Sermon Quotes: "The Testing of Job"

“The book of Job tells the story of a good man overwhelmed by troubles. He is stripped of his wealth, his family, and his health. He does not know why God has done this to him. Only the reader knows that God is trying to prove to the Devil that Job’s faith is genuine. Upon this simple plot an unknown writer of superlative genus has erected a monumental work. The most persistent questions of the relationship of men to God have been given powerful theological treatment in verse whose majesty and emotion are unsurpassed in any literature, ancient or modern. The Old Testament book about Job is one of the supreme offerings of the human mind to the living God and one of the best gifts of God to men. The task of understanding it is as rewarding as it is strenuous. Job is a prodigious book in the vast range of its ideas, in its broad coverage of human experience, in the intensity of its passions, in the immensity of its concept of God, an not least in its superb literary craftsmanship. From one man’s agony it reaches out to the mystery of God, beyond all words and explanations. It is only God himself who brings Job joy in the end. And, when all is done, the mystery remains. God stands revealed in his hiddenness, an object of terror, adoration and love. And Job stands before him trusting and satisfied.” Francis Anderson

“The truth of the matter is that all we have to do is live long enough, and we will suffer.” Don Carson

“The emphasis on Job’s goodness is meant to highlight the fact that there is such a thing as innocent suffering. This means that not all suffering is directly related to a specific sin it means that some suffering in this world is not directly related to any sin.” Don Carson

“In some deep way it is necessary for it to be publicly seen by the whole universe that God is worthy of the worship of a man and that God’s worth is in no way dependent on God’s gifts.” Christopher Ash

“Job knows that eventually he will die and take nothing away. It is almost as if he had died today. He understands that all his possessions and all his children were gifts from the Lord. By the nature of the Godness of God he gives, and it is therefore entirely his prerogative to take away as he sees fit, as and when he chooses. This is part of being God. So Job blesses the name of the Lord. The Satan said Job would curse God to his face. On the contrary, his response to terrible loss is wonderfully blessing the God who has given and has now seen fit to take away. In the moment of his loss his first thought is of the God who had first given.” Christopher Ash

“That the Lord disagrees with us must teach us something very deep. The glory of God really is more important that your or my comfort. In the end it is necessary and right that this man should suffer personal and intimate attack upon himself. so that we see absolutely and without doubt that God is worthy of worship.” Christopher Ash

“A man often feels most helpless when his helpmate helps not.” Douglas O Donnell

“We should love God for himself alone, not for the benefits he brings. How do you develop a love like that? How can you get there-how can you move from loving God in a mercenary way toward loving God himself? I’m afraid the primary way is to have hardship come into your life. Suffering first helps you assess yourself and see the mercenary nature of your love for God. When your most cherished things are taken from you, you may be tempted to angrily reject him. But then suffering gives you an opportunity. Instead of giving up on God and moving away from him you could adjust and focus on him in a way you had never done before. Job would become more fully someone who serves God for nothing and loves God himself alone. And so God willed to show the hosts of heaven as well as all the hundreds of millions of readers of the book of Job that can make human beings into loving servants.” Tim Keller

“We have come to a book that will teach us that God’s love for us is bigger and broader than sentimentality and sympathy and that his will of four lives is vaster and grander than our personal happiness or success…that we are to love God, to cherish him as he does us, whether he gives or takes away.” Douglas O Donnell

“He entered a domain of suffering reserved for Him alone. No man can bear the sin of another, but Jesus carried the sins of all. In one life only is Job excelled, in both innocence and grief: in Jesus, who sinned not at all, but who endured the greatest agony of any man. In His perfection of obedience and of suffering the questions of Job and of all us have their final answer.” Francis Anderson