Open Mouth, Insert Foot

10/24/21

Message Title: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
Theme: In Our Sorrows
Season: Ordinary
Main Text: Job 42:1-6, 10
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28
RCL Scripture: Job 42:1-6, 10-17 or Jeremiah 31:7-9 Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22) or Psalm 126 Hebrews 7:23-28 Mark 10:46-52
Focus: Job responds to God with faith and humility.
Function:
 To find our own humility in suffering or prosperity, leaving the justice to God, and welcoming everyone equally to the table.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Hebrews 7:23-28  2The others who became priests are numerous because death prevented them from continuing to serve. 24 In contrast, he holds the office of priest permanently because he continues to serve forever. 25 This is why he can completely save those who are approaching God through him, because he always lives to speak with God for them. 26 It’s appropriate for us to have this kind of high priest: holy, innocent, incorrupt, separate from sinners, and raised high above the heavens. 27 He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day like the other high priests, first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. He did this once for all when he offered himself. 28 The Law appoints people who are prone to weakness as high priests, but the content of the solemn pledge, which came after the Law, appointed a Son who has been made perfect forever.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEM:                                                  

  1. Audience engagement: What is the most frustrating thing about the internet?
    1. The internet in the country is very dependent on the weather.
    2. Social media and the spread of misinformation or leading to judgement.
  2. First World Prob: Free Wi-Fi BUT Slow!

How humorous, or short sighted, is it to be mad about the speed free Wi-Fi? Sometimes, as a Americans, we are pampered and don’t realize how our “sufferings” are truly first world problems.

TRANSITION:  The book of Job sometimes feels like first world problems, at least when Job’s friend’s talk, when we bring our complaints to God. The goal of this book isn’t to suck it up and deal with it but to praise God in the midst of all parts of life.

In our text today, we will see the last portion of Job’s conversation with God. Fair warning, this passage may lead to more questions than answers. We will try to wrap up Job today and remember our place.

MAIN TEXT: Job 42:1-6, 10 Job answered the Lord: 2I know you can do anything; no plan of yours can be opposed successfully. 3You said,“Who is this darkening counsel without knowledge?” I have indeed spoken about things I didn’t understand, wonders beyond my comprehension. 4You said,“Listen and I will speak; I will question you and you will inform me.” 5My ears had heard about you, but now my eyes have seen you. 6Therefore, I relentand find comfort on dust and ashes.….10Then the Lord changed Job’s fortune when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all Job’s earlier possessions.

EXPLAINATION: Job responds to God with faith and humility.

  1. Job and God have been talking back and forth for a few chapters now. God hasn’t given Job the answers he was looking for but Job still gained something.
  2. VS 3 After this conversation with God (that started in ch 38), Job concludes he needs to open his mouth and insert his foot.
    1. Has concluded he spoke about God without knowing God fully. And as he has a bigger picture now, he has decided to shut his mouth and be content wherever life places him… even in the ashes.
  3. Vs 5 After all that Job has experienced, all the loss, sadness, and pain, he concludes God is good and does not owe Job an explanation.
    1. Though the Wisdom literature of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job have concluded God doesn’t reward do-gooders and curse the unrighteous; Job gets a happy ending! Job receives family, property, and health again.
  4. Bonus: In between Job’s response and his final blessings, God tells Job’s “friends” that they didn’t speak right about him BUT Job did. His friends ask Job to pray for them and because of Job’s prayer, God forgives Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

INTERPRETATION: Job responds to God with faith and humility.

  1. The struggle of the end of Job is real. Job concludes with a happy ending which leads us to question everything God said in the first place.
    1. Does God ACTUALLY reward the righteous and punish the wicked?
    2. Many scholars feel like the ending of Job cancels out the speeches of God in the previous chapters. Others question if this was the actual ending or tacked on later to make everything feel tied up like a bow.
  2. “The Book of Job tells how one man suddenly awakened to the anarchy rampant in the world, yet his attachment to God outlived the ruin of his tidy system.”[1]

APPLICATION: To find our own humility in suffering or prosperity, leaving the justice to God, and welcoming everyone equally to the table.

  1. Faithfulness to God should not be dependent on our fortune.
    1. Good things may happen in your life – Praise God.
    2. Bad things may happen in your life—Praise God.
    3. Grateful
    4. God is not our vending machine or magic genie that we only worship and follow when we are provided with blessings. God is to be worshipped in all times.
  2. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job together tell a story of Divine Justice that is bigger than we can understand. And honestly, I’m grateful justice is God’s responsibility and not mine… or yours. I’m grateful that God takes all things into account. The burden of judge is too great for my shoulders—every judgement I make would be biased from my own beliefs, experiences, and knowledge. My judgement wouldn’t take everything into account.
    1. Many of us have been wronged and would love to see justice or at least repentance and an apology.
      1. Imagine if the justice system determined reparations based on the victims feelings and not a separate standard?
      2. I give most people the benefit of the doubt. At my core I believe that ‘hurt people hurt people.’ But the pain had to start somewhere. Who started the web of hurt?
  3. The Scale of Justice: Job’s friends wanted to explain Job’s suffering as a direct consequence of unrepentant sin he committed. God tells Job’s friends they were wrong, Job’s suffering was just suffering.
    1. How often are we the friends of Job? How often do we keep people from the worship space, the communion table, or even from Christ because we are certain we know their sin and the judgement they will receive from God?
      1. Wealth does not indicate favor with God. Nor does poverty does not indicate disdain from God.
      2. Nothing about our lives – gender, race, religion, sexuality, political affiliation, etc—leads to greater favor with God. Those are all grains of sand on the scale of justice. God’s love, God’s character is the only thing that will change the judgement.

 CONCLUSION:

SERIES CONCLUSION: Job is a complex wisdom parable that can seem daunting at first glance. The story of Job is a parable that helps us to consider our own feelings about loss, suffering, and God.


[1] https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-book-of-job/

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