the words that we're singing. We're going to sing a song that comes right out of the Book of Job.

So Father, I pray, here and now, Lord, that you'd prepare our hearts by the power of your Spirit through the life-giving power of Jesus, Father, that we can declare the good news to the world. There's a God in heaven who loves us, who sent his Son to die in our place. We say that because the Spirit fills us now, and so Father, I pray that we'd be people who can show the world that yes, the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord because you are good and you've shown your great love to us, oh God. So help us now by the power and presence of your spirit to worship you. So help us now by the power and presence of your spirit to worship you. It's in Jesus' name that we pray these things and everyone said, amen.

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