Some Lessons from Job

Some Lessons from Job

Scripture: James 5:11, 2 Corinthians 5:7
Date: 12/31/2016  Lesson: 14
How can we learn more compassion for those who are suffering, even suffering from their own wrong courses of action?

God Cares: The Message of Daniel by Mervyn Maxwell

God Cares: The Message of Daniel by Mervyn Maxwell
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Good morning, friends. Welcome again to Sabbath school study hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church. A very warm welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world and also to our members and visitors right here at the Granite Bay church - delighted to see you all here this morning. We've been studying through our lesson quarterly dealing with the book of job. Today we find ourselves on the final lesson - it's lesson #14 entitled some lessons from job.

So, for those who are joining us online or watching on the various networks, if you don't have a copy of our lesson today, it's lesson #14 in our study of the book of job, you can download today's lesson by just going to the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org. And then next week we're starting a brand-new quarterly dealing with the Holy Spirit. So, for those of you who are here and you'll be back next week, you can pick up the new quarterly in the foyer as you leave. And also, for our friends who are joining us, you can also get the lesson by going to the Amazing Facts website and you can download the lesson for next week. Well, before we get to our time of singing this morning, a free offer that goes along with our study today - a book entitled the high cost of the cross, written by Joe Crews.

And for those who are watching in North America, we'll be happy to send you this book for free. Just give us a call on our resource phone number and that number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #156. Well, before we get to our study, we always like to begin by lifting our voices in praise and we'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join me here on stage. Thank you Pastor Ross. You know, (soft piano music) I will say, while - handersen is with us today and if you have been following along on our Facebook page at Granite Bay, you have seen his story of a near-death experience.

And we are just so thankful and praising the Lord for the man that is sitting at the piano today, who is sharing his beautiful music with us here at Granite Bay and around the world - #118 - the first noel. Our next song is #137 - we three Kings - of orient are bearing gifts we traverse afar. O star of wonder, star of night, guide us to thy perfect light - #137. Thank you so much for singing along with us. And now Pastor Ross will have our opening prayer.

Let's bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, once again, what a privilege to be able to gather in your house to study Your Word together. And, as we've been studying together on the book of job, we have learned many lessons. And as we finish up our time of studying this book, we pray that once again your spirit will guide our hearts - our minds - help us to see the messages and truths revealed in this story for us, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Our lesson today is going to be dealing with the last study in the book of job. We've been studying job now, this'll be the fourteenth week. And the lesson today is some lessons from job. And our memory verse is from the book of James chapter 5, verse 11. If you have your Bibles you may want to read it with me.

It's in the new king James version James 5, verse 11 - ready? "Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of job and seen the end intended by the Lord - that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful." You know, Jesus refers to job and James refers to job and it's pretty clear from the other Bible writers that job is a real character, and that even though job went through this terrible period of suffering - it's hard to say how long it was but, you know, I just - in my mind - see that the trials that job went through were about as long as the plagues that fell upon Egypt, which happened in matter of a few weeks. It was very tough, very fast, very hard, but comparatively brief for a man that lived over 200 years. So when a person says, 'would you like to have the life of job?' What would you think? Everyone thinks about the few weeks of terrible suffering, but what about the two hundred and, you know, one years of blessings? Doesn't everybody have a certain amount of suffering in their life? The thing that makes job's life especially bad is it all came at once and it just seemed like he lost everything all at once, because the devil was trying to break him by focusing all of his pressure on one point. But job did not lose his faith.

So we're going to begin by talking a little bit about the faith of job in our study today - by faith and not by sight - job did not know why these sufferings and trials were coming upon him. You and I read the book and it starts by explaining the curtains being pulled aside and the devil comes to some heavenly meeting and God sees the devil and says, 'you think you own the world.' The devil says, 'I've come from walking to and fro up and down in the world. The world is mine.' God says, 'it's not all yours. What about job? Job serves me.' 'Oh, the only reason he serves you is you've just protected him on every side. You won't let me at him.

' God said, 'no, I believe that job loves me regardless of the protection.' And so God withdraws his protection and there's this Great Controversy. The book of job really illustrates the great controversy between good and evil. Most people in the world do not know - people in the world don't know why we are caught up in this battle - 'if there's a good God, why is there so much suffering?' The book of job is great for us because it peels aside the veil so we see what's going on behind the scenes. You also see this in the book of Zechariah where it says there you've got Joshua the high priest and the devil is there to accuse him because of his filthy garments. Then you go to Revelation and it talks about the war in heaven and satan is called 'the accuser of our brethren'.

