As each day went by this week I’ve been continuing my trek through the Bible chronologically each morning. I wake up, eat breakfast, sip on some coffee, and do my best to dig into God’s word. The typical distractions of a smartphone and news feeds attempt to divert my attention, and they do succeed some of the time. It’s helped me immensely to just leave the phone in another room. But that’s just me.
Anyhow after getting through a portion of Genesis the plan then skips over to a book called Job wherein we find a man (named Job) who had life by the horns, quite literally. He had 500 yoke of oxen after all.
Reading a chapter of Job every morning has led me to some conclusions:
- Job had a great life
- He then lost every earthly thing
- His community of “friends” didn’t make it any better
- God was still glorified in it
Job had a great life by any standard. He had a thriving farm, a wife, and some kids. But it didn’t stay that way. Men stole his oxen and murdered his servants and a storm felled the place where his children were. His life quickly unraveled before his eyes. His wealth, his children, and soon his health were all taken as a test to show Jobs unwavering devotion to God.
Right where I am in my reading is where his “friends” chime in to say their peace in this situation. In chapter eight, Bildad pleads with Job to repent and ask God for mercy, to which Job replies in chapter nine that he is in the right, he hasn’t sinned in this situation.
His other jovial companions, Eliphaz and Zophar mock Job’s words. And still Job clings to the truth that he is in that situation not because of his sin, but because of God’s sovereign plan.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Imagine being personally blamed for the death of your children and the loss of all your earthly possessions! I can’t imagine the deep sadness and temptation to despair. His solace was knowing that God was in control and God had a plan he was working for good. Job didn’t have Romans 8:28 as we do, but he lived it out far better than many of us ever will.
In these first chapters it’s amazing that we don’t see an account of genuine friends encouraging Job and helping him. It seems his pool of friends were a bit shallow.
This makes me immensely thankful for the community of believers called the Church. As Gods people we are called to help those in need, clothe the naked and feed the hungry. Job didn’t have that. He was scraping his skin with clay pots for relief.
If you still don’t have many close christian friends, hope in Christ. Seek community in the local Church. You’ll find it’s an indispensable privilege we take for granted so much.
We don’t have to go through life’s hardships alone as Job did. Job didn’t have the Church, but we do. Take advantage and get plugged in.