God Pays Dividends

Remember when things in Job’s life went wrong? Remember his friends try to convince Job he must have sin in his life or these bad things would not happen to him? Remember Job’s friends were trying to convince Job that God was punishing him because of his sin?

There are “friends” and even pastors who teach Job’s friends message today. They teach if bad things are happening to you it is God punishing you for your sin. Three questions:

1. Were Job’s friends right or wrong?
2. Did Jesus pay for all your sin at the cross?
3. If Jesus paid your sin debt at the cross, why would God still punish you for your sin?

When bad things happen in your life be very careful what comes out of your mouth. Some people falsely blame God and walk away from the Lord. Some pray and seek the Lord and lean on Jesus. And some let their hardships define the rest of their life.

Paul mentioned those who depart from the faith – 1 Timothy 4:1 KJV “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

The Lord tells us to trust him. We lean on the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
” Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
[6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

There are two scripture examples I want to point out where  people let their problems in life define them. Rachel, Jacob’s wife and Naomi, both tried to identify their life by their hardships. Let me explain briefly but read the account in Genesis 35 and the book of Ruth 1:19-22.

Rachel’s name means ewe. Rachel had two of the 12 sons of Jacob and Rachel struggled with her sister Leah over Leah being more fertile than she. You can read the account in Genesis. But notice when Rachel was giving birth to her second son, Benjamin in Genesis 35:16-20, Rachel was going to die in child birth. And as Benjamin was born, Rachel wanted Benjamin’s name to be Benoni. Benoni means son of my sorrow.

Rachel wanted to carry her sorrows and put her sorrows on her son for his whole life. Did Benjamin deserve to have a name about his mother’s sorrows? No. Benjamin had nothing to do with Rachel’s sorrows. Notice how Jacob handled this.

Genesis 35:18 KJV  “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin.”

Benjamin means son of the right hand. Rachel was going to weigh Benjamin down for his whole life for something that affected Rachel, not Benjamin.

Another is Naomi. Naomi, her husband and their two sons leave God’s people and go to live with the heathen in Moab. Her two sons marry heathen Moabites. One son marries Orpah and the other son marries Ruth.

Then Naomi’s husband dies, then her two sons die. Naomi has now lost everything she left Bethlehem with, her family. Who did Naomi blame? God. And Naomi wanted to carry her hardships with her and let her hardships identify who she was for the rest of her life. How do we know?

Naomi means my delight. When Ruth went with Naomi, back to Bethlehem, Naomi told her friends in Bethlehem,  

Ruth 1:20-22 KJV  “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
[21] I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
[22] So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley harvest.”

Naomi wanted to go from, my delight to Mara which means bitter. She wanted the rest of her life to be known as bitter. Like Rachel who wanted her son to be labeled for his whole life as the son of my sorrows, Naomi wanted to be known as bitter.

Naomi chose to leave Bethlehem with her husband and sons. She lost everything. Naomi could not do anything about loosing her husband and two sons. But now Naomi needed to decide what she would do and she chose to go back to God’s land, God’s people. We read the book of Ruth, four short chapters, and we learn Ruth ends up marrying Boaz. Who is Boaz? King David’s great grandfather.

Rachel and Naomi fought battles they were suppose to go through. But instead of going through the battles, they wanted to carry the battles with them. They wanted the battles to define their life and who they were. And Naomi blamed God. Sound like Job’s wife?

Job 2:9-10 KJV  “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
[10] But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

We all go through tough times, hardships and persecution but God tells us if we stick with him through this season in our life, as believers, he will pay us a dividend. 2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

We will pick it up from here next time, Lord willing.

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