A great godly example, Job acknowledges God as his source of wealth and family (Job 1:1-5). God allows Satan to attack Job (1:12 — 2:9). In pain, Job curses the day he was born (chap. 3), while his friends offer "advice" (chap. 4).
Who can understand the heartache and sorrow of Job — the servant of the Lord who was stripped of family, possessions, and health? This suffering was not a misfortune or bad luck; nor was in punishment from God, as Job's friends supposed. All of Job's sufferings were the attacks of Satan, but God allowed them in order to bring Job into a closer relationship with Himself.
Without the Holy Scriptures, we would never understand the reason for suffering. Job, the faithful servant of the Lord, was stripped of his family, possessions, reputation, and health. But his suffering was not misfortune or bad luck, nor was it punishment from God for his sins as his friends mistakenly assumed. Our Creator, who knows our innermost thoughts, declared that Job was perfect and upright, and one that feared (revered) God, and eschewed (shunned) evil (Job 1:1).
Behind all the world's evil is Satan, going to and fro in the earth . . . walking up and down in it (1:7) in his continuous effort to destroy all that is good. But Satan is under the constant surveillance of God and can do nothing without His permission.
Satan assumed that, like every self-serving person, Job was faithful only because God would reward him. During his intense suffering and testing, Job's wife even suggested that he curse (renounce)God, and die (2:9). She too had suffered loss, but it seems that her greatest loss was her faith in God. Job realized he was not the owner of all he possessed, not even of his children, but he was merely the Lord's manager of things entrusted to his care. From there, it was just one more step of faith for Job to accept that God, in His infinite wisdom, had the right to reclaim His possessions anytime He chose. Instead of cursing God, Job worshiped Him, saying: The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the LORD (1:21).
Spiritual victories do not just happen; they are dependent upon one's faith in God and faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Apart from the indwelling power of His Spirit and His Word, all efforts to live a victorious Christian life are doomed to failure. To remain faithful in the midst of trials, we must develop a love for God's Word which creates a confident faith in Him.
God, our Master Planner, is still in full control. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Heb. 13:8).
Thought for Today:
Often it is difficult to understand our circumstances or why we must go through a particular trial. It is then that we must trust in the Lord and not ourselves.
In the conversation between Satan and God Almighty (Job 1:6-12). We can see the meaning of Christ's warning to Peter that Satan wanted to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31). It is comforting to know that Satan cannot test us beyond the will of God.
1:20 rent =tore; mantle =robe; 2:8 potsherd =piece of broken pottery; 3:16 untimely birth =stillborn; 3:24 roarings =grief, groanings; 4:2 assay =attempts; 4:4 upholden =helped, upheld.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Richard Larsen (WA), Rep. Adam Smith (WA), and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS) • Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48.1 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages • Limited religious freedom • 87.5% Buddhist; 6% Christian; 4% Muslim (mainly Sunni); 1% animist; .5% Hindu; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with a heart and life that are keeping His Commandments and He will answer you (I John 4:7-8).
Optional Reading: Galatians 4
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:9