Job is one of my favorite books of the Bible. There’s SO much to learn from this book! Even in the first 35 verses. It’s a great place to take people who have a habit of either blaming Satan for all bad things (thus excusing God) or acknowledging God’s role in painful circumstances … and blaming Him.
God tells Satan what a great and godly guy Job is. To which Satan responds, “… stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” (Job 1:12 ESV). Then God gives permission for Satan to do anything he wants with Job except take his life.
So how does Job respond when Satan kills his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels servants… and even Job’s own children, killed when wind collapsed their home:
…Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 1:20-21
Did Job “curse God to his face” as Satan predicted?
No. Just the opposite.
Did Job do what we might do (and what we Christians often do)? Blame Satan for the evil that befell him? Say that God allows us to choose to sin and since we are in a sinful world, sometimes bad things happen?
No. Even though Satan was the immediate agent of the horror that befell Job, Job gave God the credit: “… the Lord has taken away.”
Did Job therefore blame God?
No. Job worshiped God: “… blessed be the name of the Lord.”
What kind of guy was this Job, anyway? Too holy to be true. Well, like us, Satan was not convinced, so he said to God, “… stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” (2:6) Once more, God gives Satan permission to strike Job’s flesh, while sparing his life. So Satan gave Job “loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (2:7)
Is that what Job did? No.
… he said to [his wife], “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (2:10)
Again, Job gives God credit for the evil Satan perpetrates. And Job refuses to sin, but instead accepts that God has the right to bring… evil? Wow. That’s something to ponder.
I frankly don’t have a problem with God’s sovereign control over all that comes to pass, including evil things (like Jesus’ death).
But how the heck did Job manage to accept his horrific circumstances as God’s prerogative and – more than that – to worship the Lord in the midst of his overwhelming pain and loss?
All I can think is this: the One who Himself endured overwhelming pain and loss on my behalf gave Job the wisdom and faith to do so.
And He can do the same for me.
Today’s Readings: Job 1:1-2:13, Psalm 91:9-13, Proverbs 22:13-14, Romans 7:1-25. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).