Have you considered my servant Job?
Scripture: Job 1:1,3b, 6-12
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BlogFam, I tell you the truth. I want the Lord to show me favor in every area of my life but asking Him to do me the favor of allowing me to go through a time of lack, loss, suffering, shame, pain, embarrassment, loneliness, or rejection is not high on my prayer list. I do not look forward to walking through the valleys of the shadows of death. Nor do I wait with great anticipation for seasons of experiencing his sufficient grace like Paul after I have asked the Lord to remove the thorns in my flesh. That is just not where I am on my journey of faith. God bless the Super-Saints who ask for suffering for suffering’s sake but I am not one of them.
And to be honest with you, I make no apologies for not being so. In fact, there are several examples of our heroes and she-roes in the Bible who obviously were just like me. So I am not at all feeling guilty about that. I am rejoicing that there are people in the Bible like Job who did not ask for suffering to happen. He was quite content, I am sure, enjoying the pleasure of family and the comforts of his own wealth. So, when he loses everything materially and was shaky spiritually, I can only imagine the thoughts of Job not recorded in the text. I am inclined to think that Mr. Job was not thanking the Lord for the miracle of suffering.
Friends, I am intrigued and taken aback by the reality that God would voluntarily subject one of God’s own children to the attack of the enemy. Please read these words from Job 1.
Job 1:1,3b, 6-12
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil….
He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the LORD,
“From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
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.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
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.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
If there was any one example of an individual who should have been shielded from the enemy’s efforts to steal, to kill, and to destroy, I would certainly suggest that it be Job. Even the Lord God says that “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” And there is no higher witness to one’s character than the witness of the one who sits on the throne of heaven. I just feel like Job’s name should not have even been mentioned in this kind of conversation.
Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever felt like your name should NOT have even come up in certain conversations? Have you ever felt like your name should NOT have even been mentioned with certain people, places, things, activities, events? Proverbs says that a good name is rather to be chosen than riches. So for the Lord to now offer Job’s name to the enemy as a target for his vicious attack just does not seem right. I mean, we know that in the end Job was given double for his trouble but we might not even have a Book of Job had the Lord God NOT mentioned Job’s name.
So, WHY did God say Job’s name? The easy answer is because of Job’s relationship with God and Job’s reputation as a servant of God. And I think that is the easy answer because of the specific way in which Job is described as the greatest man, a blameless and upright man, a man who fears God, and a man who shuns evil. I think that is an easy answer. To say that Job’s name was mentioned because of how good he was just seems too easy. I do not think it is that simple. Job was a good person so Job was attacked but God was with Job throughout everything and God rewarded Job in the end so it all works out. When we think in this way we tend to discount the pain and suffering of all of those who were also connected to Job simply because of Job’s goodness. He was good but everything that was connected to him was taken away, including his family but God was with him through it all. This entire scenario raises the never-ending and unanswered question of theodicy - Why do bad things happen to good people? Theodicy is defined as: a vindication of the divine attributes, particularly holiness and justice, in establishing or allowing the existence of physical and moral evil. There is no easy answer that anyone can give that answers the question without raising more questions.
My sistas and brothas, I do not know why the Lord God mentioned Job’s name knowing that the enemy had nothing but evil intentions. I do not know why your name or even my name comes up in conversations that are not reflective of how we have chosen to live our lives as servants of the Most High. All I know is this. Job’s name came up and the Lord God had nothing but good things to say about it. In fact, Job’s name was so good to the Lord that the Lord did not hesitate to suggest Job’s name to the evil one as a servant he could trust to endure the attack, not because Job’s name was so great but because God’s power to keep Job’s name in tact through this horrific experience was so mighty!
My friends, can’t you see, this really was NOT about Job at all! I have said this several times in our conversations via blog. It is NOT about YOU! EVERYTHING is all about God and the victory that our God will have in the end! Thus, while I may not choose to pray for the Lord God to create opportunities for me to suffer, when these things happen, when the Lord has mentioned my name as one who will endure, my HOPE, my STRENGTH, my INSPIRATION in the midst of it all is that Lord’s name will be made GREAT because of God’s power to help me remain faithful through it all. By the power of the Lord, my name will be kept intact and so will yours.
BlogFam, on today I pray that you have a good name. I pray that when the Lord hears your name mentioned by the mouth of your enemies, that the Lord will hear it and respond in your defense. I pray that your name invokes thoughts of peace in the mind of the Lord. I pray that you would trust in the power of the Lord our God to keep your name blameless. I pray that God’s name will be made great because of the witness of your name. And I pray that even when we cannot answer the question of why bad things happen to good people, I pray that by faith you would defend the name of the Lord.
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