So job is the first place in Scripture where you see very vividly there's a devil who is the accuser and he's not only the accuser, the devil will tempt you to do something wrong and then he will turn you in and point his finger at you after you do it. And so, he's a tempter, he's the accuser - and we'll learn more about that, but job - job didn't know what was going on, but he said, 'though he slay me, yet will I trust him.' So job is telling us that you need to have faith in God even when you don't understand. Now, it is true that faith is based upon a certain amount of evidence. Job had received earlier evidence of who God was that gave him faith. But then, once you've got that evidence, you need to believe when you don't understand.

Let me explain: Goliath comes after David and David says, 'I'll fight this giant.' King Saul says, 'you're crazy. You can't fight the giant. He's a warrior. What makes you think you can fight the giant? How many giants have you killed?' He said, 'well, I haven't killed any giants.' 'Why do you think you can kill this one?' Well, because I have evidence for my faith. David said, 'there was a bear that came and took a sheep and God gave me strength and I killed the bear.

And there was a lion that came and took a lamb and God gave me strength and I killed the lion. And, based on the evidence of the past, I have faith that God can help me kill the giant.' And so David had faith through past experience. When we come to the Lord, is the Lord asking us to just blindly believe or does he give evidence in His Word that he's trustworthy? Amen. So our faith is based upon, 'I know whom I believed in and I am persuaded that he is able.' We've seen evidence before. So faith is absolutely crucial to our salvation.

Now, several verses we're going to read on this and I think I'm going to have somebody here help me read a verse - in just a moment we're going to do Hebrews 11:6. In the meantime, I'll do 2 Corinthians 5:7 where you read, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." 'Walk' means 'we live - it's our walk'. We walk by faith, not by sight. You can't go by what you see. Do we see the devil? Do we see God? God's a spirit.

Do we believe in things we can't see? Do you believe in phone signals? Cellular phone - smart phone - radio signals? Sure. And all of a sudden you won't have reception so you stand up on your chair because you know they're out there somewhere. Maybe if you can get a little higher you'll get the tower. You don't see them but you believe in them. You don't see wind - not until it hits something - wind is invisible.

You believe in it. We don't see gravity but you don't want to walk off a high building because you know that gravity's there. You've seen the results. You've got evidence of what happens if you ignore gravity, right? But you can't see gravity and so, there's a lot of things we believe in that we can't see. It's actually very logical and scientific to believe in things that you can't see, because we don't know everything.

And, you know, I heard somebody illustrate that, you know, a dog can love you, but it's hard to explain physics to a dog. That doesn't mean that the dog can't love you and you can't love the dog, there's just some things a dog can't comprehend. But it doesn't mean physics don't exist because the dog can't comprehend it. You see what I mean? There's a lot of things that you and I maybe don't comprehend we've got to take by faith. 2 Corinthians 4:18, "while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.

For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." God is offering us an eternal that we don't see right now, but it's very real. And if we live our lives only for the physical that we see now, we're going to miss out. Romans 8:24, "for we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?" I mean, why would I say, 'I hope I can get a Bible for today's lesson'? I've got it right here. I'm not hoping for it, I have it. And so you hope for what you don't have and we believe in something that is coming that we don't have yet.

That's what the hope is all about - the faith. And in Hebrews 11 - and we're going to do Hebrews 6 in just a moment, but whole chapter of Hebrews 11 is about faith, "now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Isn't that what we just read? But you notice the word 'evidence'? There's evidence for things that are not seen. We've got evidence, as I've mentioned, for radio waves. You turn on the radio, a voice comes out. How did it get to the box? You can walk all around the box and you can put your arms around the box and if it's running on batteries you'd say, 'how does this voice come out of this box? You've got evidence for radio waves in what's happening there.

And so, we believe it. Go ahead, read for us, please, Hebrews 11:6. "But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." Now when I looked over the lesson I thought, 'we're here.' We've reached the end of the book of job and I've got like five points, typically - Sunday through Thursday - that I highlight in the lesson. And what would be the most important thing to highlight in this lesson? It would be the subject of faith, because we are saved by grace through faith. 'The just shall live by faith' - right? Abraham believed God.

In the old testament, it doesn't use the word 'faith' as much as it does 'believe'. In the new testament it often uses the word 'faith' because one's coming from Hebrew and one's coming from Greek. How were people saved in the old testament? By faith. By faith. How was job saved? By faith.

