Read Job 1 -- 4
In Today's Reading:
Job's wealth and godliness; Satan permitted to afflict Job;critical counsel by Job's wife; Job visited by his three friends; Job tells of his misery and despair; Eliphaz rebukes Job.
Verses for Today:
(Job) was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed (habitually abstained from) evil (1:1). Job worshiped God, saying: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord (1:21).
Without the Holy Scriptures, we cannot understand the reason for suffering. Job, the 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 sin as his friends accused him.
Behind all the world's evil is Satan, going to and fro in the earth . . . walking up and down in it (Job 1:7). This reveals his restless, continuous effort to destroy all that is good. But Satan is under the continual surveillance of God and can do nothing without His permission.
Satan is true to his nature as the accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10), and quickly accused Job before the Lord, saying: [Does] Job fear God for [nothing]? (Job 1:9). Satan assumed that, like every self-serving person, Job was faithful only because God would reward him. Since Satan is a created being, he cannot read the mind of a child of God. He can only judge according to his own evil mind. Satan first accused All-Holy God of being less than Holy and of enticing people to serve Him by giving them gifts. God allowed Satan to test the sincerity of Job's faithfulness first through the loss of his children and his possessions. Then Job was even more severely tested by the loss of his health and by the cruel day-after-day slander of four men.
During this time of intense suffering and testing, Job's wife even suggested that he curse God, and die (2:9). She too had suffered loss, but it seems that her greatest loss was her faith in God. Job realized that he was not the owner of all he had, not even of his children, but that he was merely a manager of those things entrusted to his care by his Creator. 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.
Just as Satan used Job's "friends" to belittle and condemn him, Satan still uses family, friends, coworkers, and even fellow Church members to do the same today. Satan still motivates some people, as he did Job's friends, to twist what we say in confidence to spread gossip and sometimes to create slander.
Job's sufferings were attacks of Satan, but God permitted them to test the genuineness of Job's loyalty to Him. Eventually, through his suffering, God revealed to Job how desperately his friends needed his prayers (42:7-8).
Our God, the Master Planner, is in full control. Our Creator has provided all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
In the conversation between Satan and God Almighty (Job 1:6-12), we can see the meaning of Christ's statement to Peter: Satan [has] desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).
1:20 rent = tore; mantle = robe; 2:8 potsherd = piece of broken pottery; 3:16 untimely birth = stillborn; 3:24 roarings = cries, groanings; 4:2 assay = venture; 4:4 have upholden = helped.
Government Officials: Rep. Richard Larsen (WA), Rep. Adam Smith (WA) and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Ireland (4 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) · Religious freedom · 93% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matthew 6:7-8).
Optional Reading: Galatians 4
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 3:16