As a believer, I grew up in the churchand have always heard of Job’s story. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of times I have heard a sermon preached on him, or someone comparing themselves to Job but I can tell you how many times I have personally sat down and began reading his story: 0. Don’t be too shocked, but that’s my truth. I had never read Job’s story for myself to see what maybe God would reveal to me about it. (It’s one thing to go to church and see a sermon and hear someone’s interpretation of a scripture but a whole other to actually sit down and read it for yourself to see what God wants to show you.) But in the first chapter alone, I found myself inspired, encouraged and convicted. Let me tell you!!
Though I could give you a full synopsis of the story based on what I have heard, read online, or from my notes years ago; I won’t. I will begin with a summary of what I have personally read so far. In Chapter 1 we are introduced to Job, a man who is considered “blameless and upright,” a man who “feared God and shunned evil. (verse 1)” We are told of all the possessions (riches) that he has, of his family, and the joy that his sons have as they are always throwing parties. (I love how in the bible, we see people celebrating with parties for almost anything. It goes back to God’s desire for us to celebrate, be full of thanksgiving and praise! Just a side note.) As you read the first half of chapter 1 you could say that Job had it all and was living the good life. What I love is in verse 5 after all the “feasting” and celebration, Job wakes up and gives God a burnt offering saying, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their heart.” Again, we are seeing just why this man was considered blameless, upright, fearing God and shunning evil. In the midst of celebration and joy he still wanted to honor, respect and fear his God! If you wanted to to take that verse a step forward you could also say that a parent (Job in this case) is a safeguard for their children. Praying for them and covering them is part of the responsibility.
But as in every story of a man or woman chosen by God who is walking in purpose, satan himself comes to steal, kill and destroy. In this case (in my opinion) he came to steal Job’s joy and peace, kill his family and his spirit, and destroy his faith in God. In verses 6-12, as the angels of God came to present themselves to our Lord, satan comes along with them to God (satan does not have the authority to ever just enter God’s presence unannounced). We see that God begins to brag on His beloved Job saying “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. (v.8)” Satan, being the disrespectful adversary that he is then goes to say that the only reason God can say this about Job is because God has blessed Job and given him the desires of his heart. Insinuating that if God were to take all of his riches and children from him that Job would surely “curse [God] to [his] face]” (v.11). God gives satan permission to take Job’s possessions (satan could not just walk up to Job and begin messing with him, he had to first ask Permission to the creator of Job– God), with the stipulation that he is not to “lay a finger on Job (v.11).” I am pretty sure at this moment that satan is feeling like has done something! He thinks he has Job right where he wants but what satan did not see that God knew was that Job’s love, fear honor, and respect for Him was never because of the things He blessed Job with but because of who He is, was and will always be! When our love and faith in God is based on the material blessings He has bestowed upon us, the minute the devil plays with those things, our faith begins to falter and the enemy can and will have a field day with our lives.
As chapter 1 continues, I realized how many lessons I can take from Job to apply to my life. When satan leaves God’s presence, he goes and destroys everything Job has: his livestock, material riches and even his children. As he gets news of this tragedy, Job is in anguish (as he should be). He “tore his robe and shaved his head (v.20)” The shaving of the head was a usual ceremony during that time to signify mourning and Job had a lot to mourn. Imagine losing everything you had, everything that you believed in all your heart that God has blessed you with. What would you have done if you were Job and received this kind of news? Be honest! Would you be angry with God? Would you curse God? What would you do? I’ll tell you what Job did! He “fell to the ground and worship!” Wow, can I get an Amen?! As I am writing this I just want to jump and shout for joy yall! Job worshipped!! In the midst of the worst news he could have received, he worshipped His creator and said this amazing prayer in verse 21-22
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord give and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
What Job did in the midst of that I am sure brought great joy to God’s heart but is also very similar to what David did after the death of his son (2Samuel 12:20) and Hezekiah (2Kings 19:1). I don’t know about you but this chapter convicted me. How many times have we had things taken from us, has the devil come into our lives and tried to break us, and in the midst of that we sinned, we cursed God, we ran from Him and blamed Him? If I am being honest with myself, I have done that a lot. More times than I am proud to admit but Job did not do that. He worshipped God in the midst of the fire. He honored Him and did not sin! He knew that God was more than the things he had. He knew that the same God who gives has the power to take but will always restore! He understood that the nature of God and who God is, is bigger than what he was going through in that moment.
So with that, I challenge you today to ask God to help you if you struggle with running from Him and worshipping Him in the midst of tribulation and loss and frustration. Repent if you have fallen and failed in this area. I know I have. I hope this encouraged and convicted you because I know it did for me.
A Walking Testimony