Lessons from Job

The book of Job is a fascinating story. It tells of a godly and wealthy family man who lost everything but his life. When his children and livestock are dead and his body is covered with painful sores there is this exchange between Job and his wife. She said, “’Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:9,10)

         Then Job’s friends come along to comfort him. So far, so good. But then they make a big mistake. They start assuming and voicing their assumptions. Job wonders out loud what he has done to deserve this. So his friends, in their “righteous”, albeit ignorant indignation, give Job several sermons with a common answer: God’s mad at you because you’re sinning! Stop sinning and bad things will stop happening! This just makes Job angrier. He knows he’s done nothing to deserve this. And God agrees with him (1:1,8). This goes on for a while and Job demands that he wants an audience with God. It’s time for the Almighty to explain himself! Woops. Job gets what he asked for. (We’ve got to be careful about that.) But God turns the table on Job and asks him a “few” questions. The message comes out loud and clear: I’ll be God. You be Job. I don’t owe you any answers. Job humbly repents of his attitude. He hasn’t had a single one of his questions answered. But he has had an up close and personal demonstration of the greatness of God.

         Then God has this to say to Job’s friends, “You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” (42:8) What was it they said about God that was not right? Hadn’t they defended God’s integrity? Here’s the problem. They assumed they knew what God was doing, why he was doing it and then blathered these things to Job. And they knew nothing of the kind.

         The book of Job teaches the greatness of God and the limitations of man. It teaches us that people suffer, sometimes terribly, in this world, even the best of people. It teaches us to trust God even when we don’t understand God. And it teaches us the danger of supposing we know what God is doing or why he is doing it.

         You and I can better get through the heartbreaks of life if we will learn a lesson from Job. It is our place to trust and obey. It is God’s place to be God.

 Brad Fry

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm  Comments (4)  
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