I want to talk to you a little while on the subject, Go for The Gold, or Faith in the Furnace. I think
it could be said tonight about every person in this building that everyone here is either coming out of a
furnace, is in a furnace or is heading into a furnace. It was certainly true of Job that at this particular time
in his life he was in a furnace. Job has lost all of his health, he has lost his wealth. He has lost his fortune
and he has lost his family. He is desperately holding on to his faith in the Lord. What Job doesn't know
and you and I know having studied the book, is that Job is a test case. Behind there is something that has
taken place that lets us know that God is using Job as Exhibit A of a believer who loves the Lord not for
the things the Lord does for him, but for the Lord Himself. The story line is always behind the scenes. You
always have to look behind the scenes and see what God is doing if you really want to understand what's
happening in this world. So, behind the scenes God has said, "I'm going to use Job as my example of a
believer who will stand the test of the furnace of fire and will come out as a sterling example of what faith
in the Lord is all about."
In a series of discussions with Job's friends, in a cycle of controversy, Job's friends make their
accusations and he makes his answers. We come to chapter 22 and in verse 1 it says, "Then Eliphaz the
Temanite answered and said,..." This is the third and final cycle of these discussions. These three friends
of Job who have come and have become indeed what Job says they are are -- miserable comforters
indeed. They are what you might call the three musketeers of misery. They have come to comfort but
indeed they afflict.
What Eliphaz has to say in chapter 22 does not have a great deal of new information. It is basically
the same song, the third verse. He is basically going over the same territory that he and his friends have
already gone over. He is saying to Job, "Job, you are a sinner. Job, you are a great sinner. And Job, God
is punishing you for your sin."
In verse 5 he says of this chapter, "Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?" That's
what Eliphaz says to Job. What he is saying is - Don't you know you've become a first-class moral failure?
Don't you know that your sins are endless? We know that Job is not suffering because of his sin. Job does
not fit into the neat little formula that his friends have devised. They have raised their little formula to a
system but Job doesn't fit into their system. Now, it is normally true that when punishment comes, it is
because of sin. It is normally true that when people sin they do experience punishment and suffering. But
it is not always true in every situation. The Lo ...
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