I Rest My Case Job 29-31

The Book of Job  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:47
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Have you ever watched a courtroom drama where nothing seems to be going right? The jury sets emotionless, seemingly totally unaffected by all the evidence the defendant brings and all that they have been through. The judge seems against them. He seems to always agree with the prosecutor and overrides any objection the defender brings. All the defense evidence appears to be discounted, and the prosecutor’s evidence is to say that the defendant is an evil person. You sit in disbelief as the judge and jury seemingly blindly accept the defendant's guilt. It seems that their stone-cold faces are screaming with every condemning glance that the defendant is guilty. What can the defendant do. He has argued his case for months. It cost him everything.
It is now the end of the trial, and he is presenting his last argument. When he finishes this speech, he will rest his case.
This is where Job is; at least, this is where he feels he is.

Job 29:1-17


I. Job 29 - Oh, for it to be the way it used to be.

A. 2-6 The Way it used to be.

1. God watched over me.

2. The friendship of God was over my tent.

3. Job is not arguing to have his easy, blessed life back

4. Job longed for the days when he enjoyed God’s friendship and blessing.

5. His longing for “the way it was” shows that he no longer feels he has the friendship and presence of God in his life, and that is what he wants back.

B. 7-25 People respected me because I acted righteously (see 29:14) and did righteously.

1. He delivered the poor and fatherless

2. Rescued the perishing

3. Provided for the widow.

4. Eyes to the blind

5. Feet to the lame

6. Father to the needy

7. Helped the oppressed

C. Job’s life indeed reflected how God described him in Job 1-2.

Job 1:8 “8 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?””
Job 2:3 “3 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.””
Job is what God and Job say he is. (Though he does not know that God has said this.) Job is righteous, and he is not suffering because he has sinned.
Why is Job enduring this?
Why is God so far from him?
Job’s friends are wrong; it is not because of his sin.

D. As we go into the next chapter, we will see that the bleakness of his case is seen against the backdrop of what his life has been like.

II. Job 30 – The way it is.

A. 1-8 Powerless and ignoble people mock me.

1. These are not the less fortunate.

2. These are powerless and ignoble by choice. They would not work if you paid them to sit in a chair.

3. These kind of people now laugh at Job.

B. 9-15 The unrighteous (powerless and ignoble people) who mock me now work against me because God has loosed my cord and humbled me.

1. When I knew God's blessing, my bow was ever new in my hand 29:20 (I was strong and able to defend against the enemy.)

2. Now God has loosed my cord. (I am no longer able to protect against the enemy.)

3. Now, even the lowest, most despised, and rejected people mock and spit at me.

4. All those around me are rushing to work against me.

C. 16-23 Job laments the effect of his suffering on him and recognizes God’s sovereignty in his situation, but God does nothing and seems cruel.

D. 24-31 Job says that when he cries out, he doesn’t get the help from others he used to give. He doesn’t get any help from God even though he has helped others in their distress.

1. Job feels even God is against him.

2. He expresses no confidence in God, but his continuing to state his case before God shows that he has some hope that God will hear and act on his behalf.

III. Job 31 – “If I have sinned” – Job challenges God to judge.

A. 1-4 What good was it to be righteous?

1. I had made a covenant with my eyes not to lust at a virgin.

2. How would God reward someone who desires to be righteous?

a) The implied answer is that God would bless them.

b) The implied answer is also that God would protect them.

3. God has not rewarded my desire to be righteous.

a) Instead I have seen calamity.

b) Doesn’t He see what is going on?

B. 5-40a If I have sinned, let me suffer the appropriate judgment.

1. Job here challenges God to judge him in these areas.

a) This was an ancient way of arguing innocence before a judge.

b) It is Job’s way of “forcing” God to answer.

2. Job lists many different areas in which men are often guilty of sinning.

a) If I have walked with falsehood.

(1) Let me sow and another eat.
(2) Let what grows for me be rooted out – crops be ruined

b) If I have committed adultery

(1) Let another conquer my wife.
(2) Let my wife be violated by another.
(3) He is not dishonoring his wife but saying that this would be the just retribution for adultery.

c) Mistreated servants.

d) Not shared with those who were without

e) Loved riches.

f) Rejoiced at the ruin of another.

g) Feared man.

3. If he is guilty, he asks God to judge him in appropriate ways for that sin.

a) If Job is guilty, God should carry out the curses.

b) If God does not act, Job sees God agreeing with Job’s innocence.

C. 40b – The words of Job are ended.

1. Job has spoken his peace; he has made his defense.

2. He is saying, in a sense, “I rest my case.”

3. He is at the end of his rope.

4. All he can do now is wait for God to respond – if He will respond.

5. Job has not suffered retribution in any of these common areas, which suggests that Job is not guilty of any sin in these areas.

6. Notice that at this point in his suffering, he has cried out to God, he has mourned, and he has wished he were dead. He is alone, confused, misunderstood, mocked, weak, sleepless, and tormented with dreams. His breath is foul to his wife; his body is covered with boils and misshapen, his skin is blackened and falling off. His friends accuse him of sinning and bringing this all on himself. He has lost his possessions, his station, his children, and the support of his wife.

Job 2:1–8 ESV
1 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 Lord. 2 And 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.” 3 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.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” 7 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. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

a) In all this, he has kept his integrity and not cursed God.

b) God is worth serving even though you take everything away from Job and break his health.

IV. Other things we can learn from the text.

A. In Chapters 29-31, Job’s life is a picture of Christ.

1. More blessed than Job.

2. Suffered Greater than Job.

3. More innocent than Job

4. How does this help us?

a) Displays his love.

b) Gives us more of a sense of Christ’s suffering.

c) To this point, in Job’s suffering, God did not comfort him – In the ordeal of Christ’s suffering, God did not comfort him.

d) Christ was better than Job – He did not complain.

e) What one of us does not deserve what Job endured and so much more?

f) Hebrews 12:1-2

(1) Let us all look to Christ and his suffering with the wonder of how the only truly innocent one suffered immeasurably not for himself but for us.

B. The righteous can suffer. Christ could suffer for us even though he is righteous.

1. That is amazing news for sinners who need a perfect Savior to suffer in their place.

2. God has used job’s life to show us that.

C. Sometimes, one of the blessings of knowing the whole story is knowing how it will turn out.

1. Job longs for the way it was.

2. At this point, Job’s life is nothing like it was.

3. Job didn’t know it at the time, but what job longed for wasn’t half as good as it would be.

4. We’ll wait till we get to the end of the book for that, but while we wait now and have the same kind of longing for a life free of suffering and full of blessing, we can be encouraged that “eye hath not seen nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man the things God hath prepared for those that love him. 1 Cor 2:9 that dear brother and sister is a promise you can hold on to during the darkness of suffering.

D. Hebrews 12:1-2

Hebrews 12:1–2 ESV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hymn: 248 Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended
Benediction 2 Thes 2:16-17
2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 ESV
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
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