You never know what a day will bring forth. Job got out of bed one morning, and it would be the worst day in Job’s life. That day in Job’s life is described in the rest of Job chapter one. The Bible says in Job 1:13-15, “And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house.  And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, the oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:  And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” If this had been the only bad thing that happened to Job, it still would have been a very sad day for him. He not only lost all of his oxen and asses, but also the workers who were handling them and plowing the fields. It would have been a tremendous financial loss, but also a tremendous hit to the family business. And Job probably knew many of the workers well, and loved them like family. Unfortunately for Job, it was only the beginning of bad news.
The Bible says in Job 1:16, “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” Job had already lost all of his oxen and asses and the servants who were taking care of them, and now Job hears of the loss of his seven thousand sheep and the servants with them. Notice what is said concerning the source of this disaster: “The fire of God is fallen from heaven.” Right away we are shown the true source of the problems that came upon Job: God. Remember that when something bad happens to you if you want to live by faith in every incident of your life. God knows what He is doing. Do you want to live by faith, believing and trusting that the Lord has a reason for what He has allowed? Everything in this life is temporary. Do you know that? We also know that the devil was involved in all these trouble, but the devil is not mentioned here. That is a good way to live a life of faith: talk about the Lord and what the Lord is doing. No reason to give free advertisement to the competition.
Now the third disaster takes place. The Bible says in Job 1:17, “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, the Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” What one band of murderers and thieves did not take, another band of marauders stole and destroyed. Now all of his animals, all of his wealth, and all of Job’s workers and servants are gone. In less than a day Job went from being a very wealthy man, to having nothing. No matter how much God has given you, you can lose it all very quickly.
It is not so bad to lose your material possessions, if you still have your family. At least Job still had his family. Not. The day of disasters is not over. The Bible says in Job 1:18-19, “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brothers house:  And behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” One of the greatest sorrows of life is to lose a loved one, especially when it is an unexpected and untimely death. We have somewhat gotten used to the sequence of life as we know it. If someone has lived to be eighty-five or ninety, even though we are saddened by losing them, we know it is the cycle of life. Therefore, one of the worse sorrows of life is to lose a child. (At least children go to heaven.) But Job lost all of his children, and he lost all of them in the same disaster.
Job was a man of great faith who loved God and who walked with God. We all aspire to be like that. Let’s look at how Job responded to these disasters and see what we can learn from Job. The Bible says in Job 1:20-21, “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped.  And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Verse 21 tells us that Job suffered greatly upon hearing of the death of his children, and the loss of his wealth, his servants, and essentially his family agricultural business. Just because Job had great faith in God does not mean that Job would not suffer pain just like any human being in that circumstance. There is a time to mourn, and Job mourned his loss. But Job’s faith helped him to get through such a terrible loss. At the end of verse 20 it says that Job “fell down upon the ground, and worshipped.” Job turned to the Lord in his grief.
In verse 21 we are given the secret of how Job got through all of these terrible sufferings that came upon him. First Job understood and accepted a very important truth about human life on this earth and therefore about his own life. Job said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither.” Of course, a baby is born naked. They bring nothing into the world: nothing. We are all equal in that regards. We live our lives, but then we leave this world at death. No matter how much we have accumulated in life, guess how much we take out of the world: zero, nothing. That is our destiny: our final end to be with nothing. Job knew this truth and he was comforted by it. If I am going to end up with nothing anyway, why be surprised if I end up with nothing a little before my end comes?
Job also knew something important about God that helped Job to accept all the terrible things that had happened to him. Job said, “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Everything that Job had came from God, and therefore God had every right to take it away, if God wanted to do so. That is the attitude that we should all have, no matter what we lose. If God wants one of your loved ones in heaven now instead of later, that is His choice and not yours. This concept will definitely test your faith. We are told in the New Testament to be thankful for everything. That means to be thankful for the good and the bad, and that means to be thankful when we lose as well as when we gain.
How could Job say, “blessed be the name of the Lord?” Job could say that because Job knew God’s true character. God is good. God loves you. God knows what is best. God has a plan and everything that God allows fits into God’s plan. If we have the opportunity to say, “blessed be the name of the Lord,” in a situation where many people could not do so, then we have been given a great honor.
When many people suffer a great suffering or sorrow, they get mad at God. They blame God. After all, God is all-powerful. God could have kept it from happening. They know that. Some atheists become atheists as a way to express their anger at God for what He allowed to happen in their lives. They do not have faith in God’s purposes: that God knows best. They do not have faith in God’s character: that God is loving and wise. They have never bowed at the feet of Jesus, surrendering all to Him, and so they cannot do it when some very difficult situation comes along either. Many sins are involved when someone accuses God or gets angry at God. That was the temptation that Job faced too. That is what Satan was hoping Job would do. But it says in Job 1:22, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Job lost many things in these sufferings, but he did not lose his faith in God. What could possibly be next for Job: how about even more trials. That is one of the truths about the Christian life: one trial follows another. The trials will end when we leave this earth. Christians are reminded in First Peter 4:12, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” It also says in First Peter 1:7, “That the trial of you faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” One of the reasons that some Christians stop walking in fellowship with the Lord is that they did not survive some difficult trial of their faith. At the end of his life, Paul knew that he had survived all the trials of his faith, and Paul knew that was one great accomplishment. Paul wrote in Second Timothy 4:6-7, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
Job was not at the end of his life. It was not God’s time for Job to leave the earth, and therefore, because Job was a believer, there were more troubles and trials for him to face. The Bible says in Job 2:1-3, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.  And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause?” Why do bad things happen to good people? We see a few reasons here. 1. Satan exists, and he wants people to lose their faith. 2. God exists, and He wants people to prove their faith. 3. Life can be hard, and we are not in heaven yet. 4. Only God knows why, and when we see Him, we can ask Him.
The fact that the angels, including the evil angel (the devil), appear before God to give an account of their activities, reminds us that the day will come when we will do the same thing. We call it the judgment. Lost souls will give an account to Jesus in order to determine how severe will be their punishments in hell. The saved souls will give an account to Jesus in order to determine what our rewards will be in heaven, if any. Hopefully, if you are saved by faith in Jesus, you are planning for that great day by organizing your life to be a spiritual life so you can hope to gain a crown from the Savior. Jesus died for you, and the judgment will be your chance to show what you have done for Him. Of course, you are saved and thus will enter into heaven by faith and faith alone without works. But your rewards (probably authority and opportunity in eternity as symbolized by crowns) will be determined by your service of faith after you are saved.
The Bible says in Job 2:4-6, “And Satan answered the Lord and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” God permitted Satan to do even more to Job, but not to take his life. There is at least one important point to make here: God determines when we die. No one else determines it. God gives life, and God takes life. When will you die? When God is finished with you on this earth. When will any of your loved-ones die? When God is finished with them on this earth. It says in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Therefore, if you know Jesus as savior, there is nothing to fear. You can laugh at that great imposter that we call death. For you to die is to take a gentle sleep, and to awake gloriously in the most beautiful place you could ever imagine: heaven. Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” If you do not have the knowledge and comfort that you will be with Jesus when you die, today you can call upon His name and ask for forgiveness, and He will save your soul.
Copyright; 2017 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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