The Thing Greatly Feared (Life of Job #3)

Audio Message

Job 3:23-26 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? 24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. 25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. 26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

We have been studying in the Book of Job, the most ancient Book written in our Holy Bible. Job is an interesting – albeit difficult – study because it examines the life of a man tried. Job was a man tried.

If you live long enough, trials will come your way. Trials may come in the way of disease, or sickness, or by job loss or loss of income. You may bring trials on yourself, or others may bring trials to you. Trials come almost, at times, by accident. You may have a loved one pass away, or be involved in a bitter divorce when love dies. The Bible says:

Job 5:6-7 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; 7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Someone once said that everyone is headed toward a trial, or is in a trial, or has just finished a trial. If you breath, you will have trials. That’s why God gave us Job.

Job was a man tried, not because he was at fault, but because he loved God. Listen to this, Beloved. If you love God you WILL be tried. Job did not do anything wrong.

Let me chase rabbits for a minute. I got back to my house yesterday after being at Church all day. I live in a neighborhood of mixed race. My next door neighbor is a black woman, and my neighbor to the left is a liberal. I have two members of the Church of Christ that live behind me, and several houses on my street are occupied by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hispanics, and whites. I live in a good neighborhood. People cut their grass, and keep their lawns neat. A Jewish neighbor flies an American and an Israeli flag, and a Mexican neighbor flies the flag of … you guessed it, Mexico. As I got ready to turn into my drive a young black man – NOT one of my neighbors – roars through the neighborhood at twice the speed limit. He needs a ticket before he kills himself or someone else. If he gets a ticket, he brought that trial on himself. It was his choice to speed. If he kills a child going 50 mph in a 25 mph neighborhood, he brought trials to that child’s family. Color has nothing to do with it. Trials come, many times, at our invitation. I pray the young man learn this while he can.

Job did not bring trials on himself. He lived to honor the Lord. We are told:

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect {complete, mature} and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed {rejected} evil.

Job loved the Lord, and this is what led to Job’s trials.

Satan challenged God that if he be allowed to take away all that Job had, then Job would in turn curse God to His face. God allowed Satan to take away Job’s:

Fortune (Job 1:14-17)
Family (Job 1:18-19)
and finally Job’s Fitness (Job 2:1-8)

Job lost everything. Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10) even though he was in agony and suffering. The Rabbis in the Talmud note that Job did not sin with his LIPS, but began to sin in his HEART. That often happens when we go through trials. Outwardly we may appear calm, but inwardly our hearts hurt. There are times when we may even question our God. Where is God when the trial comes? He’s never far from His child – but often our hearts cloak His presence. That’s why we need friends, people of like faith to come around around us when we are tried.

We Need Friends – A Family –
A Church To Embrace Us When We Suffer

Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

When we go through trials, we desperately need friends, people in whom we can trust and share our hearts. We need people of like faith to reach out to us and help us. We need “friends”, friends of Jesus. Jesus said:

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

A true “friend” is someone who will stand
by you while you suffer.

Job had friends. Though they were from three different places the Bible says:

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place

Friends step outside of their own comfort zone and come to be with you when you are suffering. There is nothing in the text that tells us that Job called for these friends. When they heard of all this evil they did not stay at home and GOSSIP about Job. No, as friends they came from where they were to where their suffering friend was. This is what God’s vision of the Church is. The Lord says:

1 Corinthians 12:25-27 …. the members {of the Church} should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

When a member, a friend suffers, we should leave our place and go to where they are. These men loved Job. These men are from different areas – I suspect their skin color was not the same as Job’s. They are:

Eliphaz the Temanite – an Edomite (Arab)
Bildad the Shuhite –
(Genesis 25:2) relative of Abraham
Zophar the Naamathite –
(genealogy unknown)

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

These men:

vs 11 made an appointment together to come to
mourn with him and to comfort him.

These friends came to Job – though they lived in three different area – with the express purpose of “mourning with him, and comforting him”. The wisest man who ever lived was Solomon, and he wrote:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Friends do not pick, nor do they aid in your destruction. Friends grieve with you. When these friends saw Job …

Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

Job was disfigured by the boils on his face and body, so much so that his friends could hardly recognize him. They cried out, greeting Job … and then they sat down with Job in the dirt.

Friends “sit down in the dirt” with us.
Be a “Friend” not a “Fixer”.

Often when people suffer we want to “fix it”. The desire to “fix it” is often born out of a heart of love. But neither I nor you can “fix” people. Only God can. The Bible says:

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Illustrate In other words, SHUT UP! When we try and “fix” a person with our opinions, we can drive the sufferer deeper into despair. In the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes – one of my favorites – the little boy Calvin runs home to tell his mamma that his stuffed tiger has been lost. A dog grabbed Hobbes, and ran off with the toy. As the boy tearfully tells his mother his cherished Hobbes is lost, her response is “Well, Calvin, if you wouldn’t drag that tiger everywhere, things like this wouldn’t happen.” In the last panel Hobbes, speaking to the reader, says “There’s no problem so awful that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.” Though but a cartoon, those words are oh so true. Author Eugene Peterson said, “Sufferers attract fixers the way road kills attract vultures”.

