1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
Job had a lot to think about. He was wealthy. 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
But what Job thought about most were his children and God.
He was constantly thinking about pleasing God.
This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil
He was constantly thinking about the spiritual condition of his children.
4 His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
His children seemed to be good children. They all got along. They feasted together, in their homes, not in some public hang-out where there might be undesirable influences.
Nevertheless, Job was concerned about possible sin in his children's hearts. No doubt, he prayed for his children every day. Whenever the feasts were over, Job would send for his children to have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom. Job's children were present, and were no doubt deeply touched when they watched these sacrifices being made on their behalf. I believe they were good kids because of their father's prayers and sacrifice.
This should be the #1 ministry of every Christian parent - to fear God and shun evil, and to pray for their children and to teach them God's ways, even when they are adults.
Like Job, we don't always know what our kids are doing and thinking. I know there were many stupid and sinful things that I did that my parents never knew about.
Satan challenged the Lord concerning Job.
6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." 9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. 13 One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" 16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" 17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" 18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" 20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Cut to the end of the book.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so he died, old and full of years.
The Lord gave Job back double of everything that he lost.
Before he had 7,000 sheep < afterward he had fourteen thousand.
Before he had 3,000 camels < afterward he had 6,000 camels.
Before he had 500 yoke of oxen < afterward he had a thousand yoke of oxen.
Before he had 500 donkeys < afterward he had a thousand donkeys.
The one exception was the number of new children given him. Instead of double the number (20), he was given the same number he lost (10, again 7 sons and 3 daughters).
The reason = he never lost his children. Because of his prayers and sacrifices, his children were in heaven. He would see them all again. He did end up with double the number of children. No doubt he and every one of them are with the Lord in heaven.
Often people tell me that they are looking for a significant ministry to which to give their time and effort. They usually say they want to do something great for God.
I always tell them that they have already been given the greatest ministry they will ever have = to diligently pray for and teach their children.
It is hard work. It begins by fearing God and shunning evil, just like Job. It is work that must be done every day. Lots of time and effort must be put into it. Whole days of fasting and prayer are sometimes needed.
Those who diligently perform this ministry will be blessed in eternity.
Those who don't diligently perform this ministry will be very sorry that they didn't.
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