The suffering of Job was intense. To bury all of your children after a catastrophic storm is doubtless a devastating pain that would cause many to shake their fist at God. Instead, as you know, Job did not. He did take on the ancient near-Eastern sign of a person in severe emotional pain (“he tore his robe and shaved his head”), but in a spectacular demonstration of true perspective, Job “fell to the ground and worshipped” (Job 1:20). He knew to think, much like Peter when Jesus asked him if he wanted to leave him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (Jn.6:67-68).
He knew that it was God who was in control and while he brought pain, he was really the only One who could bring comfort (Lam.3:32). More than that, Job’s high view of God’s sovereignty led him to gratefully credit God with the gift of his children in the hour God had taken them away – “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21b). Job, in his dark hour of loss, had no sense of entitlement. He understood the gifts of God’s grace and was able to say as one undeserving of them, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart” (Job 1:21a).
In a day when most of us have bought Satan’s lie that we are somehow entitled to the “good life,” we can learn from the first twenty-two verses of the book of Job that when, for whatever reason, God chooses to revoke, withhold or postpone his generous gifts, we can still worship him as a good God who never does wrong. May it be that in any and every circumstance we can say with Job, “May the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21c).
-- Pastor Mike
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