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The Story of Job - His Lessons

Sermon Series:

The Story of Job

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Job 38-42


Today is the day that the Lord has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it and everyone said... Amen

We are closing up a sermon series on Job today and I'll be completely honest with you here for a moment These last five weeks as we've been walking through the story of Job. I felt like I'd been carrying two concrete blocks for the entire five weeks. And I totally recognize that all y'all don't think about the sermon every single day of your life, but I do. And as I've been thinking about this series for five weeks, it's just been like carrying these two blocks around. And today, I kind of get to set them down. But on the flip, the weight of this series is something, in a sense, we should always be carrying. But not only are we letting go of something, but my prayer is that as we come to the end of the story, we're also receiving some truth today that impacts everything about us. And I wanna start, I wanna end this series with the way that we started, by reminding us of something about the Book of Job. I fully understand that not everyone in here is at a point in their life where you need a sermon series on suffering and loss and pain.

I understand that many of us are feeling like we're living our best life right now, that things are good, but I'm telling you on this side of eternity, pain and suffering are parts of the problem. And a sermon series like Joe may not feel like one that you need right now, but I'm telling you, at some point in your life, you're going to come to a point where you're going to want to revisit the truths that we talked about in this series. So here's what I'm going to say to you. Whether or not you feel like it right now, I think this is a good sermon, this is a good book of the Bible, this is a good message series to kind of put in your back pocket for when the time comes that you need to take it out and put it in your heart. Today, we see the conclusion of the Book of Job. And while we see a conclusion, I'm not sure we see full, full resolution. We see restoration in a sense, but there's a part of Job that we're always going to have to wrestle with. And even I, as I think about this message, and I think about the book of Job, and I've been immersed in it, it just feels like, you ever been so tired that you can't fall asleep? Like that's what it kind of feels like. There's just so much here, but I just can't seem to reconcile it all. It's like I have all the equations and I know the math problem, but I still can't seem to solve it. Do you know what that's called? That's called wrestling with faith. And every Christian needs to be doing it. And if you're not, then I dare say you're not growing in faith. Because here's the beautiful thing about Christianity, yes, we get to know God, but just because you get to know God doesn't mean you get to know all the answers. This is why we call it faith.

And yes, I'm annoyed by popular pastors in our day who love to pose questions but never provide answers. Those guys annoy me, to be honest with you. I don't want to be that guy, but in a sense, I think there's, when we come to the book of Job, I think there is in a sense that all we can really do is sit with Job in his misery as we behold the grandeur of God together. And as we see the book of Job come to a conclusion today, I think that's what hopefully we begin to pick up. You know, the story of Job is the story of a good man who suffered immensely, but it's also the story of a man who tries to rationalize and justify his suffering, and it gets him in trouble along the way. You see, at the start of the story of Job, when he begins to suffer, we see him handle it rightly in a sense. Like, he accepts that even in the midst of his suffering, he accepts that God is good and that in this life there's gonna be good times and bad times. It's one of the beautiful things Job shows us in the beginning. But as his suffering continues, we see it continue to chip away at him.

And then he has these friends of his come in and they begin to speak. And while there's some helpful things to an extent, they kind of speak out of turn and it doesn't ultimately help the situation. Because what we see is Job, he begins to question not his suffering, he begins to question God. And then he cries out to God for an answer. He wants God to respond and speak into his suffering. And then what we see is the age old proverb proved true yet again, be careful what you wish for. Because God does speak actually directly to Job, personally and profoundly. And after all this questioning and wrestling, God speaks and God begins to speak in Job chapter 38. You can turn there now if you want, but I'm going to read to you this part before we get to Job's response but here's how here's how God begins to respond to Job chapter 38 Job chapter 38 verses well I'll read verses 1 to 7 says then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge, dressed for action like a man. I will question you and you will make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, who determined its measurements? Surely you know. Or who stretched the line up upon it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstones when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.

