Embers ~ Anything but this…
When we left Job last, Satan had taken all of his material possessions and killed his children. Yet, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:22).
Grab your coffee because Job’s life is about to get worse. (I know, it hardly seems possible).
That same angel gathering happens again, and again Satan approaches God. And again God brags about Job, calling Job a man of integrity even in the midst of hardship. And AGAIN, Satan challenges God’s glory. It’s instant replay, friends, but this time God grants the enemy permission to attack Job’s health, sparing only his life.
This makes me weep. I’m fairly certain we all know someone, if not ourselves, who’ve endured tremendous physical ailments. Like torture, our bodies are riddled with pain, deformity, and dysfunction. I don’t dare say one trial is worse than another, but physical pain coupled with extreme grief… that’s unbearable to watch, let alone live through.
In despair, Job cuts himself and sits weeping in the ashes of his lost life. He was broken in every way, empty of all hope and silenced by the weight of tears.
Even his wife wanted him rescued from the torture and her only solution was death. “Curse God and die!” she said.
Hold up. Before we gasp at this poor bereaved wife, let me clarify that the word “curse” in this sentence is not what we think it is- it is NOT the translated word for “place a hex” or use foul language at God. No… it means to kneel.
She was asking him to kneel to the circumstances, to give in and give up.
I can’t blame her, it had to have been agonizing having lost all of her children, her home, her security and now her husband sat painfully debilitated in a pile of ashes. She doubted the character of God in the midst of unpredictable and unprecedented loss. Death had to be better than all of this.
But not to Job. Although, I don’t think it was the death part he was opposed to… it was the kneeling to the circumstances, giving-up part. From the very beginning Job was about kneeling and honoring God alone.
His response has yet again unraveled my pretty little picture of faith.
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)
Here sits a man who once had everything. Everything. Now it has all gone up in smoke. In writhing pain he sits, empty and broken, and humble. Bowed low with nothing to speak of, he places honor at the feet of a sovereign God. He clung to faith in God’s character, not just His hand.
Let’s be honest, we wrestle with hardship and pain, even when it’s not our own. Other’s messy struggle make us uncomfortable and sometimes awkward. Pain and tragedy scare us and we frantically search for the why. Here in this place of utter devastation, Job didn’t search for the why. He just bowed low… and adored God in both the good and the bad.
That is hard to do when we are holding on to pride.
This post is part of a series through the book of Job. If you don’t want to miss any future posts of this study sign up in the box at the top right to get the latest delivered directly into you inbox. Also, you can find the story of Job in almost any translation Here. All scripture addresses link to Biblegateway.com.