What is man that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment? Job 7:17
Early in the book of Job, Job questions his own purpose, as he finds himself in a time of testing. I think we all do that as we do not understand what has happened to us. We are flummoxed, we are gobsmacked. Terrible things have happened to Job and he wonders why he was born. I think we all do that.
But Job does not know the following, or he has forgotten…
The Psalmist says….For You have made him (man) a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:5
Mankind is God’s crowing achievement. First, God made the earth, nature and all it contains, the sky, the sun and the moon and stars, the galaxies. This was the nursery that God put his man creation into. Ever wonder why you appreciate the things in nature? It’s because God does. You are made in His image. That means you and He like the same things. The regenerated, born again man is better able to see this, and appreciate even the small things.
In the above passage, it is clear that Job has lost sight of gratitude to his Creator. But I don’t hold that against him. Who wouldn’t? He had lost so much at this time, like just about everything he held dear, except for his wife. He still had her, but she didn’t have anything good to say. She told him to curse God. I don’t envy Job’s life. It was hard!
Not only has Job lost all his children in one fell swoop and his wealth, then his “friends” show up and begin to tell him he must have sinned for all this to happen to him. Talk about piling on…who needs friends like that? When I’m in a situation like that (and I have never ever had it that bad), I need friends to help me see that it’s going to get better, that God is actually for me (no matter what it might look like at the moment). I don’t need someone to “help” me by first condemning me, and saying that I must have sinned or this wouldn’t be happening. I need someone to hug me (even during Covid19) and say, “There there, everything is gonna be alright,” even if it’s hard for me to believe that anything will ever be right again! I need someone to help me OUT of my self-pity and turn my gaze upward again.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121–1-2
Nothing stays the same in this life. Things WILL get better. We have seen it happen time and time again. Over time, our perspective changes. We need to put our emotions on hold and not overreact to events that happen to us. Although, I don’t know about the loss of all your children in one event. That’s crushing. So is losing all your wealth.
God does restore Job’s fortunes as he makes it through the crisis without losing all his reverence for God, although he and God do have a chat and Job finds out he had some wrong thinking. The bible says he had more children and he got more wealth than ever before.
Later a victorious Job arrives at this understanding:
For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
16 Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
17 In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
18 He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from [c]perishing by the sword. Job 33:14-18
“Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
30 To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life. Job 33:29-30
And so, all’s well that ends well in Job’s life. Job also gained a new trust in the Lord, a new perspective, one that, in the future he could rely on when things didn’t look like they were going well. Each testing, each victory, each time we see God work on our behalf to rescue and restore even better than it was before, we learn that He is a God we can truly depend on, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that He withholds from us. And we learn more about His infinite, unfathomable love for us.
Dear Jesus, I ask you to help us see You in the hard times. Help us to recognize that You are the lifter of our heads, our encouragement in the bad times when all hell breaks loose. If sickness or deprivation should come, help us to see that You still prepare a table before us in the midst of it all, to know without doubting that You are our Provider. As Your word declares, we don’t live by bread alone, but we live by the words that come from Your mouth. Teach us every day, Jesus. Open our eyes to behold wonderful things from Your book. Open our eyes to see You working each day in our lives, as we actually experience the great love and desire You have for us.