'Though he slays me, yet will I trust him.' And so it was his faith that he was saved. Abraham - his faith. It says 'Daniel believed God.' And so, everyone is saved by faith. It's crucial that we trust God. Now, it's easy to believe in God when you're surrounded by the evidence, but you don't need hope then, because you have it.

When does it take faith? When you don't understand; when it doesn't make sense; when you're tempted to doubt - was anyone tempted more than job in that department? And he still believed. His faith triumphed in spite of all of the evidence that he had somehow been abandoned by God. And that's what his friends were thinking too. Alright, enough about faith. Next section talks about the - an evil being - not to be (confused) with a pinto bean - and the evil being is who? Satan.

The arch fiend - the devil. Now, you don't find as much about the devil in the old testament. Matter of fact, I'll just - you call it out; I'll repeat it - where do you find the devil in the old testament? Alright, Genesis, let's start there. Where does it say 'devil' in Genesis? It's talking about the serpent, right? Now we know now - you go to Revelation it says, 'that old serpent the devil and satan.' We know who it is now, but they didn't call him the devil then. We sort of knew it - someone said job - you find him, of course, in job.

Where else? Zechariah. Zechariah - satan stood to accuse the high priest. Where else? Isaiah. Well - 'o lucifer' - it doesn't say 'satan' - 'I will cast you out of heaven, lucifer' in Isaiah. Ezekiel? It's Ezekiel 28 - it doesn't really call him the devil, it calls him the cherub there, but yeah, you're right.

He's a few places but you notice how you're having to think? You're - how about when satan stood up to tempt David to number Israel? You got that example? Not many in the old testament. That's why the story of job is so important. You get to the new testament when Jesus begins his ministry, it's like satan went ballistic and you see the devil everywhere - he's just oozing out of every chapter. I mean, I can't count all the references to satan in the new testament. But - and this isn't - the knowledge we have of the devil did not just come to us in the last hundred years - and the fall of lucifer and the rebellion in heaven and the Great Controversy.

Any of you go to college and were required - maybe if you took literature - required to read that epic poem by John milton called paradise lost? How many of you have heard of paradise lost? Man, that's - I tell you - that's got a lot of profound words in it. I'm going to read to you just one section near the beginning - these are verses - it's like the Bible, it's in verses - this is in section - or chapter 1, verses 32 to 49, where John milton is talking about the devil's fall. And you pray for me because this is kind of the old english here, "for one restraint, Lords of the world besides? Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? The infernal serpent; he it was, whose guile stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived the mother of mankind, what time his pride had cast him out from heaven, with all his host of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring to set himself in glory above his peers, he trusted to have equaled the most high, if he opposed; and with ambitious aim against the throne and monarchy of God raised impious war in heaven and battle proud with vain attempt. Him the almighty power hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky with hideous ruin and combustion down to bottomless perdition, there to dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire, who durst defy the omnipotent to arms." That's just one little section of a very long poem. And if you didn't have to read that for communications, you should be thankful.

But it is - it's really profound - but what he's talking about here - John milton - he was actually a blind writer. It's amazing, he had such an incredible vocabulary - he turned blind in his youth, but - so he was able to read - but he describes here the fall of lucifer, who wanted to be God, and was cast out of heaven and all of that was very clear. And so, even back in the old testament they understood the story of where evil came from, though it isn't articulated as well in the old testament, they knew what the story was. You read it, of course, in Genesis 3 - we talked about that a moment ago. "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

And he said to the woman, 'has God indeed said,'" - what's the first question in the Bible? The devil questioning the Word of God. And all of the misery we see in the world today flows from doubting - that insidious doubt of the Word of God - and what does the devil says to Jesus in the wilderness? 'If you are The Son of God' - creating doubt again through insinuation. That's where he specializes - but we know who he is - you go to Revelation 12:9, "so the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Someone's going to read for me in a moment Matthew 13:39. I'll also read Matthew 4:1, "then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." Why would the Spirit lead him to be tempted? He was led by the Spirit to pray and fast in preparation for our mission, but he also, in the same way David went down to the valley to fight with Goliath, Jesus went out in the wilderness to fight with the devil as an illustration of how we can have victory over the three primary areas where all are tempted: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life were the areas where Christ was tempted, where eve and adam fell, and where Jesus was victorious. And how did he meet every temptation? You can read in Matthew 4, verse 10, "then Jesus said [to him], 'away with you, satan! For it is written'" - it is written - three times he said, 'it is written' - "'you shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.

' Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him." Now that's a pattern for us. The temptations that came to Jesus and job came in waves. You notice that with Jesus, it was one temptation after another - three temptations. With job he had these trials - he had - he lost his family, he lost his substance, he lost his health, and then he lost his friends, but it came like a blitzkrieg. You know where the word blitzkrieg - some kind of german word that talks about a rapid war and hitler's idea was attack so fast and keep attacking - keep hitting - the element of surprise - they won't know what hit them.

They can't prepare. And you just catch them while they're down. And it was very effective for a while. Well, that's what the devil does. It's probably where hitler got it.

He hit job with a blitzkrieg hoping to overwhelm him, and that's what the devil did to Jesus in the wilderness. Read for us, please, Matthew 13:39. Matthew 13:39, "the enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels." So something else in Jesus' parables, he explains that the devil is out there trying to sow seeds of discord and he was spreading the tares among the wheat to try to cause problems. And so you get a lot clearer picture about who this arch fiend is in the new testament. You can read in Luke 22, verse 3, "then satan entered Judas, surnamed iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.

So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him to them." The devil sometimes will operate by having an inside man. There, right among the twelve apostles, satan had a representative who - and does the devil still find people in the church? Yeah, sometimes they'll find somebody that he can manipulate and use - and sometimes it's unknown to them - to use and bring problems and disruptions and to scandalize the name of Christ, brings that person into the church to cause problems. That's what he did with Judas. And you read in acts 5:3, Peter said to annanias, 'why has satan filled your heart?' Now how many of us want the Lord to fill our hearts? But is it possible for the devil to fill a heart too? Yeah, his - annanias' heart was filled with greed and covetousness. He said, 'why have you allowed satan to fill your heart? So you've lied to the Holy Spirit and kept back part of the price of the land for yourself.

' He said, 'you haven't lied to man, you've lied to God in doing that.' And then, of course, in 1 Peter 5:8, "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith," - so what are we supposed to do? Resist him. What did Jesus do? Resist the devil and he left. The Bible says resist the devil and he will flee from you. And so, this is what the Lord is telling us that we can do.

Through faith - how do we resist him? "Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." All Christians battle with the devil. If you say, 'I've never really struggled with temptation. I'm glad to be a Christian.' You're not a Christian, probably. Because if you're trying to live a holy life, the devil is going to oppose you. If you're trying to witness unto the Lord, Jesus said, 'woe unto you when all men speak well of you.

' Somebody showed me a letter this week where someone said some things that were not very nice, about me. And, you know, I get those letters and sometimes they're true. And I sometimes think, 'oh, I've got to make some changes.' But sometimes they're critical of the message, and Jesus said, 'woe unto you when all men speak well of you, for so they did of the false prophets.' And so, if you live a Godly life, the Bible promises 'all that live Godly' - will what? - 'Suffer persecution.' So don't be discouraged, your brethren in the world suffer - all of us are together in that. We all share that. Now the next section talks about with friends like these.

You ever heard that expression? 'With friends like these who needs an enemy?' And let's turn and read quickly, again - you can read in job in chapter 8 - it talks about the - you know, bildad, one of his friends, kind of lighting into him here. "Then bildad the shuhite answered and said: 'how long will you speak these things, and the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? Does God subvert judgment? Or does the almighty pervert justice? If your sons have sinned against him, he has cast them away for their transgression.'" - 'Your sons died because they were sinful.' Can you imagine telling your friend that after he's lost all his children? - "If your sons have sinned against him, he has cast them away for their transgression. If you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication to the almighty, if you were pure and upright, surely now he would awake for you," - you know, they said that to Jesus on the cross, 'if God's your father, why doesn't he come down and help you, if you're pure?' The same thing that Jesus went through, job went through. He would then prosper you. And it's interesting that in our lesson, not only has it got a reference here to job chapter 8, you go to John chapter 8 now.

You know, about the woman caught in the act of adultery? And her own people set her up and brought her to the temple to make an example out of her. They didn't care what happened to her. They bring this woman to Jesus and said, 'you know, Moses said she should be stoned.' - Instead of the priests showing mercy - "but Jesus went to the mount of olives" - John 8, verse 1 - now verse 2 - "now early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him; and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to him, 'teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned.'" - Of course, you always have to ask a question: if they say they caught her in the very act of adultery, doesn't that, sort of, imply there were at least two people involved? Yeah. You're in California, it could have been more, but back then it would have been at least two people. If she was caught in the act and they captured her, where were the others? Where's the other party? Makes it sound like this was a set up. They wanted to stone her. They had no problem stoning her and then going to the Romans and saying, 'Jesus pronounced the death penalty and only the Romans can do that.

