Passage of the Day: Focus on Job 1: 21 … 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, … And naked shall I return there. …The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; … Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
My Journal for Today: Chuck Swindoll begins today’s focus on verse 21 of Job’s entry chapter, … that incredibly powerful and poetic response of Job to all the grief and horror which had beset this man. And what Satan heard from the man he had wagered would curse God had to have been the worst words he could hear. And these words, praising instead of cursing God, were truly incredible, weren’t they? And I think, after yesterday’s study, looking at verse 20 and reading of Job’s grief response to fall down and worship God, avoiding the “WHY, ME!” reaction most – if not all – of us would have, we be awe stricken, even as was Satan, by our hero’s, faithful reaction.
And now we read, in verse 21, Job’s powerfully poetic response; and it’s worthy of repeating …
“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
And when we analyze this grief stricken response as Job worships his God, we read some astounding theological truths. And as Swindoll points out in his devotional study, we cannot deny that we come into the world as helpless, naked little babes; and in the normal course of life, we leave the world as wrinkled, helpless corpses. And, in between, everything we gain or have in life is on loan from the hand of God. Swindoll, uses a quote from a New Testament truth, to help explain this statement from Job, writing from James 1: 17, “… every good and perfect gift if from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.”
However, we ask, how could a man who had lost everything God had loaned him, remember this truth and reflexively respond to the terror of this moment by praising God in his horror stricken realization? And my friends, I cannot explain it … other than it coming from God pouring His own enabling grace into the mind and heart of the man Satan had undertaken, as a prideful project, to show up God.
Somehow, my dear one, we must learn that God can, if we will but surrender to Him, give us the enabling grace to handle even the most desperate challenges in life. Yesterday we looked at Paul’s exhortation in 1st Cor. 10: 13 about how God will not allow us into any trial we cannot handle without His faithful help. And today, God helped me remember a tandem truth, from 2nd Cor. 12: 9, which I often call up from memory, which always seems to go with that one from 1st Cor. I hope you know it, as it reads, as Paul’s only direct quote from Jesus in his letters. And these are red letters, if you have such a Bible. In Jesus’ own words, “My grace is sufficient for you; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
And there you have our Lord’s promises as to how a man like Job, or a weakened believer like you or me, could worship and praise God in the face of horrible grief. It was for Job, or it is for us, because we can be able to surrender our own will to God’s. Job was able to let God’s grace cover his own weakness; and it was God’s grace which responded to the horrible circumstances, not Job’s desire to be compensated for the grief which had befallen him.
My friend, may we all pray, as I will now, that we understand and remember that all we have from God is on loan and we ALWAYS must praise our God for what HE has given us in this life.
My Prayer for Today: LORD, You are the giver of life and all things we have. May our surrender to You in life ALWAYS be thanks and praise, … yes, even when all is taken from us. Amen