Posted by: Mark | July 14, 2010

Lessons from Job II

This is a series and the first post is here.

Lessons from Job for when we go through trial

2. What we have is from God and is not ours. We were blessed to have it.

Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. Job 1.20-22

As I read through the book of Job I can see him suffering in many ways, both through what the devil done to him directly and how his friends reacted to this. One of the major ways that Job suffered was by loosing all his possessions. In the space of just a few minutes Job lost 7000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, 500 female donkeys, 7 sons and 7 daughters and all his servants except for the 4 that brought the messages. Or in short, in the space of a few minutes Job went from being well off without a financial worry in the world to being flat broke and having no children.

I personally have never had this happen to me. However, in a much smaller scale things like this happen to all of us often. Just this last few weeks our washing machine broke. Admittedly this was not nearly as valuable as thousands of animals, 14 family members and a bunch of servants but it effected us. As time went on we realized that this washing machine was not fixable and would have to be replaced. Now this went from £10 or £20 in repairs to what looks like around £200 for a new machine which we hadn’t budgeted for. There are two main ways as a Christian I can react to this.

  1. Questioning and complaining to God and having my mood generally go down. Why did you let this happen God? We haven’t done anything wrong? We don’t have the money to replace this – why are you letting us suffer? This doesn’t make sense God? The basic way to summarize this response is where we are putting our hope and trust in ourselves and feel that God is letting us down by not keeping up His end of the bargain. Our faith was anchored in the presence of our things, not the person of our God.
  2. Trusting God and realizing that the washing machine was His in the first place. When we first bought this washing machine it was God who supplied the money. When we had fixed it before it was God who supplied the money. When we now need to replace it or find another way to cope it will be God who works that all out. God was not shocked or surprised when this happened. God knows what He is doing. God supplied the washing machine and God took the washing machine away – and I will praise His name.

Admittedly this example of a washing machine is extremely trivial compared to what happened to Job, and can happen in our lives, but the same principals apply. Most of us will not loose everything that we have in one awful few minutes. However, we all go through life loosing things, and people we care about. Do we live our lives and position our hearts and minds such that our trust in God is bigger than our trust in things or people? Do we love God more than things and people? It is interesting to note that Job mentions as well that God gave and God took away. We can’t rely on any dodgy theological argument of God not being an active part of the situation – Job did not sin in saying that God took these things away. I ask again how deep is our love for and trust in God? When He takes away things from our lives are we able to say with Job,

Though he slay me I will hope in Him Job 13.15a

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Responses

  1. Very well written. Thank you Mark for posting these! They are a source of encouragement to stay focused on God and not the circumstances that surround us, and I needed that.


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