Job 1-3, Psalm 135
Though we do not know who and when the book of Job was written, we know it predates the Levitical law and the nation of Israel. This book addresses the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, and teaches us to maintain faith in a loving God even when all evidence points to the contrary. As we move through Job’s story and trial we will see that Job will indeed prevail. The truth is we see and understand only a small fraction of true reality. Can you imagine how Job felt when he entered eternity and he realized that his faith and actions actually silenced Satan in heaven, when he heard, “well done, good and faithful servant..” (Matthew 25:21). There is a spiritual realm, we can’t fully understand. So many times in Scripture this is realized by the writer and they realize how much greater God is than us, that we can not fully comprehend His mind and His ways (Isaiah 55:8-9, Romans 11:33-36).
We get an interesting picture into the purpose of Satan and how this contrasts with that of God. We read in Job 1:7 and 2:2, that Satan in response to God’s question as to where he was, answered: “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” In 1 Peter 5:8, Paul states, “Be sober and vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” In contrast to this in 2 Chronicles 16:9, we read that God has a different purpose, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…”We know from this, along with Ephesians 6, that there is an entire realm that we can not see that seeks our attention. God and His angels seek to strengthen us, Satan and the demons seek to devour us. We need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) if we are going to withstand Satan’s attacks like Job did.
Everyone has experienced suffering, the loss of loved ones, loss of health, loss of material items, etc. Few have lost what Job did, He basically lost everything in a single day. But it’s hard not to marvel at his response,”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.” (Job 1:21). He doesn’t get angry with God or question His fairness, Job actually worships God in his tremendous loss. Paul gives a similar insight in Philippians 4:12 (written while he was in prison), ” I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”(NIV). So as we go through life undergoing various trials may we learn from the example of Job and learn to worship God in our trials. I have attached a piece called “The Long Silence” by John Stott, which I give to those whom I share Christ with and who point to their lives and question the fairness of God.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: