Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lessons from Job

Job1:1- There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

I've been wanting to write about the accounts of Job. There is a lot to take in. And I'm not finished yet! God allowed satan to tempt Job to see if he would lose faith in God...tempt and torment only but not take his life. Job lost just about everything he had, livestock, sons, daughters and servants, and illness overtook him. He was a righteous man and these things happened to him. What did he do? Tore his robe, shaved his head (customs for grieving), fell to the ground and WORSHIPED.

In time his wife told him to curse God and die! His friends throughout the book told him he must have sinned and he should humble himself before God and ask for forgiveness. But Job knew he had done no wrong. Instead he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. (Job 1:21-22)

Why do bad things happen to good people? The easy answer is because. Because God will allow it. Part of it is to see what we are truly made of. Will we, like Job, worship Him? Will we stand firm in our faith and trust in Him? Often it seems the better people have more trials than the bad.

Repeatedly Job points out to his friends that God has allowed these trials in his life. Despite his righteousness, Job still moans about all he's going through and asks questions as to why but I don't think he expects an answer. He really already knows. Don't you think the severity of a trial might affect anyone's  ability to think clearly for a time? He asks his friends, Who can question what God does? He does what He desires. His friends continue to falsely accuse Job. Job continues to rebuke them (miserable comforters are you all!) while heartfelt cries and worship go out to God. He is a man in pain yet a man who will not shake his fist in the face of God though He has worn Job out (Job 16:7).  After all the words of torment he proclaims: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God... (Job 19:25-26).  Praise God!

He reminds his so-called friends, and perhaps himself: God removes, overturns, shakes. He commands, seals off, spreads out and treads...on nature and the elements. He does great things past finding out. With Him are wisdom, strength and prudence...if He breaks down, imprisons, withholds, sends out, leads and overthrows, He can reverse them. He deprives and takes away, pours out contempt, uncovers, brings, makes and destroys, yet enlarges and guides. He bruises but binds up; He wounds but His hands make whole; He delivers and redeems. He raises up the humble and brings down the haughty (various scriptures throughout Job). Yet Job declared: Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him (Job 13:15).

He questions his friends on what they have done to help, save or counsel others. Can they do it better than God? It's foolishness to think we can help God out in any way, He is the one with all the power. Listen to this: He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it. He covers the face of His throne, and spreads His cloud over it. He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at His rebuke. He stirs up the sea with His power, and by His understanding He breaks up the storm. By His Spirit He adorned the heavens... (Job 26:7-13) All throughout Job he proclaims amidst his torment the power and goodness and rights of God as our Authority.

Job ends with this powerful statement: Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?” (Job 26:14)

Oh, that we would better understand this power. If we could even sense the "mere edges" of His ways. Oh, that when trials come we would have the determination of Job to not accuse or question our God. That we would first find strength in the Lord to overcome the difficulties. That we would trust Him in all things.

Though, like Job, we will go through painful, tormenting times and He might seem indifferent, know that He is still there. Our God, His Son and His Holy Spirit are available to all who truly want them. This statement is for unbelievers and believers alike: Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be given to you, if you ask all according to His will. Here I mean asking and seeking for Him. He's searching for those who have yet to give their lives over to Him. If you seek Him He will make Himself known.

Although we may not know all about Him, probably have more questions than before, it is wonderful knowing that One with such power has all the answers, loves us with an everlasting love and has given us fine examples in His Word, like in Job. Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12). The Bible has all the answers to life's questions.

Romans 11:33 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

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