Blogger’s Note: Beginning a new month; but Chuck Swindoll still has a few more days in the Book of Job for his readers; and then we’ll be on to the New Testament and the life of the Apostle Paul. So, stay with me for just a few more days with Job.
Passage of the Day: Job 42 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Have you ever come into contact with someone who is extremely wealthy? What was your immediate thought, even though you may not have any inside information about this person? Unfortunately, our default, human nature has a tendency to be envious of such a person; and we often think that such a person must have gotten their wealth from selfishness and greed.
But if we’ve read and studied God’s word, we know that some of God’s favored Saints were blessed by God with wealth. And as we’ve been studying Job, we certainly see one such person. Job was mega-wealthy before his series of horrible losses; and here in Chapter 42 he was restored to double what he was blessed after God restored him two-fold what he had had before. And there were other very blessed and favored Saints in the Bible; and I’d almost wager you’re thinking of the likes of Abraham or maybe Solomon … or even Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, in the New Testament. All of these men were blessed by God with much temporal wealth; and they did nothing underhanded to be so blessed. Neither were they greedy or took advantage of others to have what they were given by God.
Swindoll’s point this morning is that we should not compare our life with others and judge someone negatively just because they seem to have more than we do. Envy is one of those very natural, but very sinful, reactions when we see someone with a lot more than we have; and we can tend to question God’s intent in allowing someone to have so much, especially when we think we’ve done all we can to be a good Christian and honor God with our time, talents, and treasures and we don’t seem to be as blessed as others we see with a lot of temporal blessings.
And so, today, I echo Swindoll’s devotional intent with my own conviction and confession here that I have a tendency to judge others and think of them as being naturally greedy when I see them blessed by a lot of obvious “stuff,” even when I know not how they procured such temporal wealth. Because, if I were privileged to know more about them, I might find out that God had actually allowed such wealth into their lives to test them and to break them of the attitude of greed. Jesus showed us, in the Sermon on the Mount or with the story of the rich young ruler, that being rich can be a curse if we hold on to the desire to have a lot of things in life. And one we see in life with a lot of wealth may need to learn that truth.
And then, if we knew more about the wealthy person, as we’ve been able to see into the life of Job, we may find out that they have been blessed by God with much because they have been found faithful. And if you know anything about the various Spiritual gifts we are given when we come to Christ, we learn that the Spirit-given gift of giving also comes along with the gift of getting. So, judge not, my friend, when you see someone who’s mega-wealthy. That person just may be giving 80-90% of his wealth to God’s kingdom and God is blessing him because he can effectively give so much to God’s glory.
Yes, my friend, having a lot requires that we give a lot; and wealth can be stumbling block to becoming like Christ. However, we shouldn’t judge one on the surface negatively just because God has given one person a lot when we don’t appear to be so blessed. Perhaps that person’s wealth is being used by God, like it was for Job, to duly favor that one; and it actually is is part of God’s plan for His own glory. Wait, my friend; and let’s see the fruit on the tree of the wealthy man’s life before we pass judgment.
Better yet, leave the judging to God. He’s better at that anyway. ;>)
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to wait when I see You favor others with temporal gain. And thanks for all you’ve given this humble servant, … a very rich man. Others may not see me as rich; but You know, as do I, that I am. I have all I need and more, … much more. Am