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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 2: Job – Found Bad Things Happen To Good People


Job 1:11-22.

Found Bad Things Happen To Good People

How Satan was able to enter God’s presence here, let alone hold a discussion with God is beyond me. However, it is recorded for us so we must accept it.

What I want to focus on is Job’s response to utter devastation.

Just put yourself in his shoes for a moment. You have lived a blameless life (this wasn’t Job’s assessment; it was God’s); you have brought up your children the best you know how and taught them to honour their parents and God. However, you guess that ‘boys will be boys and girls, girls’ so it was just possible that amongst their celebrations they may have over-stepped the mark. You take it upon yourself to clear their name before the God you honour and serve.

Life is successful, rewarding and enjoyable. In fact, it probably couldn’t have got much better, when suddenly things happen which are worst than your most devastating nightmare. In fact, if you had applied all your creative destructive thinking, you would not have been able to come up with the half of it. The full force of the enemy is let loose on you.

First of all, the surviving servant looking after Job’s oxen and donkeys arrived to announce that the Sabeans had attacked and killed his fellow servants and ridden off with all the animals.

He had hardly finished his report when another sole survivor revealed his tale of woe. All the sheep and his fellow workers had been destroyed by lightning.

Even as he was finishing his tragic story, another man burst into the conversation to add that the Chaldeans had come in three raiding parties, driven off all the camels and killed the keepers.

Lastly, as he was nearing the end of his outburst, another servant arrived and began delivering the most painful blow of all.

Yes, it was hard enough for Job to have to listen to the news of the destruction of his wealth and business, his present and future, but then he had to hear the last heart-rending account. All of his sons and daughters were killed when the building they were sheltering and celebrating in collapsed on them. Not one escaped.

All Job had left were his wife and the four messengers of doom. How would you feel? Really, stop and think for a moment – how does one deal with tragedy of that magnitude? I guess most of us have had to experience things we would prefer not to, but have any of us experienced anything that extreme? Very few of us, I would suggest.

He was devastated. He reacted, as anyone would expect. He expressed utter grief.

Yet, through it all, he held firm to his trust in God. A good God. One He may not understand but One who knew what was going on, and One who cared, despite all that Job had to endure. Job never accused God for the evil that happened to him – on the contrary, he praised God for being there for him.

I shall never forget when our baby died of cot death at 10 weeks old, my wife and I sat on our bed and cried our eyes out. Yet through the grief, misery and devastation, we were able to thank the Lord that at least we could turn to Him for help and comfort at such an awful moment.

Job would say to us today...

God is not interested in your happiness. He wants to give you joy in the midst of pain, and peace in the midst of turmoil. God is much more interested in our character than our convenience and circumstances. You need to learn to trust God in every situation and know He knows what He is doing in your life.


Father, please help me remember that this life is not all there is – I am destined for eternity. Help me learn to trust You through all the hard times and never forget that through it all You are there, and You are good. Amen.

Additional readings

Genesis 37:17-35; Habakkuk 3:1-19; Romans 8:28-39.


Why do we think the Christian life should be easy?

Why is God not interested in our happiness?

How do you react when things go wrong in your life?

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