Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Blessing of Job

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Wednesday, August 21, 2013:  Job 1:1-3:26

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.  Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)

For many, Job is one of the most confusing, depressing books in the Bible.  Nearly all the action is done by chapter 2, and then we read 40 chapters of an extended counseling session.  It livens up again at the end with a whirlwind, but in between there is a lot of bad advice and moaning and groaning.  I suggest that such a view is a misunderstanding of the basic message of Job.

The main character, Job, is a good man that has terrible things happen to him.  In one day, he loses everything.  The stock market crashes and he loses his fortune.  Thieves break in his house (his farm) and take his stuff.  Fire even falls from heaven and burns up his sheep.  The worst part is his kids -- 10 of them. A big wind flattens the house in which they are partying -- kills them all!  That's a really bad day!

On top of this, Job's health fails.

Most people think that the theme of Job is SUFFERING or PATIENCE.  In fact, we speak of someone having "the patience of Job."  No doubt, these are part of the story, but they are not the whole story.  In fact, they are not the main point.

If we want to find out the purpose of anything, we need to look at the end product.  So, if we slip over to Job 42:12, where we read, "Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning."

The end of this book is BLESSING.  The road to that blessing is certainly rough and confusing, but the end result is absolutely good.

We can labor and worry about why bad things happen around us.  There will never be an adequate answer for the pain that we have to endure.  Ultimately we must acknowledge that we live in a fallen world in which sin and death continue to wreak havoc.  God never promised us that bad days would never come.

The message of the Book of Job is the FAITHFULNESS OF GOD.  He will not fail despite the tumult of a confusing world. At times it seems Satan is winning.  But, if we stay with God, we will find restoration and blessing.

So, here's the lesson:  Don't give up on the God Who never gives up on you.  When things do not make sense, it is only because you do not yet have the whole story.  God is working in all situations to lead you toward the good that He promises (Rom. 8:28).

We ought the look at the Book of Job differently.  Instead of seeing the suffering and patience of Job, we ought to see the blessing of Job.  That's what it's all about.

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