Praise Him in The Storm

Scripture Reading:
Job 1:8-22
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him
on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a
hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have
blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch
out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
12 And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on
his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest
brother’s house; 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the
donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they
have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and
burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands,
raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I
alone have escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating
and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the
wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are
dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21
And he said:

“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job was having a real bad day.  In fact, he finds out about all this that happened in the
space of just a few minutes.  He probably doesn’t feel like God is very proud of him right
now but if you look back at verse 8, it’s clear that He is.  Look at what He says.  He’s like
my husband Jeff when my son Cameron hits a home run.  “Did you see that?  That’s my
boy!  Yes, He was very proud of Job.  But Satan didn’t see it that way.  He’s like sure he
loves you, you have protected him on all sides.  Look at all the blessings he has.  If you
take away your protection from him, he’ll curse You to Your face.

Now, most people, even Job, feel that God took away Job’s cattle and his children.  
Even though Job doesn’t curse Him, it’s clear from verse 21 he thinks the LORD took
them away.  His servant, in verse 16, say the fires of God fell.  You’ll hear people say
the Lord give and He takes away but lets look again at verse 9.  Satan says Jobs feared
God because He has put a hedge around him and his whole household.  He’s in a
‘protection of God’ bubble.  So, satan says stretch out Your hand and touch all he has.  
Now most people think that means that God brought His hand against Job but God tells
satan that Job is in his power.  So God just popped the bubble.  He remove the hedge
of protection but He didn’t do anything bad to Job.  That was satan.  Proverbs 10:22
says,
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.

Satan is not done with Job.  

Job 2:4-7,
4 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.
5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to
Your face!”
6 And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of
his foot to the crown of his head.  

So, now, satan is like he’s still healthy.  God says he’s in your hand but spare his life.  
And it says that satan struck Job with painful boils.  Don’t let anyone tell you that God
brings sickness on people.  But even through this Job doesn’t curse God.  He pretty
much starts cursing himself.  Wishing he’d never been born.  Wondering why all these
things had happened.  If he’s anything like people today he was probably wondering
why God had done all these things to him.  All the while God is actually proud of him,
rooting for him, wanting the best for him.  While satan is plotting his demise.  God know
when we are in trouble and He’s right there with us, rooting us on like He was with Job.  
Sometimes we know that God loves us but we just forget.  That’s why it’s important that
we know God, know His character.

The disciples should have known the character of Christ, right?  Let’s go to Mark 4:36-
40,
36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little
boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it
was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to
Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “
Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased
and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “
Why are you so fearful? How is it that you
have no faith?”
 

Isn’t that how we feel sometimes when we’re in the middle of life’s storms?  Where are
You, God?  Don’t You care about me with all I’m going through?  All the while He’s
rooting us on.  This incident happens, by the way, just after His sermon on the mount.  
He had just taught them so much about faith.  He’d even told them not to worry because
we’re much more valuable than the birds and God takes care of them.  He asks them
why they are so fearful?  And how do you have no faith?  He doesn’t even say little
faith; He says NO faith.

Sometimes I sit back and watch my children, to see how they’ll handle situations.  It’s my
job to teach them how to deal with what life throws at them, not to fix all their problems.  
If I did that, they would never learn.  Most people think God is supposed to fix all our
problems but like any good parent, sometimes you have to let your children fall on their
own to learn.  His job, like ours, is to prepare His children for the storms of life that will
come against us.  I absolutely know that the problem we had with the Nissan Sentra
after the insurance company gave us the pay off definitely help me handle the four or
five months of car troubles we had at the end of last year and the beginning of this
one.  It seemed like every car we touched went down.  Everything that could go wrong,
did.  But guess what?  We got through it and God was right there guiding us through
even when it didn’t seem like it.  In retrospect, we came through it pretty well.  I’m sure
the experience has prepared me for whatever else is coming.

Jesus told us these things were coming.  Matthew 7:24-27,  
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man
who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew
and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish
man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds
blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
 

You notice that the rain and floods and winds came on both the one who heard and did
them and on the one who heard and didn’t.  The storms of life are going to come.  
Period.  Whether we are built on the rock that is Christ is what will determine how we
make it through those storms.  Let’s take a look at how Job comes through it.

