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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who Would Have Thought?

In our Sunday school curriculum we are studying Job this week. It really is an amazing thing to see God and Satan converse over one man. In Job 1:8 GOD says to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?"



WHAT!? Lord, do you REALLY have to encourage the devil to work evil here on earth?? He seems pretty good at it all by himself!! He is destructive and evil and eager to devour anyone he can at any given time. Why would you point out one man and challenge Satan himself over him?

Can you imagine being SO upstanding that the God of the Universe would have enough confidence in you to test you the way that Job was tested? God told Satan that Job was blameless and upright and He had confidence that Job would still praise Him, even in the storms of life. Job's experience would be horrible to endure. He lost his wealth, his business, his family and his health. He lost it all, and yet He states, "Naked I came from my mothers womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gives and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."

What faith! What trust! What a devoted life! Would I respond in this way?

One of the points that the author of our Sunday school curriculum (Yahweh-Divine Encounters in the Old Testament by Gene Wilkes) makes is that "Satan was cynical and did not believe that anyone could love without props." He said, "It is possible that God sought to show Satan a kind of love in Job that resembled the love He felt toward people that killed His Son."

I never thought of it that way. God had a lesson for SATAN to learn? God wanted to use Job's experience of loss to show Satan what true faith and love were all about?

I think I have always seen Job's experience in the Bible as a lesson for JOB, and other Christians, to learn. The phrase "Why bad things happen to good people" is probably the theme that I would adopt for the book of Job. His life and loss and faithfulness is a lesson in perseverance to those of us who love God and experience loss. But isn't it just like God to want to teach the enemy a lesson also? It says in His word that "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting ANYONE to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

It is hard to fathom that God would love Satan still. After his rejection of God and his evil forces in this world and against God's people can God STILL love him? Could He possibly have used this experience with Job to show Satan that there are those who CAN love God with full abandon regardless of what happens to them?

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD? What is this love that transcends evil and goes right to his very heart? How does our Heavenly Father have the capacity to love past the rejection, the evil and the damage and the destruction that he brings?

This brings some questions to mind. Do I see my experiences of loss as lessons that God is using in my life, but also in the lives of others? Does it register with me that the way that I respond to things might point others to Jesus no matter how evil they might seem? Am I able to love past the hurt and rejection of others?

I can only pray that my responses would be like Jobs. I believe that Job is an incredible example of how someone who loves God makes it through times of difficulty. He shows us that love is a choice. Praise and honor are decisions that we make regardless of our feelings or our circumstances.

"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1:21

2 comments:

Leigh Gray said...

wow friend - that was awesome. deep and so sound!! a lesson for me. thank you

Melissa said...

The thought of God even turning His holy face toward Satan at ANYTIME really baffles me. It looks like after Satan's rejection that God would turn His back on him and have nothing more to do with him. But knowing our God the way that I do I know that He turns His back on no one. He wants EVERY single person to come to know Him as Savior and Lord no matter what we have done. It just amazed me to read that perspective!