I decided for thanksgiving I’d talk about someone who had to learn what being thankful was all about. He had a rough time, but still he had hope in God. You already know this man of faith was–Job. But our story doesn’t start with Job. Instead it starts in Heaven. Now there was a certain day when all of Heaven’s angels stood before God and Lucifer also came in God’s presence. This is where things get interesting for Job. God asks Lucifer, “Where have you been and what have you been doing?” Lucifer answers him, “I have been all over the world. Walking here. Walking there.”
And God said, “Have you thought of my servant Job? He is a righteous and honourable man. All He does is to my glory.”
“That is true,” Lucifer replies, “but that is because You have kept him from poverty and loss. Take everything he owns away from him and he will turn on You and curse You right to your face.” God knew Job’s faith and he replied, “Do what you want, but don’t hurt him.” So Lucifer did.
Enter Job. Job was offering sacrifices for his children because he knew they were not right before God and he was no doubt concerned and saddened. While he was offering his sacrifices a lone servant came running to him in a panic and, crying, said, “Master! Master! The oxen were plowing, the donkeys next to them and Sabeans (an ancient tribe of South Arabians) came and stole them. They killed all your servants and I escaped to come and tell you!” While Job was hearing this, another of his servants came rushing towards him trembling. “Master! Master!” He cried, “Fire from Heaven burnt up your sheep and all your servants. I’m the only one who escaped!” Job had just barely recovered himself when another servant came running. “Master! Master! The Chaldeans (for all intents and purposes, Babylonians) and stole the camels as well as killing the servants. While the men were trying to comfort each other another man came running as fast as he could. This man looked worse than the others. Job’s heart couldn’t handle it, but he remained calm. If God had a plan, Job would trust Him to the very end even if Job had to die. The servant was catching his breath, when he looked up. His face was covered in tears as he said, “Master, your sons and daughters were having a feast in their brother’s house and a powerful wind came and hit the house from all four sides and it fell down on them, crushing them!”
Job left them and was so devastated that he tore his clothes and his cloak. He shaved his beard and fell to his knees worshipping God. He said to God, “Naked I was born and naked I will die. You have given and You have taken. Blessed is your holy Name!” Despite all his pain, not once did Job turn on God.
Again there was a day when the angels all stood before God and Lucifer came too. God asked him, “And have you seen that despite all you have done, Job still is faithful to me.” But Lucifer was not ready to give up and instead, again, challenged God, “You are right. He lost everything, but if you hurt him, he WILL turn on you–any man would.”
“Alright,” God replied, “go ahead, but don’t kill him.” So Lucifer went and struck Job with boils all over his body–even down to the soles of his feet. While Job sat in his sorrow and pain, scraping the boils with a piece of pot, his wife came along and with disdain said to him.
“What on earth is wrong with you?! God has taken everything–our sons, daughters, wealth even your own health! Yet you still say God is good! Curse God and just die!” Job looked up at his wife and said to her, “What is wrong with YOU? You are acting like a foolish woman! Do you think that all God does is bless? Do you claim to know his heart? Are we exempt from the world’s evil?” Even in his loss and discomfort, he never once betrayed God.
Word of Job’s suffering came across to his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. While they were on making their journey, they saw Job from far away. All three of them wept for Job’s suffering and tore their clothes and cloaks joining him in his mourning. 7 days and nights they sat quietly and mourned with him.
After Job chapter 3 until chapter 38 it alternates between Job cursing his existence and his friends asking him what he could’ve done to bring this on himself. After chapter 37, we see God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind and asks him all kinds of questions. Questions that God knows Job can’t answer, but that is God’s point. He is telling Job that He is the Creator of all things. All the questions He asked Job were all to bring Job to that conclusion.
You see from the very beginning God knew what was going to happen. From the day that Job was born God knew Lucifer was going to do what he did and that Job would remain faithful even at his weakest. In the very last chapter Job comes to this same realization. He says to God that he knows God is capable of all things and that He is a good God.
You’re probably wondering why I chose Job on Thanksgiving, well it’s quite simple. I chose Job because at the very end Job realizes that everything God gave him was a blessing and he was thankful for what God had given him. In the last chapter God doubles Job’s wealth and restores all his children. Job even names his daughter in the last chapter and includes them in his inheritance.
Yesterday we took a day to look at our blessings and be thankful for what was given to us. If anyone was thankful for what he had, it was Job.
Please do go and read for yourselves. Job is my favourite character in the Bible. His story always gives me strength.
God bless you all today, my precious avids.