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Hold Fast

Job  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:05:19
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Hold Fast- Gettysburg hold the flank
July 1-3, between 46,000-51,000 soldiers died in a three day battle, the most costly battle in US history.
On the second day, July 2, Col. Strong Vincent's brigade from the Union V Corps is deployed to Little Round Top, and Vincent places the 20th Maine at the end of the line, warning Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain that he and his regiment are the flank, and that if they retreat, the Confederate army can swing around behind them and rout the Union forces.
They were commanded to Hold Fast.
In our story of Job, Job holds fast. Job, in the light of extreme suffering, holds fast to his integrity.
We as believers must hold fast to integrity even in the light of extreme suffering.
Satan will do everything in his power to test your integrity to its breaking point.
Today we will look at three areas in which our integrity will be tested.

I. Spiritual Battles Will Test Your Integrity (vv. 1-6)

Job 2:1–6 KJV 1900
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 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. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

A. The Lord’s Conclusion

Job 2:3 KJV 1900
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
(1) He reiterates that Job is a righteous man
Exact same description as given earlier of Job.
(2) He notes how Job holds fast to his integrity
Hold Fast- to persevere in regards to something, conceived of as grasping on to the thing.
Integrity- same root word used for perfect, i.e. blameless.
Blamelessness refers to the absence of certain observable sinful acts. Job, his friends, and the author of the book were thinking of honesty, marital fidelity, just treatment of servants, generosity to the poor, and the avoidance of idolatry.
Cf. Job 1:22- “In all this Job did not sin”
Job did not curse God to His face, instead what did Job do? He worshiped.
Job 1:21 KJV 1900
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.
Job persevered. He grasped onto his integrity- he remained blameless even when everything was taken away from him. Even when he was absolutely devastated Job held on. He held fast.
The Book of Job D. The Second Scene before Yahweh (2:1–6)

To underscore the fact that not a single flaw had been found in Job’s character, Yahweh repeated the full fourfold description of Job’s moral excellence and added that Job continued to hold tenaciously to his integrity (Heb. tummāṯô). Job had endured all the losses without compromising his blameless and upright character in any angry outburst against God.

(3) He concludes the testing was pointless---

although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause

The word for “move” means to allure or to stir someone to a course of action that he would not normally take.
2 things to note here:
1). With these words Yahweh accepts full responsibility for Job’s plight.
Satan, you stirred me up to take this course of action against Job, but I was the one in control the whole time.
2). Job suffered for no good reason.
The Book of Job D. The Second Scene before Yahweh (2:1–6)

It is difficult enough to endure hardship to achieve a specific goal, but to suffer misfortune for no apparent reason plunges a person into agonizing self-doubt. Coping with the sense of meaninglessness is more difficult than coping with the material losses.

Also:
Remember back in chapter one where Satan told God, “Doth Job fear God for naught?” In other words Satan conjectured that Job’s fear of God was not without cause- Job only feared God for selfish reasons.
Now God turns the table on Satan, “although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
This sets up a point of tension between God and Satan. God is now rebuking Satan with the statement that Job’s trial had proved to be without cause, that is Satan’s accusations were groundless (he was WRONG). So the test that Satan had insisted on in the life of Job, instead of proving Satan’s accusations to be accurate, proved them to be groundless or without cause or they had no inherent worth. And additionally Job has proven that he fears God “without cause” as well. Job trusted God with a pure heart filled with love for God, not for the benefits God had bestowed on him.

