Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Job

    One of the most staggering stories of the Old Testament is that of Job. I've spent a little bit of time thinking about him the last few days, and really just wanted to put down a few thoughts about him.

    First off, nowhere in the Bible is the idea that Christians will live an easy comfortable life so quickly and easily refuted as in book or life of Job. In Job 1:8, God refers to Job as an "upright and perfect" man. For God to call you perfect, you gotta be doing something right. Nevertheless, we see blow after blow fall upon Job, for no apparent reason from an earthly perspective.

    That's the first point I'd like to look at. As observers seeing the whole story, we see a tremendous spiritual battle that Job could not see. I wonder how often in our lives we miss the tremendous warfare going on around us and continue about our everyday lives. Job appears to be completely ignorant to the fact He is being targeted by the Devil. All he knows is that God has allowed, or possibly caused, terrible things to happen to him after no known sin.

    As readers, we know who the villain is. We can see the whole plot: the earth and heaven, light and dark, good and evil. Job didn't have that luxury, and neither do we normally in our everyday lives. We need to remember that we are in a war. So often, I completely miss the fact that I am no longer a servant of the Devil, and thus, I am now a target. We are in a war, living in a war zone.

    Secondly, Job's losses are terrible. His life is destroyed, for no apparent reason. I've heard and read stories of people turning away from God from family abuse and violence, and honestly, although I think they were wrong, I have a very hard time blaming them. Job, though, is put through as close to hell as is possible to come on earth. Literally, everything that can go wrong does!

    His ten children die in a single blow. His wife deserts the faith. His position and possessions are gone at a breath. His health is destroyed, and his integrity is doubted, his reputation completely shattered. Even three of his four friends, assumed to be close friends, are dead certain that he is a sinner in need of repentance.

     Job utters some of the most amazing words ever penned in the Bible after all this. In Job. 13, Job is rashly proclaiming that he will plead his case before God. I mean, this is unjust! His statement in v. 15 is based upon his statement that he will maintain his case before God, but he precedes the statement with this gem, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

    What kind of rash, impulsive faith is that! What utter reckless abandon! To trust the very Being who had the control to stop his pain and save his family, yet didn't, is the pinnacle of trust. Here, Job proclaims the depth of His trust and faith in God, even after all the pain and misery that Job saw as coming from God!

    That is a faith I want to have. Job had a faith that some would call foolish or ignorant. Why trust a God that cruel, some would say. Job's wife did. Her response was the typical human response. Curse God, defy Him, and then commit suicide. Just give up and forget God.

    But Job hung on. He stayed true, and His faith, though severely tested to the point of his saying some really foolish things and getting a very stern rebuke from God in ch. 38-41, held strong. His faith remained in God. I hope I have faith like that someday. I want to have that kind of trust in God and in His sovereignty.

    Thirdly, we see something that is not addressed often from pulpits, because it's kinda uncomfortable. Many people will tell you that as a Christian, you are destined to a comfortable life, an easy life, a convenient life. Jesus never said that, and even a cursory look at the Bible will reveal that almost laughable absurdity of such a statement. No hero of the Bible lived a comfortable life free from trouble: Moses, David, the apostles, Paul.

    Look at Jesus for a moment. Mark Driscoll said once in a sermon on this topic that if you have a definition for a good life, it should be big enough to include God. If living a Christian life involves painless living, Jesus didn't have much of a life then. His whole life was a huge conflict. His friends fled from him, his family disowned him, the crowds yelled to crucify him. As Driscoll said, it would appear that Jesus, at times, had relational difficulties, to put it lightly!

    Job is no exception from the general lives of these heroes of the faith. His difficulties, as we already addressed were extraordinary, more than any other human being I've ever heard of. David Platt once said, "Jesus never said we wouldn't suffer, he just said it would be worth it." That's a true statement. Being a Christian is not a guarantee to improve your physical situations. It's a guarantee that your suffering will be worth it.

    Lastly, Job demonstrates an amazing trust in God's sovereignty in Job 12-13. He says that he will plead his cause before God, and God will be just. Even in the midst of incredible suffering, his confidence is in God's justice. That's incredible. Yet again, Job's faith in God and His faithfulness to justice is an amazing example to me.

    God is control. I've written about it several times recently. God is in control. He reigns! That was Job's confidence. Job's confidence was placed firmly in the justice and goodness of God, even when he couldn't see the war around him, even when he couldn't see God and talk with God through all the pain and the suffering. In all that, Job's confidence was in God, the Being he saw as the author of all his pain.

    That's faith. That's incredibly strong, enduring faith. That's faith I want someday. That's a trust, a wholehearted, reckless confidence in God that I want to have. I want that seemingly impulsive, reckless trust for God. I think it's something we can all strive for.

8 comments:

  1. Sorry I just now got around to commenting...
    Excellent post! It makes me wonder how many of us, if any at all, have this kind of faith and confidence in God. I think it's something we all SHOULD strive for.

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    1. Your fine! Take your time.

      That's a part of the foundation of our relationship with God is built on. You can't have love with faith. I can't love someone I don't trust.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

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  2. I love what you said about the Christian life not being about painless living! The Apostle Paul and so many others are great examples of enduring faith! Although I think that at that point of suffering it would be more than faith, and quite a bit more of hope and love. John Piper in his book Desiring God addresses this sort of thing quite well. If you have not read his book yet I would highly recommend it! :D

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    1. Yet another book on my reading list. It keeps getting longer and longer!

      Yes, I think you're right. Faith works hand in hand with hope and love, all driving us further along toward Christ!

      Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by!

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    2. No problem! I always enjoy finding other people's blogs similar to my own! :D

      Lol, don't worry, I have a reading list so long I will never finish it. I just keep getting so excited about books that I end up reading so many at once that it takes forever to just finish one! :P

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  3. Also, something you may want to consider is putting a follow button on you blog, or join bloglovin'(you can actually get a lot more views that way), and put their button on your blog. Because right now I am trying to follow your blog but I can't find anything...... :P

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    1. Problem solved. There should be a follow by email tab in the upper right corner above my profile. We'll see what I can do with the Bloglovin' option later.

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