"...While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, “Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house. And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, “Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” Job 1:18-21
The first time I read the book of Job in the Bible, I was in shock, literally. It was one of those instances where I felt particularly ambitious about reading yet another book of the Bible, and somewhere in my memory, I recalled the seniors referring to Job. If you grew up around your Grandmother’s friends or other senior adults, you may have heard them say at one time or another, “Lord, you got to have the patience of Job to deal with these kids!”
I remembered this phrase as I was trying to make my decision, so my curiosity about Job made the selection easy. I began reading page after page; Shock! Incident after incident; Shock! If I were reading a disaster novel, it could not have been any more disastrous! When Job’s wife said, “Do you still retain your integrity? —Curse God and die!” I was stunned! I had to keep going back to the beginning of the story where God describes Job as “perfect and upright” to confirm that God did not actually hate him. By the time I finished the book, I simply stared at my closed Bible thinking, “If this is what God does to those that are upright and blameless, what about the rest of us! —We don’t stand a chance!” I had tons of questions. Over the years, these are some of the principles I have learned after reading the book of Job several times:
- God knows your heart and how much your spirit is able to endure.
- Although Satan walks to and fro on the earth, even he honors the will of God.
- Nothing happens in our life that God is not aware of, cannot stop, and cannot restore.
- Faith, full and patient, is the only way to make it through any hurdles you may be experiencing.
- The person you select/ accept as your spouse must love, trust, and have some level of unwavering faith in you.
- Even if your friends really care about you, they are not always right.
- And finally, if you are a friend and you offer advice, make certain your advice falls within the will of God; if not, you will be held accountable and will have to make restitution to God.
When you read the book of Job you may find other concepts. I am certain if I reread it today, I would discover new principles I missed previously. I must admit, Job is still not my favorite book of the Bible, however because of his endurance we have a remarkably graphic example of what it means to extend our faith in God, no matter what happens in our life. L.
Study Reference: Job 1:1-22, 42:1-17
From: "The Book of Job." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Corey Arnold