Monday, January 25, 2010

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

So tonight the reading shifts to the story of Job. Here are a few of my thoughts from reading tonight...

1. Talk about a bad day. In one day Job loses all his earthly possessions as well as his children. And yet, at the end of it all he says, "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" Job 1:21. I wonder if I could or would respond in the same way. To literally lose almost everything and still praise and bless the Lord takes quite a lot of strength. Strength I am sure that Job found in the Lord.

2. Just when he thought he had enough, there was more. Just as Job has lost almost everything, not his own health is attacked. He is miserable. Even his own wife tells him to curse God and die. and Job responds, "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" Job 2:10. I think this is one of the things as humans we often struggle with the most. When things are going well, we are receiving blessings from God. But when things turn and we find ourselves in despair, we often feel that God has forsaken us. In truth, God is always with us. Even as Job was being attacked by Satan, God was still with Job. I believe that is the only reason Job could still respond in this way. That type of strength is not human.

3. Job shows his humanity. Job was tough, he really was, but his lament in chapter 3 was bound to happen. Who could blame him. Job is in such pain and despair he laments his very birth. Job is at a very low point. Job is struggling. Yet, we know that God is still with him. Job's circumstances have changed, but God still loves him, that remains.

4. The presence of satan is real. At the beginning of Job, God asks when satan presents himself where he has come from. Satan replies, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." Job 2:2. Evil and satan are real. I believe he is just as present on the earth as he was when Job was alive. And while satan brings pain, destruction and despair just as he did to Job, he is still not stronger or more powerful than God. He never has been and he never will be. There are days when things are so bad on this earth, it seems that satan is winning, but that is never true. No matter how desperate things are, God is always in control. Always. He has already written the end of the story. And that is something we can take joy in, even in the midst of pain and tragedy.

So, while I have studied Job before, but I am looking forward to studying his story again. While it is a painful one, I think that there are also some beautiful pictures found in the midst of his suffering.

Today's Reading: Job 1-5

"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." Job 1:21

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