Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 – Day 221.Aug 10 – Humble Submission

Passage of the Day: Job 1: 20 … Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.

My Journal for Today: Just one sentence from the first chapter of Job is provided today to help us reflect on the reaction of Job when he learned, in rapid succession, of the devastation to his life which had be wrought by Satan who had been allowed by God to do what we read having been done to Job. However, from this one sentence, when one studies the Hebrew text, as my devotional guide Chuck Swindoll has done, we see our Godly hero responding in a series of actions to indicate his absolute and humble submission to God’s will in what had transpired.

Job’s first two actions were to arise and tear his robe, which was the way in the Hebrew culture of the day to public announce a state of horrible grief or utter anguish. For anyone who has unexpectedly lost a close loved one, especially a child, that person would be able to empathize – somewhat - with the grief of Job’s loss. But to lose ten children in one perceived “act of God;” well, that would be hard for any of us to imagine the level of grief being expressed by Job by the tearing of his outer garment.

The next action on Job’s part was to shave his head, which was another cultural expression of grief. The hair for a Jewish man, usually grown long, was an expression of personal glory; and when one shaved his head it was a way of declaring that that one had lost all things dear to him; and most certainly that is what had happened to Job.

Job had lost almost all which was had been given to him by God. Really, only his wife remained from his immediate family; and all of God’s blessings from the Lord’s providence had been taken from Job. But the loss of ALL of his children in what had to have been perceived by Job as an “act of God,” was certainly a total devastation to all that Job would have considered his glory; and shaving his head was his way of expressing, “it’s all gone!”

But then we have the final action from Job; and this intentional action speaks volumes as to how Job surrendered to God responds as he sees God allowing such devastation into his life. And let me emphasize that this final action was a very personal and intentional choice which demonstrated the attitude of Job toward the God Whom had given him all which had been taken away on that day of horrors. Our hero, Job, falls to his face, prostrate before God, and worships. As Swindoll put it, “He [Job] doesn’t wallow and wail; … he worships.” And if one reads on, we see the extent of Job’s humble surrender in worship. But we’ll explore that tomorrow as you can read that Job refuses to choose to be angry with God.

At this moment, however, Job has chosen to worship God rather than ask “WHY” of his Lord. And I maintain that this response was way beyond the realm of natural. No, … this response – and it was an intentional response – was an expression of super-natural faith and trust in God. And I speculate, and believe, that God, who had given Satan the right to do what he did to Job, foreknew that He would be giving Job a super-dose of enabling grace.

And herein we learn one of the most powerful lessons which I was taught years ago by my mentor, a biblical lesson which I have burned into my memory and heart from the New Testament; and that is the lesson of 1st Cor. 10: 13. And I pray that you have memorized and internalize this truth … that ... “No temptation (also translated ‘test, tribulation, or trial’) has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with the temptation will make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it (i.e.,, the trial, test, tribulation, or temptation).”

And we see that truth lived out and modeled here as Job is confronted with as an extreme of a trial or test as one could or would ever encounter. And his response was humble worship! Let me pray that this will be our response or reflex when we are tried in the fires of life.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, give us Your strength to allow us to worship You through any trial which comes our way. Amen

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