B. Satan’s Refusal

Job 2:4–5 KJV 1900
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.
(1) He puts the worst possible interpretation on the events surrounding Job [that he did not curse God because he still had his health]
(2) He again challenges God: Afflict him physically and he will defiantly curse you to your face.
(3) He is horribly unfair about it.
(a) “Here he suggests that Job’s wealth was like a shield or garment of leather over his human skin. He implies that Job was not hurt by these dreadful calamities because all he cared about was himself.”
Skin for skin- anyone will exchange anything he has for something else of similar or better value.
Satan means that Job has surrendered all his possessions without complaint in exchange for his own life.
All that a man had will he give for his life- a person will abandon anything he owns, including his prized possessions and loved ones, to protect his own life.
With these two proverbs Satan is alleging that Job’s losses were ultimately dispensable to Job
(b) But Satan’s charge is stubbornly irrational. What is Satan accusing Job of still? Selfishness.
He did the same thing in the first trial. Job only loves God because you have given him so much stuff- selfishness
Now in the second trial Satan accusing Job of valuing his own life so much that he possessions and his family were insignificant compared to Job’s life.
If all Job cared about was himself, would he not selfishly hate God for the loss of what made him so comfortable?
Yet Satan demands that God take Job’s health, and surely then Job will curse God to his face. Job would exchange his fear of God for a healthy life.
And although God disagreed with Satan’s reasoning, God told Satan, “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”
Illustration:
One of the things I like best about new-borns is their ability to seemingly sleep through anything. When they are deeply asleep you can pick up their arm and let go and it falls limply to their side. You can pick them up, have 4 older brothers running around screaming for some reason or another, mom vacuuming, the drying running, their could be a war going on in the background and that little baby would sleep right through it. They are oblivious to the reality that is going on around them.
Sometimes we get that way in our thinking out spiritual battles. There may be a war raging around us and we are completely oblivious.
Refutation:
Pastor Jon, this stuff happened a long time ago. Satan doesn’t still do this kind of thing today.
Luke 22:31–32 KJV 1900
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Revelation 12:7–10 KJV 1900
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Application:
a) Note the comment by Yancey: “Many people get up, eat, drive their cars, work, make phone calls, tend to their children, and go to bed without giving a single thought to the existence of an unseen world. But according to the Bible, human history is far more than the rising and falling of people and nations; it is a staging ground for the battle of the universe.”
Philip Yancey, “A Fresh Reading of the Book of Job,” Chap. In Sitting with Job, ed. Roy B. Zuck (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 145.
We need to realize that there are spiritual battles taking place and are integrity is at stake.
Satan will do anything he can to get you to curse God. And we most times are not even aware of this reality.
What does James say about our war with Satan?
James 4:7 KJV 1900
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Not like a recent popular Christian movie. We do not call out Satan. Rather we resist him but submitting to God, then he will flee.
Are you battling to keep your integrity? Remember that a spiritual battle is taking place- HOLD FAST.

II. Physical Battles Will Test Your Integrity (vv. 7-8)

Job 2:7–8 KJV 1900
So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

A. Satan afflicted Job’s physical body

a) Sores on every part of his body (2:7b)
Job 2:7 KJV 1900
So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
b) Painful sores that would scab, crack, and ooze (7:5)
Job 7:5 KJV 1900
My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; My skin is broken, and become loathsome.
c) Infection (7:5)
Job 7:5 KJV 1900
My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; My skin is broken, and become loathsome.
d) Perhaps incessant itching (2:8 – may have hoped for some momentary relief by using the potshard. ILLUS: kids scratching mosquito bites, people getting itchy while talking about lice in chapel)
Job 2:8 KJV 1900
And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
e) Insomnia (7:4)
Job 7:4 KJV 1900
When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
f) Dis-figuration (2:12)
Job 2:12 KJV 1900
And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
g) High fever with chills (30:30)
Job 30:30 KJV 1900
My skin is black upon me, And my bones are burned with heat.
h) Darkening and shriveling of skin (30:30)
Job 30:30 KJV 1900
My skin is black upon me, And my bones are burned with heat.
i) Bad breath (19:17)
Job 19:17 KJV 1900
My breath is strange to my wife, Though I intreated for the children’s sake of mine own body.
j) Extreme weight loss (19:19-20; 33:21)
Job 19:19–20 KJV 1900
All my inward friends abhorred me: And they whom I loved are turned against me. My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, And I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
Job 33:21 KJV 1900
His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; And his bones that were not seen stick out.
k) He was in such a bad condition that his friends did not even recognize him (2:12)
Job 2:12 KJV 1900
And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

