Job’s story began with God talking to the devil. The accusation made was that people only follow God because of the good He gives them. Job learned and showed something more — that God is bigger that it all, even our suffering. (Job 1:6, 42:18; Proverbs 4:7-8)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11610
11:00 AM on 1/13/2019
Didn’t you like that? It reminded me of a Bob Dylan song, “You have to Serve Somebody.” Remember that song? That was so good and that was excellent. Thank you, Rachel.
We have visitors here this morning. P. Renaldo came back from Africa. Not a visitor but he just came back. Twenty-two years or how many have you lived in Africa? About that? Twenty-three. Why count them? Ever thought about that? The world is counting a lot of things. Calories. What kind of diets do we have? The old Atkins diet, the Keto diet, a Paleo diet. We’re counting. One friend of mine in Hungary had a 36 inch waist and now 52 inches and his belt is as long as this stage is wide and he’s a healthy guy. Who cares? Who’s counting? Who cares? There are other things that are more important. God.
Come down front and we’ll give you the microphone. He has a ministry that has affected a lot of people. In Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe. That’s enough, okay. The Spirit of God used him to minister around where you can’t count. You can’t count love, freedom, and joy. God has used him.
Chuck and Susan in Ghana. Chris Arman in Malawi. Here in Baltimore city. There are things you cannot count. The smile on a child’s face. The heart of hope and faith. The attitude of wisdom and love.
Great to be back. To be with you together and the presence of God and snow! I always come back and bring the snow every time. Great to be here. Freezing with you. I love what we are doing here. I love the fact we do it together. I think that’s Christianity, church, us. Where the Spirit of Lord is, there is liberty. We’re together.
Many of you know my mother is here? How old is she? I repeat it every time. In a month or so she is 97. My sister Mary is here from Seattle, Washington area. That’s so awesome. My sister is coming in from Long Island and PA. My mom is here. Wow. We are so thankful for that. Thank you for your love and prayers for that. My daughter Bethany text me and said can we come over and do sauna. We used to live in Finland, so we used to have sauna. A steam hot room. We said sure. I’m bringing some friends. So she brought a high school graduating class. Bree ad a few others. I went to bed. I turned it on and was finished. They came in and my wife said they were there to one in the morning.
I want to thank Randy Rollins for making that sauna happen. The lung capacity of a triathlete as he had some work on him and he has survived. Miraculously, God has answered prayers for this family.
P. Mati went to Azerbaijan years ago and the Spirit moved in that country in Baku. This family (naming names), how many remember Teddy Awad and he married Mary? Mary is the sister to [?] and her mother is here. Her granddaughter just performed in Carnegie Hall and won first place on the piano. The piano teacher is sitting next to [?]. So great to have a snow storm and talk about people.
Lastly. The Lockhart family. A couple rows. We have the face-to-face service at 1:00. This family means a lot to us. Because Neal was amazing. Neal and Maggie are heroes. Billy is here and Sandy and the extended family. Thanks for being here. Maggie, love you.
Great. Our message. Are we ready? Preach! Gary Groenewold is here from the Midwest.
John Boy from Hungary is here. He just arrived last night. He’s here for two months. He’s a remarkable young guy.
Are we ready? The short version and as you know it turns into a very long message and you wish you had the short version. Here it goes. It’s about embracing, getting wisdom in Prov. 4:7. Not forsaking the wisdom. Getting the wisdom, having the wisdom, and the wisdom affecting you. Exalt her and she shall promote you, bring you to honor when you embrace here. Embrace is the word. Stand with me. Slow moving crowd. Embrace.
Turn to your neighbor and especially the Lockhart family and practice the word.
Mr. and Mrs. Wileczek are here. Want to stand for a second?
Job 1 and then chapter 42 later. There is a huge gap in the story between chapter 1 and chapter 42.
