Pastor’s Blog – June 2, 2020
I pray for each person reading this blog today.
“Seeing God Differently”
What would it take to make you stop serving the Lord? The answer would be nothing. Two verses have been on my mind. Both are connected to the Old Testament saint, Job. One is from the OT and one from the NT.
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:5).
“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11).
Job was highly favored of God. The Lord had blessed him in everything, I mean everything. He had ten wonderful children that cared for each other and loved each other. As young adults they liked being together, especially at meal time. Some things never change. His wife was a loving woman, though not as spiritual as her husband, she bore him 20 children in their married life. God blessed him with land and livestock. Those were the two main measures that were used for assessing wealth in ancient Mesopotamia. He had friends that cared for him. For Job all was well in his life. Then…
Job’s Trouble. In short order this godly man’s life was turned upside down and inside out. How did this happen? Behind the scenes Job is oblivious. God and Satan are having a conversation concerning Job and Satan asserts to the Lord the only reason that Job serves and loves you is because you give him stuff. The Lord knows this isn’t the case but he allows Satan to test Job. Remember that truth. It is God that allows the testing. Satan can’t do anything to the child of God unless it is allowed by the Lord. With that said, Job was about to be put (metaphorically) in the furnace. In a few short days, the troubles started coming fast and furious. Livestock lost. Wealth is gone. Sons and daughters all killed by a tornado while at a party. Family is gone. Sores begin to ravage his body while the pain and agony cause him to sit in an ash heap and scrape his diseased skin with a broken piece of pottery. Health is gone. Then along comes your best friends accusing you of being a hypocrite and a sinner. Finally, even Job was wondering if God was against him. He cried to the Lord and received no answer. Writing these thoughts, I wonder if I could have endured. What about you?
Job’s Testifying. This OT saint maintained his innocence throughout this ordeal. He had battles with friends, turned accusers, over sin in his life. They, along with others today, believe that God blesses and when those blessings are removed it has to be because of sin. You must have sin in your life or you wouldn’t be suffering like you are, is the thinking. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, truly loved Job. They sat with him during his misery. The problem was they thought they knew something they didn’t. He was innocent. They were not involved in the conversation between the Lord and Satan. Their opinions were strictly based on their faulty thinking concerning blessings. Mrs. Job fell into that belief also. She became so emotional and illogical that she suggested he commit suicide. Job said you speak as a “foolish woman.” None of us know how long the trial lasted but two years wouldn’t be out of the question when looking at the internal evidence in the book. Job was steadfast in his defense of not sinning against the Lord. This causes me to think of two truths for my own life. First, I don’t want to be steadfast in my words if sin is in my life. Second, I don’t ever want to forget that all suffering isn’t chastisement for sin; it may simply be a sifting, such as Peter. It could be that we aren’t privy to conversations between God and the “accuser of the brethren” concerning us.
Job’s Triumphing. The story of Job teaches that God has a higher purpose than only to chastise those that sin. The Lord found no evil in him, his friends couldn’t prove any of the charges they’d level against him and Satan was found to be a liar. Job’s faith is beautiful. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15). That verse teaches of his endurance. The book of Job does give us an answer as to why he suffered. Read 42:1-6. It is to teach us that the Lord is full of pity and mercy. Job learned much more about the Lord than he’d ever known before. He had a deeper knowledge of God than he did before. Also, the blessings of God returned greater than ever before. In the beginning of this story, Job was the greatest man in the east (Job 1) but the end of the story tells us that his blessings were even greater. Health, wealth, and fame all returned. God blessed him with ten more children. (As a side bar, perhaps Mrs. Job was chastened for her attitude concerning Job during his trial by being pregnant 90 more months. Just a thought.)