Job 42:10-16,
10 And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job
twice as much as he had before. 11 Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been
his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him
and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a
piece of silver and each a ring of gold.
12 Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen
thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female
donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first
Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. 15 In all the
land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an
inheritance among their brothers.
16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four
generations.

See, God had his back.  Just like He has ours!

Sermon by: Denise Baxley
Date: May 7, 2006
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Keep Pressing On Genesis 37:3-4 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. This is where the story of Joseph begins. He’s favored in his father’s house but hated by his brothers. He’s a dreamer who dreams lofty dreams that make his brothers hate him even more. Genesis 37:18-20 & 25-28 18 Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! 20 Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” 25 And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. His brothers hated him so much they were going to kill him but decided to sell him into slavery. Can you imagine how Joseph felt? I can imagine him asking why they were doing this. He must have felt horribly rejected. I can’t even imagine how that would feel. So Joseph goes off into slavery and ends up in Potiphar’s household. His master saw that everything he put his hand to prospered so he ends up putting him in charge of everything in his house. The LORD exalts him here but again there is someone coming against him. Potiphar’s wife has her eyes set on this good-looking young man. She pursues him but he says no I can’t sin against God because you are my master’s wife. She has her own ideas though. Genesis 39:11-20 11 But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, 12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. 13 And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, 14 that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” 16 So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. 17 Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; 18 so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.” 19 So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. So here again Joseph is taken from a place of favor to a lowly place through no fault of his own. Once again he is rejected and cast out. In the prison, the keeper sees that the LORD is with Joseph and he ends up putting him in charge over the other prisoners. Again, he is elevated to a place of favor. If you don’t know the rest of the story you should read it some time. He eventually is called on to interpret the dreams of Pharoh and when he does it Pharoh is so impressed that he also exalts him to a level of favor over everything in Egypt except Pharoh himself. He’s put into a position where he is eventually able to save his entire family from the famine. He tells his brothers not to worry about what they’d done to him because although they meant it for evil, God was able to use it for good. Joseph went through a lot of things he would have preferred to avoid. As it turns out, every place he went was necessary to bring him to where he needed to be to be able to help his family. Joseph seems to have kept a good attitude throughout it all. You might ask me how I know that. Well, wherever he went the LORD’s favor went with him. The LORD is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 400 years later as Moses is leading His people out of Egypt they murmured and complained and God told Moses He would just zap them and start over with Moses children. God doesn’t like complaining. In the natural, Joseph had every reason to complain but he didn’t. Also, the fact that he was exalted everywhere he went says something about his attitude. If he were whining and crying about things not being fair he wouldn’t have been at his best and he wouldn’t have made everything his hand touched prosper. Let’s move on to someone else who has to deal with an unfair situation. Luke 22:38-44 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Our Lord is in a very unfair situation. Having no sin He is to be made to bear the punishment for all sin on Himself. I’m sure He would have rather been in His Father’s house with favor, than to be getting ready to bear this great burden. He’s in such agony that He sweat drops of blood. Yet, He yields to the will of God. He presses on just as Joseph pressed on, just as we should press on in every situation. I have always loved my husband. Over the last four years the level of respect I have for him has grown immensely. I watch him wake up day after day while most are still snug in their beds and go off to a job he doesn’t enjoy. It a difficult job both mentally and physically. He comes home tired and dirty then he gets up the next morning and does it all over again. He presses on. He doesn’t do it just for his benefit but to benefit the whole family. Even on the days that he doesn’t want to play work, he presses on. As Paul writes to the Philippians: Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Press on! Remembering that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose. Notice that I didn’t say all things are good. I’m going to borrow an analogy from Kent Hovind. Let’s say you come over to my house and you’re hungry. I say to you how about a cup of flour? Here’s a teaspoon of salt. How about a half cup of olive oil? Tasty, huh? A teaspoon of baking soda maybe a pat of butter. What? All those things are nasty? Well, how about we mix them all together and make some biscuits. See! They work together for good.
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