' And they were hoping to trap him. They didn't care about her. They were just going to use her. Now Moses said that "'such should be stoned. But what do you say?' This they said, testing him, that they might have something of which to accuse him.

But Jesus" - he ignored them - and he "stooped down and wrote on the ground...as though he did not hear." But they persisted, asking him - "he stood [raised himself] up and said to them, 'he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.'" He stooped down and continued writing. And they may have noticed what he was writing, which was probably the law or their breaking of the law - their particular sins - and very personal things, all of a sudden, were being written and they were overwhelmed with guilt. 'He who is without sin, throw the first stone.' Who of them dared throw the first stone? And one by one they went out beginning at the eldest to the least, ashamed. You know, just while I'm thinking aobut it, I read this verse and here - what does a woman represent in Bible analogies, often? A church. A church.

Does it represent always that the church is going to be spotless and pure? Is God's church sometimes - in the old testament he compared it to a harlot - and even in the new testament; that's why he says, 'come out of her my people'. You know, you have a story in Ezekiel where judgment was going to come upon the church and God put a Mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. It says, 'beginning with the ancient men.' It began with the eldest, then to the younger. Why with the eldest? Well, they've had the longest opportunity. A ship is going down and they've only got so much room in the lifeboat - this might sound kind of brutal - nobody wants to think about this moral scenario, but there's only so much room in the life boat; who gets the lifeboats? You know, they say women and children first, but you might think the younger ones that haven't had a chance to live.

You know, none of us senior citizens want to think about that, right? But wouldn't you want to save the youth? And so judgment would begin at the eldest, and the ones who had lived the longest, when Jesus was writing out the sins, they're the ones who've got the longest record of sin and it was the quickest for them to identify that - 'oh man, I have no right to throw a stone at anybody.' And they went out. Turning on their own - they were ready to stone her to make a point, but do you see a lot of examples in the Bible of people turning on their own? With friends like this - who sold Joseph? His brothers. His brothers sold him as a slave. How many of you have wanted to sell your brother or sister before? (Laughter) come on, there must have been a time. Who turned in Samson? Delilah.

Before even delilah? He had delilah, but listen to this: Judges 15, verse 11 - Judges 15:11 if you're looking any of these up. "Then three thousand men of judah" - after Samson went and killed a bunch of philistines, he was up living in the rock etam and "three thousand men of judah went down to the cleft of the rock of etam, and said to Samson, 'do you not know that the philistines rule over us? What is this you have done to us?' He said to them, 'as they did to me, so I have done to them.' But they said to him, 'we have come down to arrest you that we may deliver you into the hands of the philistines.'" Isn't that what God's people did with Jesus? His own people - "then Samson said to them, 'swear to me that you will not kill me yourselves.' So they spoke to him, saying, 'no, but we will tie you securely and deliver you into their hand; but we will surely not kill you.' And they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock." And you know the story; he ended up breaking the ropes and he smote them hip and thigh and - but turned over by his own people, then later by delilah. What about David? Was David betrayed by his own son? There's an interesting story about David - you look in 1 Samuel 23, verse 2, "therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, 'shall I go and attack these philistines?'" - Now this is when David is living out in the - he's living out in the wilderness, hiding from king Saul and some people in a village called 'keilah were being attacked by the philistines - they were on the border and their town was always vulnerable. David thought, 'they're our people. I should save them.

' David and his three - I don't know if he had 400 or 600 men - his army was growing - he said, 'should I attack them and save keilah?' And David's men said, 'well, how can we save keilah, we're afraid here in judah. We're running from king Saul. How much more if we go to keilah against the army of the philistines? We're just a small little army.' "Then David inquired of the Lord" - good thing to do when you're not sure - "then David inquired of the Lord once again. And the Lord answered him and said, 'arise, go down to keilah. For I will deliver the philistines into your hand.

' And David and his men went to keilah and fought with the philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved" - notice - "David saved the inhabitants of keilah." And they carried them up the streets on their shoulders and they were just so thankful for David, their Savior. But notice what happened - someone's going to get ready to read for me, in a moment, Luke 23 - just - okay - listen to what happened next. I'm in 1 Samuel 23:11 - now king Saul comes looking for David again. He's in the town of keilah because they had a parade for David because David saved them, and he says to the Lord, "will the men of keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell your servant.