Friends need to be there. We don’t need to minimize what our suffering friend is going through by comparing what they are going through with what others have gone through. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Each person’s suffering is unique, and very real to that person. We cannot nor should not minimize nor patronize their suffering. Job’s friends did right.

Job 2:13 So they SAT DOWN WITH HIM upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and NONE SPAKE A WORD unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

Job’s friends did absolutely nothing. They were just there, waiting with Job, silently praying for Job. They saw that his grief was very great so they just shared the moment with him. They waited for Job to speak before they spoke. This is what we are called to do as believers in Christ.

Romans 12:10, 12, 15 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; … 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; … 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

All trials have a purpose. God is behind that purpose. The Scripture says:

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Every trial that comes upon a Christian, comes upon us because we are “the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus {to do} good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. God uses trials to shape and grow our faith. Job and his friends sat quietly for

Job 2:13 … seven days and seven nights …

Seven days and nights was the usual time of mourning for the dead (see Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13). These dear men waited for Job to speak before uttering anything to him.

Job Did Not Curse God With His Lips
But His Heart Is In A Bad Place

Job 3:1-5 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. 2 And Job spake, and said, 3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. 4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. 5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Though Job did not “curse God to His face” as Satan expected, Job did curse his day. He began to question the reason for his existence. He said Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. The trials that came upon him made him doubt his worth and purpose. Job was saying “the day of my birth was a day swallowed up in darkness”. He said:

Job 3:6-10 As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. 7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. 8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. 9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: 10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

Though Job will not lose more nor suffer more from Satan’s hands, the greatest battle now is the battle for Job’s mind. He believes his life to be a mistake.

He wishes that the day of his birth be utterly stricken from the calendar. Job is not the only Biblical character to have thought this way of themselves. Even the best and strongest believers can suffer despair. Consider Elijah, a mighty Prophet. When threatened by Jezebel he ran, then gave up on himself, saying …

1 Kings 19:4 … It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

The Prophet Jeremiah had such a hard ministry in Israel that he cried out to God:

Jeremiah 20:14-18 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. 15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. 16 And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; 17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. 18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

You may have despaired of life before. You are in good company. Job despaired. Hear his words:

Job 3:11-19 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? 12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? 13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, 14 With kings and counselors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves; 15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: 16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. 17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. 18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. 19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.

Job saw death as a place where you “rest” or “sleep”, where there were no more trials. Job was not contemplating suicide by any means, but was suffering so much that he wanted to die and “rest” rather than continue as he was. If his friends had not come Job MAY have took his life. He lost his purpose.

One of the saddest things in life is when we, through suffering, lose our purpose. God made us for a purpose. He loves us, and will not abandon us. The Apostle Paul – a man who suffered terribly for the Christian faith – wrote:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And again,

2 Timothy 1:8-10 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

The Child of God by faith in Christ has a purpose as long as God allows us to live on this earth. We may not understand His purpose, nor why we go through suffering, but we should trust the heart of God when we cannot understand what He is doing. I say again,

We should trust the HEART of God when we do not understand what His HAND is doing.

What Was “The THING” Job Greatly Feared?

Job started by cursing his birth, then by doubting his purpose. Now he wondered why he was given light. He says:

Job 3:20-25 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; 21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; 22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? 23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? 24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. 25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Word Study What is the thing that overwhelms Job? The THING which he greatly feared. You see that word THING? Not THINGS plural but THING. The one thing that Job greatly feared was that God had somehow abandoned him. In the pain and the suffering he began to doubt the presence of God.

Job thought God had left him – this was
the “thing” he greatly feared.

God promises never to leave His children. God promises His people that He will fulfill His purposes in Him. God told Jacob:

Genesis 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

God told Jacob that He would not abandon him until He fulfilled His promise in him. Shall God promise His Child Heaven, and abandon him while on this earth? Absolutely not! God does not leave His child by faith. Moses told Israel:

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of {the enemy}: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

God never fails His child. The Psalmist declared:

Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

The wicked are cut off, but God takes care of His own. God is not fickle as humans are. God does not “fall into” love then “fall out of” love, like a mud puddle or a ditch. Those Whom God loves, He never leaves. He promises:

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

A friend reminds a suffering friend that God is still there, and God is faithful. Job’s friend Eliphaz tells him:

Job 4:3-4 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. 5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

“Job, you have helped others through bad times. You have helped others who have struggled in trials. Now you are in trial.

Job 4:6-8 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? 7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? 8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

“Remember how you encouraged others, Job. Do you remember? God does not cut off the righteous. He cuts off the wicked, the sinner that has no time for Him. But God does not abandon His children.”

When you, dear Christian, are afflicted, do not judge what God is doing. Just trust God, love Him, and magnify His name throughout the trial. This trial has a purpose. As Peter wrote:

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ …

God will not leave you, dear one. Look up! Our God reigns! Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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