Posts Tagged ‘Job’

Full Of Trouble

Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 5:6-7

Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

Job 14:1

Many scholars believe that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written even before Moses wrote Genesis.  Whether Job is the oldest book in the Bible or not, it contains many, many timeless truths.  Reading verses like these let us know that, while many things may change, there are some things that always have been and always will be.

One of the things that “always has been and always will be” is the fact that we, as humans, have absolutely no problems finding trouble.  In fact, trouble seems to find us.  There are some days we would think that, contrary to the first verse, trouble does “spring out of the ground.”  We are just walking along, minding our own business, and BAM- trouble jumps up out of nowhere and hits us.  While it doesn’t literally “spring out of the ground”, it does come to us early and often.

“Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward.”  As sure as sparks flying upward from a fire, we can be sure that we will encounter trouble in our lives.  It will happen, as I’m sure every one who reads this can attest to.  “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”  Not only will trouble find us, but it will find us quickly.  Again, I’m sure I will get no argument there either.

We are all going to have trouble.  The question is: how are we going to deal with that trouble, when it comes?  Are we going to try to fight through it ourselves?  That will likely just entangle us further and cause more trouble.  Or are we going to trust the Lord and let Him bring us through it?  I heard a quote the other day that said something like “He didn’t promise us smooth sailing, but He did promise us a safe landing.”  That is something good to remember when your life seems to be “full of trouble.”

Curse God and Die

So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.  And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.  Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity?  curse God, and die.

Job 2:7-9

We probably all know the story of Job and his horrible suffering.  At his lowest point, instead of being a comfort and encouragement, his wife tells him to “curse God and die.” 

I was reading this passage the other day, and, no matter how many times I read it, I am always amazed at Job’s wife’s attitude.  Maybe it’s the vehemence with which I imagine that she says those famous words “curse God, and die.”  Whatever it is about that statement, it is a chilling one.  The commentary I looked at on these verses brought out two interesting thoughts that I thought I would share.

1. To the heathen, a god is only good so long as he causing things to go well.  As long as they are prosperous, they will continue to worship whatever god they have chosen.  However, at the first sign of difficulty or trial, they are quick to reject and abandon their “god.”  Job’s wife was probably in favour of his “religion” as long as things were going well.  But when their world came crashing down, she was immediately ready to reject God.  The difference between the Christian and the heathen is that the Christian realizes that God will bring trials and tribulations into his life in order to test and purify him.  Which brings us to the second point:

2. Seeing a Christian suffer and not complain is one of the things that the Lord will use to draw people to Himself.  How many have been converted through the ages after witnessing someone being martyred for their faith, and dying praising the Lord?  It is something that the natural man cannot understand.  Why would someone “retain their integrity” and continue to praise and thank the Lord when they are going through such severe trial?  There is only one explanation: Jesus.  He is our strength and will help us to not only survive the trials and troubles of life, but will use us to bring others to Himself.  It is confusing and even bothersome for the ungodly person to see a godly person bearing a heavy burden cheerfully.  And, sometimes, out of that confusion comes a desire to know the cause behind the Christian’s hope and joy.

Keeping Your Mouth

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity?  curse God, and die.  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh.  What?  shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?  In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Job 2:9-10

In the first chapter of the book of Job, he lost everything.  He lost his animals, his way of life and his children.  In chapter two, he lost his health as he was covered with boils from his head to his feet.  Just about any person in the world be at the point of “cursing God and dying.”  And that is just what Job’s wife suggested.  (You will notice that Satan did not bother Job’s wife- he was using her, which could be a lesson to us all)  Anyway, his wife told him just to “curse God, and die.”

But Job rebuked her and refused to curse God.  She asked him “dost thou still retain thine integrity?”  In truth, his integrity was about all that Job had left.  It would have been easy for him to throw in the towel and “curse God and die.”  In fact, with all of the things that had happened to him, that would probably be the common response of most men.  But Job was not “most men.” 

“In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”  James 3:2b tells us that “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”  Job is referred to as a “perfect man” and this is part of the reason.  Despite all that had happened to him, Job kept his mouth right.  I know that we haven’t had to deal with anything close to what Job had to deal with, but how often have we not controlled our mouths?  It’s a hard thing to do to “offend not in word.”  But if Job could do it, I’m sure we can do it also!

In All This…

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job 1:20-22

To me, Job is one of the most fascinating books of the Old Testament.  Job is described as being a “perfect and upright man.”  He feared God and he stayed away from evil.  If there was any man who deserved to be blessed, it was Job.  Yet God allowed Satan to take his possessions, take his children, take his health, and eventually, take just about everything he had.  In this chapter, he found out that he had lost everything.  In the face of that stunning and devastating revelation, he gave a famous quote: “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 

We have all heard that quote and we would all probably agree with the idea behind the quote.  But have we ever really thought about the tragedy about which it was spoken?  This man had just lost his livestock (vs 15), his sheep (vs 16), his camels (vs 17), and his children (vs 18-19).  In modern terms, the livestock and sheep would represent his possessions, his “job”, his food and his clothing.  All gone.  The camels would represent his mode of transportation.  Gone.  And, by far the worst of all, his children were gone. 

None of us have probably ever known pain and misery like that.  Everything he had and held dear was gone in one day.  Still, he blessed the Lord.  He did not get bitter against the Lord.  And verse 22 gives an amazing statement: “In all this, Job sinned not…”  He lost everything, and didn’t sin.  How often do we stuck in traffic or lose our keys and it causes us to get a bad attitude?  Sometimes the little things can trip us up just as easily as the big things.

Job serves as a constant reminder that serving the Lord and obeying the Lord are not based on our circumstances.  Keep praising Him.  Keep looking to Him.  And keep trusting Him, no matter what may come into your life.