' And the Lord said, 'he will come down.'" - King Saul was hunting for David - "then David said, 'will the men of keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?' And the Lord said, 'they will deliver you.'" He said, 'you better get out of that town. Those people who just carried you on their shoulders and thanked you for saving them are going to hand you over in a snap to king Saul. With friends like that - sometimes there's not a lot of loyalty. Loyalty's a very valuable commodity. When you have friends you know you can trust - they say one of the most important things in a successful organization - whether it's a church or a company? It's trust.

People can work well and be productive if they're working with people they can trust. It's true in a church. You need to know that everybody has your back. It's - how does it feel when you have - you discover friends are gossiping about you? They're friends when they're in your face, but then you find out, as soon as they're not around, they're talking about you. By the way, let me give you a clue: if you've got friends that are always talking to you about other people, just be pretty sure that when you're not around, they're talking about you.

If you've got friends that are telling you other people's secrets, don't tell them any secrets, because when you're not around, they're going to be telling your secrets to someone else. Alright, read for us, please, Luke 23. Luke 23:20-21 - "pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, 'crucify him, crucify him!'" Now, you know, you read in the book Desire of Ages and other places, in the crowd that was calling for Jesus to be crucified, were they all long-time enemies? Or could it be in that crowd there were some people that Jesus fed with miraculous bread? Could it be in that crowd - because the jews came from all over for the passover feast, so there were - they're from Galilee - that's how Jesus came down - they came down from Galilee where he did his miracles - they came from nazareth, and there may have been people in that crowd that he had healed. You think, 'I'll be loyal forever.

This guy healed me.' People he forgave and did miracles for - and when the popular opinion turned, they said, 'crucify him, crucify him!' So job's friends, who originally came to comfort him - and job may have helped his friends before. He may have set them up in their business and made them successful. They - he probably did them favors as friends, but then they turned on him. Alright, next section: more than thorns and thistles - and in your lesson there's actually a quote from the historian herodotus and he talks about a culture of people, that when a baby was born, they'd gather together and they'd mourn for the birth of a baby because they knew the inevitable sorrow and suffering the child would ultimately face and so they thought, 'now we're going to mourn his birth.' It's very different from the Jewish mentality, but you can sort of understand it. Babies are born and they're so innocent and they're so pure and yet you look at them and you know they're going to face some trials in their lives.

And you wonder if mary understood, when Jesus was born - you know, the joy - the angels talked about joy, and yet Simon said 'a sword will pierce your own soul' and Simon said, 'this child is for the rising and falling of many in Israel. And so, you know, there was a cross in his future. But what happened in Genesis 3:16? Let's look at that together - and someone's going to read for me, in a moment, job 2, verse 8, okay? I'll get you in just a moment. Let's read Genesis 3:16, after man and woman sinned it says, "to the woman he said, 'I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you will conceive and bring forth children.'" - Some have wondered if that was a reference to maybe even morning sickness because it's talking about pain in conception, not just the birth. The first part's talking about the pain in the delivery and then it's also talking about pain in conception and it goes on and it says here, 'you'll bring forth your children.

Now what does a woman sometimes represent? Church. Does it sometimes require labor for a church to bring forth new souls? Did the church often grow during times of persecution? Yes. It was during these times of travail that the church was born. The nation of Israel, was it born easily or was it born through plagues? But there was - the birth of a nation came out of those plagues. And so, sometimes, you know, there's new life through struggles.

When a person is converted, is there sometimes a battle - a fight that goes on to surrender your life? Yeah, and people, you know, sometimes pastors make it say - 'just say this prayer and everything's going to be okay.' Well, it is true. You can come to Jesus just with a simple prayer, but you're not being totally honest with people if you don't tell them 'the devil is going to try to sink his claws in you and keep you from coming to Christ' - just like the pharaoh tried to keep the children of Israel from coming out. So, with the fall of adam, there were trials. A curse came on the creation. And to adam he said, 'because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree that I commanded you, 'you should not eat,' cursed is the ground for your sake.

In pain you will eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it will bring forth." - Now, is soul winning sometimes compared to farming in the Bible? Is farming hard work? Yes. Is there travail and pain in farming? But it's really good to get the fruit, right? Right. Do you have to have patience if you want to be a farmer? You've got to have patience to have a baby - nine months - and those last few weeks seem to take forever. So there's those trials. And then he goes on and it says here, 'thorns and thistles it'll bring forth to you' - are there going to be thorns in heaven? Do you think, right when sin happened, all of a sudden thorns sprang out of all the plants? I think it was a little different.

