Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
The story of Job is a most intriguing story. The story begins in this passage with the words “Now on the day.” For this righteous man named Job this was just another normal day. His children were all enjoying time together. The oxen were plowing in the field, and the donkeys were feeding alongside. Then literally all hell broke loose in Job’s life. In one day Job lost almost all that he held dear. Can you imagine losing almost all you have financially and burying all ten of your children at the same time?
Trials and tribulations are real, and bad things do happen to good people. Poverty comes to the godly, tragedy strikes the pious, infirmity touches the holy, and calamity finds the righteous. The question in life is not are we going to face tough trials, but where and when. All of heaven and the world sits as spectators just to see how we will respond. In Job we see a man who responded with praise even in the deepest darkest trials of life. When all was lost, He still chose to say, “blessed be the name of the Lord.”
This begs the question for you and I today: Is Jesus worth everything to me? Is He worth more than all the people, possessions, and achievements of this life? It’s only when He is worth more that we can declare His name blessed in the darkness.
We see a progression here. In verse 20, we see Job arose first. Isn’t that our first response? When trouble comes we put on the face and falsely say, “I’ll be okay; I can make it.” Big girls don’t cry. Grown men don’t show emotion. Job stands as if to declare his ability to handle the situation. However, before the verse is over Job is falling under the weight of the burden. Week after week we put on the face. We go to work, run the kids from here to there, say hello to our neighbors, see our friends in the community, and we come to church and say everything is fine. The truth might be that our heart is broken and we are hurting deeply. Before we can get right with God, we must get right with ourselves. In other words, I must get honest with God about my sins, struggles, and hurts before He can carry them for me. The most profound part of it all is that is in the midst of Job’s unimaginable sorrow he chose to worship.
Job first declared that he had come from the womb naked and would return there the same way. Job understood that everything he had was on loan from God. His wealth and his children were God’s not His, and it’s only when we recognize this truth that we can truly enjoy the gifts He gives us. Secondly, he says that the Lord gives and takes away. It’s God’s right to give and to take away, and the heart of faith will trust in His goodness and sovereignty even when we don’t understand. Job finishes with that powerful declaration of praise, “blessed be the name of the Lord.” The power of god’s deliverance is only realized in God’s praise. We don’t fully understand the joy of Jesus until we can praise him when there are tears in our eyes. When our hearts are broken, and our strength is gone, this is when our worship gets sweet.
I don’t know what you’re facing today, but God does. Just like Job, the only place we will find solace in the storm is in Christ, so choose praise! When the money’s run out but the bills pile up, blessed be the name of the lord! When the doctor says there’s no hope, blessed be the name of the Lord! When your children rebel and you don’t know what to do, blessed be the name of the Lord! When you lose your job and you don’t know what tomorrow holds, blessed be the name of the Lord! When your marriage is hanging on by a thread, blessed be the name of the Lord! When all hell breaks loose in your life, child of God never forget, blessed be the name of the Lord!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, blessed be Your name. I will bless you at all times and Your praise shall continually be in my mouth. You have the name above every name, and I know that You want what is best for my life. In hardship and trials and pain I know that you are good, and I will choose to praise You. You give and take away. In it all my heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name Jesus, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.