What we see here with this introduction of God beginning to respond to Job is we see God explained to Job, Job's place in the universe and Job's lack of understanding. Need I remind you that that God speaks not from a little dust devil, but out of a tornado. And if you've ever seen a tornado up close, you read the book of Job differently, or at least certainly this part. This was an overwhelming whirlwind that God speaks. And God speaks and he basically says to Job, how dare you question me when you know so little. God says, you're so smart, Job, you think you can question me? Job, tell me about when I made the world. Give me the measurements of the earth. When I made the heavens and the earth, tell me what it was like when heaven sang before me. God basically is saying to Job, Job, if you're gonna dare ask me about life's hardest questions, then you better know the answer to life's easiest ones first. And for nearly a hundred verses, this goes on from God to Job. And I love what God says in chapter 39, verse 1. Yes, God is speaking in like these grand ways, but he gets real specific. God goes on to say in 39, verse 1, he says, do you know the gestation period of the animals around you?

He's saying, Job, if you don't know the simple facts about nature, how dare you question my supernatural plans?

God is saying to Job, and I think it's a lesson we need to hear as well, God is saying to Job, you couldn't even win a round of jeopardy, how dare you have the audacity to question me?

Some of you were just slain in the heart over that statement and some of you didn't hear what I just said, so I'm gonna say it again. God is saying you couldn't even win a round of jeopardy, how dare you think you know enough to question me." Church, to ask God why, to ask God the question why, is to seek an answer to a question that we don't even understand the premise of. So God gives a nearly 100 verse response to Job and let's see how Job responds. If you haven't yet, would you please turn to the last book of Job. We're going to read verses one to six together. And I'll tell you, as we read this passage, one of the beautiful things that we see is that we see Job's faith begin to shine again. But this time, Job's faith isn't going to shine through his repentance. So God speaks, and let's hear Job's final response, and let's hear the lessons that he learned.

Would you hear the word of the Lord? Job, chapter 42, verses one to six.

Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Job is quoting God here. Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know. Again we see Job quote God. Hear and I will speak, I will question you and you will make it known to me. Job's response. I have heard of you by the hearing of an ear, but now my eyes see you. Therefore I despise myself and I repent in dust and ashes.

This is God's word. Let's pray and we'll continue. Let's pray together.

Father in heaven above, Lord, we come before you, the God of heaven and earth, the God who knows the answers to every question, the God who is over all, the author of life, the one who commands the stars, and yet you make yourself known to us. Lord, please would you help us by the power and the presence of your Holy Spirit to see the beauty of your truth in your word here today, and it's in the precious and powerful name of Jesus that we pray these things.

And everyone said, amen.

All right, so there is so, so, so much we could say about the book of Job. But as we close up and we look at this final section here, if I could give you just one thought, it'd be this. And listen, Job is a multi-layered book. If we try to make it simple, we're going to miss a lot. So this is going to be a little thicker than normal, but I think it's important to hear. If I give you one thought from this passage, it would be this. Job's response shows us that our questions of why did God allow this drives us not to more clear answers from God, but to a more profound awareness of God. As we look at our passage, we don't see Job's questions get answered, but we do see a new awareness of God from Job. So Job's response shows us that our questions of why did God allow this, it drives us not to more clear answers from God, but to a more profound awareness of God. As we look at our passage today, what we need to see is that Job, for all of his shortcomings, Job responds rightly. As we look at our passage, here's how we'd break it down this morning. Job responds rightly because he recognizes God's providence, he realizes his own ignorance, he receives God's providence. Providence, okay. Now as Christians, as you all who call yourself a Christian and who follow Jesus, as you're out there proclaiming the name of Jesus and sharing the gospel, because that's what Christians should be doing, right, as you're out there engaging the world, one of the things I've constantly said and I constantly prove true in my own life is that you need to define your terms. It's very easy in our world for two people to have a heated conversation using the same words but with different meaning. And so especially in our day and age as we Christians, as we all together get out there and share the name of Jesus, we got to make sure that we're we're defining our terms that we're having fruitful conversations. And so as we talk about this big word providence, here's what we're gonna do. You're gonna turn to your neighbor and give him your definition of Providence. Ready, go. Just kidding.

