Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20030618.htm
JOB: WHY AND HOW BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE IN GOD'S UNIVERSE
Part III: Learning The Proper Response To Overwhelming, Confusing Trials
(Job 42:1-6, 7-17)
Lesson: When Job faced overwhelming, confusing trials to the point where he demanded from God an explanation for them, and God revealed He did NOT OWE Job such an explanation due to His greatness as the omniscient, omnipotent God, Job CORRECTLY REPENTED of His DEMAND for an explanation. Accordingly, God graciously BLESSED Job for this proper response to Almighty God.
- It is easy to understand why bad things happen to bad people: God judges sin in sinful people, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:28-30. However, when "good" people suffer horrendous trials, the most mature of Christians can be tempted to question God's goodness or wonder if God is unknowable!
- One of the great lessons about the suffering of righteous people found in the book of Job is how we can properly respond to overwhelming, confusing trials that God allows to come our way (as follows):
- Learning The Proper Response To Overwhelming, Confusing Trials, Job 42:1-6, 7-17.
- As we previously learned, Job suffered great, confusing trials, Job 1:1,8, 14-19; 2:7-8: though he was the most righteous human alive in his generation (Job 1:1,8), God let Satan destroy all that Job possessed and inflict him with deep physical suffering to prove to Satan that Job would not deny the Lord even under such unexplained duress, cf. Job 1:14-19: 2:7-8 with Job 1:10-12; 2:4-6.
- Job wondered why these unexplained trials had come upon him, Job 3:1, 11, 13. Accordingly, under the duress of these trials, Job came close to cursing God, and demanded that God explain Himself in reference to these trials, 1:21-22; 2:9-10 with 31:35.
- Then, as we also previously learned, God did not explain these trials to Job lest the test of whether Job would curse Him in the trials be nullified, and Job sin out of pride once he found the test arose due to his notable human uprightness before God and Satan; thus, God revealed His greatness in nature to Job to show Job did not have the right to DEMAND any explanation from God, 38:2, 3; 40:5, 7; 38:1-41:34.
- Realizing he had unrighteously demanded from Almighty God what he as God's subject could not require, Job repented of his sin of EXPECTING God owed him an explanation for anything, Job 42:1-6:
- Job cited God's critique of him in Job 38:2 and 40:5 that Job's demand for an explanation from God for his trials was incorrect in that the question itself came from ignorance of all the facts. Having done so, Job confessed he spoke of what he did not understand, and of things too high for him, Job 42:1-3.
- Then, citing God's reactionary demand of Job for explanations of things about God that were visible in nature and that Job could not explain (cf. Job 38:3 and 40:7), Job admitted he was wrong in demanding God explain his trials, and repented by abhorring himself in dust and ashes, Job 42:4-6.
- Since Job's confession kept him from cursing God as Satan had hoped would occur, and since it also ended the competition between Satan and God over whether Job would curse God under his trials, God responded to Job's confession with great grace and compassion, Job 42:7-17:
- First, the Lord critiqued three of Job's friends who had given him incorrect, emotionally hurtful advice that Job was being punished for some sort of sinfulness, Job 42:7 with Job 4:1-32:1. Thus, these men had to take propitiatory sacrifices to Job and have him intercede for them to be cleansed and removed from God's judgment. This event vindicated and honored Job before his former unjust critics, 42:8-9.
- Second, God restored twofold all Job had lost in his trials, Job 42:10-11. [Job was given the same number of sons and daughters he had as before his trials in contrast to the doubling of all the other possessions he had lost, indicating that the original sons and daughters, though then deceased, still existed, cf. Job 42:13 with Job 1:2. This is a strong evidence for the existence of the soul after death.]
- Third, to his honor, God made Job's daughters the most beautiful women in the land, and they were given an inheritance with their brothers versus what usually happened, 42:14f; B.K.C., O.T., p. 776.
- Fourth, Job lived an additional 140 years, and saw his great-great-grandchildren, meaning he fully recovered and enjoyed full honor in his era, Job 42:16-17; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Job 42:16.
Application: If facing OVERWHELMING trials that CONFUSE us, like Job in his final response, may we ALSO be CONTENT to SUBMIT to God's plan even if we do not understand our trials!