Updated: Sep 20, 2019
So we’ve seen that Jonah had so much anger towards the Assyrians that he said he’d rather die than share God’s forgiveness with them. Moses wanted to die because he was assuming unrealistic amount of responsibility and expectations and couldn’t delegate. Elijah wanted to die because he lost his perspective and focused only on the defeats and threats, forgetting all God had done.
This week we focus on Job. Job is the icon of undeserved suffering. We know why he suffered, but he didn’t. Isn’t it the unknown behind suffering that makes it hard? I mean, if God would tell us (in great detail) how a particular painful situation in our life, or in someone else’s life, will be used by Him we’d be more inclined to roll with it. But of course, then we would not need to respond to suffering in faith would we.
Back to Job.
God presents Job as “pure, upright, fearing God and turning from evil” (1:1). That’s the first verse in the book and Job already has a statement of innocence from God. Not bad. I’d put that on my vita for sure.
Satan enters the scene and says that Job is only faithful to God because God has bribed him to be faithful.
“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?” (1:9-10).
Note that this is really a stinging indictment on the character of God: Satan in insinuating that God is so pathetic that he must buy his followers – that no one would follow Him because of His character, for who He actually is. So God gives Satan permission to afflict Job. And Satan sets off with very clear and specific goal: to get Job to “curse you to your face” (1:11, 2:5).
Satan’s first attempt towards this goal: Strip Job of his wealth (1:13-16), his servants (1:17), his family (1:18-19). But it didn’t work. Job praised God (1:21-22). Note that instead of Job “cursing God” he praises God. Score: God 1, Satan 0.
Satan’s second attempt towards this goal: Strip Job of his health (2:5), Job is in anguish and says “Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” (3:11). Again, note that instead of Job “cursing God” (as his wife suggested) he accepts the evil from God along with the blessings from God – and - don’t miss this - “In all this Job did not sin by what he said” (2:10) – in other words, Job did not curse God as Satan said he would. Score: God 2, Satan 0.
A couple observations come to mind:
God is sovereign and has a purpose behind every painful situation. There is nothing that is beyond the reach of his gracious redeeming hand. Are we willing to trust God when we don’t understand something?
We can choose to follow God for who He is, not just for what he gives us.
Do we love Him, or just the benefits He gives us?
We should anticipate that the enemy will test us in our motivation and devotion with which we follow God.
Enjoy walking with the Savior Today,