Day 1 - Job 1:1-3, 13-19
Through the Highs and Lows
The book of Job can perhaps speak loudest to us right now in our confusion when it comes to feeling like our pain and suffering is unfair. These circumstances bring a reality to the forefront: no one gets through life completely unscathed. Everybody bleeds a little. A sinful world means brokenness, pain, and dysfunction, and sometimes we can feel the weight of that heavily. However, in the midst of this, we get to see God’s sovereignty over suffering in Job’s story and His ability to work all things for the good of those who believe in Him. Let’s start from the beginning:
1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
We learn from the start that Job is the real deal. He has an incredible amount of respect in the land of Ancient Arabia. His character is unblemished, and he is doing very well for himself financially. On top of all of these things, Job genuinely loves the Lord. What’s striking is that he had such a prosperous life and yet he remained pious. All the great things on Earth did not deter him from his love for God.
Unlike Job, many of us tend to distance ourselves from God when everything seems to be going our way. We often believe the lie that we can get through life on our own or we forget who brought us here in the first place. Job shows us a great example that God is deserving of our worship and attention through all times! That leads us to these questions:
How is your relationship with God when everything seems to be going right? Does it change when things don’t go your way? Why?
Job’s fortunes quickly take a turn for the worse when God permits Satan to deal with Job’s life as he sees fit.
13 Now on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
In an instant, Job loses everything. His wealth is gone, he has lost almost all of his workers, and perhaps the closest pain to Job’s heart: he loses his children. What’s so important to see is that Job is not being punished for a specific sin, but instead is being refined in faith by a permitted calamity. Our faith is very much like gold: it’s beautiful, but it contains impurities. Although it feels difficult and hard, God allows certain painful things in our life, but He promises He will be with us and shape us through them. Be careful not to assume that the pain in your life is the direct punishment of God because that certainly wasn’t the case for Job. Consider this:
How important is it for us that we see that Job's suffering was not directly connected to any evil deed? How can that shape the way we view the suffering in our life?
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