When Job started and the story with God talking to the devil, Job 1:6-9, there is so much in this story that we could make mention and bring out meaning here of God and evil. In the philosophical world, there are views where God and evil and both are equally true, equally real and very much the same except one is good and one is evil. This is called dualism. Something like ying and yang. The force is with you. I think they have that concept. Good and evil and they battle and there is equality between the two. Our view is not this one. Our view is God and the reality of evil being anti-God. Evil has not always existed and it will not exist forever. It is an element of reality for us. We are in this. Where did it come from but the angel Lucifer fell and rebelled and went against – how many angels? As he went through heaven propagating his fresh new message that God is not the answer. I am the one to follow, to believe in. He is the father of lies. The beginning of lies. How many angels agreed or deceived or chose, believed in, embraced this? One third. Thirty three and one third percent of how many? Millions of angels? Are there millions of fallen angels which are demons in this world, planet Earth? It seems like a large number for a perfect God, a perfect wise God allowing so much evil to be propagated through heaven and for this reality to come here on this planet. God planted a garden and made man in his image. These are great truths we reflect on often. Man sinning and being part of this evil world. God is not enough. You cannot trust in God or believe in God. This is common. Human beings, I like to think of people and the heart of man being in rebellion against God or truth. In the heart, the man doesn’t know the nature of God.
Is there evil in God? No evil in him. In him is light and no darkness at all. God is not evil. He cannot be tempted. He cannot tempt. He doesn’t delight in evil. He has no pleasure in evil. He has pleasure in truth and in his nature in love and righteousness and truth. Is there any death in God? There is no death in God. There is no fear in God. There is no pain in God. There is no sorrow in God. God is the Comforter, life, peace, eternal. God is wise. God is love, and God is forgiveness. God is simply Spirit. God is light.
In the world we live in, we have found a lot of those words: pain, death, disease, anxiety, fear, lies and our hearts have been broken. We have been troubled and hurt much in life as people. When Jesus came, he was God. God came into the evil world, didn’t he? In this world, he revealed to us the nature of God. There’s a question in our minds here. We could write sentence after sentence of complaint, worry, fear, anxiety regarding life. This is normal for us as people. We talk a lot about it in the course of a day. In our dreams at night and we wake in the morning and we talk about an evil world. We watch on TV and the papers and whatever source of information you get.
It’s life and Job in the story is a good man and God uses his name when he talks to Satan. I’d like to ask the Lord, when you talk to Satan, don’t bring up my name! I don’t want to be at the center of the thing! When God brought up Job’s name, Satan suggested something to God which is a common thing with the human heart. The reason I love you God is you treat me so well. You get me the food. I have ten children. I have prosperity. I have health. I love you because you treat me so well. This is an unstable way of thinking. That when God treats me well, then I love him. There is another thing about this dialogue.
There is another dialogue that is here in God. This is the one we need to know. This is the dialogue in the Trinity. The Father and the Son are always exchanging in fellowship in the reality. Not the reality of a world without death and without sin but the reality of the whole thing like this one. When the Father and Son are talking, it’s not only the reality of our character but of my plan. It’s including death, the devil’s devices, temptation, sin, fear, anxiety and worry and pain and broken hearts. This must be embraced. This dialogue that God has with us. The dialogue the Father and the Son has, has included us. Nobody knows the Father but the Son and him whom will reveal him. Nobody knows the Son but the Father and him to whom he will reveal him and this is us. The Holy Spirit is here with us. To reveal to us a mind, a mind. Listen to the story. Satan says something in his world goes like this. I’ll dramatize. The reason why he loves you is because you do everything for him. Of course he loves you. You touch that stuff, and the whole thing comes down. Why did Satan say that? That’s his mind. Satan doesn’t know this dialogue. He only knows this one. If you take his stuff away, he’ll curse you. That is a true dialogue with the human race. If people get hurt, they start to curse God. They curse God without being hurt. They curse God with their stuff, the food in the frig, the new car, the swimming pool. Deep inside we all do. We’re all afraid. We’re all in some state of rebellion. Yes, we control our world and life but we are so afraid of it moving and shifting. We are afraid of losing because we don’t know God. That’s the point of the story of Job. In his suffering, he’s deciding to believe God is bigger than his suffering. He decided to believe that yes, this good stuff comes from God and if it’s taken away from me, blessed be the name of the Lord. I’m trusting in him because he is not evil. He is not evil. He is good. He is wise. I just don’t have the wisdom. I don’t see it. I don’t have the way. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it or realize it. Let me read a provocative statement.
