Hear the Word of the Lord from Job 39. The Lord is speaking to Job out of a whirlwind, saying, “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, forgetting that a foot may crush them, and that the wild beast may trample them. She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding. When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider.” Job 39:13-18 ESV
Job is offered up as a test.
The Lord didn’t leave out any of the human details of Job’s situation. Job was a righteous man who prayed and offered up sacrifices. The Lord had blessed him with houses, servants, cattle and all the things that attributed to wealth in that generation.
One day, Satan, running to and fro, came before the Lord. The Lord asked, “Where have you been?” Satan answered, “I’ve been running around looking at the people.” And the Lord asked, “Have you considered my servant Job?” So, don’t be mad if God suddenly puts you on the chopping block! Just know He has faith in you.
Satan replied, “Yes, I saw your servant Job. You’ve blessed him and have a hedge around him. If you remove his blessings, he’ll curse you!” God said, “Take his blessings.” If God allowed your family, possessions, health and finances to be taken away from you, how many would still say, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”? There were attacks from Satan until everything Job had was gone, and although Job doubted, he did not sin against God.
Satan came to the Lord again for permission to touch Job’s body. The Lord gave permission, and boils appeared all over Job until he was scraping boils with pieces of potsherd. When one of my kids start throwing up, I get queasy, but Job endured the anguish and pain. His wife had compassion on him and said, “Job, just curse God and die!” But Job refused to curse God. I know spouses who would say, “Yeah, I knew you should have taken out the trash and treated me better. Look at you now.”
Job’s friends come to judge him.
Your emotions, your spirit and your body get out of whack when you are really sick and need comfort. Job’s three friends only pointed to his failures. “You’ve messed up, buddy. God must be judging you, because you’ve sinned!” They had no idea what was going on, while the poor guy had to lie there with boils under his armpits, on his nose, legs, feet and toes.
God brought judgment upon the three friends. We don’t always know what God is up to. Be careful in your treatment of brothers and sisters struggling with pain. If you give a word to somebody, make sure you’re tapped into the Spirit. God may be raising them to another level, because He trusts them. Unless Job prayed for them, God would come down. “Forget about Satan messing with you. I’ll mess with you, because you messed with one of mine.”
The younger man there kept his mouth shut while the three elders spoke. Our generation needs to keep our mouths shut and honor our elders while they speak. This young man waited, but his anger was bubbling inside. We young men get passionate about stuff, but the young man did speak wisely, “Who are we to speak against God? Who are we to judge God?” In his judgment of the three, God didn’t mention the young man.
The voice of God speaks to Job.
Then, God showed up in a whirlwind, looking for Job. “Job, stand up and dress yourself for action like a man and answer some questions.” God’s voice shakes not only mountains but heaven and earth! My voice barely gets my kids to clean their rooms, but the mere whisper of God can shake us to our core.
God addressed His righteous servant that He loved so much, “Where were you, Job, when I created the heavens and the earth? Did you fling the stars into the sky? Did you create the burning ball of fire in the sky? Did you tell the rivers and waters where to go? Have you been to the depths of the ocean? I’ve been there, Job. I walked it. Where were you, Job, when I created the leviathan, with fire in his breath and scales like iron?”
Job, as humble as pie, says, “Behold, I’m of a small account. What shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I’ve spoken once. I will not answer twice, but I will proceed no further.”
If you, good parents, after a tongue-lashing to your children, heard them say, “You’re right. I was wrong. I’m sorry. I’m not going to talk anymore,” you would say, “All right, you’ve learned your lesson. You can go now.” But God said, “I’m not halfway finished with you, Job. I will question you, and you make it known to me.” God pursued him to his core! He didn’t let Job off because of his humility.
We’re too casual in approaching God.
We’re too casual in our hearts with God. Do we fear our spouse, the boss, etc. more than we fear God? We misconceive the fear of the Lord as dread and never being able to approach Him, but the fear of the Lord is an awe and respect for Him. My children know I love them, yet they fear me as their daddy. They know I mean whatever I say. Like rebellious teenagers, we grownups may not want to listen to God anymore. “Resurrect a brand-new fear of you in us, God. Lay us on your surgery table! Cut out of us everything that is not like you with your Word!”
We listen to commentaries, journalists and everyone else, but do we refuse to listen to His voice? Whether in a whisper or a whirlwind, I want Him to speak to me!
