July 19 I Thursday
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship…” —Job 1:20
Job is introduced in the book of Job as “blameless and upright,” “...the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:1-3). God richly blessed him with a large family, many servants, plenty of livestock and great wealth.
Job was such a godly man that he became the subject of a debate in heaven. Scripture tells us, “One day, the angels came to present themselves before the LORD and Satan also came with them” (Job 1:6). God asked Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him,” to which Satan replied, “Does Job fear God for nothing?... Have You not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?… But now stretch out Your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face” (Job 1:9-10).
God allowed Satan to remove the hedge around Job but forbade him to lay a finger on him. Satan unleashed his attack, and in the span of minutes, Job was informed that all his livestock and fields had been wiped out and his servants killed. His ten children also perished when the house they were in collapsed on them. At this, Job fell to the ground and worshiped, saying “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
A second time Satan came before God. “Skin for skin,” he argued. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse You to Your face” (Job 2:4). God accepted this challenge on the condition Job’s life was spared. Job soon finds his body inflicted with painful sores, and his wife rants, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)
We can all be fair-weather Christians, but the real state of our hearts towards God becomes exposed in suffering. It is wonderful when God is worshipped and trusted in a way that is not conditional upon receiving good things. Job lived with the attitude, “When God gives, enjoy it; when God takes away, worship Him equally so.” He did not blame or even question God. He said, “But he knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). At the end of the book, Job does come forth as gold. His story leaves a legacy of unconditional faith, and teaches that we can come forth as gold, even when stripped of everything and faith is all we have.
Prayer: Reorient my heart, Father, so that I will go on worshipping You in times of plenty and in times of suffering. Thank You for being the comforter of the hurting. In Jesus’s name.