One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Goodness…And we think we have it rough. My son Samuel used to say, “It’s a bad day”, to just about anything that would go wrong. He said it sarcastically, but I imagine those around Job that day would have to sincerely agree.
A bad day for me might include fussing with my grandsons to get out of bed so they get to school on time. I can see me running late for work due to heavy traffic, and then when it does pick up, a truck kicks a rock back at me and it cracks my windshield. When I get to work, the computers aren’t working properly but I have deadlines on numerous projects. I receive a call from the school nurse that both boys are sick. When I go out to my car, I find a flat tire. You get the idea. We all have them. We can understandingly say these kinds of days are ‘very bad’.
Poor Job lost everything he had in just one day. And yet, he still was able to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord, who gives and takes away.” Could you do that? I would like to believe I could, but I seriously doubt it. For a person who becomes ‘melancholy’ at the drop of a hat, I fear I would have taken Job’s wife’s advice, and I would have cursed God and wished for death.
If you’re familiar with the story of Job, you know that Satan came back to God and said that Job would surely curse God if his body was attacked as well. God knew Job’s heart and allowed Satan to inflict painful sores to Job’s body, but he was not allowed to take Job’s life. Job still didn’t curse God, but he sure cursed the day he was born. The man was as low as he could go, and he even had an intense conversation with God about his plight. As we all do, Job asked, “Why?”, but he never lost his faith in the Creator.
Do you ever ask, “Why?” I know I do… All the time. When I am asked about my faith, and how I can believe in God when there are so many terrible things going on in the world, I honestly answer, “I don’t know. I’m not God.” It is also important to remember that these terrible things are a direct result of sin. From the beginning, when man exercised his God-given free will to choose, sin entered the world and we have been living with the fallout ever since.
I am so thankful to have God to turn to during the troubles in my life. He promises to always be there for us, no matter what. No, he will not always answer our prayers in the way we would like, but that is because he sees the bigger picture. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Having a faith like Job means trusting God with our life, no matter what. He is God. He created us and everything we need is provided. Why do some have much, and some have little? I couldn’t tell you. He is God, and we are not. For me, that fact alone makes ‘a very bad day’ bearable somehow.
Oh, and by the way, God restored to Job everything he had lost, and even doubled it. That was a good day.