And then just as quickly the crowd moved on to the next floor.
Job’s response is in keeping with others who encounter God: “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).// To see God in his splendor leads to seeing yourself in a new light…unworthy, frail, weak, as good as dead. We have been talking for several months about a bruised heart, we resist, out of balance, we fight…but the truth is that in the middle of a bruised heart, when we are most vulnerable, is when we are most real. People give their heart to the Lord Jesus Christ in the middle of crisis, when at last they understand they are out of control and cannot save themselves. A bruised heart highlights our true nature -- our weakness and vulnerability. The Lord uses us in our weakest moments to bring about the greatest transformation. It is during times of crisis that we find out most what we are really like and who we are. Job 42:5-6 are two sides of the same coin: “I see God in his glory, I see myself in my weakness.”
Yield to the Lord in the brokenness of your bruised heart, and he will change you!
Brokenness to Blessings… God takes us from brokenness/a bruised heart, to blessings. God is merciful. Before we look at the transition, let’s take a peak at the end of the story, the blessings of God in the life of Job, the restoration. Warning: the details of God’s blessings in our life will look different than Job…
1. Job’s Possessions are doubled (Job 42:10, 12) – it’s all grace. Be grateful for those who are given more than enough…
2. His friends and relatives supported him (Job 42:11). Roots. Be open…a common blessing…
3. Job has the same number of children (Job 42:13-15)… poetic, a restoration of the past, different but somehow God so often provides a measure of continuity…
4. Job lived a long and satisfying life (Job 42:16-17). Underline the satisfying.
God will bless you? He is merciful. How God takes us from brokenness to blessings --That is the substance of what I want to talk about today…Yield to God, and you will be blessed. Job is abundantly blessed, we cannot expect the same blessings, but the Lord will bless us…. Brokenness to blessing… How does God do it: in two words: Justice and mercy.
Brokenness to Blessings: God’ justice & mercy (Job 42:7-10)
There Is Something Satisfying About Justice // and Mercy. It is satisfying to know people that have been ignored or mistreated won’t be forgotten. The vulnerable that suffer injustices on this earth will be rewarded. Those who seek to do right, God will not forget. Psalm 11:7: “For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.”
Justice has a flip side. Those who do wrong will suffer the consequences of the wrong. We all know the sense of justice, the desire to get even when we are wronged, or we lose. We find satisfying relief when wrong is punished. No greater example this week than the death of Osama Bin Laden… I talked to a couple people this week who felt unsure how to feel. God is in the justice business. Isaiah 5:16: “the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness.”
We all want justice done -- until it comes to us// and then we want …mercy. Mercy: getting that which you don’t deserve. The extra’s of life. Growing up in Sumas, my parents used to rent freezer space in the old Meat Market. It was a large walk in freezer. One day, 7-8 years old, that pipe coated in ice looked so tempting, I had no idea my tongue would get stuck, and how much it hurt when I was pulled away, in that case, not so much a bruised heart as a bruised tongue! …but then the sweet mercy. The meat man [name?______] gave me the most wonderful popsicle I’ve ever had in my life. To me, mercy is a popsicle…
God is a God of justice and a God of mercy. Micah 7:18-19:
Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! (NLT)
The end of the story of Job, justice rolls down—and mercy overflows. Job is blessed and the friends of Job that misrepresented God get their due. Justice and mercy meet. Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
In the opening verses of Job 42:1-6. Job is broken. Job yields to God. When the Lord heard Job’s heart and saw the teachableness and humility of Job, mercy kicked in and grace flowed down. We know justice, the person in a whole line of speeding cars and only one is stopped and given a ticket, justice can seem so unfair, but it’s not. Everyone else in the line of speeding cars received mercy. We all know mercy: A man was stopped by a police officer. “Do you know why I pulled you over?” “Going 60 in a 45.” The police officer was surprised: “No, but thanks for your honesty. Think again.” “Ahh, I must have run that stop sign. I don’t remember seeing it. It has been a hard day. Didn’t get home until late, Ran to do more errands. I am just tired and that stop sign did not even register on my mind.” “Thanks for being honest. I am not going to give you a ticket. Just a warning. Now go on home— carefully—and get some rest.” The man was guilty. But humble confession and truth, lead to the pouring out of mercy. God is a God of justice and mercy. Both, together. Mercy comes through brokenness, recognizing the two sides of the coin of God’s glory and our weakness.
JOB 42:7: the Lord’s justice leads to anger towards the three friends that misrepresented the true nature of God:
Eliphaz: “God sent you suffering because you sinned.”
Bildad: “You won’t admit you sinned, so God is sending more suffering.”
Zophar: “Your sin is so bad, be thankful you don’t have it even worse.”
In their effort to uphold God’s justice they misrepresented the real God. They limited God and boxed God in to a little container they could comprehend. God got angry… clearly there are just reasons to be angry: misrepresenting God…God has much to say to and about people who falsely misrepresent the real God.
Liberal versions of Christianity leave out justice, the anger/wrath of God. God always demands justice…mercy is a gift. We want the mercy, but there has to be justice…here’s a legendary story about the difference between justice and mercy.
Frontier town… a horse harnessed to a wagon bolted carrying a little boy inside to almost certain death. Young cowboy saw the child in danger and risked his life to catch the reins beneath the horse and stop the wagon. The rescued child grew up to be a lawless man who one day stood before judge convicted of murder and awaiting sentencing. The prisoner recognized the judge as the man who, years before, had saved his life. On that basis he pleaded for mercy. “Young man, then I was your savior, today I am your judge. I sentence you to be hanged.”
God found a way for justice and mercy to both be met: JOB 42:8: “So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
in those days this was how God’s anger was appeased. An offering was placed on the altar and it was burned and consumed. Justice fulfilled the need and mercy offered to forgive and restore the ones who had done wrong against God. “My servant Job will pray for you” is an intriguing concept. “I will accept him” “I will accept his intercession on your behalf… then, I won’t give you what you deserve.”
JOB 42:9: So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer. Sins are being washed away. That’s the greatest moment. There was justice and mercy. Job’s prayer was undoubtedly for the sake of his friends, allowing Job to enter into the work of forgiveness, but also for the sake of Job, who is now a changed man…
This entire experience represents the cross! This is why the death of Christ is effective—because God’s justice against sin is satisfied in the death of the Lamb. And His mercy is revealed in those who trust in the Lamb. Someone had to die for our sins. That is Justice. 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus Christ died in our place. Rom. 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
JOB 42:10: After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. And we are back to the blessings of wealth, friends, family and a satisfying life.
Job is a broken man. His friends tried to comfort him, but gave him no relief. Not until Job saw the amazing glory of God and yielded his bruised heart to the Lord, did God bring him blessings. From brokenness to blessings through God’s justice and mercy. God is always right. And he is merciful…yield to the Lord in your brokenness.
This concludes the series on Job…, a good man that was attacked by Satan, lost wealth, health and family, comforted by his friends, wrestled with the reason for his bruised heart, always kept a glimmer of hope alive, was confronted by God Almighty, and yielded to the Lord as a broken man. The Lord blessed him once again… yield to the Lord in your brokenness, and the Lord will bless you, too. Undoubtedly the blessings will look different, but God is a God of justice and mercy.
-- Carl Crouse