“Let us hold fast unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” Heb. 10:23
How could this be? Just all of a sudden the world came crashing down on a single innocent man. A man named Job, whose inherent meaning of his name is ‘Affliction’. His case seemed like the ultimate in unfairness. Unknown to him, he was involved in a cosmic test, a test proposed in heaven but staged here on earth.
Then the Lord said to Satan, have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.-Job 1:8
The devil could be so crafty, always seeking to have his ways even when he clearly sees that God has locked the door. He openly sees God’s hand on Job, but he still pressed God so he could have his way against the innocent Job.
In case you don’t know Job’s qualification, here is God’s designed C.V of him: “There is none like him on earth; a blameless and upright man; one that fears God, and turns away from evil.”
Wow! What a great qualification! No wonder God could proudly boast of him, displaying his qualities, right before the accuser.
To reply God, satan was so fast to trace Job’s qualities to his stupendous wealth and enviable possessions. He claimed that people like Job love God only because of the good things he provides. “Remove those things”, he challenged, “and Job’s faith would melt away along with his riches.”
At this point, God’s reputation was on the line. “Can Job defend his devil-provoking qualification? Would he continue to trust Me or turn away from Me if his life falls apart?” Being a Righteous and Just God, He gave the devil ‘the go-ahead’ to test him. The devil, being who he is always, wasted no time to set his mercenaries to work against Job. He was so successful that he destroyed all that Job had, from his material possession down to all his children. All these destructions in just a day! What could be worst?
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” Job 1:20-21
The devil, on realizing all his fiery darts against Job didn’t move him, he pressed God further for permission to harm Job’s body saying “Skin for skin! A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Once again, God gave him ‘the go-ahead’. The magnitude of God’s confidence in Job’s integrity was God’s emphasis on his life, He told the devil “Behold, he is in your hand; but spare his life” (God was implying that as long as Job has breath, he has the ability to defend his qualification and stand on his integrity).
The devil once again succeeded in afflicting Job, striking him with painful boils from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet. His wife, who ought to have been a source of positive encouragement, advised him to curse God and die, being a ‘better’ option. His friends are even crueler; they argued that Job was being punished for his sins, that he deserved the tragedies crashing on his life. However, Job struggled to do what seemed impossible – to keep on believing and trusting a loving, caring and just God even though all evidences of realities testified against such God.
I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. Job 27:6
All these summarize that bad things happen to good people. In all his humiliations, he stood tall and defended his heavenly qualification. He did not curse God but he clung to his belief in a just God, even when everything in his experience seemed to contradict it. His faith was able to stand the test of time. Our God, being a faithful Judge consoled Job at the end of the cosmic test; He restored his fortunes, giving him double of what he had before. He lived an additional 140 years, seeing his children to the fourth generation. God blessed his latter end than his beginning. What a God-diffused life!
It wasn’t God’s blessing that made Job to be blameless and upright; but it was his uncommon virtues that provoked God’s sorrow-free blessing on him. He will always be faithful, as long as we are (2 Tim.2:13).
When we Feel Like Job
Sooner or later, we might find ourselves in a position somewhat like Job’s. Our world seems to crumble apart; nothing makes sense anymore; God seems distant off and silent. At such moment of great crisis, a conviction needs to be set which is to allow God be God, following the process with an unflinching trust, holding unto our faith and integrity without wavering, believing that He that promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23). The God of the mountain is also the God in the valley.
– Can God say of you “He/She is blameless, upright and shuns evil or better still, what is your Christian qualification?”
– If Job had failed, who should be blamed? Himself, who couldn’t be faithful enough to defend his qualification, or God, who knowingly delivered the innocent Job into the hand of the accuser?
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GOD BLESS YOU.