Thursday, October 17, 2013

Job and Me

I am fascinated by the scene in heaven that opens the book of Job. God points out Job to Satan as an example of a godly man.

(Job 1:8) Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” 
Satan argues that Job fears God for strictly pragmatic reasons. God is protecting Job, so Job is faithful to God. Satan says that if God will remove Job's protection, Job will, "curse you to your face."

So much of religion in the world (even much of Christianity) is exactly what Satan suggests about Job. People are religious because they think it will bring God's blessings and protection. The preachers of prosperity theology are essentially running a mob like protection racket. Give God a payoff or he will let bad things happen to you. Get on God's good side and he will give you good things.

Job's friends had this basic perspective too. Good things in this life are God's blessings and bad things in this life are God's punishments. If you get good things you must have been good. If you get bad things you must have been bad. (Job must have been really, really bad.)

But what God knows and what the story shows is that Job loves God and will continue to trust God no matter what. Job says, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15). Job loves God because of God's absolute worth - not because of some scheme to gain earthly health and wealth.

So why put Job (not to mention his wife and children) through all of these difficulties? It is spiritual warfare! Satan has impugned Job and God by his accusations. He has thrown down the gauntlet - the challenge. By allowing the loss, the sorrow, and the pain God takes up Satan's challenge and defends his own honor.

This should inform our prayers. We should not pray just for physical deliverance. We should pray for spiritual strength in the face of Satanic attack. Whether we are healed or we die, the most important thing is that we honor God by our response to the circumstances.

1 comment:

Bobbi said...

WOW! Just wow. That makes me cry...but I love the TRUTH of it. Thanks.