On to the book of Job....
Job is the book that answers the question that most people wonder: Why do bad things happen to good people?
One of the things that really stuck out for me through these passages was that Satan didn't ask about Job or choose Job but God said in verse
I found this commentary about the book of Job and I like how the author summarizes Job's catastrophes and his initial reaction to what was, without a doubt, the worst day of his life (so far):
Here is a man going about his private affairs, unaware that he has suddenly become the center of God's attention. For the time being all of God's activity has focused upon him, and he has become the battleground for a conflict between God and Satan in which God is planning to pull the rug out from under Satan, and to reveal him as the phony that he is. Job is that battleground, and Satan immediately moves in with shock troops.
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gives, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21)
I can say that likely my first reaction would not have been the same as Job's. I can't imagine losing all my "props" in my life in one terrifying message after another until everything was lost. It reminds me that none of the things of this world are really guaranteed and that maybe I should loosen my grip just a little bit.
Our oldest daughter is leaving in less than two weeks to go to France for about 3 months. It's terrifying. We want to control things and we really want to know what is going to happen next. It's really hard to let go of the "things" you hold dearly. I know God has big plans on the horizon and that loosening my grip will help those plans to begin. We just have to trust, as Job did, that God has everything under control even when we don't see it.
Something else that stood out for me during today's reading was when Job's wife said in Chapter 2 verse
Maybe I'm reading too much into this but is Job's wife telling Job to kill himself? I think with all the news lately about the "right to die" and euthanasia cases before the courts that life has been reduced to nothing. Doctors and patients are playing God and deciding when to end life. No doubt that life in pain is a burden but who should decide when our time on earth is done? Is deciding to end our life the same as cursing God? Is it telling everyone that we know better than God when we should pass away? I'm not sure if this is what Job's wife was implying but it stood out for me today.
I loved that Job's friends just showed up. I read this blog about a Mom who lost her son (who's the same age as our middle daughter) in a freak accident a few years ago. She wrote this list of ways to help a grieving family and #6 on her list is to just show up. I like that Job had friends, who at least in the beginning, were just there to support Job.
I think it is our human nature to think that there HAVE to be reasons for bad things to happen. So many times we encounter things that just do not have any explanation: a young father dying suddenly from car crash, a teen failing to win a battle against an aggressive cancer, a mom fighting against the effects of a brain tumour and losing, miscarriage, still birth, infertility, etc. etc. We want to explain those things away because if they have a cause then we can wrap our heads around it and maybe even avoid it happening to us....
People don't always suffer because they deserve it. Really...it could be argued that our sinful nature does beg to be punished in a way that grabs our attention as to just how dirty sin is in the eyes of a Holy God. Job did not bring on this magnitude of suffering by his sin. He recognized that God is the giver and the taker and that we need to praise him at all times. I think one of the hardest things for me when reading the book of Job is that I don't know if I could act as Job did when he dealt with all of the things God allowed him to experience.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 5-8