Week 2, Day 5
READ: Job 2
BACKGROUND: Satan, in trying to discredit God, said that Job was only faithful because of all the blessings God had given him. When the blessings were all destroyed and Job remained faithful, however, he had to come up with a different theory. In chapter 2 he charges Job with being willing to give up the lives of his sheep, cattle, servants, and children in order to spare his own. Again, God permits him to test Job.
3 – “You incited me” does not mean tricked, tempted, or forced. God cannot be made to do anything that is against his will. It simply means that Satan asked God for permission to do what he did.
7 – The exact sickness with which Job was afflicted is unknown. It was pretty nasty though according to the descriptions in this chapter and the others that occur throughout the book.
8 – Ashes signify mourning. The scraping signifies that he was “unclean” according to the Law, which was a major embarrassment for a man of his stature.
9 – Job’s wife’s suggestion here, is basically that all that is left for Job is to die and he obviously doesn’t have God’s favor so he might as well speed up the process by cursing God. According to Leviticus 24:16, the penalty for this is death.
THINK: When I got home from work today, my 2 year-old son, Jimmy, was out in the yard. He was excited to see me pull into the driveway and, as I got out of the car, he ran up and told me, “You’re awesome Daddy!” And I thought, it’s great that he’s still too young to know any better. 🙂 Then my wife asked him, “Why is Daddy awesome?” And he thought for a moment and all he could come up with is, “Because he plays with me.” That about summed it up in his mind. And, in fairness to him, playing with kids toys may be the extent of my awesomeness. But it made me stop to think. In his young mind, at that moment, his feelings of love and affection towards me were based only on what I contribute to him when I play trains or let him ride me around like a horse.
I wonder if sometimes we relate to God in that same way. Our love for God and our commitment to him are based upon what he does for us. We love him because he’s done so many great things for us and blessed us so richly. It’s easy to love God for what he does for us. And that’s a good thing! He died on the cross for us. But what about when the circumstances change and the blessings dry up and we find ourselves in the midst of trials? Do we still love God when life isn’t perfect?
Job certainly had to wrestle with this question after everything he owned was destroyed and his own body was attacked by a ravaging disease. And yet, even when tempted and prompted to turn away and curse God, Job remained faithful and said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not adversity?” He understood the bigger picture of God’s sovereignty in our world. But that is a hard concept to grasp. A lot of us get very frustrated whenever God doesn’t do exactly what we want and perform in our lives like a magic genie in a bottle who pops out to grant all of our wishes and than fades away again when “we don’t need him.” And when things go wrong – because our culture has the mindset that life should just be easy all the time – people reject God and call his love and goodness into question. We don’t know why bad things happen in our lives. We can’t always see or understand God’s plans. But we know he is in control. And ultimately, our love for him has to be based on his holy and loving character and not just upon the blessings he gives us.
ASK: Have I ever gotten mad at God because things were hard and they weren’t working out the way I wanted? What is an appropriate attitude towards God in that situation?