Scripture Reading: Job 1 and 2
(20) Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,Job 1:20-22
(21) 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.
(22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
(9) Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.Job 2:9-10
(10) But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
It is interesting that one of the first books of the Bible written, in the first chapters of that book, the subject of human suffering is dealt with. We know that all evil comes from the consequences of our own sin, being sinned against, or living in a sin cursed world. In these verses we do not see GOd causing suffering, but allowing suffering to accomplish His purposes.
I’ve picked out Job’s response to material suffering in chapter 1, and his response to physical suffering in chapter 2.
In chapter 1, Job loses most of his wealth, and his children. It happens through several different circumstances all in one day. Imagine losing your house, car, investments, bank accounts, children, and grandchildren all in one day. It’s overwhelming to even consider. What was Job’s response? “God gives and God takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” This was partially untrue. Satan was the one that attacked and took away. The detail may not have been exactly right, but His response, worship, was exactly right.
In chapter 2, Job’s health is impacted. His wife gives him very foolish advice. “Curse God and die.” In essense she is saying, “Why would you still serve God if he has done all of this to you?”. Job again has a right attitude. He does not “charge God foolishly” (1:22). He does not accept God’s blessing and blame God for the bad. The truth is that God did bless Job, and God did not cause Job’s suffering.
Often we take credit for our blessing and blame God for the evil. We must be grateful for our blessing, knowing that it is from God. James addresses this quite directly:
(13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.James 1:13-17
(16) Do not err, my beloved brethren. (17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
We must be grateful to God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in everything and for everything that we encounter.
Lord God, please help me to be thankful for all the blessings, and to trust you and worship you in good times and bad. Amen