Hello and happy Friday
I started the book of Job today and wow.
Sooooo many questions.
Satan was chatting it up with God one day??? What is this??? And then God points out this fellow named Job and next thing you know He is letting Satan test the poor man with enough onslaught of sudden and overwhelming disasters that it boggles the mind. And God continues to weigh the character of the man and is assured he will come through with his faith in tact.
Before I can even wrap my mind about this whole scenario, I am hit up with the visits and advice and interjections of Job’s friends, which I have heard some sermons and teachings on and even though I know from these that the friends could all have taken some courses in how to love and support someone in times of crisis, I still see large chunks of truth in their comments.
As I approach the book yet another year scratching my head and praying for insight and understanding through the Holy Spirit in me to teach me from this book, I pause to notice a few things.
First is a great clearing up of a major misconception for Christ followers, or at least this Christ follower.
Living for God and serving Him wholeheartedly is absolutely no guarantee for a life of ease and what we would call “blessings” here on planet earth.
Here is the description of Job from The Message:
“Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughter. He was also very wealthy …the most influential man in all the East!”Job 1: 1-3 The Message, Eugene Peterson
He was also an involved and concerned parent. Quite honestly, a rarity in most of the figures of the Bible as we see that godly kings and priests often failed to raise godly children.
And yet, God allowed all that was of earthly blessing to be stripped away from him, and not in a long progression like most of our trials come, but fell swoop.
I wince a little when I read this description and then the trials that follow because it flies in the face of a little false teaching that was somehow planted and fostered early in my faith walk. It went like this…if you just do everything right and follow God and honor Him, then everything will go well for you and you will be happy.
It is the false teaching that when things do get lost and destroyed drives us to ask the assumption that either we failed to dot some I or cross some T, or God is unfair and has gone afoul of some promise that we assumed He had made to us.
It makes us wonder if He is a trickster or if we didn’t read the fine print well or we waste our time hashing over our track record to see where it was exactly we dropped the ball that brought this unwanted penalty.
So I look at Job and I marvel.
Because on the day where he lost all his wealth and all of his children, all the material and physical things that represented God’s provision and blessing, it says he stood up and did the things that expressed the deepest of grief in his culture. He ripped his robe, he shaved his head and then he fell to the ground and worshiped.
Yes he grieved but then he worshiped.
That is who we are.
We read the Bible to learn who God is and who we are.
We are people who live out this mystery that is life on planet earth with moments of great joy and prosperity and we live with moments when all that is precious to us is ripped from our hands and we feel like we have been sucker punched to the point of no recovery.
And like Job we realize that both extremes and all the moments in between are smoke and vapor. We suddenly remember that like the words of psalmists in Scripture and bards of secular music through the ages, life here is very temporary.
Which makes us look to God because we are wired for eternity.
And while the scene in the Throne Room leaves me with questions that I am thankful I am allowed by His Sovereign grace to ask, I have read the end of this curious book called Job and I know that God, when He has His say, will put us in our place and remind us who He is.
And who He is is awesome and powerful beyond our understanding. His grace and mercy and kindness are without measure and thus His authority over us can be trusted even when it cannot be understood or explained.
And who He is is God who knows well our human frailties and our faults and our shortcomings and yet is cheering us on when He knows we have given our hearts towards loving and following Him no matter what.
And so we, like Job, in joy and in grief, are left with one obvious choice … to bow down in any and all season and worship Him who alone is worthy of glory and honor and praise <3