Some of you are scared out of your mind.

Some of you are like, let's go. Some of you are like, I need one more cup of coffee.


Now, Webster's Dictionary defines it like this. Providence means divine guidance or care. Now that's a fine definition but for us Christians, we have a much fuller understanding of Providence and there's a helpful tool that helps us understand this. So real quickly, who here grew up learning and maybe even memorizing the Heidelberg Catechism? Fair amount. Alright, well you'll know this one then. Hatterberg Catechism says on Lord's Day 10, question and answers 27, it addresses this. I'll put it up here, but I'll read it for us. The question for us is, what do you understand by the providence of God? That's the question, here's the answer. The providence of God. The almighty and ever-present power of God, by which God upholds as with his hands, heaven and earth and all creatures and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty, all things in fact come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hands. Sovereign and he is in control and nothing is beyond his control.

Now some of you are probably like Thanks for the theological lesson there pastor Ryan. How is this gonna matter to me tomorrow morning? Good question. I'll let Jesus answer that one Jesus says in Matthew 10 are not two sparrows sold for a penny and Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Jesus is telling us even the most minute details of creation God is intimately aware of. You best believe He's got His eyes on you, and His hand is guiding us. What the Bible tells us, what the creeds explain, and what Jesus beautifully tells us is exactly what Job says. And Job answered the Lord and said, I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Meaning God is in control and there's nothing anyone or anything can do about it. And while, yes, this doesn't ease our pain and suffering and loss. It at least lets us know that there is a good God in heaven who can bring good even from bad.

And me being a father, the head of my own household, when my children don't understand why I leave the home the way I do, or why I discipline them the way I do, or why I don't give them everything they want, while my kids may not understand my decisions, I want them to take comfort that I, their father, love them and I am in control. And as we think about the reality that that is true for God our Father, that should provide some level of comfort to us faithful ones in a very confusing world.

Job, Job for his moments of pride and questioning and judging God, he comes back to realize that God's in control and that he is not. Theologically, we'd put it like this. God is omnipotent, meaning he is all powerful. And because he's all powerful, he's in control. Even when suffering comes, nothing's outside of his control. So when tomorrow comes, what does this mean? It means that you have a good God in heaven, so you walk faithfully before him and trust him with the rest. You trust what he's doing. Job responds rightly because he recognizes God's providence and secondly, he realizes his own ignorance. Job starts by quoting what God had said earlier. Earlier, God said in 38 verse 2, He says, Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Job quotes God and then Job gives his answer. He says, Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand. Things too, what's the word here? Other venues say it too. What's the word here? Things too wonderful. Wonderful for me, which I did not know. Job realizes his own ignorance and he acknowledges his own pride and you know what happens? You know what we begin to see happen here? This leads to Job understanding and acceptance.

When we stand puffed up in our pride, what we are doing is we are showing the world a strong connection between arrogance and ignorance, because that's what pride is.

Job, in a massive demonstration of humility, he realizes his own ignorance and he confesses this before God and before the world. And so taking a cue from Job, I want to do the same before the church and before the world. If I may, I want to share the same with you, my church. I confess to you, I do not know all that there is to know. Surprise, surprise. I do not know the answer to every Bible question that a member of this church may ask. I don't want to be someone who stands up here and utters what I do not understand But I can tell you there is one who fully understands if first we say that God is omnipotent meaning he's all-powerful then we also will say that God is omniscient meaning that he is all-knowing So when we don't know and we don't understand what God is up to we need to know that God knows. And with Him being all powerful, and Him being all knowing, then we can begin to understand how we can be so trusting towards Him. And as we see God accepting God's control, and God's knowledge, we see Him realizing His own ignorance. Therefore, I have uttered things which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Job responds rightly, because he recognizes God's providence, because he realizes his own ignorance, and because he receives God's revelation. Again, Job quotes what God had said earlier. God said to Job, here, and I will speak, I will question you, and you will make it known to me. And as we get to Job's response, before we do, I just, if you're thinking, if you're sitting there thinking, Pastor Ryan, what's with all the creedal statements and these big theological words?