Did God have mosquitos in the Garden of Eden? No. We're not going to get bit by them in heaven. You might think - now I can't prove this, but just a kooky thought that I've got is that cactus are beautiful. They just hurt when you touch them because they've got thorns. They have beautiful flowers.

They're very interesting - I think in heaven - do you know what makes a thorn hurt? The end is hard and dead. Do you realize that when a thorn is alive - you ever touch a rose thorn when it's still young and green? It won't hurt you. It's like a hair. It's when they die and they get hard. So, in heaven, some of these plants may have fuzz on them, but it's not going to hurt.

Now, I can't prove that and it doesn't really matter, does it? It's just my theory. And the mosquitos will eat fruit in heaven. (Laughter) they won't make that annoying 'neeeeeeeeeeeeee' that goes around your head. Alright, read for us job 2, verse 8. "And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

You know, it was typical, in Bible times, for a person, when they were in a state of mourning, sometimes they put dust on their heads. They'd throw dust in the air and they'd go sit in the dust of the - you know, people had campfires and they'd take the dust outside the camp and they'd dump it in a big ash pile. We've got one of those behind our house up in the hills because we got the stove ashes and you take it off a little ways from the house - you just dump it. And they would go out and sit in the ash pile and they'd think about this - dust/ashes - dust and ashes - the word is often synonymous in the Bible, "dust and ashes you are; unto dust you are going to return." And so, job, when he sat on the pile of ashes, he's saying, 'look, I am dust and ashes.' It's a sign of humbling yourself before the Lord. You can read in job 42, verse 6 - same principle.

In job 42, verse 6 it says, 'therefore, I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. And so, all the way from the beginning to the end of the book, job is humbling himself and so God blesses him. Last section - now I've already talked about this a little bit. It's a section about Jesus and job. We studied in a previous week, Jesus our redeemer, and I went through, not all, but a number of parallels that you find in the Bible between Jesus and job.

And, for one thing, and I might even call out and let you fill in some of the gaps for me. The Bible says that job was a perfect and an upright man; one who loved God and hated evil. Jesus - the Bible tells us that he was perfect; he was an innocent man that had been falsely accused - James 5:6, "you have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you." In Luke 11, someone said that Jesus was - he was turned on by his friends. They misunderstood his mission.

They said, 'you're casting out devils by the prince of devils.' Instead of being The Son of God, they said that he was a partner of the devil. And you just look at a lot of the experiences of job and you find that he is echoing the types of Christ. And the faith of job in the middle of his trials - what job went through is like Christ on the cross - it's like, also, the garden of Gethsemane - 'though he slay me' - 'father into your hands I will commend my spirit' he says on the cross and then he says, 'not my will, thy will be done.' Can you think of any other ways that job and Jesus there are some parallels or some similarities? Huh? They suffered a lot. A lot of suffering, especially during - there was a concentrated time of suffering in the life of Christ - from Thursday night - that's the three days and three nights - from Thursday night to Sunday morning - the death and the suffering. Job faced the second death, you might say.

It seemed like he was totally separated from God. Did Jesus ask 'why?' On the cross? 'My father, my father, why?' - Now, of course, Christ hadn't lost faith. He was uttering psalm 22, but he did that as a symbol. Job was wondering, 'why has this happened to me?' Did his own friends sort of turn on him? Was Jesus betrayed by one of his friends? Was job stripped? Was Jesus stripped? Yes. When he went to the cross - it says, 'job tore his clothes.

' The physical suffering of job, the physical suffering of Jesus. One of the richest men - seemed to own everything - Jesus had everything before his sufferings. He left heaven - job left the city and went out to the dump. Jesus left glory and he went to this world, which is, by comparison, a dump. You see what I'm saying? All through the book of job.

Finally talks about job - one of the last chapters it talks about this battle with leviathan and Christ battles with the devil. So you see all through the book of job there's these parallels. Job is really teaching us about Jesus. Any other thoughts that you had about parallels that you see between job and Jesus. Not used to having me put you on the spot like this, are you? You got one? After the trial he became rich again.

Yeah, thank you very much. (Inaudible) yeah, after job successfully went through his trials, then he was restored with even greater blessings. Jesus has had even greater glory in that he's shown his fidelity before The Father and all things are going to - are put under Christ. Christ ascended to the heavens - to the temples above and - yeah, so the greater glory at the end you find in the life of Christ - you find in the story of job. Many, many parallels for this beautiful book.

