6One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and satan also came with them. 7The Lord said to satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” (Job 1:6, 7)
Good day friends! Today, in the Old Testament reading plan, we begin reading the Book of Job. I used to hate this book, mostly because I knew my faith was nowhere as strong as Job’s. If I had lost everything I had, I would honestly have a hard time praising God throughout the loss. Then, as I read Job more, I realized this story was a very important parable that is meant to teach us how to handle suffering. The author is unknown and the book is the first “poetic” book of the Old Testament. In my Bible, The Jesus Bible, the translation reads and looks like a long poem. I have grown to love this book, more for its prose and structure than the message it attempts to portray.
The Book of Job supposedly answers the question of why bad things happen to righteous people. In this story, God allows horrible things to happen to Job due to a challenge from satan. When God brags about Job to satan, the prince of darkness argues that if Job lost everything, his wealth, his possessions, his children, his health, that sooner or later Job would curse God. Then the book captures the arguments of Job’s three friends who try to put the blame on Job for God punishing Job. Well, the reason I see this story as a parable is because God would never allow misery to befall on one of His children because satan challenges Him. To even think this book is a true tale is an insult to God. How vain do you think God is to believe He needs to prove anything to the devil? Think about that. (This is why I call this project Common Sense Reborn.)
I believe that the true message of this book should be that misfortune does fall on the righteous, not because God “allows” it to happen, but more because the devil is constantly seeking to discredit God and to test our faith. And it is not that God allows them to happen, it’s just that they do happen. And for most of our suffering, it’s something we cause as humans. Crime, social injustice, social suffering, wealth disparity, envy, pride, lust, wrath, greed, gluttony, etc., all these evils in the world are caused by human hands. The only “trouble” we befall as humans that seems to come from God are natural disasters, and illness, physical and mental. But the truth is, any suffering we endure in this life, is just temporary. Our true peace, reward and rest is waiting for us in Heaven. As I read through Job this last week, I could not really see this truth spelled out in the text, but there are some great truths still to extract from this tale.
So for the next two weeks, when I post on here we will analyze our suffering as humans, and how we should respond as Christians. Today, I share a good reminder from one of my favorites, Mr. Phil Wickham, who sings that throughout our darkest trouble, God has always been with us.
In keeping with his fervor and fire for 2021, Pastor Steven Furtick preaches an incredible word on never giving up, something that easily resonates with the story of Job. Think I just came up with the name of this part of my post: The Fire and Fervor of Furtick!
Reading plan: Acts 18
Deeper reading plan: Job 1, 2, 3