This is all getting too heady and philosophical. If that's where you're at, let me just, let me just prepare you for Job's response, because Job's response, while poetic, is so very human. And I love his response. Job responds and says, I have heard of you by the hearing of an ear, but now my eyes see you. Job says, God, I knew of you, but now I know you. And listen, I don't think Job physically, literally saw the face of God. I think he was standing looking at a tornado, at a whirlwind. But what he is saying, Job is saying, is I've gone from needing answers from you to having an awareness of you. To truly receive God's revelation is to be in a relationship with Him. It's not just knowing about God, it's knowing God. And what we see is Job, Job is moving philosophical approach to personal awareness and that is faith.

I have a friend who when this friend was 32 years old he was shot in a hunting accident and went completely blind. 32 years old, had a young wife and four small children and in a moment moment he was never able to see again. His sight was taken away in an instant. And when he realized he would never see his kids age, when he realized he would never again see his wife smile, he lost his will to live and he went to a real And then some Christian, not a pastor, mind you, and then some Christian shared the gospel with him. And he heard the gospel. And he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He came to know God as his Father, and he started walking in step with the Holy Spirit as his advocate and comforter. This was after he had gone blind. He heard and received the gospel. You know what this guy did? He became a missionary. He went and got Bible training and missionary training and he went out on the field. I was driving with him one day in his truck. Don't worry, I was driving. He always wore these big sunglasses to hide his scars. And we were driving and I remember saying to him, I can't imagine, I can't imagine what you went through.

And he said to me, Ryan,

"it took me going blind to see the light."

And listen to me, I know that sounds incredibly cliche, but when you sit and you hear that from a blind man, I'm telling you now, that is one of the most overwhelming things I've ever heard in my entire life. Even in this moment, I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about that conversation. As a young man, I remember sitting there thinking, this is straight out of Amazing Grace. I once was blind, but now I see. I sat there and I listened to the truth and the strength of this man's voice, and I remember thinking, I want to see God like this blind man does. I want what he has. But you know what? It took immense suffering for my friend to come to a place where he could say, it took me going blind to see the lights. And it took immense suffering for Job to say, I have heard of you, but now my eyes see you. Do you know what Job got? Do you know what Job received? He got closer to God. He got an awareness of his maker. See, at first, Job became aware of God's omnipotence, that God was all-powerful. And then we see Job become aware of God's omniscience that he's all-knowing and now Job is beginning to see God's omnipresence That God is all present everywhere all the time and you know what this means for you This means in your anxiety in your suffering in your loss in your depression in your broken marriage God is there God is present and this is the greatest revelation of all. I think one of the hardest things for Christians who can hear my voice right now and I'm speaking to you is that comfort is a defining feature of our lives and comfort is blinding but suffering is revealing. We see this in Job. Job responds rightly because he recognizes God's providence, he realizes his own ignorance, and he receives God's revelation. And lastly, Job responds rightly because he repents. He repents of his own faithlessness. You know, I talk to a lot of people about God, and if anyone tells me that they have encountered God, but repentance isn't part of their testimony? I'll be completely honest with you, I begin to question what they really encountered. Because every time I read the Scriptures, you see someone encounter God, repentance is part of the equation. Job, who was declared righteous by God, yet falls into sin during his suffering, Job encounters God and what's his response? Repentance. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

And what we see Job doing here is what Job should have been doing all along. And this is the lesson for us. Job tried to seek answers when he should have just been sitting with God. To truly know God, to truly know God is to know that God is God and we are not. And I know that's a simple statement, but when you understand the reality of that, it changes everything. To know that God is God and you are not, and our response to him is to turn from our sin, that's called repentance, and to turn towards him. And listen, I know something that you all know as well. And you in the other venues, you know this as well. Repentance is not a fun word. Nobody likes to talk about repentance. Why? Because we want a God, we like a God who accepts us just the way we are. We don't want a God who's going to call us to repent.

