Father, today I want to tune my heart to the frequency of the Spirit. I yearn to trust and obey you.
1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
4 His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘When peace like a river attendeth my way, / When sorrows like sea billows roll; / Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say / “It is well, it is well with my soul”.’1
This first chapter of Job is split into three distinct sections. First, it introduces us to Job, a righteous man who feared God. Second, we are transported into the heavenly throne room, where God is present with his angelic beings. Finally, Job becomes a pawn in a divine test where his faithfulness is challenged by the removal of his wealth and his family. Very quickly, over a matter of just a few verses, we are introduced to deep tragedy. We are taken to the extremity of human suffering.
As fellow humans, it is easy to superimpose our own sufferings onto those of Job, but we must be careful not to lose focus on the fact that the story begins not with the trial of Job but the trial of God himself. The arrival of Satan in verse 6 introduces us to a familiar adversary, but here he is called ‘The Satan’, a legal term meaning ‘The Accuser’ or even ‘The Prosecutor’. The heavenly court becomes a heavenly courtroom. The Satan accuses God by saying that Job’s faith is only dependent on God’s blessing. If it is taken away, Job’s faith and righteousness would be worthless. Does Job only love God because of his propensity to bless? Satan accuses God of being like a cosmic vending machine, dispensing blessings in response to good faith. To demonstrate that this is not so, God then allows Satan to inflict Job with the tragedies that follow. Job becomes the evidence that faith is not dependent on prosperity.
At the end of the chapter, Job proves that faith transcends his situation. God is worshipped in sorrow as much as in joy. Job is an amazing example to every believer of how we can worship even in times of suffering.
If you are going through a difficult time, take a moment to try and worship God, finding that God is in our suffering as much as in our joy.
Dear Heavenly Father, through all the ups and downs of life, sometimes I need a special grace from you to see me through. I surrender anew to your will for my life.
1 Horatio Gates Spafford, 1828–88
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Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by kingstar