One of my favorite Bible stories of all times is the story of Job. Actually, lately, I've been going through a season in my life where I feel God is revealing to me more and more of His character, of who He is, through Sunday morning messages, passages read for morning devotions, Bible studies (no I'm not just tryna say I'm a busy Christian lol), I've been standing in front of a mirror, praying that He show me what I fail to see, and He's just upstaged me completely. Haven't quite worked out what it's all about yet, but I am exploring it with a fervent hunger.
But yes, back to Job. His story gets me every time. But you know, it's not the fact that he lost everything and didn't blame God, it's not the getting it all back, it's not the wise responses he afforded his foolish friends, it's the part when God speaks that gives me goosebumps.
Let me lay it out how I see it. So you have this guy Job, he is as perfect as a human can be (other than Jesus). This guy is so good, that if he hears that his children are throwing a party, he offers sacrifices for them afterwards, in case they have sinned and need redemption. Job used to stand by the road miles from his house and insist that travelers stop by his house to rest. More than that, he didn't even boast about it, if he had, then his friends who came to council him later on would have known all this and had less "ammunition" with which to judge him. He got someone's attention though, I mean by God's own testimony the man was "blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (Job 1:8) (wouldn't I love to be described like that by God... wow)
So yea, the devil is like, yea, yea of course he's perfect it's cus his life is so comfortable. So God gives him freedom to make it uncomfortable. Long story shortened, Job loses everything except his life, then has to defend his honour to friends who are convinced that he's suffering due to un-confessed sin (where have I heard that before... *rolls eyes*).
Right, so I'm following all this right, and I am just so impatient for God to jump in and be like "Oi! This is my blameless and upright son you are talking about, leave him alone." I mean imagine yea, the book of Job has 42 chapters. The whole thing about Job's life, how good he was, how he lost everything, is summed up in chapter 1 and the first half of chapter 2. By chapter 2 verse 11, Job's friends have already showed up. and they talk straight through to chapter 37!! By this time, I am heated, and I mean, I know how the story ends, I can't begin to imagine what it's been like for Job. I'm just itching for him to be put out of his misery.
So finally, chapter 38, the Lord speaks out of a storm, and what does he say?
"Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me."
Not bad right, except, He's talking to Job!!! Now, I'm sorry, I am not a Bible scholar, so maybe I missed something, but I have been over the preceding 37 chapters again and again, I have read various commentaries and I fail to see what Job did to warrant the 4 chapters of God's answer, when his 3 friends get 4 verses!
But that's just it, that's why I love the book of Job so much. I mean Where was I when God laid the earth's foundation? Do I know when the mountain goats give birth? Where does darkness reside? I don't even know how to put into words what goes through me when I read those 4 chapters of God's questions. It is a mixture of awe and confusion and reverence and fear... it's a glimpse into the actions of a being who "will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and will have compassion on whom He will have compassion." It is a reminder that not even a blameless and upright man can contend with the Almighty.
So what's my point? The next time you're having a bad day, you know the kind [see: previous post], and your mind is telling you that you did nothing to deserve it, just listen out for that still, small voice whispering, "Have you considered my servant Job?". I end with the following verses that send shivers down my spine each time I read them.
"Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me.
Would you discredit MY justice? Would you condemn ME to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God's, and can your voice thunder like HIS?
Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low,
look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.
Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave.
Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you."