Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blesse be the Name if the Lord

Job 1:20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

5:22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts her mouth.
"Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no evil shall touch you.

You all know the story, as do I. There is something special about the relationship Job has with his Lord. It is not that Job is not weeping, and crushed over the loss of his family and possessions, but he really did understand that God gives and He also can take away; it is all His. Job had been faithful, and yet God chose to bring Himself glory in the story of Job, and is still bringing Himself glory even as I am recounting it.

A couple of thing I want to point out.

Right after the Lord takes everything away from Job, except his precious wife and dear friends; immediately Job says, "Blessed be the name of the Lord". What a testament to his trust in God's goodness, to him personally.

Also, it is not too far into the discussion with his friends that he says, "Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty." Job understood that it is not always best, in God's eyes, to have much on earth, and if God thought it best for him to have nothing, then he would take that as good for him. He was not going to question God's motives in the discipline, and in all this he did not sin with his mouth. It seems he didn't even have a bad attitude about it, because of the "despise not the discipline" portion.

There are quite a few differences between my estate and Job's, which is truly, perfectly fine with me. I am not here on earth to see how much money, or how many things, I can stack up. I don't think that was Job's motivation either; God had just really blessed him along the way. I also don't think my emotional, or spiritual, estate is on par with Job's. What a godly man, who understood who he was and who God is, and was happy in the relationship as it is supposed to be. For him not to be angry with, or even question, God in the midst of his trials, is truly amazing.

God is not to be held hostage. He is not required to turn every situation around in the same way He did for Job. But it is interesting that God did bless Job, and Job prayed for the forgiveness of his friends. He apparently didn't hold a grudge against them.

There are also very different ways for God to bless us. Maybe His blessing on us is that we should NOT have any material possessions in our lives, so we are most dependent on Him. Maybe He does choose to bless us with material possessions, but we are to be good stewards of those things, as they are His, and we are to share both the possessions with others and the praise in God entrusting them to us.

42:10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.
42:12 And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.

Oh to have the trust and spiritual eye sight of Job. To be able to truly give back all to God, if that is what He sees best for us. To be patient in affliction, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. May we all be like Job in this way, for God, our gracious, kind and tender Heavenly Father, knows what is best for us and He disciplines those He loves. In the "latter days" of our life we will be blessed more than the beginning, if we remain faithful, because He will give to us a crown of life, that far exceeds any earthly possessions we might attain.

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