Acts 18; Judges 9; Job 38
We’ve all heard the phrase: “Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.” While it’s not in the Bible, I can’t help but think the first person to think these words, if not say them was Job. In his discussions with his friends, he continually sought an audience with God to seek to justify himself. The problem for Job was that God appeared – and when God spoke, it didn’t bode well for Job! “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’” (Job 38:1-3) As Job heard these words, his first thoughts must have been something like, “this isn’t going to go well.” Job didn’t understand the battle between Satan and God that brought all these troubles upon him. To be honest, I still don’t understand why God would engage in such a discussion with Satan. And yet, I, not being the most righteous man on earth, have to deal with testing and temptation all the time as well. How often would we seek to blame God for our troubles? Job, who had more right than anyone, found his claims met with an amazing counter claim. God reminds us that He is God, and not us. Throughout the rest of God’s discourse we are not given an answer for any of Job’s questions, but we are reminded that God has a higher purpose for the world. In short, if God wanted Job to suffer for whatever reason, it was well within His power to allow it. The story of Job is not meant to make us comfortable in life; Job’s story attacks our dearly held beliefs that God should bless us because we are good. It attacks our beliefs that God is a fluffy grandfather in the sky who seeks to serve our every whim. And so we face a future we don’t understand, guided by a God whom we can’t understand, knowing only that we can trust Him to do what is right and necessary for the world we live in each day. The key to getting through each day is to keep strong in our relationship with God.
Lord, I see what Job went through and I’m scared. For too long, we have been led to believe that if we live right, we’ll be blessed. In truth, though, blessings come from our relationship with You, not from wealth of this world. If Job suffered, though he was righteous; if Jesus suffered, though he was sinless, remind me that I am clay in Your hands to be molded, prepared and fired in the kiln if necessary for You.