But let me remind you, Jesus Christ, when he started his ministry, the first thing he said, actually the very first word that Jesus said, well let's read it. Matthew 4, 17. From that time on, Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Why does Jesus call us to repent? Because he knows that we're all a bunch of terrible wretches? Well, that's part of the equation, but there's also another reason. Because Jesus is calling us to something better, the only thing that is truly good in this world. Jesus is calling us to turn from our sin and turn towards God. Jesus is calling us to something better, something better than our desires, something better than what the world offers, something better than being accepted by popular culture. Jesus calls us into our relationship with God and that first starts by us turning from our sin as we turn towards God, a God who is good even when things are not.

For Job, he repents and that's the right response. As he enters into a renewed relationship with God we see something beautiful happen. We see restoration for Job. The end of Job concludes like this, and the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than the beginning. And if you remember the beginning of Job, we actually see that the numbers here double for his animals and his property. These numbers double. Verse 12, and the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than the beginning. And he had 14,000 female donkeys. But we don't see the number of children double though. We see the exact same number of children that Job had in the beginning that he lost. And he also had seven sons and three daughters.

Why doesn't God double the amount of children? Because if you lost a child, you know there's no replacing the child. God just gives Job children again. Verse 16, And after this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and he saw his sons and his sons' sons to four generations, man and full of days." What we see here is this momentary and earthly restoration of Job points to an eternal and heavenly restoration that can only be provided by Jesus.

See, Job was restored, but he still went on to die, but Jesus died so that we would go on to live. For when we repent and place our faith in Jesus, we're turning from that which ultimately kills us to that which ultimately gives us ultimate life. And this happens because Jesus, who was sinless, gave his life on the cross in our place, taking our judgments, the judgment we deserve, so that when we place our faith in Jesus, recognizing and receiving what he's done for us, that's when we get grace. That's when we get forgiveness. That's when we get salvation. That's when we get hope. That's when we get to know God's unending love. And that's better than anything the world can offer you. So when Jesus calls us to repent, he's calling us to turn from that which kills us to that which gives us life. See, Job suffered when he sinned, but Jesus suffered because we sinned. And while Job's life and fortunes were restored, Jesus gave his life so that we could be spiritually, and eternally restored. Because we've all fallen and lost our place before God. And Jesus is the one who brings us back.

Job, yes, was restored, but Jesus was resurrected. resurrected and Jesus' true physical resurrection is the guarantee and promise of our Restoration to our place before the God who loves us and it points to our future restoration at the final restoration of all things This is the picture of the end the culmination of our faith the restoration and the renewal of all things where everything is Headed except Christians are the ones who long for it to happen the most because this is the end of our hope. This is the destination of our faith, sitting before our God in heaven who rules and reigns because he's good and he calls to us. Christianity is truly about truly knowing God and God's love through his son Jesus. As we walk in the power of the spirits on this side of eternity, we may never get the answers to our questions, but we know the one to whom we are asking these questions. And in a sense, this is what Job shows us. Job's response shows us that our questions of why did God allow this drives us not to more clear answers from God, but to a more profound awareness of God. And our awareness of God is now fully realizing our Emmanuel, our God with us. And his name's not Job, it's Jesus.


Would you please stand? Would you bow your heads and let's prepare our hearts for worship? Father we come before you, the God, Lord you reveal yourself but you don't reveal every answer to every question we ask, Lord, but what you do promises yourself.

So, Father, I pray, Lord, that as we are in the midst of times of brokenness and suffering, or as we look for a day when maybe those will come. Father, I pray that all things at all times we remember that you are with us and you hold us. So, Father, I pray, Lord, that we would cast ourselves into your loving, strong arms as we remember that you are the one who is in control. And you are good all the time. And you hold us and you hold us fast. We pray these things and we sing these praises in Jesus' name. We pray these things and we sing these praises in Jesus' name. And everyone said, Amen.

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