God is talking to me about LOVE this morning. Yesterday Job was placed on my heart – and not the story that I’ve heard and know but a specific task in thinking over the story of Job… “Look at the process”…
When God asked Satan “Have you considered Job?” Satan responded by complaining to God about his lack of ability to touch Job. Satan said to God, “”Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” Then Satan said something major here. He told God “if you reach out YOUR HAND and touch everything he has, then he will curse you.” Satan didn’t say, “If you let ME at him.”…. He said “If YOUR HAND comes against Him.” In response… “The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD…. and we know what happened next… Literally everything Job had was taken from him and destroyed – his riches, his servants, his family and even his health. But there’s something BIG in this text. Satan has NO power against anything on his own. He complained to God that he can’t touch what God has protected, but even bigger is that satan reveals here that ONLY GOD can make the decision of what he chooses to protect and what he chooses to strike down. How did God accomplish this? He gave the authority (the OK) to Satan to go after Job’s stuff. I’ve heard many preachers say things like “God is not in control” or “God didn’t want that to happen”… Like there’s a war going on between God and Satan and Satan happened to get one over on God when a terrible thing occurs to someone or in someone’s life. And this text just really exposes the truth behind our Almighty God and the endless sovereignty that HE and only HE holds over all of creation.
So why did God allow Job to go through all this? Why would a loving God reach out HIS HAND and allow Satan the authority to destroy his life? I really thought about the process a lot yesterday of Job’s story and what I saw was something amazing in that when Job got to a place of rock bottom, he cursed himself – he cursed his existence – he cursed the day that he was born. It may not be perceived as “cursing God” but in a sense he was cursing God’s authority and decision to make him – to bring him into existence. I’ve been there. asking, “why did you even make me if my purpose is to suffer?” It’s a painful text and a very deep, emotional text as Job questions what he is, why he’s here and confesses hatred towards his own being. When that happened, we see God come against Job. I don’t know the full meaning of what that must have looked like – I mean, Job had already lost everything that mattered to him. However, in this text, God is really putting Job in his place. But something peculiar happens after this… Job says that he had heard the Lord, but NOW HE SEES and he repented to the Lord. Prior to anything changing for Job, his friends who had betrayed him came to him and Job prayed for them. It’s amazing really, in his pain and hopelessness – in this horrible situation Job was living in – he delivers a heartfelt request to the Lord, not for himself but for his friends. And the text says , “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
Unselfishness…. taking our eyes off of ourselves even in the midst of horrible times… there’s something to this.
Unselfishness was also shown in the story of Lazarus and the rich man. When the rich man was taken to hell, he begged Abraham to give him a drink and to save him for the fiery torture he was in. After he was told that he can’t cross over from that place, he begged for Lazarus (one sent from the dead) to go warn his family and his five brothers. But Abraham said, “if they wont listen to moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
And someone did… Jesus Christ.
Lazarus was a poor beggar.. Job was brought from riches and happiness to pain and emptiness. What is God’s love?
Hebrews 12: 6-7….
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?