I’m amazed that I already reached 400 blogs! Thank you, all faithful readers, because you keep me inspired to go on writing.
I was thinking this morning about Job, the faithful servant of God that went through such big trials I’m sure none of us ever even come close to.
Satan acquired permission from God to challenge his righteousness. The Bible says that “he was the greatest man among all the people of the East… [he] was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”
Job was a very rich man. He was blessed seven sons and three daughters, “and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants.”
One day, he lost everything!
First, the Sabeans attacked and carried off his oxen and his donkeys, and killed his servants, except the one that reported the incident to Job. While this man was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” Immediately, another messenger came with the same kind of bad news. The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and carried off all the camels and put the servants to the sword. The messenger speaking was the only one who escaped!
If that wasn’t bad enough, he got the sad news that all his sons and daughters were killed. They were having a party at the oldest brother’s house, “when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them” and all of them died!
“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Satan was not satisfied. He was sure Job would curse God if his body was attacked. God allowed him to attack him physically, but not to the point of death. He “afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.”
But in all that affliction, Job did not sin against God.
Job had three friends that heard about all the troubles that had come upon him. “They set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”
The book of Job contains the conversations between these men and Job. What I was thinking about was Job’s desire that his words be written down:
“Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!” –Job 19:23-24
He had no clue his words would be recorded, that they would survive through ages, and that they would be translated to more than 2,000 languages!
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Job had lived today? How many blogs do you think he would have written? His message would have been the same one that I want to convey, that God is faithful and that he upholds us in the good and in the bad. Whatever the circumstances we can trust that we are in his hands, and even through the worst of trials we can proclaim, like Job did:
“I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes–I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!” –Job 19:25-27
Trials don’t last forever! There is light at the end of the tunnel! There was new hope for Job!
God was angry with Job’s friends, because they had not spoken right of him, as had his servant Job. So they had to offer sacrifice and Job prayed for them.
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
“The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters.”
I think often about Job. Even in all his trouble he didn’t question God. Often we are tempted to ask, “Why this? Why me?” Well, why not?! Just remember, we are just passing through this life. Whatever things happen that we don’t understand has an answer. My maternal grandmother went through lots of suffering. She used to find comfort in these words of Jesus: “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand” (John 13:7).
I also have many questions, but I do my best to follow Job’s example. I don’t have to wish that my words were recorded. I do it myself! And now I’ll be on my way to the next 400 blogs! Thanks for being a faithful reader!