How would you finish this sentence? My greatest fear is…
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.
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.
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.
How did Job respond to his losses?
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.
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.
How did Job respond?
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.
What did Job desire? That he would not have been born, and he wished to be dead.
Read Job 3:25-26.
What did Job now fear?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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