We are continuing our journey through the Chronological Bible. I will blogging Monday – Friday sharing different reflections from my reading. I’d love to have you join in the conversation!
Last week we finished Genesis and this week we are in the book of Job. Most Bible scholars feel that the story of Job happened around the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or soon after. Satan – the Accuser, came and presented himself before the Lord. The Lord pointed out Job as “a man of complete integrity.” Wow – wouldn’t you love that kind of affirmation from the Lord? But Satan claims that the only reason Job lives a life of integrity is because God has protected and blessed Job so faithfully. What happens next may come as a shock to many. The Lord gives Satan permission to mess with Job, confident that Job will pass the test. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” (Job 1:12) The next 24 hours are horrific for Job! Satan can cause so much evil in a short amount of time, can’t he? Job looses all his livestock and lively hood, his servants and worst of all his children! As if that’s not bad enough, later in the story Satan is given permission to harm Job physically.
This story raises so many questions. Do you find yourself asking, “What?” “Why would God allow all this?” “How come Satan is allowed in God’s presence in the first place?” “Why does a Good God allow evil?” You are not alone in your questioning. For years, thousands and millions have asked those very same questions. Many, who did not receive a satisfying answer, reached the conclusion that God could not be trusted and they walked away from faith. Job made a different choice. He fell on his face in the dirt, grieved his losses but then worshipped God with these words, “I came naked from my mother’s womb and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21)
So what do you think? Does God have a responsibility to protect and prosper those who claim to trust Him? What have you learned as far as trusting God through the journey of pain? What I have experienced is that when God strips it all away – He gives Himself and in the end He is enough. What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Tomorrow, we’ll be talking about how to comfort a friend who is hurting.