Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
October 7, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Why Do the Righteous People Suffer?
Description

Why Do the Righteous People Suffer?
“ There was a man…whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewedevil”., Thou he slay me, yet will I trust him…” Job 1:1, 13:15.

There is an historic tendency of people to view others
in terms of factors that include gender, race, ethnicity,
nationality, occupation and even religiosity. While these
practices often promote discrimination and other forms
of inequality, there is one of them – religiosity, that involves
a personal judgement on another’s religious commitment.
The undergirding concept is righteous. Our biblical seminar
for today is the concept of righteous with respect to
individual suffering.
The study will include the following three dimension,
namely: definition of righteous, the acquisition of righteous,
living realities of the righteous person.

 

P.2 There are several definitions of righteous, some of which
are: a state of living in accordance with moral percepts, living
by religious ( Judeo Christian ) standards, behavior consistent
with morality and without sin or guilt. It is defined in Smith’s
Bible Dictionary as “One who pursues the right course” and in
Webster’s collegiate Dictionary as “ acting in accord with divine
or moral law.” In sum, these and many other definitions of
righteous embody a common core which is – action that is
morally upright. Having provided some definitions of
righteous, attention will now be focused on the second
dimensions of this study which is – how does one acquire
the status of righteous? First and foremost, it must be
stated that righteous is not inherited, nor is it acquired through
family, school, nor religious training. The answer is clearly taught
in the Bible, hence, it is a divine process as shown in the life of
Abraham. He “believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for
righteousness” ( Gen. 15:6 ). This assertion regarding Abram,

P. 3
his name at the time, is ample support to conclusion that Job
was a righteous person since is described as an upright man
who believed God and hated evil. Since both Abram and Job
are herein depicted as being righteous, it can be concluded that
this designation can be attained through one’s having a belief in
God – i.e., having faith in God as recorded in Heb. 11:6 “…he that
cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder
of them that diligently seek him”. Righteousness was also a topic
addressed by Jesus in which he warned against personal action
and knowledge as being insufficient to receive righteousness.
He said, “…that except your righteousness shall exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case
enter into the kingdom of heaven”.
While conforming to the demands of righteous and awaiting
entrance into the kingdom of heaven, a cogent question becomes
why do such persons, the righteous, suffer? This baffling question

P. 4
is the third, and final, consideration in the Biblical Seminar for
today. Ideally, every normal person tends to prefer pleasure to
pain, health to illness, and peace of mind to prolonged suffering.
Therefore, it becomes an anomaly for the “righteous” person to
experience lingering suffering. The puzzling question become –
why am I suffering while being a righteous person? Admittedly,
an answer to this question often seems nebulous, if not illusive.
This biblical seminar will seek to provide a practical explanation
for this question by citing biblical documentation using Abraham
and Job. While Abraham believed in God and had righteousness
imputed unto him, he had to endure some mixed emotions when
Sarah demanded that he would remove Hagar and his son from
their household; yet he did and continued to believe in God.
The next person, Job, was righteous but nonetheless
experienced
protracted suffering through losses that included his property,
children, wife’ patience, three friend’ confidence, and his health.

P. 5
Amidst those adversities, Job’s first reaction represented his
human nature as reflected in the words, “Let the day perish
when I was born…” but he continued to believe in God,
maintaining
his righteous stance, as reflected in utterances that included:
“naked was I when I came into the world…the Lord giveth and the
Lord taketh away…I know that my Redeemer liveth…and though
he slayeth me, yet will I trust him.
In closing, beloved, Job’ – a righteous man – faith was
vindicated
as reflected in his recovery and abundant prosperity. This
episode does not imply that his experience can be duplicated by
ever person; however, it does give contemporary humanity a
model to embrace especially during times of troubles and
sorrows. His sojourn, further, helps us, the underlying, to avoid
the question of – is God punishing me after all the good I have

P. 6
done? A more blunt question may be why me?
To offset a feeling of guilt, a quandary puzzling questions, and a
state of depression, firmly recall God assertion that His ways are
not as ours nor is His thoughts like ours. Hence, let us resolve to
trust in God to keep us under the canopy of His care, Amen.

 

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