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God's Economy - the Job Outlook

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God’s Economy V– Job (The Job Outlook) nv40509am

OS: 1 Tragedy (The Nursing Home Shooter) Words spoken in the midst of tragedy, though well meaning, are often not necessarily true much less timely.

Our perspective of God’s economy, like Job, is sometimes mislead and out of balance.

2 Series (Ephesians 1 / Joseph / Esther / Ruth / Job)

3 News? “The Job Outlook” / Church? “The Job Outlook” (Great lesson on the importance of context by the way)

I.      Who is Job?

A.   Job 1:1-3 - Character

                 1.     Blameless, upright, feared God, shunned evil, father, wealthy, one of the greatest men who ever lived.

                 2.     Man of prayer – the book begins with an emphasis on his intercession for his children, and ends with Job interceding for his friends.

B.    Yet, in between the beginning and the end Job endures intense suffering and loss. Tragedy of tragedies.

                 1.     Lost everything but his life. (wealth, family, and health) no doubt he made national news (CNN, FOX, all networks were probably camped in his front yard.)

                 2.     The book consists primarily of the words of ‘comfort’ offered by his friends.

II.   Basic subject: If this is God’s economy … make sense of it. Various perspectives on God’s arrangement are drawn from the book of Job.

A.   The big question: “If God is a loving God why does suffering exists?” (this may not even be the proper question to start with)

B.    Have you ever struggled to make sense of what God is doing when things go wrong? (If I didn’t have bad luck I’d have no luck at all)

C.   We all have experienced times in our life when we have questions and I believe this is one of the primary purposes God has given us the book of Job.

TS] We have to be careful! – All must be considered not just a part – context example above. Common perspectives on God’s economy from the book of Job: The first stems from the occasion: chapters 1& 2 Satan…

I.      4 Exclusively Spiritual Perspective. Everything is spiritual in nature and never to be questioned.

A.   Suffering from Donut Diet – God provided a parking space.

B.    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12

TS] Yes, there is more to life than meets the eye. Yet, there is a physical, material existence.

II.   5 Exclusively Cause-effect Perspective. Everything is material or physical.

A.   We are totally responsible for what happens to us in life whether good or bad.

                 1.     If you do what is right good things happen, and if you do what is wrong bad things happen. Therefore if bad things are happening you must have done something wrong.

                 2.     Job’s so called friends sound logical, intelligent, experienced, and sincere – that doesn’t make them right.

B.    Remember the description of Job and his character?

                 1.     God had no problem with Job – Job was upright and blameless according to God.

                 2.     There is more to life than meets the eye.

                 3.     When Job prayed for his friends – it literally says, “God accepted Job…”

C.   6 Blame game – someone must be responsible.

                 1.     As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5

                 2.     Jesus, “wrong question – not why?, but what now?

TS] Yes, sometimes there is no one to blame but ourselves, yet there is more to life than meets the eye.

III.           7 God (God is God perspective – His perspective)

A.   Job never gets an answer to the question of why – other than “I am God”

B.    So, what is the proper perspective? ….

                 1.     Sometimes we suffer due to consequences of our own sin.

                 2.     Sometimes we suffer for no apparent reason other than the fallen state of the world.

C.   Always – God uses our struggle for good. Transformation

                 1.     And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29

TS] So, what is the proper perspective?

IV.            8 Key – Surrender. (proper perspective)

A.   The underlying fault quietly woven through the book of Job involves pride – the silent struggle of mankind.

B.In a certain pond, there were two ducks and a frog who were neighbors and the best of friends. They played together all day long during the summer time. But as the cold drew near and the water dried up, the ducks realized they would have to move. This would be easy for them, but what about their friend the frog? Finally it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck, and then the frog would hang onto the stick with his mouth and they would fly him to another pond. And so they did. Just then, a farmer looked up and said to his wife, "What a great idea! I wonder who thought of that?" Proudly, the frog said, "I did!" Thus illustrating: "Pride goes before a fall!"

C.   Since the beginning of time…

                 1.     Garden / Fruit / “be like God”

                 2.     But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. 2 Chronicles 26:16

                 3.     When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. Proverbs 29:23

D.     Amish man I once heard a story about an Amish farmer who bought a new pair of overalls. Of course, the Amish are famous for their simplicity, and trying to avoid pride. As he put on his new overalls and looked in the mirror, he said, “Oh, this will never do! I’ll be proud in these!” So he removed the new overalls and put on the patched, worn, and dirty ones. He stood again in front of the mirror and said, “Ahh, you’d look good in anything!” Sins like pride can be so deceitful, that you can be proud that you’re not proud.

                 1.     The Pharisee and the Publican – “Children, let’s bow our heads and thank God we are not like the Pharisee”

TS] The greatest obstacle to surrender is pride – Job, the created one, had no right to an explanation from the Creator.

9 Basic Lessons:

1. The ‘why’ may never be known – ask, but focus more on the ‘what now?’.

2. Just because a person means well, sounds good, and illustrates their point with clarity doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.

3. It is never a good idea to offer your answer to the why question in an effort to comfort others who are experiencing tragedy and suffering.

CS: 10 Whatever you face – never, ever, turn from God.

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