Job 1-2; we begin the readings in Job this week. The book begins with such a negative scene, one might wonder how it can help people of faith.
“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” Job 2:10b. This is an interesting principle of faith for all believers right now. As the Covid-19 continues, the political parties rhetoric, the social rebellion and destruction in our cities, the hurricane season with its destruction, the schools and university’s dilemma for opening and the professional sports teams forgetting they play a game not politics, have all added to a dysfunctional time of humanity. When there should be a drawing close to one another, we have social distancing and protective masks to wear. Churches are struggling with returning congregations and financial hardships. Now that I have gotten all the negativity out of my system for a couple of minutes, hopefully I can give you a message of hope and current reality for living.
The verse mentioned above somehow gets lost in the devastation that Job goes through. I a mere few chapters this wealthy, humble and man of God loses everything. Everything in his possessions, children and even his health. Yet, “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” [1:22] I know that I am no Job! When we think about how Job’s situation started, we should be humbled by the question God asks Satan – “Have you considered My servant Job?” What a question! How did God come to ask this question? Obviously, our Father in Heaven knows that Satan is an accuser of the brethren and wants to hold us up as failures in the faith. SO here is Satan in the throne room of God and God “asks him where he came from. [1:7] I have come from roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” [1 Peter 5:8] From this we should know that the adversary is seeking whom he may devour. He is the force of darkness and the inhabitant of earth. Evil does not come from God; evil came from free will and Satan and we have chosen in our lives to chose self instead of obedience to God.
Back to Job, he did not sin in all that came upon him. His wife [2:9-10] tells Job to curse God and die. This does not sound like an encouraging wife to a man who has lost everything. Maybe she had in mind for him to end his pain.
But Job’s question in 1:10, should we accept the good from God and not also the adversity? All that we are going through right now is it persecution or adversity or punishment? Our choice will determine our response. God is good, and all the time God is good. We sing the song but are we convinced of this? James 1 tells us about the trying of our faith through tribulations and trials; so how are we doing? Are we complainers or comforters to others? Job was severely tested, yet he maintained his integrity.
God knew Job, Job trusted God. While Job could have rationally blamed God for all that had happened, he fully trusted in the LORD. As we have traveled through this chaotic 2020 year, I like many of you do not see a peaceful future or better yet a light at the end of the tunnel. We ask ourselves “when will this all end?” I do not know! I do know that we are to be the “Children of Light and Salt.” The world [lost] are looking to us for answers, but if we only give them disgruntled responses to difficult questions and not give them HOPE OF THE GOSPEL we have failed. Whether we live or whether we die we are the LORD’s.
We who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, our redeemer and very present help in time of need; must resolve to stay the journey. Something about the story of Job – He was the only one tested; sure, there were effects on others, but he was the object of the Faith test. He was not perfect, and he did cry out to God for his day in court. But in the end, Job was sorely tested and endured the trials. Why because he trusted that in whatever came upon him, His God – Jehovah was able to deliver him!
The same powerful, loving, and compassionate God Job has is the very same one who is at work in our lives. Stay the course! Increase your faith through perseverance and trials. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Encourage one another with these words.