The first part of the book of Job we find God talking to Satan. God shows Satan there is no one like Job who is blameless and upright. So, God gives Satan permission to test Job without killing him. Satan then, takes from Job all his wealth from camels, donkeys, oxen, servants, and children. In all these things Job did not sin. Eventually the Lord allows Satan to touch the skin of Job; with painful sores from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. In Job’s suffering three friends come to counsel him to repent because clearly he has sinned.
Job’s friends came over to sympathize and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. (Job 2:11-13)
Now, can you imagine being with your best friends who believe you have sinned because you have lost everything. Now compound it with painful sores all over your body and they come to counselor you. How well would you survive without telling your dear friends to leave? Job in his dialogue to his friends is grieving his lost and wishing he was never born (Job 3:1); actually he curses the day he is born. How, well would we do in the same situation if roles were reverse? Painful sores all over your body or imagine and all day migraine, can you imagine how you would feel about your best friends; thinking they know you best. Memory of my last terrible migraine I pray to the Lord for relief and begged if he could heal me; but then I am a woman in today’s times with Midol. Job lived in the times with natural remedies and traveling doctors I would think. Pain was a natural part of life and you probably grew another heart to deal with family and friends.
Job’s dialogue with his friends took him too many speeches but one speech stuck with me and it was his search for the LORD.
Have you every travel on a road that never got you to where you wanted to go? Each road you took ended as a dead end and you began so frustrated that you just want the day to end. You’d cried and begged what am I doing wrong Lord? I’ve gone over and over the directions but I am still lost. What’s the next step? This is a vivid picture of Job’s struggle to get through to the LORD. Job says “If only I knew where to find Him (LORD); if only I could go to His dwelling!” (Job 23:3) Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever found yourself in Job’s place where everything is falling down and you do not know why? What have I done wrong? The Lord says in His word “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
What we think should be happening is different from what the Lord wants to have happen in our life. You can wrestle with Him over each direction in your life or just give in to His prompting. Job’s life is critical and going forward he began to seek God in a real way instead of just following the rules or laws of the land.
In my life right now if I do not hear from the Lord I seek Him with all my heart, soul and mind I do not settle for less. Many in the Bible also sought the LORD when they needed Him.
King David cried out to the Lord in his state of need in Psalms.
O God, you are my God. At dawn I search for you. My soul thirsts for you. My body longs for you in a dry, parched land where there is no water. ((Psalms 63:1)
Job cries from his very soul “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling. But if I go to the east, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him.” (Job 23:3, 8)
Wisdom tells us: I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Proverbs 8:17)
The LORD says of captives of sin: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Jesus Christ sought His Father in the garden for help with His mission. (John 17:1-5)
What do these verses have in common? They all have a personal longing to know God in the most intimate form. For why would we seek if it is not to connect to something more powerful them us. The scriptures point us to a relationship with God. David and Job are seeking with all their heart to know God in an intimate union. They are both looking to God for their deliverance instead of themselves. Job was powerful and had all he needed and when he lost everything, he sought God but he did not know where to find Him. When we lose everything do we know the way to the throne of God? Do we need a road map to get there?
The word says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ (2Chronicles 7:14)
Job was seeking audience with the LORD: “When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him; when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.” (Job 23:9)
The LORD is listening to Job for He has a reply.
For Job the LORD spoke out of the storm “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I lay the earth’s foundations? Tell me, if you understand…” (Job 38)
When we are seeking the Lord in our pain we say things that come out of frustration and ignorance. God doesn’t mention Job’s lost because God is directing Job to His redemptive plan. “Where were you when I lay the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4) Job had no answers for God. Job listens on: “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? So you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return… (Job 39) Here God was showing our human limitations in this world to His omnipotent and all-knowing presence in our lives. Job sees that God is faithful in taking care of us and is humbled. God continues to draw Job “will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him!”
Then Job answered the LORD:
“I am unworthy ⎯ how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer ⎯ twice, but I will say no more.”
Job decided not to hold on to his belief that God has wronged him. “Know that God has wronged me and drawn His net around me… (Job 19:6-21)
Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your right hand can save you. (Job 40:1-14)
God continues His argument that Job is only human and cannot save him or others. We are not spiritual beings that have magical powers to predict and conquer others on our own. God drew Job to show his mercy and grace. God’s love drew Job to find Him and listen to God’s truths in creation.
“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet His Maker can approach him with His sword…Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?” (Job 40:15-24)
Who could possibly fight a behemoth which some say is a hippopotamus. Could we subdue such a creature on our own? No, then how can we assume that are right hand is like God’s; we can’t do anything without the Lord. We must trust the Lord that He knows what is best for us.
God continues to speak to Job in chapter 41 and Job replies in chapter 42 to the LORD:
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)
Job comes before the LORD humbled by God’s words and for the first time really sees God as a formidable adversary to have on his side. God draws Job and Job believes that God is all powerful and then he repents. Not only does he repent but he is given an opportunity to pray for his friends who gave wrong counsel. Job prays for his friends and then offers burnt sacrifices on their behalf. The LORD blesses the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. (Job 42)
Would you like to be a blessed people who through your struggles become victorious?
First see that we are a fallen people who through Adam and Eve were given the curse of sin that keeps us from finding (communion) with the Lord. God in His infinite wisdom devised a plan that would cancel our debt of sin. God sent His One and Only Son to earth to be born of a virgin so that He could grow up among us and then go and die on a cross carrying all our sins. Jesus Christ death and resurrection nullifies our sin and sets us free. The word says “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) When you believe in the Lord the Lord will draw you to himself. You will begin to thirst and hunger for the word and through the scriptures the Lord will convict your heart of sin. Repentance will bring you into the throne room of God and there you will find the Lord and communion with Him.
Thank you, Lord that Job humbled himself before and Almighty God and found forgiveness. Thank you, Father that you drew Job to yourself and offered him mercy and grace instead of wrath. Thank you, Jesus Christ that your life represents hope and freedom from sin and opens the door to communication.
I pray for the unbelievers who do not call you ‘daddy’ who continue to withhold themselves from you; and say that their ‘arm is stronger’. I pray that you will have your way in their lives as you did with Job to bring them to submission under your authority. I pray that they, who have heard about you, will also see your overwhelming presence in their life. Make them lie down in green pastures; make them thirst and hungry for righteousness; and create in them a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within them. Do not cast them away from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from them. But, restore them, draw them and place within each heart a willingness to serve you. In Jesus Christ name; I pray. Amen.