Have you been flying down the highway and saw a great big billboard that says “McDonald’s three miles ahead on your left”?
Have you driven down a surface street and seen a green sign that says “Community Center” to the right?
Usually has the city name and maybe some other city facility at the site.
Do we see all the signs as we go down the street?
I was speaking with my wife the other day and she told me, that if she’s looking for a park, then she will look for the blue signs. If she’s looking for a hospital, the same holds true.
What about traffic signs, gas station signs showing the price of gas, advertisement for a Home Depot sale and so on.
We pay attention to the signs that are relevant or useful and disregard the ones that are irrelevant.
What about advertising billboards building brand recognition? Budweiser and the sexy, scantily clad model, Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession, with a completely naked woman on it, but holding herself, condom ads, ads about TV programs for the latest reality show – and on and on and on.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we make decisions based on these signs as well. Of course that decision we make could be that we will just ignore it from here on out. Hopefully.
Then you have Adopt a Highway, next X miles – and then some restaurant or boy scout group who wants to keep the roads clean volunteers their time. Noble ventures, right?
I did ask her, “Have you seen the Adopt a Highway sign over there on Davis?”
She had no idea what I was talking about, so I pointed it out the next time we drove by.
What is your gut reaction to this picture? Jot down responses here: ***show picture (this one off of industrial in Bedford - picture of signs)
These signs are showing up all over the place.
Mid-Ohio, Athiests United, Athiests of Butte county, Athiests of Utah, Omaha Athiests, Greensboro Athiest organization, tri-state freethinkers, freethinkers of central Arkansas.
But what about God’s signs? Remembering that signs can be useful.
Job saw signs. All of his livestock was stolen, servants killed by raiding parties and then his children were killed in a freak wind storm. He was informed all of this in a matter of minutes. Some days later, he developed boils on his body.
Job was burdened because of loss of his things and family and had physical ailments. It was at that time, that he started to say the following.
Job 3:2-12 - And Job spoke, and said:
“May the day perish on which I was born,
And the night in which it was said,
‘A male child is conceived.’
May that day be darkness;
May God above not seek it,
Nor the light shine upon it.
May darkness and the shadow of death claim it;
May a cloud settle on it;
May the blackness of the day terrify it.
As for that night, may darkness seize it;
May it not rejoice among the days of the year,
May it not come into the number of the months.
Oh, may that night be barren!
May no joyful shout come into it!
May those curse it who curse the day,
Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan.
May the stars of its morning be dark;
May it look for light, but have none,
And not see the dawning of the day;
Because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s womb,
Nor hide sorrow from my eyes.
“Why did I not die at birth?
Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?
Why did the knees receive me?
Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
He had lost so much and was regretting so much, questioning so much
Job also starts talking about how he has done so many good things, has been so righteous, has helped to feed the poor, help the widow, help the fatherless - but continues to be put under trial.
How many times have we complained about our circumstances? How many times have we either just gotten so frustrated with what is going on around us or going on with ourselves? And what about the time when you just felt like giving up or maybe you did give up?
It’s easy to say, just give it to God or just trust in Jesus. But during those trials, it is very difficult. We’re men and proud, right? We can do things ourselves, right? But what about those times that we can’t do it ourselves?
But what if, each one of these challenges or signs that we have to deal with are an opportunity to become closer to God? If we push God away, we miss the point.
So the book of Job goes on and on and on and on, but then it gets to a turning point for Job.
Job 22:21-23 - “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, And lay up His words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents.
And then fast forward, because apparently Job still didn’t get it – even through everyone chastising Job for his behavior, even his closest friends – but still Job justifies that he is holy and blameless. More or less.
At the end of Job, God and Job have a conversation:
***Job 40:7-14 – “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will also confess to you that your own right hand can save you.
Job 40:15 – Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you.
Job 41:1 – Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook…
Job 41:3-7 – Will he make many supplications to you? – Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Play – attack, etc.
Job 41:8 – Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle – Never do it again!
Job 41:11 – Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.
Job 41:33-34 – On earth there is nothing like him, which is made without fear. He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride.
Job 42 – Repentance!!! And restoration of all doubly
We should be thankful to God for everything in our lives. Good or bad, we should praise him.
When we do turn to God during these hard times, God will give us rest. When we focus on Him, our trials become bearable.
Additional Scripture and back story:
Philippians 4:6-8 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Job’s livestock was killed, all but one of his servants was killed and his children were killed.
Job was distraught and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
On another day, Job was encompassed with boils and his wife came to him - Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
Job told his wife that she was speaking foolishly.
Three of his friends came around him to mourn and comfort him. After 7 days and nights of being with his friends Job broke and began to complain.
Job 3:2-12 – discussed earlier.
Job 1:6-12 - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Satan then proceeds to kill Job’s livestock, servants and children. Job was severely distraught but he did not lose faith.
The next day, Satan and the Lord talk – and this time, Satan produces painful boils all over Job’s body. Then Job’s three friends came to him to mourn and comfort him for 7 days and nights.
It was at this time that Job begins to question.