Daily Archives: January 20, 2021
Psalm 40:7-10 (ESV)
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:9-10).
If there was ever a man that I felt sorry for in Scriptures, it is Job. Sometimes you cannot help but think that he was the victim of a bet between God and Satan. That is not a comment about the character and nature of God, by any means. However, when you read the story, it certainly feels like that is exactly why Job’s life took the spin that it did.
However, another way to look at it is this: God had so much faith in Job’s faith that he knew that no matter what happened – Job would never renounce his faith.
Think about how this story unfolds. Job has everything that a man could ask for. He has children. He has possessions. He has livestock, he has health. Then, suddenly, in the course of a very short timespan – Job loses everything. Not only did he lose his livestock and his children, Job was stricken with sores from the bottom of his foot to the top of his head. These sores were so bad that Job had to take a piece of broken pottery to scrape the sores just to find some sort of relief.
Is there any wonder why Job’s wife responds in the manner that she does? After all, just seeing this from the human plain, you can’t help but think that somehow Job is just cursed. Thus, his wife, looking at the scene, is absolutely dumbfounded. She probably asks the question that many of us would, because remember, Job’s loss was her loss as well. Basically what she says is this: “Job, why on earth are you remaining faithful to God? Look at what has just happened to us? How could the God we have served for so long allow this or cause this to happen? Just curse him and die.” In other words, I believe in a moment of pain and emotion, Job’s wife all but says, there is no way there can be a God if this is what happens to people who live faithful to him. What kind of a monstrous “god” would do such a thing?
To Job’s credit, even while he is sitting in a pile of ashes in lament, scraping painful sores with broken pottery – he looks at his wife and says something that just goes completely beyond my comprehension. “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good form God, and shall we not receive evil?” Think about this statement. Basically, Job is bringing his wife back around to her senses. Job never questioned God nor God’s sovereignty. What Job is declaring in this statement is a simple and profound fact: God is the God over everything – good or bad – God is in control and God will sustain his faithful. It isn’t about the possessions, it isn’t even about the health – it’s about the relationship. Job trusted that his life was fully, good or bad, in God’s hands and his hands alone.
That is an incredible faith! In fact, it is so incredible that this passage literally ends with the statement: “In all this, Job did not sin with his lips.” In other words, even in the most horrific events of his life, Job still remained faithful and loyal to God. And in that faithfulness, we know how the story ends. God heals Job and he restores Job’s life back to him many fold from what it was before.
There is something very important for us to see in this story. When God impressed this passage on my heart, I had to ask myself a question that was very difficult, because I already knew the answer. In the trials of my life, did and do I sound more like Job’s wife or Job?
The reality is: Life is hard sometimes. There are things that happen to us that don’t make sense. We may lose a marriage. We may have to deal with the death of a child. We may lose everything by a natural disaster. Life happens. In our broken, fallen world, it just happens. However, at the end of the day – do we have the strength of faith that when we face the trials – the deep trials of life – it can be said of us, “In all of these things, I did not sin with my lips or my heart.” If not, why? May God give us strength that even when the storms of life blow the absolute hardest, we can say, “God, no matter how bad this storm gets, I trust you. I trust myself into your hands, and I trust that you will work something deep in me through this.”