On January 1 I started a Bible Devotional that would take me through the Bible in a year. I know that there are so many of these out there and I have failed so many times to complete the entire year and entire Bible. Honestly, I think the farthest I made it in was Numbers…..Four books…FOUR. This specific devotion, Called The Bible Recap is different. In addition to daily reading, there is a podcast where the creator of the plan gives a recap of what you’ve just read. I need this, especially for the earlier books of the Bible, because I find myself confused and just reading the words, not understanding the content.
Within the first few days, I was shocked at what I had taken away from the first few chapters of Genesis. Stories we are all aware of; creation, Cain and Abel, and Noah. I was reading with new eyes and asking myself questions I had never asked myself before. It was so encouraging.
To stay in chronological order the devotional moved from within Genesis to the book of Job. I have never really read Job and for sure never studied it. But why? It didn’t take long before I began to understand why so many avoid this book. It is not a happy read. It is not an easy read. What it is, though, is relevant to every single person. Please stick with me for a brief overview of Job and a few takeaways that I learned from his story.
Job was strong in his faith. He was sure of who God was and what He was capable of doing. He walked as Godly a walk as possible. This aggravated Satan. Satan asked God for permission to test Job and God allowed it but within limits. Satan could not destroy Job.
The book tells of Job’s faith, the agreement between God and Satan, and then begins to tell the story of how Job is tested. In a very short amount of time Job goes from having it all, a wonderful family, a great home, and a job that sustained him. In a matter of moments, he lost it all. He was told his family had been killed, his farmland and animals were destroyed. He was left with nothing and was in great shock.
Three friends came to visit Job and help him through this tragedy. These friends had the best intentions but were not good at advice. Over and over again they gave Job bad advice and advised and said he must be to blame. Job, being human, questioned his faith. He asked how God could punish someone so faithful. He questioned what he did wrong. He blamed himself and didn’t understand what he had done wrong.
Finally, towards the end of the book, we hear from God. God tells Job that even in all his grief he remained faithful. He asked how could you question me? God went through and recounted the things that had been done in the book of Genesis and again said how can you question a God capable of those things.
The book of Job ends with God blessing Job with far more than he had lost including more children and vaster and more profitable land.
Grief is the main theme for this text. Job’s grief was large. Quite possibly too large for most to bear. Job went through all the proper stages of grief and for good reason questions why me? What did I do wrong? We have all had grief in our lives. To some, it’s the loss of a loved one. To others, it might be the loss of a marriage or a job. To others, like myself, it might be a cancer diagnosis.
Reading through Job’s story showed me that no matter the size of our grief, no matter how empty we feel inside, we are never alone and no battle is too large for God. The fact that he allowed Satan to test Job shows that he knew Job could handle it and that he would come out better in the ned.
God allows Satan to test you and me. He knows there will be storms in our lives, but he is also in control of just how bad that storm is. Satan was allowed to test Job, but even Satan had restrictions from God.
Storms are scary. It sometimes seems like the storm is too large and we won’t make it, but with every storm comes a rainbow. Even in the book of Genesis, there was a rainbow after the great flood. We must stay strong and know that God is in control of all our battles. We must remain focused on the end result, the blessing, the rainbow.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I am not saying that every battle will end the way we want it because it won’t. People will lose their jobs. Marriages will end. People will die of cancer. What I am saying is that even in those horrible outcomes God has a reason. There may be a better job out there. You may find someone who needs you just as much as you need them. And if we lose someone near and dear to us we can rest assured that as long as they know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they are completely healed and living in Glory with our Lord!
This is a hard topic, but one that cannot be ignored. I encourage all of you to study Job and see what kind of things you can take away from his story. Leave a comment and let me know how you relate to Job.
My phrase throughout this journey has been “God > Cancer” but in reality God > EVERYTHING!