Job reacted to the first round of trials inflicted by Satan in a way that humbles me.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.’ Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” ~ Job 1:20-22
If I had lost all my children and all my wealth, I wonder if I would be able to mourn and worship. Sometimes I am quick to throw a pity party for myself instead. Yet Job acknowledged the truth that we should all realize: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” ~ James 1:17 (KJV)
“The LORD gave” everything that I view as “mine” to me. It is all from Him, and I need to give it all back to Him, to do with as He pleases. “The LORD has taken away”. Through the tears and pain of life, may I never hold on so tightly that I cannot relinquish it all to God. Not my will, but Thine.
Now remember, Satan had been given permission by God to test Job. And we find that Satan came before the LORD again, after “‘…roaming about on the earth, and walking around on it.'” ~ Job 2:2b. God pointed out to Satan that Job “‘…still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to ruin him without cause.'” ~ Job 2:3b
But Satan was not finished with Job. “And Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth Thy hand, now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse Thee to Thy face.’ So the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.'” ~ Job 2:4-6
If Job had only known what was going on in heaven! Again, take note that God gave the permission and the power to Satan. And God gave Satan limits. “Spare his life”. There is nothing going on in our lives that God doesn’t know about and have power over. We are in His hands. He is a good and just and faithful God, and I know He is worthy of my trust, even when He allows the trials and the pain.
“Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” ~ Job 2:7
Not only was Job in terrible pain, but he was now unclean and an outcast from his people. He sat on a refuse pile and scraped himself with a piece of broken pottery (Job 2:8). How miserable! To be the richest man around one day, and an outcast, poverty-stricken man the next.
But at least he still had his wife…
“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!'” ~ Job 2:9
Never mind. No one needs, or wants, a spouse like that. She certainly responded to all the trials the way Satan had hoped Job would. “Curse God and die!” May it never be!
“But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” ~ Job 2:10
What wisdom Job possessed. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” The sun and the rain must fall in order to experience a full harvest. God allows the adversity into our lives to shape and to mold us into the people He wants us to be, the people He knows we can become.
This story is far from over. And so, too, is my story far from over. God will stay with us, and continue His work in us, until our lives are complete here on earth.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:” ~ Philippians 1:6 (KJV)