December 7, 2007
by Charles R. Swindoll
Job 1-2, 42
Step into the time tunnel with me, and let’s travel together back to Uz (not the wizard of, but the land of). Wherever it was, Uz had a citizen who was respected by everyone. Why? Because he was blameless, upright, God-fearing, and clean living. He had ten children, thousands of head of livestock, acres and acres of land, a great many servants, and a substantial stack of cash. No one would deny that he was “the greatest of all the men of the East.” His name was Job, a synonym for integrity and godliness.
Yet, within a matter of hours, adversity fell upon this fine man like an avalanche of jagged rocks. He lost his livestock, his crops, his land, his servants, and all ten children. Soon thereafter he also lost his health.
The book that bears his name records an entry he made into his journal soon after the rocks stopped falling: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD ” (Job 1:21).
Following this incredible statement, God adds: “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (1:22).
The logical questions are, Why didn’t he? What kept him from bitterness or even thoughts of suicide?
At the risk of oversimplifying the situation, I suggest three basic answers that I have discovered from searching through this book.
First, Job claimed God’s loving sovereignty. He believed that the Lord who gave had every right to take away (Job 1:21; 2:10). Job looked up claiming his Lord’s right to rule over his life.
Second, he counted on God’s promise of resurrection. “Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:26). Job looked ahead, counting on his Lord’s promise to make all things bright and beautiful in the life beyond.
Third, he confessed his own lack of understanding. What a relief this brings! He didn’t feel obligated to explain why (Job 42:2-4). Job looked within, confessing his inability to put it all together.
He rested his adversity with God, not feeling forced to answer why.
When we’re looking in all the right directions, we won’t take the wrong turn.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.