Unhappy Birthday

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said:

“Let the day perish on which I was born,
    and the night that said,
    ‘A man is conceived.’
Let that day be darkness!
    May God above not seek it,
    nor light shine upon it.
Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
    Let clouds dwell upon it;
    let the blackness of the day terrify it.
That night—let thick darkness seize it!
    Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
    let it not come into the number of the months.
Behold, let that night be barren;
    let no joyful cry enter it.

Job 3:1-7.

Unable to accuse God, Job takes it out on the day of his birth. He wishes he was never born. He’s angry about the present and has no faith in the future. Although he does not directly accuse God, Job seems to be laying out a case that makes God an accessory.

God is the creator and the ruler of all things. For this reason, we must take great care to restrain our anger during the worst of times.

Job’s Integrity

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LordAnd the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And 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, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:1-10.

This is that most infamous situation where one usually asks, “Why would God do this to Job if God is so good?” Job has lost his wealth, his children, his health, and even his wife has turned against him. At least, she has turned against God, and Job has stayed on God’s team.

Job does not know what is going on, so he does not presume to judge God in this situation. He knows he does not desrve it. But he is completely yielded to the God who knows everything. He realizes that he is just a speck of dust in the universe, and that compared to God he has no standing to accuse him. So he waits.

Today, we have a lot more information that Job had. He did not know that Satan had provoked this. There is no evidence that he is even aware of Satan. We have the advantage of knowing that Satan is defeated, and that we have been given authority over all the power of the enemy. But even we must wait. Even we are still specks. Even we, the children of God in Christ, must wait in this realm for what waits for us in the spiritual realm. And we are to do it without complaining, or presuming to know the mind of God.

Introducing: Job

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. Job 1:1-5.

The first thing we learn about Job is how upright he is. The next is that he has seven sons and three daughters. We also learn that he is rich. Then there is this odd thing he does: making sacrifices on behalf of his children, in case they have cursed God in their hearts. Is that a realistic possibility? And even if they did that, wouldn’t they have to make those sacrifices for themselves?

Either Job is the original helicopter parent, or he knows things about his kids that he is legitimately worried about. Perhaps they have not embraced the god of their father. And maybe they are spoiled rich kids who don’t know what it’s like to depend on God. So, when Satan causes the oldest brother’s house to collapse and kill them all, maybe they had it coming.

All we really know for sure from this chapter is that job did not blame God when his world fell apart and he was wiped out. He worshiped God in the midst of disaster. Calamity did not changed him.

Humble Mordecai

King Ahasuerus imposed tax on the land and on the coastlands of the sea. And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. Esther 10:1-3.

Even when you are a captive people, it can go well for you. A disobedient people had been judged and lost their Homeland. But subsequent generations we’re blessed when they did what was right. And Mordecai had been a good subject to the king, Savi g him from conspiracy and asking nothing in return. And once promoted, he used his power and position for his people, not looking for his own advantage.

Let us also not look for what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. How can we speak peace to our people and bring them benefit?

Jews Given Power

Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples. All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful. The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha, the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, but they laid no hand on the plunder. Esther 9:1-10.

The king you did not dispatch his armies to save the Jews. He gave them authority to save themselves. Furthermore, he gave them authority to punish those who were trying to kill them.

This is a picture of the spiritual reality that exists after Christ saved us. He did not just save us from our sin and it’s punishment. He gave us authority over all the power of the enemy. He did not give us power over our human enemies, but over our enemies in the spiritual realm.

The spiritual realm has power over the natural realm. The power that we have is prayer and intercession against The Prince and power of the air, which is Satan. This is a power that goes mostly unused by the church. I have been in very few churches where battle is made against the enemy in the heavenly realm. At least they don’t teach it. And if it is not taught, it will not be practiced.

American Christians care a great deal about self-defense and the second amendment. The second amendment gives you authority to arm yourself. And it is considerable, even if you never fire a weapon. But in the spiritual realm we have been given authority over all the power of hell. And yet we do not arm ourselves against that enemy. And that is why that enemy affects the natural realm and causes Americans to do idiotic things. Think of every ridiculous stupid thing that is happening in this country. We don’t make these things up on our own. It’s a special kind of stupid they comes from demonic powers.

We must return to those powers that were given to us in the New testament by Jesus. We must cast out devils. We must stand against spiritual wickedness in high places with our words as we pray. We must oppose the spiritual power that cause the natural power to become corrupt. Then we will be able to celebrate like the Jews of Esther’s time.