I was reading in the book of Job this morning and I saw some interesting things in it. The conversation between Job and the Lord show just how interactive He really is with us as individuals! It also shows that He is not afraid of telling us like it is.
God didn’t say a word until AFTER He observed everything Job, his wife and his three friends spoke out concerning Job’s pitiful situation.
First, Job was standing firm in his faith in God. He still loves God even though he believes that God brought all this misery on him for no reason. Instead of cursing God, he curses himself and the day he was born. He said “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night which announced, There is a man-child conceived.” (Job 3:3).
Second, Job’s wife wasn’t as faith-filled as Job. After she lost her children, all her money and her husband was in horrible physical condition, she blamed Job and she blamed God. She said “Do you still hold fast your blameless uprightness? Renounce God and die!” These hard words didn’t make Job falter, He said “You speak as one of the impious and foolish women would speak. What? Shall we accept only good at the hand of God and shall we not accept also misfortune and what is of a bad nature?” The Word says that “in spit of all this Job did NOT sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10)
Third, here comes Job’s well-meaning friends to comfort him the day of his calamity. They started out doing the right thing…not saying a word. “So they sat down with Job on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief and pain were very great.” (Job 2:13).
Notice this, Job opened the door to the conversations that followed by cursing the day he was born. He goes on a long discourse about it to his three friends. Then they started speaking to Job about their opinions of God and the reasons why Job was in this predicament. On the surface they are praising God, but their words are dragging Job further down into depression. They basically said “you must have done something wrong Job or this wouldn’t have happened!”
Finally the Lord Himself starting talking to Job out of a whirlwind. In Job 38 and 39 the Lord takes Job to task and points out His greatness and wisdom in comparison to Job and his friends. He says, “who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now your loins like a man and I will demand of you, and you declare to Me.” (Job 38:1-2) Whoa! It looks like Job is headed for the woodshed!
It’s interesting to read the questions the Lord puts to Job because it gives insight into His creation. I love what he says about donkeys and the ostrich. “Who has sent out the wild donkey, giving him his freedom? Or who has loosed the bands of the swift donkey [by which his tame brother is bound–he, the shy, the swift-footed, and the untamable. He scorns the tumult of the city and hears not the shoutings of the taskmaster.” (Job 39:5-6) It’s true that donkeys are very stubborn!
After the Lord points out all these things to Job, He asks him “shall he who would find fault with the Almighty contend with Him? He who disputes with God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:1) In the end, the Lord was angry with Job’s three friends for speaking ABOUT Him as if they knew Him intimately, which they did not. It took Job’s intercessory prayer to put them back into His graces.
What lesson can we take away from Job’s calamity? When calamity comes, and it will come because the Word says it rains on the just and the unjust. Jesus said “in this world, you WILL have tribulations and troubles.”
When trouble comes knocking, keep your eyes on Jesus. You must find your strength in Him and not in the opinions of others, however well-meaning they are. As Job found out, you are responsible for your own faith-walk. The choice is this: do I believe God’s motives towards me are for my benefit or do I blame Him for the whole thing? So many times people shake their fist at God and it is Satan’s attack that we should be shaking our fist at.
Take a lesson from Job…hold fast to your faith in God no matter what the world throws at you!