13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants[c] with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 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.”
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
— Job 1:13-22 Have you ever commended someone for having “the patience of Job”? It’s curious how that expression developed when the story is not at all about Job being patient. Rather, it’s through his suffering and consequent impatient questioning of God and his friends, that Job’s relationship with God deepens. He discovers that his Creator is not only much more majestic and powerful than he had ever imagined but is also a personal God who sees him, listens to him and speaks with him. The first scene in this drama is a conversation in Heaven which provides for us—although not for Job—an understanding of why he suffers. God declares that Job is a man of faith and integrity. The Hebrew words for upright and blameless do not suggest he was sinless, but rather a man of good character, with a pure heart. Satan then taunts God’s confidence in Job claiming, “He is only an upright man because you have given him great wealth. Take it all away and he will curse you to your face.” Satan’s accusation might be right about many others, then and now. But he was wrong about Job. Job grieves deeply when his family and his possessions are all gone, but remains steadfast in his praise of God who is the source of everything he has. Would we? How easy it is for us to praise God in the midst of a comfortable life, but when circumstances change, does our praise turn to complaint? What happens to our reverence for God when those “good things” evaporate?
Do we love God or only what God gives us?
The story of Job challenges us to ponder that question. Sometimes we need to be in a desperate place to discover how important our relationship with God really is.
When God is all you have, you will find that He is all you need. Whatever you’ve lost, He will replace with so much more.
Written by Carmen Miller
Carmen spent her life searching for empty substitutes for God. She tried to find her worth, value, and identity in things and men, only to be left empty and broken. Today, she shares her story of brokenness and the love Jesus relentlessly showed her. A wife, a mom, and a proud Elevator at Elevation Church. She is passionate about the body of Christ and being set free from the bondage’s that hinder our walk with Christ.