Lesson Two | Devotion #5: Job
John Carter | Director of Finance & HR
The story of Job is one often shared and talked about in churches and Christian circles. If you are not familiar with Job, let me give you a brief “cliff notes” version of his story. Job was a wealthy man with a very happy family. He lived the “perfect happy life” that many of us chase after all these many years later. Job was called blameless and perfect. One day, Satan came to God and challenged God by saying the only reason Job loves You is because You protect him. Let me have my way with him and let us see if he still honors You? So, God being confident in Job, grants Satan to have his way. He gives Satan only one restraint, “just do not take his life.”
Then the struggles of Job began, and it is a horror story of pain and difficulty like no other. His wealth and his family are all lost in a short period of time. Job is left alone sitting in pain from physical illness. He is no doubt questioning his status with God and his faith. Then God comes and has a conversation with Job, and restores Job. Again, this is a very abbreviated description of Job’s story. There are so many different good studies that can come from Job’s story. I want to focus primarily on the conversation Job has with God in Job chapters 38-41.
When I read Job 38:1, I cannot help but be brought to tears when I think of where Job is when God comes to him and answers him in the whirlwind, aka the storm.
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind.”
If you have ever experienced any struggle, heartache, or difficulty in life, I would think this passage to be one of great joy! To me, this passage is very overwhelming. I am secure knowing that in the midst of our storm the Lord is present! He is not only present in the storm, but He proceeds to explain how mighty and awesome He (God) is to Job. He asks Job questions:
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?”
I would encourage you to read the whole passage in Job chapter 38-42. The questions God asks may seem harsh, but I believe they are meant to encourage Job. They are meant to help make very clear who God is and of what He is capable. You soon realize how big God is and how small we as humans are. Job’s response acknowledges this. “Then Job answered the LORD and said: ‘Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.’”
God then continues to ask Job some more questions, several in particular stick out, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: ‘Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Who then is he who can stand before me? Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.”
Again, Job responds to Gods questions, in a way that is so profound, “Then Job answered the LORD and said: ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’”
Wow, what a powerful acknowledgment of who God is. God is present in the time of storms, God can do all things, God has a plan, and God is far more wonderful than we can even know. In this dialogue, we can see how great, mighty, and awesome God is. Let us take this story of a world changing man named Job and apply it to our lives.
Do you ever question God? Have you ever thought, “Why me Lord?” How about, “What are you doing God?” Have you ever been in a position where the burden felt so heavy? Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever wondered if there was anyone who cared? Have you ever hurt so bad that it made you question if God was real? If you claim Jesus as your Savior, is God so real to you that He is the first one you call out to in the storms of life? Maybe as you read this dialogue between God and Job, you will come to know the One who laid the foundation of the earth. The One who has commanded the morning since the beginning of time, the One who has knowledge of the gates of death, and the One who established the ordinances of the heavens. Maybe you have heard about Jesus your whole life, but you have not yet seen who He is, Job’s response is the Gospel message, “Now my eye sees You; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Life by no means is an easy thing, but when we have God, we can rest assured no matter how hard the storm, we have a God that will answer! Knowing God also means that we recognize how big He is and how small we are. He gets all the Glory!