Somebody’s trying to get to the Father’s table.
We’ve memorized our points of truth and three steps to salvation. We’re Apostolic. We can do this! “God forgive us! Help us to be open to the voice of truth speaking into our lives.” The Bible says, “Buy the truth, and sell it not.” Truth isn’t just an idea or philosophy or creed. Truth is a person! Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Proud Pharisees and Sadducees learned the Old Testament, sitting on momma’s knee. They knew the law, but they scoffed when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
Jesus told them, “You keep people away from heaven.” What? Could it be that we keep people away from the Father’s table, because it’s ‘my Father, my house’ and only I say who comes in and who doesn’t?”
What is okay for the ostrich is not okay for the church.
Ostriches, the tallest and heaviest of all birds, do not fly. They can cover 16 feet in one stride and run over 40 miles per hour with skinny legs that can kill a lion, and there’s no record of an ostrich ever burying its head in the sand. Female ostriches lay 40-100 eggs a year. During the incubation period of 35-45 days, the nests are raided by predators, and only ten percent of the eggs survive. The Lord said, “She deals cruelly with her young as if they were not even hers.” She doesn’t care. She has no fear!
I put my Bible down and wept! The church is the bride of Christ, the mother to bring in children, raise sons and daughters and make disciples. We so quickly forget the church was put here by Jesus Christ himself for only one purpose, “Go and make disciples.” Everything we do should point to making disciples. What is okay for the ostrich is not okay for the church!
God requires repentance first, period.
Jesus said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod.” Herod had the head of John the Baptist lopped off at the request of a wicked woman, but he wanted nothing to do with repentance. If you at any time lop the head off repentance and the convicting Word of God, you won’t hear anything else from the Master. It doesn’t matter how many messages are preached in this pulpit. If we refuse to repent, His Word will lie dead on this carpet, and it will not reach into the hearts of the hearers. We all need to repent! If we prepare the ground, God’s going to flood this city with His rain!
What’s your motive for all that you do?
What’s your motive for being here? Are we more concerned with how we look than making disciples? Is our focus on the babes that walk in to feel the love of God, when we smile and talk to them? The Sadducees and Pharisees’ deeds were to be seen. The Sadducees and Pharisees wanted all to see they were followers of Jehovah. They could easily have sung, “There is no God like Jehovah.” They could walk to the temple on bridges without walking below where the peasants were. Some people come to church just so the pastor will see them. I love to see you, but that can’t be your motive. What’s your motive?
God demands some things of His church.
You don’t want God asking you these questions before the judgment seat. Be thankful for a pastor who will ask these questions now. He’ll ask me questions one day, too. “What did you do with my sheep? Did you feed them? Did you tell them what I told you to tell them?” I want to stand before Him with a clear conscience and say, “I told them every word. I didn’t hold anything back!” God has some demands of us!
Are we laboring and toiling in vain?
What a waste it would be to come week after week, laboring, toiling and putting all of this together and forget about the people that were supposed to be here.
I know you’re strong and know how to pray when St. Louis is going nuts. You know how to guard yourself, but there are people that are new to this and are terrified when trouble comes. They need help. They’re not strong enough yet. They don’t know as much scripture as you. They don’t know how to pray!
Where’s the church? The church is all safe, bundled up in their homes. Be men and women of God who stay around the nest of those who are still young and weak in the faith. Offer to stand with them and pray and battle together. “Oh, God, give us compassion, love and power that will burn in us as a church!”
Our Father demands an answer from us.
Who’s in your circle of influence? Who do you know on your street, at school, or at work that needs God? Your Father has spoken to you tonight and demands an answer. “Lord, give us your ways. Give us your heart. Help us to see as you see and feel the way you feel about the crowd. Don’t let us be like the ostrich who proudly waves her wings and has no fear but leaves her young to the predators of the earth!” (Hear the entire sermon at: https://vimeo.com/235281576)
Bio: Bro. Aaron Batchelor, along with his beautiful wife, Breanna, has pastored New Life St. Louis in Bridgeton, Mo. since 2015. They are blessed with two daughters, Breleigh (11), Reagan (8) and one son, Gentry (6). The Bachelors desire to see the Kingdom of God expanded and many churches started in the Greater St. Louis area.