Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21- Naked From The Womb

August 21, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Job 1:1-3:26; 1 Corinthians 14:1-17;
Psalm 37:12-29; Proverbs 21:25-26

Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. 
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.  
~Job 1:21

Job 1:1-3:26

On the first anniversary of our marriage, my husband and I gave each other a German Shepherd puppy.  We lived in a charming neighborhood with cute gingerbread-looking homes, but we had been to a neighborhood community meeting and heard stories of break-ins and thievery.  Not interested in being victimized, we figured that having a good watch dog would prevent any trouble.  We decided to name our dog "Job."  Most people did not realize that this was a biblical name.  When we would take him to the vet, they thought his name was "job" like when you get employment.  Anyway, I wanted to name him "Job" because I knew he would be faithful.  Today, we meet one of the most genuinely faithful men who have ever walked this planet.  The point of the book of Job though, is to show us that even the most faithful man needs to repent before a Holy God.

Before we get going on this marvelous book, let's get a little background.  Job is the first of the poetical books.  The other poetical books are the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon and Lamentations.  Being poetical does not mean that everything rhymes.  In Hebrew literature, it means that there are repeated ideas and parallelism.  It is similar to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

Job was probably a contemporary of Jacob (Israel) and lived during the times of the Patriarchs. According to J. Vernon McGee, several things point to Job living during this time period:
  • The length of his life, which was over 150 years, seeing his second set of sons and daughters up to the fourth generation.
  • He acted as high priest for his family, which indicates that it is before the Book of the Laws of Moses are written.
  • One of his friend, Eliphaz is a son of Esau.  Remember Esau who was Jacob's brother?
Now, let's begin to talk about today's reading.  We are introduced to Job, a man who lived in the land of Uz.  This is not Oz, like in the Wizard of Oz!  Uz is probably in the Syrian desert.  According to the historian Josephus, Uz is a grandson of Shem, who founded the city of Damascus.  So Job lives in or near the wilderness.  That fits nicely with a theme that emerges in Scripture.  God's great men and women are taught by Him in the wilderness.  Job is about to experience one of the greatest wilderness experiences of all time.

But first, we have Job, who is described as a blameless man of complete integrity.  Wow.  What a marvelous description.  Can you imagine being described in this way?  A person of impeccable reputation who is justified by his life. He feared God and stayed away from evil.  We learn that Job has ten children and is exceedingly wealthy.  He was the richest person in his area. 

As priest for his family, Job would make sacrifices to God to cover any sins his children might have committed.  Remember, animal sacrifice pointed to the future sacrifice of a Messiah for all of mankind's sins.  Job was showing faith in a future Messiah.  But, it is interesting to note that the Bible tells us that he made sacrifices for his children, but not for himself.  This may be a clue as to why God allows the testing of Job.

The next scene is fascinating.  We are allowed to peek into the realm of the spiritual.  We see angels reporting to God. Also, Satan, God's most beautiful angel, who rebelled and is a fallen angel, is among those who report to the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe.  Does it surprise you that Satan reports to God?  Did you realize that he is under God's control?  We learn that Satan has a purpose on earth that God directs, and Satan is not equal to God.  Satan is one of God's creations.  His purpose is defined and controlled by His Creator.  Wrap your mind around that for a while.

As this angelic group meets, the Lord asks Satan where he has been.  Satan replies that he has been going back and forth through the earth.  Duh.  I see him everyday as I turn on my TV and watch the news and entertainment programs.  He is still wandering this earth, today.  Anyway, God asks him if he has noticed His servant Job? God brags on Job and says that there is no man of faith like him on earth.  Wow.

Satan has a come back to God's statement.  This is Satan being true to his rebellious nature.  Whenever Satan speaks in the Bible, it is always with this tone.  He is questioning, doubting, and accusatory.  In this instance, he doubts Job's faith and integrity by saying that Job only loves God because God has blessed him.  Satan is questioning Job's faith and God's worth. Satan proposes that if Job lost everything, he would curse God.  God allows Satan to test Job by taking away everything, but he must not take away Job's life.

What do you think of this?  Poor Job is down on earth completely unaware of what is about to hit him.  You and I are in the same position.  We do not know what trials may come into our lives.  Let's watch and learn from Job.

As the story unfolds, Satan works his evil deeds and Job is robbed by Sabeans and loses his farm animals and workers.  Fire from God (this is an inaccurate report. It was fire from Satan.) comes and burns up his sheep and the shepherds. Chaldean raiders steal all of his camels, and a tornado kills all of his children.  Can you imagine the bad day?  Dear God in would you respond?

In an act of mind-blowing humility, Job tears his robe, shaves his head, falls to the ground, and says to God,
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."  ~Job 1:21
What sort of man has this perspective on suffering?  We can begin to see why God bragged about this servant.  Job did not sin by blaming God for his troubles. God is the giver of faith, and He has given Job a huge amount of faith. Job has passed this first test.

Once again, the angels come to God, and Satan takes this opportunity to seek to take Job's health away, in order to destroy his faith.  Are you beginning to see the nature of how Satan works?  He is a creature who attacks, harms, lies, doubts, prods, manipulates, and seeks to destroy.  God uses Satan in His universe.  Does this surprise you? God gives Satan permission to test Job by allowing his health to be destroyed.  Satan attacks Job with head to toe boils.  Ouch.  Mega bad day, again! 

With this new tragedy, Job's wife encourages him to curse God and die. She thinks this is a situation where his integrity doesn't matter anymore.  She is a foolish woman. Job tells her that she is acting as if she has no faith.  Wow, again.  Job gets it.  Faith is not about believing in God only when things are going well.  Faith is belief in God, no matter what your circumstances are.  Truth is truth, even when you are suffering.  Do you believe that?  Are you like Job or his wife?

Some friends come to comfort Job.  Upon seeing his condition, they cry and wail loudly, throw dust in the air, and tear their robes to show their distress at his suffering.  Finally, Job speaks.  In extremely poetic terms, Job says that it would have been better if he had never been born.

We get insight into the fact that Job had feared that this type of suffering would come to him.  What do you fear?  Is there a life situation that you hope will not come upon you?  That is the place where God has allowed Satan to place Job.  This is Job's hour of testing. 

As we walk this earth, we each have hours of testing.  May God show us how to be faithful in trials.

1 Corinthians 14:1-17

Love is to be our highest goal, but prophesying is also a good goal, because prophesying is the gift of helping others to grow in the Lord by encouraging them and comforting them. 

The Corinthians are all tied up in those who have been given the gift of talking in foreign languages in order to witness.  Paul explains that this gift requires an interpreter and is a limited gift. Prophesy is more general and more helpful.

Pride is involved in the Corinthians wanting to show off a special gift that other people can't understand.  This makes the one who is gifted seem special and above others.  The Corinthians are hoping to appear more spiritual by having the gift of tongues or foreign languages.  Paul discourages this behavior and reminds the Corinthians that gifts are designed to build up the Church and not to build up one's individual ego.

How do you use your spiritual gifts?

Psalm 37:12-29

Think of Job and Satan as you read this psalm, today.

Proverbs 21:25-26

Lazy people refuse to work and bring about their own ruin.

What did you learn today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton
© 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment