A River Runs Through It
Intro: There was a thin line in my family between religion and fly-fishing. This is the opening line from the book A river runs Through it, the story of the Mclean Family. Through all of the trouble that they had, a river ran through it. There is a river that runs through our lives as well, it is called the purpose of God.
DURING TIMES OF DIFFICULTY IN THEIR LIFE, EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST LEARN TO TRUST GOD RATHER THAN QUESTION HIM. This is what the book of Job is about-159 of Calvin’s 700 sermons are on Job; R. Shuler in his The Possibility Thinker’s Bible only finds 14 verses in Job to highlight.
Job had face a lot of problems-Children died, Possessions are taken away, Wife and Friends are of no help, Yet Job learned to trust God.
1) An Anxious Answer v. 1
(1) This verse introduces the main characters of the drama.
b) Job Questions God
i) He questions God’s goodness-God smiles on the schemes of the wicked (10:3) God Attacked Job (16:9, 12), God denied him justice (27:1) There may be times when outside circumstances cause us to question the goodness of God. B. Russel says “We cry in the night and there is no reply.”
ii) He questions God’s Judgement- God does not intervene on behalf of the poor and needy (24:1-12)-There may be times when we question God’s judgement for not intervening.
c) God answers Job
i) Note that in every speech of Yahweh except one, God’s answers begin with a question.
ii) The use of questions is a very effective teaching method. Jesus uses these “thumpers” often, in Matt. 22 the scribes ask Jesus by whose authority he is doing these things, he asks them about John’s baptism. In Matt. 22 they ask him about paying taxes, he asks them whose image is on the coin.
iii) Dr. Harris was a wonderful example of how to teach by asking questions. “Beam me up Scotty”
2) An Obvious Admittance vv. 2-5
a) God is all-powerful. V. 2 Job comes to realize that the reason that there is evil in the world is not that God cannot do anything about it. This is not the God of Rabbi Kushner
b) God is all knowing. V. 3- Job comes to realize that the reason that there is evil in the wold is not that God doesn’t know about it.
c) God is all caring- when Job says that he now “sees God” he means that his knowledge of God is more than just a report. Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China said “his acquaintance with God had become that which was the result of personal knowledge, and not just of mere report.”
3) A Repentant Retraction v. 6 This may be the most important verse in the book
a) The Retraction-I abhor myself, I retract what I said
b) The Repentance-Covering oneself with ashes was a token of humiliation and Grief. Job is willing to admit when he is wrong. A great trait.
Concl: When we face trials in our life we will be tempted to question God. When we do we must remember the lessons that we have learned today. We must remember the anxious answer, the Obvious Admittance, and the Repentant Retraction. Note that God replaced all that Job had and he died “full of his years” A Hebrew idiom for having lived a full life.
Jason Hastings-as I held him I was tempted to ask God why.
I have come to realize that God cares more about our faith than our pleasure.
Author Joseph Bayly says “Remember in the darkness, what you have learned in the light.”