B. Satan afflicted Job’s mental state

a) Belief that he is about to die.
b) A fall from a position of honor in the community to one of shame.
(1) “These two [initial] tests together produce yet other losses that we will note in the course of the debate cycle: honor, respect, standing in the community, friendships, and even the support of his wife and brothers (12:4; 16:10; 19:13-19; 30:1,9-10)
Job 12:4 KJV 1900
I am as one mocked of his neighbour, Who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: The just upright man is laughed to scorn.
Job 16:10 KJV 1900
They have gaped upon me with their mouth; They have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; They have gathered themselves together against me.
Job 19:13–19 KJV 1900
He hath put my brethren far from me, And mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, And my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, Count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, Though I intreated for the children’s sake of mine own body. Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: And they whom I loved are turned against me.
Job 30:1 KJV 1900
But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, Whose fathers I would have disdained To have set with the dogs of my flock.
Job 30:9–10 KJV 1900
And now am I their song, Yea, I am their byword. They abhor me, they flee far from me, And spare not to spit in my face.
(2) He sat among the ashes:
Job 2:8 KJV 1900
And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
“The reference is probably to the rubbish-dump outside the city, and could indicate that he was now an outcast, like a leper in the quarantine imposed by the taboos of Israel’s public health regulations.” (Andersen, 92).
Illustration:
Sharon with scoliosis
Seth infusion saw burned child
God why me? Why did you do this? Suffering without a cause
Satan uses physical suffering as a weapon to break our integrity
Refutation:
While God does allow some to suffer physically without cause (they didn’t do anything to deserve the suffering), it is never without purpose (God will work this too together for good)
Application:
Are you struggling with some kind of physical problem? Is this problem seemingly without a cause? Have you been tempted to blame God, or to even curse God to his face? Physical suffering will test your integrity. Sometimes you may suffer physically for a long time, years, your whole life- blind man, who did sin him or his parents, answer no one sinned, born blind for God’s glory. I don’t know what God will allow in our lives, but it is vital that we hold fast to our integrity as Job did.

III. Relational Battles Will Test Your Integrity (vv. 9-10)

Job 2:9–10 KJV 1900
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.

A. Satan’s Omission

With all the suffering and pain that Satan caused in the life of Job- took Job’s house, his possessions, his children, his health, his social standing, his friendships- why did Satan choose to leave Job’s wife?
Satan was given parameters in the testing
Do not touch Job’s person
Do not take Job’s life
God never forbad Satan to take Job’s wife, yet Satan purposefully omitted her from his attack.
Why would he do this? To me loosing my wife would be one of the worst blows imaginable. Yet Satan spares Job’s wife.

B. Satan’s Objective

Answer: He planned to use her to accomplish his objectives.
Job 2:9 KJV 1900
Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
What does Satan want Job to do? Curse God to His face. What does Job’s wife want Job to do? Curse God and die.
(1) She, like Job, had lost nearly everything: her wealth, her children.
(2) She also looked like she would become a widow. It was a terrible position at all times in the ancient world since it was a patriarchal society. She had no wealth and no social safety net that would guarantee her needs were met.
(3) Due to the cloud of suspicion under which Job appeared ready to die (all thought his tragedy meant he was guilty of some terrible sin), I would doubt anyone would want anything to do with her.
(4) So in her grief, she implored Job to curse God and die, just like Satan wished.
So, the only thing Satan left for Job was the one person who he knew would help him accomplish his goal of getting Job to curse the Lord.
Illustration:
My wife telling me early on in our marriage, that she had purposed to never tear me down in front of others. (This is the exact opposite of what you see in most sitcoms these days)
I appreciate that so much. Ladies, you have an overwhelming impact in the lives of you husbands. God intends you to use that influence to come along side your husband and encourage him and help him in his walk with God. How terrible when some use that position to accomplish the goal of Satan.
Instead of encouraging, and lifting up your husbands, you fall into the trap of Satan and criticize him,make fun of him, yell at him, whatever it is- might Satan be using you to accomplish his purpose?
Refutation:
Now I am not saying that wives you can never disagree with your husband, or question his decisions, or even get upset with him. Those things are going to happen. But there is a proper time, and place and way to deal with those issues. I appreciate so very much the fact that my wife never deals with those things in public. She comes to me in a godly manner and we talk about these things calmly and with respect.
Application:
Are you struggling with some kind of relationship in your life right now? Marriage, family, friends? Is it testing your integrity? Have you been tempted to ask, “Why God did you allow this person in my life?” We must hold fast!
Job 2:10 KJV 1900
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.
Wives, are you furthering the goals of God in your husband’s life? Or are you furthering the goals of Satan in his life? Be careful about the influence you are making in your relationship. (By the way this goes for husbands as well- but our text specifically addresses the wives today)
As believers we must hold fast to our integrity even in sever tests.
Spiritual battles will test our integrity
Physically battles will test our integrity
Relational battle will test our integrity
We must be like Job, although he did not understand, yet he put his faith solidly in his God.
Job 1:21–22 KJV 1900
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.
Job 2:10 KJV 1900
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.
Hold Fast your integrity
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