Job 1:13-22

Job 1:13-19 (ESV)
13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

A couple of years ago there were wildfires burning all over the island of Crete.  There are many hills there and as the fire was coming toward a village on one of those hills a man packed his family in their car and sent them away to safety while he stayed behind with the other men in the village to try to save their houses.  There was only one road leaving the village and the fire came and killed the man’s family while they were stuck in traffic trying to get to safety.  Can you imagine what this man must have gone through knowing that he sent his family to their death when he was trying to save them.  There is a saying on Crete, to “drink from the cup of sorrow.”  What a large cup it must be and how bitter.  This is essentially what happened to Job, he lost his children, his livestock, his servants, everything except his own house, his wife and the four servants that escaped to tell him.  Surely he would speak bitterly about all this but no.

Job 1:20-22 (ESV)
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 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.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

How many of us keep our composure this well when little things go wrong; I have said worse after stubbing my toe yet Job “fell on the ground and worshiped.”  He understood that everything he had was never his and really belonged to God all along.  “The LORD gave…” and there will come a time that the Lord will take everything away.

So, this was Job’s first test and a very harsh test at that.  What can we learn from Job?

Heavenly Father,
You are the creator of the heavens and the earth; and all belongs to you; there is nothing that we can give to you that isn’t already yours.  We are sinful, selfish people who believe that we have earned what we have, yet it is all given to us by you.  In your great mercy you provide the jobs we have and decide if we are to be weak or strong; sick or healthy; live or die.  Let us learn from your word and the example that you give us in Job to worship you in good times and bad.  For nothing on earth really matters, for in your mercy you have offered us life everlsting and our salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ.  And it is in His great name that we pray.
Amen

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