Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Traumatic Events Aside; My Faith Endured - Part 2

The most famous sufferer in all of biblical times was Job.

Before I studied the book of Job, I only knew that this simple, humble man had a really great life and then, seemingly from nowhere, horrible things started happening to him. What did he ever do to deserve such a life?

Job is a great book and if you’re looking for answers to questions such as:

       Why is their evil in the world?
·      Why do pain, suffering and heartache exist?
·      Why do the righteous suffer?
·      How can the just nature of an almighty God be defended in the face of evil, especially human suffering – and even more particularly, the suffering of the innocent?

It’s not really known who wrote the book of Job, however scholars have speculated about many possible authors: Job, Elihu, Moses, Solomon, Isaiah, Hezekiah, or Baruch (the prophet Jeremiah’s friend)

The writer tells Job’s story in a way that lets us identify with his spiritual and philosophical struggles. The writer vividly illustrates the inadequacy of human logic to explain the reality and nature of evil in the world.

Job’s friends make profound statements – but they also make some classic errors in judgment.

Was Job being punished for not loving God enough? Was Job being punished for something his children did? Did God stop loving Job? Was Job being held up as an example for all people?

“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” – Job 1:8

Satan taunted God, saying He put a hedge around him and his household and everything he had. That God blessed Job. He told God to stretch out His hand and take everything away, and then Job would curse God. Job 1:9-11

So God agreed. He had faith in Job. “The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Job 1:12

As a very young child in Sunday school, eager to learn all I could, it was difficult to grasp the concept of our Almighty God as a living breathing entity, and I only had a community-esque view of the basic parent/child relationship. But, I got this message through the cartoon images our Sunday school teacher used.

Job was a child of God.

So, as my Sunday school teacher revealed the rest of the story to me, I learned that Job wasn't really being punished at all, but was being tested to prove his faithfulness to his Father. God wanted to prove how faithful Job really was to Him.

God was showing off.

And, just like most children who don't understand what their parents are doing, Job was confused and didn't understand why God would do this to him. He was a good man. A God fearing man. A normal, everyday person who kept to himself and didn't make waves. And, although he had all that going for him, although he didn't deserve it, he was still handpicked by God to be tested like no man had ever been tested before.

Oh My God, he was tested. 

God loves us, but to teach us to trust Him, He gives us challenges to overcome.

Do you feel like you're being tested?

I have a theory. I truly believe Job and I were separated at birth.

Let me explain.... Did you ever do math word puzzles as a child? Do you remember one that went something like this? Jane and John are twins. Jane was born in 1970 and John was born in 1969. Explain how this could happen if they were born only six minutes apart. Of course the answer is that Jane was born on January 1, 1970, at three minutes after midnight, and John was born on December 31, 1969 at three minutes before midnight. Easy, right?

I'll discuss more in Part 3 about Job.

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