Entered the book of Job today and just…wow!!! I have studied this book before but new truths are popping out to me so much! It is incredible the lessons I am learning. If bible study is not a regular part of your day then you are truly missing out. I pray you lean into the desire to know more about your Maker and the way His heart works for us.
In Job we learn that suffering can come from no fault of our own. Job is described as a blameless and righteous man. This description comes straight from God and if you study the book of Job keep that description in mind as you study it. God, Himself, calls Job blameless and righteous.
That doesn’t mean Job doesn’t sin. In the beginning of this story we see that Job regularly makes sacrifices for him and his family. This shows the heart Job has for God and his willingness to repent his sins and be made right with God. This is also a foreshadowing of Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross was our final sacrifice. His blood being poured out to cover our sins when we accept this new covenant between us and God. Old covenant: Job making sacrfices and keeping his heart turned towards God instead of the world made him blameless and righteous in the sight of God. New covenant: Jesus and His once and for all sacrifice makes us blameless and righteous in the sight of God when we accept Christ as our savior and confess Him Lord over our lives.
So far I am in the middle of the speech of Job’s friend, Eliphaz where he is telling Job that Job must have sinned in a way to cause God to bring him this suffering. He claims it must be punishment from God. (Remember , though, God has called Job righteous and blameless in His sight).
One thing I want to point out first is that all three of Job’s friends first came and sat silently for 7 days and 7 nights with Job after these huge tragedies happened in his life. They seemed to genuinely be there to comfort him at first. But as Job’s grieving comes to a peak the friends break their silence and start trying to solve Job’s problems instead of staying in prayerful silence with him. Good intentions but wrong action. Thankfully this all works out to Job’s favor and ours, too, considering the lessons that are tucked away in this dialog.
So, what exaclty is Job suffering? Well, to summarize, Satan appears before God and God asks him what he has been up to. Satan says he has just been going to and fro upon the earth. It is interesting to me that in the story of Noah, when he sends out the raven to find dry land the raven is described as going “to and fro” and wasn’t accomplishing anything. Ok, rabbit hole, I know, but here we are now with Satan going “to and fro” not accomplishing anything but God is about to send him out to accomplish something for Job.
Still with me? Back to the tragedies. God brings up Job and says that he is a righteous and blameless man. Satan, being the accuser, replies stating that Job only worships God because of all the wonderful things Job has received from God. If all that was taken away then Job surely wouldn’t worship Him any longer! God allows Satan to bring tragedy into Job’s life. Sounds harsh but God has a plan for Job and it is the greatest of all blessings for this man. God allows Satan to do this, not to prove Satan wrong, but to ultimately bless Job in the end. God has nothing to prove. This is all done for the blessing of Job. Long story short, Job loses all his wealth, his family, and then his health. Job then goes into the grieving as previously stated.
His grieving comes to a peak and he says something that sounds so familiar to me and I even made a similar post about this the other day. So, Job says in chapter 3:25-26; “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Remember that post I made about fearing chaos coming to my life? Look at Job with that same fear! Yes, Job was seen by God as blameless and righteous. Yes, Job was living the dream before these tragedies! He had it all and lived in peace and quiet. But he also feared losing it. And it is really hard to truly enjoy and be grateful for our blessings when we live in fear of losing it.
Spoiler alert: Job’s life is restored double by the end of all of this but guess what he no longer has? The fear of losing it. He has been there. He has lost it all. He has gone through all the assumptions for why he lost it all thanks to his friends. He has worked out the sovereignty of God in his life and has learned what true trust and dependence on God’s will really means. He understands how much he can trust the hand that tells the ocean where to stop, who made the heavens and the earth, and who tells our very heart to beat. He now knows with no doubt that the same God that allows chaos is the same God we can find refuge to have peace in the middle of the chaos. His peace is now fully held by God and not by the temporary things or relationships of this world.
We don’t have to analyze our lives to figure out what is causing this and that. We simply seek the kingdom first. We seek God and His sovereignty. We see God’s heart and compassion bent toward us. We see God’s goodness through it all. We take His yoke upon us and learn from Him for His burden is light and His yoke is easy. Even when, especially when, the world tries to convince us that our lives are wearisome and heavy laden.
Even through chaos we can be lifted into peace with our Almighty. Choosing to trust His knowledge of the big picture and put aside our near sighted and tunnel vision understanding of only what we can see.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.