In the Shakespeare play, Macbeth murders King Duncan. Who killed King Duncan? On one level, it’s Macbeth. In the play, he carried out the murder and he’s responsible. On another level, the correct answer is Shakespeare because he wrote the play and created the characters and wrote the part where Macbeth killed King Duncan. Macbeth killed him but Shakespeare wrote it. Did Shakespeare kill King Duncan? No, but in a way he is the author of the play and he is the one that did this in one sense. This is where the line is in Job’s life. God did this to you. I don’t understand it, but I don’t believe it is God. I think there is more. There is Satan and the nature of man and the nature of the world. I don’t fully understand. The author of this real world, this author is a good, good God, a wise God and he put me here and there is something in this story that has to do with my heart. My heart is the issue in the story. Something in this world God is looking for and maybe it’s really my heart that I can trust him.
I love the stories about the hearts of people because that’s very important to God what is in our heart. What do we believe about him? Though he slay me, I will trust him. Though this happened to me, I am understanding his character. If there is any question about it, look at the cross. That’s where he speaks to us about his character. You are suffering; so am I. You are dying, so am I. You find it hard; I do also. I believe and no matter what. This is a beautiful thing. What does this have to do with the message about embracing? It’s hard when I’m in this thing that the Lord is saying with all your getting, get wisdom even if it hurts you. Believe it and embrace it. Get your Bible in your heart because it will speak to you and lead you and guide you. It will release you and counsel you. That’s what it is. It would not be correct to say because Macbeth killed King Duncan, Shakespeare didn’t cause his death or Shakespeare caused his death. Macbeth didn’t kill him. Macbeth fully caused his death but as the creator of the play, Shakespeare caused his death. In a similar fashion, God causes everything and in another way we fully cause things. That’s a worthwhile analogy there to think of.
In closing, at the end of the Book of Job, he gains, -the trial is over, chapter 42, and he gets twofold back. He prays for his enemies, the three counselors. Let me say something about them using the diagram here. The three counselors in a sense have this dialogue but they use the name God in their counsel. This can happen. We can use the word God in our counsel. We have a religious way of talking about things but I think it’s so important we would labor and make the effort in our hearts and say to God in our hearts deeply, Lord, I want to know you. Not only do I want to know the Bible but the God who wrote the Bible. Not only do I want to go to church but I want to find the God in the church. I want to be there this coming year. We have a year ahead of us. There is a lot of embracing that has happened and will happen in our lives for our future.
I think Neal and Maggie Lockhart are good examples of people who really made the effort to embrace, really exalt her and she will promote you, Prov. 4:8. Exalt truth, find it, and dig it up. The man that bought the field and he found the treasure. He had a deal going on in his mind. I got the treasure. Not everyone knows about this piece of land behind the oak tree behind the rock…it’s all private. He sells all he has to buy the land and dig up the treasure. I’ll but the whole enchilada if I can find the treasure. Sometimes, we live so carefully. We want only the treasure but the only way to get it, is buy the whole lot. That’s like church life. I say I want only God. God is in the church so buy the whole field. Getting married is like that. You get married and buy the whole field, the swamp and the jungle and everything. Then in your marriage, you’re looking for the treasure. In Job’s trial, he did find God. He found God and God spoke to him. And he found God.
One short thing here as we finish. Job had how many children? After the 10 died in one day, ten coffins, ten children wrapped in linen sheets, body bags, ancient world. Not one or two, ten. That was horrible. All this it says he did not sin with his mouth. With all of this he could have said who killed King Duncan? It’s really William Shakespeare. But he didn’t say that. This world is evil but it’s not God’s will. This is his permissive will. There is a world coming. If this is a test of my heart, my faith, this is his business. We are born again and able to embrace truth. The truth is able to lead us and guide us in our lives. How many children did he have at the end? Ten more. The first ten went to heaven and the second ten came into the world. In Jewish literature, you’d give the names of the boys. The first batch and second batch 7 boys and three girls. At the end of the book he gives only the names of the girls. Chapter 42:14-15. They were beautiful. I don’t know why that is written like that. Why does he mention his daughter’s names? Nothing about his sons. I feel like this, when you get to know God in our trials, our hearts get soft and tender. Beauty and wonder and love go together. They are beautiful girls. They are my treasures. Their names are. The world is generally kind of cold and legalistic and structured and programmed and frozen.
When we walk with God, our world opens up to us in an evil world. We are able to stay kind, loving, and gracious, tender and see the things that are beautiful. Embrace wisdom and it will exalt us. It will comfort us. It will guide us and lead us. My Bible is that wisdom.
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