What Does God Desire of Us?

6 March 2022 PM – Job 1:1-12 – Job2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The Bible character Job probably lived in the days of Abraham. His home was in the land of Uz, probably southeast of the Dead Sea. He was a very godly and extremely rich man, as we will see. Both the books of Ezekiel and James mention Job.
The book contains several scientifically advance statements. Job 9:8, the universe is expanding. Job 26:7, space is empty, and the earth hangs on nothing. Job 36:27-28, describes the water evaporation cycle. Job 37:9, 17, speaks of the global wind currents. Job 38:16 mentions springs under the sea.
            Job’s trying circumstances reached the limit of his endurance. God wrote the book for our benefit, since we may face similar circumstances.
Transition: This evening as God introduces us to Job, we come to see what God desires of us as we see what He desired of Job.
1.        Job was a believer of exceptional character (v.1)
a.         Job pleased God
1)         He was perfect. This word does not imply sinless perfection. Rather it refers to one who is whole, complete, full, mature, morally innocent, ethically pure or having blameless integrity. Matthew Poole suggests that Job was mature in his “diligent endeavours to perform all his duties to God and men.” Lawson adds, “Job was ‘blameless.’ This does not mean Job was sinless, but blameless. There is a huge difference. Sin is vertical, blameless is horizontal… as Job lived before the watchful eye of his peers, no one could justly charge Job with moral failure. His reputation was impeccable.” (Lawson, quoted by Guzik)
2)         He was upright. He had straight conduct like the string of a bow. He was consistent. He was dependable. He was true to his word. He walked with God in a correct manner. “His behaviour was in harmony with God’s ways.” Constable
3)         He feared God. He had an awe or fear of God where he threw himself at the foot of the Almighty. (See AHLB). He revered God. He was truly pious, and devoted to God’s worship and service. Poole.
4)         He eschewed evil. He turned away from evil and departed from it. He carefully avoided all sin against God or men. Poole In Job 28:28, Job states, “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
b.         This is what God desired of Job
1)         God Himself commended Job as one who lived right.
a)         God recorded this in Scripture for us to read.
b)         God commended Job before Satan (Job 1:8; 2:3)
2)         His life glorified God. He pleased God. His life is a testimony and example for us to follow.
3)         Job was a human just like you. How would you feel if God said those things about you? Wouldn’t that be awesome! It is not out of your reach.
2.        God was able to trust Job with blessings because of his character (v.2-5)
a.         Though blessed, Job maintained his godly character.
For many people, prosperity is their downfall. The more they get, the more they want, and the further they stray from God. Because of Job’s amazing character, he did not stray.
1)         God blessed him with ten children (v.2).
2)         God blessed him with wealth (v.3). God tells us that Job was the greatest man in the east. He had the most and was the most important man in the entire region.
3)         Why is it when we get the least bit of prosperity, prestige or praise, we are tempted with pride? (Prov 16:18) “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
4)         Not Job! He was humble, unselfish and kept God in first place (v.5). After each son’s birthday feast, Job sanctified his children and offered sacrifices for any sin they may have done.
b.         This too was what God desired of Job
1)         God recorded Job’s excellent example for our benefit.
2)         God repeated it for emphasis (see Job 1:8; 2:3).
3)         Developing exceptional character like Job will take work, and maintaining that character in our affluent and egotistic society is extremely challenging. However, that is exactly what God desired of Job. Since Job was a human like us, his example is not out of our reach. God desires the same of us.
3.        Being of exceptional character did not exempt Job from trials (v.6-12)
a.         God certainly knew Satan would plot against Job.
1)         God does not tell us why the “sons of God” (angels) came to present themselves before the LORD (v.6). It may have been to praise God, to give account to God, or to receive new instructions from God. Whatever the reason, Satan stood among them. God asked Satan where he had been. Note his reply (v.7). He is constantly looking to make trouble. At this point, the Lord commended Job to Satan (v.8).
2)         Satan attacked Job’s motives. He said that Job only lived right because of what he got out of it. Satan claimed that Job’s exceptional character was a result of the hedge (i.e., fence) God had placed around Job for protection (Job 1:9-10).
3)         Of this, God made no comment. Evidently, God does place a fence around His children to protect them from evil. Perhaps it is a guardian angel. (Ps 91:11) “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Satan also claimed that God’s blessing on Job contributed to his exceptional character.
4)         Satan urged God to put forth His hand against Job (Job 1:11). Satan thought that by taking away Job’s family and possessions, he would curse God. The word “curse” is actually the same word as “bless”. Satan was sarcastically saying, “God, let me strip Job of all that he has and see how he blesses you then.” During Jesus’ ministry, Satan, ask to sift Peter. (Luke 22:31) “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” Likely, he does that often.
5)         God granted Satan permission to afflict Job (Job 1:12). We must never forget that Satan can do nothing to us without God’s permission. God permits every trial, every heartache, every loss and every sorrow. God lovingly know what we need to increase our dependence on Him. While we see only the heat of the smelting pot, God views the pure gold that will result. Later in his agony, Job was able to say, (Job 23:10) “ when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
b.         God desires our trust in Him during severe trials.
1)         God gave Satan permission to try Job because He knew that Job would not lose his faith.
2)         While some trials may be the result of wrongs we have done, trials may come because we are doing right and God wants our praise even during our loss.
3)         God knew that Job believed God could be trusted even when He permits trials and losses. Job had the kind of faith in God that we need today.
Conclusion: What have we learned from these Scriptures? First, God desires that we develop exceptional character marked by blameless integrity, straight conduct, reverence for God and hatred of evil. Next, God desires that we maintain that exceptional character even when life is good, and we are tempted with pride. Finally, God desires that we trust Him during severe trials and losses that make no sense. He wants us to know that He makes no mistakes.
These are the desires that God has for your life and mine. I will be the first to admit that they are not easy. My flesh is as weak as yours is. Will you ask God to give you a passion to pursue them? That is my prayer. Will you join me?
Song: His Way with Thee – 367