Well, I don't know about you, friends, but I've really enjoyed this last 14 weeks studying the book of job because it gives us a better picture of Jesus, amen? I want to remind those who are watching, we do have a free gift. It's called the high cost of the cross. It's an inspiring book by Joe Crews - it is free. It's on the condition you call, ask for it - ask for offer #156 - you've got to promise to read it and then we hope you'll share it with somebody else. The number to call: 866-788-3966.

I know it's on the screen, but some people re-broadcast Sabbath school on the radio and so I've got to make sure and read the number - 866-study-more. God bless you. We'll look forward to studying His Word together again next weekend - wait! Wait! Wait! - Don't go off the air yet. Don't forget, get your quarterly for the new study next week on the Holy Spirit. If you're members here at Granite Bay, we've got copies out there.

If you go to a local church, we're four weeks ahead. You may want to wait and pick them up at your local church. And for our friends that watch online or on tv - that you can often go to the Sabbath school website - just type in 'Sabbath school' and you can read these online as well. God bless you. We'll study His Word together again next week.

Friends, have you ever heard of the bowhead whale? This enormous leviathan is the second-largest creature in the world. Dark and stocky, it roams the fertile arctic northern waters. These massive creatures can be more than 65-feet long and weigh more than 75 tons. That's heavier than the space shuttle. Yet, in spite of their titanic size, they're able to leap entirely out of the water.

Can you say 'belly flop'? The bowhead whale gets its name from its bow-shaped skull - and they've got one ginormous noggin. Matter of fact, their heads are about 40 percent of their body size, which comes in handy when you find out how they use their heads. They've got very thick skulls. Sometimes they get trapped under the surface and they use their heads to ram the ice. They can break a breathing hole in the ice that is a foot and a half thick.

Friends, you have to just imagine what it would be like to be walking around on the arctic ice and all of a sudden have the ground beneath you crack and split and rise as one of these sea monsters pushes its head up to breath for the first time in minutes. Because bowheads make their home in the coldest part of our world, they have the thickest blubber of any whale. But this, plus their friendly and curious nature, made them prime targets when the european whalers discovered the bowheads. They hunted them nearly to extinction. Fortunately, because of conservation efforts, we've slowly seen their Numbers begin to increase since the 60s.

One of the most Amazing Facts about the bowhead whale is its longevity. Scientists have discovered, by evaluating harpoon tips found in their skull, and examining their eye tissue, there are bowhead whales out there that are probably over 200 years old. You realize that means there are bowhead whales swimming the oceans right now that were alive before Abraham lincoln was elected president. Can you imagine that? Among the other amazing mega-facts about the bowhead whale, is its mega-mouth. They have the largest mouth of any in the animal kingdom.

And when they open their pie hole full extended, it's large enough to park a medium-sized suv inside. Yet, in spite of the fact that they've got such big mouths, they survive by eating the very smallest creatures in the ocean - plankton, krill, and other microscopic animals. Friends, I'm always amazed by the creatures God has made. This bowhead whale is able to dive to the deepest oceans. They can break through the ice and move mountains with their head and completely leave the water and fly through the air.

And yet, they do all that by gaining strength from almost microscopic organisms. It helps us remember that we survive through the little promises in God's Word. Jesus, when tempted by the devil, he quoted just a few little verses and he sent the enemy running. You can also have that same durability and long life as the bowhead whale, by trusting in God's Word and his promises. Amazing Facts.

Changed lives. I grew up in a family that was very saturated with God. We had morning worship; we had evening worship. We were taught from young children to have personal devotions each day. But, for whatever reason, I seemed to always find myself alone.

I never really had a big group of friends and it always seemed to be like friends were just taken away from me. I would pray for friends and then I'd meet someone and six months later then they'd move to Washington, you know, across the United States. And, so finally I was just like, 'I'm not - I'm not going to pray for anymore friends because it hurts too much to lose them. But over the next two years, as I got closer to God, I started to be able to be thankful for the alone times because I was forced, in that aloneness, to seek God. That is probably what has made me who I am and given me the experience with God that I have now.

The place where I feel most comfortable is being alone with God. I know a lot of people have questions about 'where is God when it hurts?' 'If God is such a loving God, why is the world so bad?' Embrace the pain. Embrace the hard times and let God reveal himself through that, because he has answers to questions you don't even know how to ask. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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