Archive for April 29th, 2011

Job 1

Job 1 begins the story of the man from the land of Uz named Job.  The story begins by describing him as “blameless and upright…..feared God and turned away from evil”.  How’s that for a calling card?  Job is walking with God.  He is living life large for the Father.  He is also very blessed – 10 kids, lots of property – he is described as “the greatest of all the people of the east”.  Never think that walking with God means you live as a pauper in poverty.  It also doesn’t guarantee you’ll be wealthy like Job – but it doesn’t preclude you from wealth either. 

The reality is that Job worked hard to stay close to God.  His kids weren’t necessarily following in his footsteps of obedience.  So “he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all”.  He made it his business to do all he could to stay close to God and intercede on behalf of his kids.  Now there’s an example – how much are you praying and interceding for your children?  Do you do it regularly?  Job wasn’t sure they even needed it – but he was being proactive and praying for them just in case.  “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts”.  I love his passion to pray for them.  But the key words here: “Thus Job did continually”.  Not sporadically.  Not occasionally.  Not when he remembered.  Not when he had time.  Job did it continually. He made it a priority.  He was faithful to pray for his kids!

Things are quite good for Job when Satan shows up.  If you wonder what the enemy is up to we are told he was “going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it’.  Satan is not locked up and kept in a confined space.  He is out and about looking for ways to mess up life. Remember that scripture tells us he is out to kill, steal and destroy.  And that is his plan for Job.  God begins a discussion with Satan and mentions Job this way: “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth”.  Why does God say this?  He is bragging about Job and his obedience.  Job is the example.  Satan says that Job is obedient because God has protected him: “Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side”.  He is chiding God that Job is only the way he is because God has showed him favoritism and taking good care of him.  God then allows Satan access to Job: “Only against him do not stretch out your hand”.  Truth is that Satan can’t touch us unless God allows.  He has no power of God.  So why would God allow it?  Other places in scripture tell us that it is through testing our faith that we go deeper.  It builds our character.  I won’t claim to understand the why – but I do know that without God’s permission it would not have happened.

Satan does do his mission for Job – he kills, steals and destroys most of what Job had.  Bad news after bad news came to him until his family and most of his possessions were gone.  He had lost most everything he had.  So what was his response?  “Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped”.  Job mourned, but he ended in worship.  He went to God with his pain and his praise.  Job has just lost most all he had and he is still worshipping.  The summary: “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong”.   Job knows that God did not do it to him.  He doesn’t blame God.  He worships.  A hard but important lesson for all of us to consider.  When things go wrong – we need to run to God with praise, not blame.

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