Friday, September 19, 2014

Naked Came I out of the Womb

In the first chapter of the book of Job, much happens that pretty much every Christian is at least partially familiar.

The Devil comes among the "sons of God" to report on what he has been doing with his time. After giving God a vague answer (as if he could hide anything from the all-knowing God), the Lord asks him,
"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?"

We all know how Magneto would respond to this question. But Satan has an agenda to support. He wants to make Job turn his back on God. Satan is convinced that if Job didn't have so many blessings in his life, he would not be as grateful to the God who provided them.

After all, it is easier to be grateful to the Lord when one is enrolled in an excellent institution, surrounded by tons of loyal family and friends, and generally, everything is going well. But is it as easy to thank the Lord when your friends hurt you, when your circumstances just keep seeming to not go your way?

So Satan is granted permission to be able to go back to Earth, and takes the lives of his sons, servants, and livestock. Ultimately, when that doesn't cause Job to turn his back on God, Satan petitions the Lord for permission to touch Job's health. After the Lord grants His permission, Job is now so overwhelmed by how God turned His back on Job that he cannot help but to curse God and die.

Except that's not what happens at all. Job is asked by his not-so-Proverbs 31 wife to curse God and die, and his response is recorded for us in Job 1:21,
"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."

You see, Job understood a simple concept that I tend to struggle with. The Lord was under no obligation to give us any blessing in this world. He was under no obligation to even give us life to begin with. Thus, He is under no obligation to maintain and continue to provide those blessings that He has provided. (Caveat: because the Lord promised in the Bible that once saved is always saved, that blessing He is obligated to continue to provide.)

Job illustrates that we can't take for granted what the Lord has given us, and ultimately our thankfulness to Him needs to be less based on the material things He has provided, and more based off of who He is, and what eternal blessings He has promised to those who call upon His name.

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