We’re diving in friends! This is the first post in the series on the book of Job. Remember, we’ve agreed to be real, no fake-hide-the-pain-smiles here. This week we’re talking about Job chapter 1.
Job was a man who had it all. I mean really, he had everything going for him. He was a prosperous herdsman with 11,000 in total animals and a crazy number of servants to help care for those large herds. Just for fun I Googled his worth. Mind you there is no mention of land ownership and his slaves aren’t numbered- so this is based on his herds alone. (And the price of sheep varies GREATLY ) Job was worth over 13 million dollars! He had a large and healthy family and an even larger circle of friends. Not only was he rich, respected, wise, and famous, but to boot, he was blameless before the Lord.
Job 1:1 “This man was blameless and upright, he feared God and shunned evil.”
He was in right relationship with God, and he revered the Lord with honor and awe. Job had blessing, prosperity and strong faith. What more is there?
He even took precautions to avoid sin among his children “just in case”. After his kids partied, he would put his entire household into a process of cleansing; offering sacrifices of repentance. And to be clear, the sin he was most worried about was that his children would stop honoring God while celebrating with their friends… we’re not even talking about the “Big” sins. His biggest concern was his children’s destiny.
So you get the picture, Job was doing it all right. He was a good steward of the blessings and assets he had, he sought the Lord in business and in family and he was faithful in his walk with God.
Then the middle of chapter 1 happens and things suddenly get messy. The scene opens in the throne room of heaven with Almighty God about to begin a staff meeting with his army of Angels. When Satan walks in. (Can we pause there a second. I recently heard a preacher clarify something that makes this picture a little clearer to me… Satan and God are NOT equals. Satan never was and never will be a god… this good vs evil thing is not a war between gods. Satan is a disgruntled angel who likes to think he’s a god.) Satan, out of familiarity, shows up to this daily meeting , and God asks him what he’s up to. Satan readily admits he’s been snooping around the earth.
So God takes this moment to bring up glory, and begins talking about Job.
Satan takes the bait and asks God to prove His glory in this so called faithful servant.
I wonder what the room of angels sounded like at this moment, did they gasp? Or did they smirk, knowing the power of glory about to be revealed?
None-the-less, God grants permission to strip Job of everything.
Job 1:12 “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
And here is where my predictable box of religion gets turned over.
Job was doing everything right. He prayed the right prayers, he attended all the right church services, he gave the right amount of tithe, he read the book and kept a clean life. Even God Himself declared Job as blameless.
Yet God granted the devil permission to destroy it all.
The wrestle right here is real for me. Maybe you too, because we put this faith in God in a box of formulas and processes. If this ___ then this ____. So, if not this ____ than this ____. We think we can access the promises of God by following the formula.
What if faith isn’t a formula at all, not a recipe of various ingredients, not a puzzle to be put together?
What if it has nothing to do with what God can provide and do, but instead is all about who God is?
What if naked we come and naked we go, but blessed be the name of the Lord?
This post is part of a series through the book of Job. If you don’t want to miss any future posts of this study sign up in the box at the top right to get the latest delivered directly into you inbox. Also, you can find the story of Job in almost any translation Here.