Today’s Reading: Job 1-3
Not sure how you are feeling after the reading for today? – puzzled, perplexed, unanswered questions, astonishment – my feeling anyway! This reason for such feelings for me is that the story starts a fairy tale of goodness in the beginning of the story, instead of a fairy tale ending! So who is responsible for the smashing of the fairy tale into personal disaster!
Hardly Job. I don’t even pretend to compare to his integrity, fear of the Lord, uprightness, and blamelessness! Obviously he is not blameless, but I love the way the faithful God is not sharing His secrets with Satan – my Father God & my precious Saviour are forever my friends who never let me down before others! (& the Holy Spirit Who quietly watches over me continuously!). So why does God bring Satan’s attention to Job. Did Satan not notice him? Not likely – or was he such a high-flier in character that Satan didn’t think he stood much chance of winning? But Satan certainly rose to God’s challenge in insinuating motives he had no way of knowing whether they were there seeing he is not all-knowing!
And God removes the hedge! If you’re using the picture method, like I can’t help but use – it’s painful beyond words. It’s bad enough losing everything, but then to lose his children (in a good family setting!) (which by the way, with a true father’s heart, Job is careful to offer sacrifices for, knowing there’s no perfect person!). Are you like me, quietly praying, “Dear Lord, I just can’t take such pain!” (But the reality is Jesus has, by paying back a debt which was not His own! – pain such that I suggest, He Himself turned out the light of the sun that no one would look on with crude curiosity at the pain of His great heart?). So the argument that God doesn’t understand is totally false!
Satan always effectively attacks us when we’re down and Job loses all in a rapid succession of events! But Job understands that everything has been a gift from God, so does He not have the right to take it back and HE IS STILL to be praised? But it’s a hard thought to think about, because I’m not sure I would have the strength of Job’s faith!
And if that’s not bad enough, then Satan at God’s provoking triumph gets the permission to affect Job’s health! I’m not sure about this one, but the painful journey of my Sweetheart through cancer gives me an idea of how painful that can be! And his closest friend (flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone) suggests the solution is to just curse God, give up and die – an unacceptable solution for Job, so he is left with no outer backing! (I’m glad God was there for Job all the time, but I suspect like in my life – standing CLOSE BEHIND him! (Maybe I should lean back on Him!?)
His friends deserve some sympathy at being faced with the disaster of someone who was close to them! And greater still, facing the challenge of Job’s painful question again and again – Why? In the face of such pain, it is extremely uncomfortable to know that we DO NOT have an answer for such a question because only God knows what He’s doing. Do you think God will answer the WHY question for Job? Academic question for the curious, but when you’re in the pain yourself or sharing pain with someone you love, it’s no longer academic but painful beyond words! Perhaps a better prayer at that time – just talk to me, please Oh Lord! – only You know how to comfort me! You don’t have to explain, but I need to feel the nearness of Your presence!