This devotional is about Job 1.
The first portion of Job 1 carefully painted a picture of Job, the man as an outstanding man:
- Verse 1b told us that he “was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”
- Verse 2 told us that he was wealthy and successful by giving us a full inventory of his assets, then concluding, “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.”
- Verses 3-5 told us that he was a loving, godly family man. He loved God and his family so much that he interceded with God on behalf of his children as a “regular custom” (v. 5f).
As we read these opening verses, we are led to an obvious conclusion. Job had it all–a close walk with God that showed in his personal actions, his financial success, and his family life.
No wonder God loved Job so much, right? No wonder he led such an ideal, enviable life. Job was such a great guy that God gave him everything a man could want–yes?
Satan looked at it just the other way around. When God pointed to Job as a model human being (v. 8), Satan scoffed. “Of course he loves you, God! You’ve given him everything he could possibly want!” (vv. 9-10).
This caused Satan to offer God a bet: “I’ll bet you, God, that if you take away all the good stuff Job enjoys, “he will surely curse you to your face” (v. 11b). God accepted Satan’s wager, protecting only Job’s life from being taken by the evil one.
Just like that, Satan swooped in and took Job’s wealth and his children from him on the very same day (vv. 13-19).
How did Job respond to this?
Not in the way Satan expected. Satan’s belief was that Job’s love for God was based on God’s blessings on Job. Take those away and “he will surely curse you to your face” (v. 11b). But Job worshipped the Lord (v. 20) and said, “…may the name of the Lord be praised” (v. 21).
Job also did not accuse God of taking away his love just because he suffered such deep, sudden losses.
Job still had a lot of processing to do, as we’ll read in the remaining of the chapters of this book. But his initial reaction to what happened to him was to leave it with the Lord: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (v. 21c-d). This is a godly response to the heartaches, traumas, and trials of life.
Is that how you respond to problems in your life? Or is your evaluation more performance based? Your theology is performance based if you love God because he’s given you what you want in life or if you measure God’s love for you based on how well your life is going. Either of those options is unbiblical. Both of them lack faith.
Can you trust God when problems enter your life?