Jump Start # 3275
Job 1:8 “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’”
In the 1990s Gatorade made a series of commercials with basketball superstar Michael Jordan. The catch phrase through those commercials was, Be like Mike. “If I could be like Mike for just one day…” so went the advertising. It was a smash hit.
Using that concept, what would it be like to be Job? The quick and easy answer is, “painful.” That’s how we remember him. He hurt. He hurt on the inside and he hurt on the outside. He hurt in his wallet and he hurt in his heart. He hurt in his marriage and he hurt in his friendships.
But what would it be like to walk in Job’s shows before the pain? There are some great lessons there.
First, he was a man of great moral fiber and a deep conviction for the Lord. His faith did not begin with the pain. The faith was there before the pain. Our verse today is the Lord’s description of faithful Job. Blameless. Upright. Fearing God. Turning away from evil. That’s how God saw Job. Those things don’t come over night. They don’t come from just sitting in a church building once in a while. They come from deep within the heart. Without knowing details, we conclude that Job was honest in business. How do we know that? God says he was blameless and upright. Someone that cheats and is dishonest is not going to be called that. Job is one who has walked a while with the Lord. Job is someone who knew the Lord.
Second, Job was concerned about the spiritual well-being of his children. The first chapter says that he would make sacrifice for them. Much too often the spiritual is sacrificed so our kids can make the team, get the scholarship, get on stage and be something great. While we are so concerned about their GPA, and the MVP, we forget to teach them about G-O-D. A child’s attitude about God and His word will be reflected on the ballfield and in the classroom. Attitudes, the way he treats others, respect for those in authority, ambition are all influenced by what we think about God and ourselves. Job was concerned about his children’s faith. Job actually took some action steps in regard to his children’s faith.
Third, God brought Job’s name up to Satan. We often get this reversed. We get the idea that Satan suggested. But it was God. I don’t see God throwing Job to the dogs. I don’t see God sacrificing Job. God must have thought that Job is strong enough, faithful enough that he could handle the devil. Would this happen today? Would it happen to us? Would God pick one of us out as an example of faithfulness? Would the devil turn us down, saying, “I already have him.” Satan hit Job hard. He did about everything possible except take his life. He was stepped on. He was crushed. He was flattened. Satan must have thought, there is no way Job’s faith is going to survive this. Punch after punch and ole’ Job won’t go down. Battered. Bloodied. Beaten. Yet, he remains standing. Remarkable. His own wife threw in the towel. She was done. Not Job.
Fourth, we know more about the background story than what Job was ever told. He didn’t know about this discussion between God and Satan. He didn’t know the “whys” behind all of this. He didn’t understand. He was in the dark. Yet, onward with God he traveled.
Job had such a way and influence that his three friends traveled from great distances to see him. That speaks of Job’s character. That speaks of what they thought about Job. That speaks of the type of friendship that they had. Not everyone would hop in a car and drive across town, or, get on a plane and fly across the country to see a friend who was struggling.
At the end of the story, God asks Job to make sacrifice for his friends. Similar to what he did at the first of the book for his own children, Job now does for his friends. God sees value, faith and hope in Job.
We need to see that Satan didn’t randomly pick Job out from a group of pictures. His character, his faith, his conviction, before the trials tell us what kind of person Job was.
If I could be Job for one day…I’m not suffering as he was, but am I connected, faithful and devoted to God? Am I diligently following the Lord? Am I making the right choices in my life? Job was doing these things BEFORE the troubles.
Job before the trials—that makes for an interesting study.