He started out as the richest, most influential man in the area. He was a godly man, and his godliness cam naturally; it wasn’t a performance.
Then disaster struck and took “everything he [had]” from him. What a mess. You can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.
Job starts out whining and feeling sorry for himself. His focus began as “Why God? Why me?”
Forty chapters later, Job still didn’t have the answers to that question, but he stood in respect of God rather than in accusation of God.
God’s response to Job’s “Why?” questions was essentially, “Son, this is above your pay grade.” I infer (and it is an inference; the Book doesn’t say it outright) that essentially Job didn’t know enough for the real answer to his “Why” question make any sense. I that’s true for me sometimes, too.
This morning, a couple of thoughts stick with me from Job:
• I find myself wondering if it would be wiser to bypass the self-pity and “accusing God” stage and just skip to the end: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted…. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore … I repent.”
Still chewing on that one. I’m not sure that’s actually a real-world option when you’re actually in the thick of it. But it would have saved Job so much pain had he been able to go there. Which leads me to the next observation:
• When satan took “everything he [had],” he didn’t take Job’s three self-righteous friends with the funny names (“Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite”). And listening to how they were “helping” Job, I can understand why: they were part of his trials, not part of him getting over his trials. Their “counsel” was part of why it took Job so long to actually connect with God.
I have decided I don’t want to be one of that kind of friend any more.