Job 1:21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.
The story of Job is one that touches so much in human life. Success as measured by this world had come to Job. Wealth and family had grown to such a measure that servants attended to his every need. He was well known in his community and well respected for his charity to the poor and fatherless. Job was a man of the century for his day and time. But, like many whom he helped, he fell into poverty and despair. How could such a reversal of fortune have occurred? Would such a fall be reversed? How could Job recover from such depths of grief and abandonment?
We forget that our struggle in this world is not against mere humans and institutions created by men. Our battle goes beyond this world into the unseen and often misunderstood realm of spirits, powers and principalities beyond our senses. Satan is battling against God himself. In spite of the victory won by Christ, Satan continues to battle against the winners in heaven. Our struggles many times are the results of those battles and skirmishes in heaven. But we are never without help. God remains on our side and continues to defeat Satan at his every turn through God’s people.
Job would not allow death, destruction, his wife or friends or his own painful situation to move him out of his faith into despair and cursing of God. Job battled the rational impulses that were ignited by Satan and fueled by his friends and wife. He refused to abandon the truth he knew of God’s goodness, providence and grace. Job refused to give into the temptation to curse God and die. That would have been the easy way out of his anguish and despair. But God had provided him sufficient faith for every event that occurred. God was true to his promise and Job knew it.
When times are dark, painful and seemingly without hope, may the Holy Spirit support your faith and belief in God’s goodness and presence. May the darkness of despair never cause you to turn from you.
Jericho Road Ministries Chapel, by Rev. Bruce W. Gimbel, 2007.