Monday, July 13, 2009

Have you considered Job?

Here's a summary of the first 2 chapters of the book of Job:

Job was a God-fearing man with great wealth, much livestock, many servants, 10 loving children, and a wife. Job would make sacrifices to the Lord on the behalf of his children, just in case they did something wrong. That's how much he loved God and his family. God knew that Job loved Him, even to the point of bragging.
Satan says that Job would be different if He hadn't blessed him so much. God, knowing what the outcome was going to be, says, "Oh, yeah? Prove it. Take the stuff from Job and see if he still worships Me."
In one day, Job loses almost everything. All his assets were gone, his children dead, his servants killed. He had 4 servants that survived, and it seems they survived only to tell Job that everything he had was gone. His wife was the only family member he had left.
Job's response? "I was born with nothing, I will die with nothing. God will take and God will give. I will still bless his name."
Satan says that Job would curse God if He took away his health. God gave Satan the go to have a field day, as long as Satan spared Job's life. Job soon received sores all over his body--and I mean ALL OVER his body. The one surviving family member Job had told him to curse God so he would die and be rid of all this pain.
Job's response? "If I am willing to take good from God, I am willing to take bad from Him." His friends then sat with him and mourned with him.

Job's life sucked. I think it was made that much worse because he didn't always have a bad life. God had blessed him beyond measure up until this point, and then in one moment he loses it all. And his wife tells him to do the very thing that Satan is set out to make him do: curse God. We find out later that his friends tell Job that it was his fault because he sinned against God and he needs to confess. In all this, Job looks to God and praises Him. He didn't say that God had no right to do this, because he had never done anything wrong. He didn't claim that God was an unfair bully. He praised Him and said, "The God of the universe gave me everything I had. And He took it away. I will still bless His name."

Job is a better man than I. When things aren't going the way I want them to, or going the way I feel God shouldn't want them to, my initial response is rarely to praise God for it. I question Him on how He could let, or even cause, these things to happen. I pray that my will be done if His is different. I point the finger, knowing full well that God could have changed the circumstances.

Job makes me feel like dirt. I read this, and I think, "God's not up in heaven saying, 'Look at Jason. Isn't he just the finest of my creation? He loves me and praises me and is blameless and turns from evil in all situations.' He looks at me and says, 'Look at Jason. He loves me and praises me sometimes. I often share the spotlight with things I've created, however. And he's turned to evil quite a few times instead of turning from it.'"

I think it's easy to look at Job and compare. I can read it and try to be like him. But if God wanted me to be Job, he would have made me Job. If I look at that and say, "I'm going to change this, that, and these so I can please God," I'm sorely missing the point. God loves me when I'm reading the Bible consistently and when I forget for a week. He loves me when I'm telling people about Jesus and when I'm keeping Him my best kept secret. He loves me when I make Him my #1 and when I put Him on the back burner. He loves me when I'm right. He loves me when I'm wrong. He loves me when I waste my time by quoting silly songs.

I can't work to please Him. I can only believe. There are times when I don't believe like Job believed. But that's when I look at the father of the child with an unclean spirit. He turned to Jesus and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"