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Chapter 7 Discussion

posted Nov 3, 2011, 9:08 AM by Lynn Squire

How would you finish this sentence? My greatest fear is…

  • Losing my home;
  • Losing my family;
  • Letting down someone I love;
  • Failing in my career;
  • Losing my ability to work or care for my family;
  • Losing my health.
  • the future. 

In this chapter, Dixon goes out to chop would and argue that given the evidence, God was not a caring God. His past trials, the loss of his mother, caused him to reject God, and so he will continue to do so—but there is an underlying fear that he is attempting to rebuff. He won't admit it to himself and probably isn't even cognitive of it at this time.

Though we cannot prevent bad things from happening to us, we should not live in fear that they will. If we do, we are opening ourselves up to even greater heartache.

Read Job 1:1.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.  

Who did Job fear? God.

Job conducted his life out of a great reverence for God, which was reflected in a strong sense of right and wrong.That reverence, or fear, of God kept him emotionally and spiritually safe.

Read Job 1:9-11.

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

What did Satan think of Job, particularly with respect to his religion? Satan believed if Job lost everything he would curse God. In essence, Satan believed that Job loved God only because God blessed him.

God allows Satan to strike at Job.

Job loses his family and all his possession.

Read Job 1:20-22.

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

How did Job respond to his losses?

  • He arose
  • He rent his mantle
  • He shaved his head
  • He fell down upon the ground
  • He worshipped
  • He blessed God
  • He never sinned
  • He did not charge God foolishly.

In essence, four simple things: humbled himself, worshiped God, blessed God, & didn’t sin. Remarkable faith displayed by him.

Satan had lost that battle, but he’s up for another round.

Read Job 2:4-5.

And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Satan stood corrected. Job didn’t sin when he lost everything, but what does Satan think now will cause Job to curse God? If Job suffered physically. Satan doesn’t believe Job has the faith to overcome this.

So God allows Satan again to smite Job. Job’s wife even tempts him to curse God and die.

Read Job 2:10.

But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

How did Job respond?

  • Said his wife was speaking as a foolish woman; i.e. rebukes his wife for her lack of faith;
  • “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
  • He did not sin with his lips.

This was at the beginning of his second trial. He had many more nights to endure the pain, and more emotional trauma to experience. For seven days and seven nights Job suffers in silence.

Read Job 3:3-11.

Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

What did Job desire? That he would not have been born, and he wished to be dead.

Read Job 3:25-26.

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

What did Job now fear?

  • A hopeless future
  • Pain and sorrow

Compare how Job responded to the calamity in chapter one with how he responded in chapter 2. What do you see that is different?

Read Job 1:20-22 again.

Read Job 2:8-10.

And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

  • Job didn’t humble himself as he did in chapter one.
  • He didn’t worship.
  • He didn’t bless God.

At least, we are not shown this.

I put to you that his fear changed. Who did he fear in Job 1:1? God.

What did he fear in Job 3:25? Pain, suffering, and an uncertain future (a life without hope).

His fear shifted from God to his present situation, demonstrating that he reached the limit of his faith.

Jesus in Matthew 5-7 tells us how we, as people of faith, are to face life.

Read Matthew 6:19-21.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Where are we to lay up treasure?

Job 1:3 tells us “this man was greatest of all the men of the east.” Job was a very prosperous man. He had treasure on earth by the world’s standards, but because he feared God, his heart was not on that treasure, but on his treasure in heaven.

Read Matthew 6:24.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Can we serve both money and God? No. When someone loses everything, and then turns from God what was the person really serving? The things of this world.

Read Matthew 6:25-34.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

In Job’s second trial, he lost his focus (as I’m sure all of us would given the circumstances). He turned to the fears of this life instead of fearing God. He couldn’t see the future.

But God could.

Job didn’t bless and worship God, so he lost his focus and the circle of human fears drew in around him.

He didn’t humble himself so he couldn’t worship, and therefore could not withstand the part of human nature that fears uncertainty.

So what does this tell us about how we can cope in times of trials?

  1. Keep fearing God and not the things of this world, or people, or circumstance, or future troubles.
  2. Humble ourselves.
  3. Worship God.
  4. Bless God.
  5. Do not sin or charge God foolishly.

Don’t get sidetracked by your natural fears. Remember God is good. He will carry you through, just keep trusting Him.

Dixon, in Joab's Fire, doesn't have the faith to trust God. He's going to endure some great mental anguish before he comes to accept that faith as the only way to face an uncertain future.

Can you look at your life and see how God has taken you through a trial and how you have come out stronger in the end? That takes faith. Not everyone makes it through trials. Sometimes we come through trials and end up scarred. That’s probably a pretty good indication you’re still dealing with that trial, that there is some area God wants you to surrender to Him. Maybe you need to forgive someone. Maybe you need to fear Him more than what you are currently fearing as a result of that trial. Maybe you need to ask someone for forgiveness. Ask God to show you. Seek the answer. Knock until He opens the door of understanding. And don’t lay off worshiping Him…ever.