Job is a difficult book to deal with, considering its placement within scripture. Set right before the Psalms, where we sing of God’s care for the righteous and His judgment of the wicked, and the Proverbs, where wisdom and righteousness lead to blessedness, Job doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. We have a righteous man, surrounded by the blessings of God, and boasted of by God Himself as being a faithful servant, and what follows is the scene of a nightmare.
In seeking to understand this book, I try to put myself in Job’s position. He was not informed about what transpired in God’s throne room. He could not have begun to grasp the importance of this test, or how his faithfulness would glorify God. All he knew was that one day, he was righteous and everything was great, and then next day, he was righteous and everything dissolved before his eyes.
This year, many of us have experienced the shock of watching something fall apart, be it our health or the health of a loved one, a job that vanished, societal peace being replaced by chaos, or even our ability to fellowship with others, to name a few. Even still, most of us have never come close to the bad stretch that Job had, hearing that his children had all been killed, his earthly wealth had been carried off, and even his health turned to grotesque agony. This is why his response is so incredible. Where I might have appealed to God with cries of “it’s not fair!,” “What did I ever do to deserve this?!,” or “Where is your justice, God?,” instead Job maintains his trust in God’s goodness. He cries out, “the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
My challenge for us is this: How will we respond this year? The events of our world and our lives may get worse, and we may be left wondering if God cares for His people, if righteousness is worth it when we only get hardship in return, or if God is even in control. Much like Job’s wife, the world will tell us to “curse God and die.” Like Job the question we must answer is, “should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” We may never understand why God is allowing what is happening, but we can choose to remain faithful, and believe that even the most difficult days are a gift from God, because He is allowing us to be a part of glorifying His name in this world.

by Ben Urban

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