Sunday, June 10, 2018

Observations on the Early Chapters of Job

1) If Job was in charge of writing his own story, in charge of his own destiny, so to speak, then Job would only have five verses.
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
But he wasn't--neither are we. God is sovereign. God wrote Job's story as he is writing ours today. We can take comfort and hope in God's sovereignty because God is good, faithful, and just. God is a promise maker and a promise keeper.

Romans 8:18-38

2) Job's faith in God was rock-solid as evident by his initial response to adversity. I'm not sure that Job's response would be the response of the typical believer. It's food for thought, isn't it?

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
3) How blessed we are as believers to have the Word of God--the full Word of God. I can only imagine how much comfort, strength, and hope Job would have gotten from having the book of Psalms for example. Scripture is not mere words on a page--they contain words of life, food for our soul.
Oh that my vexation were weighed,    and all my calamity laid in the balances! Job 6:2
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalm 56:8 
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5
cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. Psalm 57:2 
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:22
The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. Psalm 11:4
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long,  “Where is your God?” These things I remember,  as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng  and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise,  a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:3-5
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him,  to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:21-26
Do we treasure the Word of God? Is the Bible your wonderful foundation?
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
4) Job's wife endured nearly as much as Job himself--minus the physical afflictions--and yet we know very little of her. We know her response did not match her husband's. Her first response was not worship. I'm not sure her response was ever one of worship. But we know so little of her and her story: everything is speculation. Would it have been easy to care for Job and to host Job's friends?! Probably not. Was she glad his friends were there to support her husband in his grief? Did she wish they'd all shut up? Who was there to support her?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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