“Genesis 18:25~Shall not the Judge of the Earth do right?”
Writer’s Note: I’m aware that not every post may be “hit” or a “hallelujah!”moment. There are times when I’ve felt as if I were on a “mountain top.” Other times, I think I’m probably very dull and boring. Every post may not be exciting, I reckon. Sometimes I feel sort of like guys must feel during the long, hot, sweaty days of football practice under a blazing, late August afternoon sun. Or when your mouth feels as dry as cotton, and every muscle tightens and burns hotly in your body and the coach is yelling; “Toughen up! Toughen up!” There’s no fun in that! But come Friday night, or Saturday afternoon when the grueling practice pays off with a victory over an opponent . . . especially if you were the ‘underdog.’ Now that’s another thing! The “ nuts and bolts” aren’t glamorous, but they are very necessary. And the win is worth the effort you invest.
It sort of seemed to me that a logical next step in this venture (GOD’S COMEBACK KIDS) would be to consider David’s great “comeback.” But, for some reason, that seemed to me to be almost too obvious. I’ll get to it, but not now. I felt a reluctance to go immediately so someone who strayed and let his sexual appetite lead him around like a pig with a ring in his snout and morals to match. At the same time, I was drawn strangely to Job.
While there was no moral collapse or eclipse in Job’s faith, he did experience serious reversal of fortune. How that happened, and how he came to be one whom I view as a “comeback Kid” is going to occupy my attention for a while. I hope you’ll join me and participate in the study. Here’s an excerpt to give you something of the “flavor” of the story, picking up in Chapter two of Job:
“Again it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (2 ) And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘From whence comest thou?’ And Satan answered the LORD, and said: ‘From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (3) And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a whole-hearted and an upright man, one that feareth God, and shunneth evil? and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou didst move Me against him, to destroy him without cause. (4) And Satan answered the LORD, and said: ‘Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. (5) But put forth Thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, surely he will blaspheme Thee to Thy face.’ (6) And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘Behold, he is in thy hand; only spare his life.’ (7) So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot even unto his crown. (8) And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself therewith; and he sat among the ashes. (9) Then said his wife unto him: ‘Dost thou still hold fast thine integrity? blaspheme God, and die.’ (Note: Personally, I think she was suggesting suicide. “Why don’t you just end it all? Right here. Right now!) 10 But he said unto her: ‘Thou speakest as one of the impious women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ For all this did not Job sin with his lips.
As I’ve done before, I’ve tried to understand how and why this poor guy got clobbered and did not become bitter and cynical. Especially when his pious friends came by to pay their respects and simply added to Job’s misery. What do you make of the whole story? What connection (if any) do you make between being “favored by God” and having a lot of “stuff?” Does the fact that someone has not been given lots of material “blessings” mean God doesn’t especially like that person? Or has no place or way for them to serve? Does acquiring a lot of “things” mean you are successful and favored by God? Does losing what you’ve accumulated (or never had) mean God doesn’t like you very much and may, in fact, have a “bone to pick” with you.
Let’s take a bit of time and give this man (Job) the respect he richly deserves. Let’s learn what we can about how to face adversity, overcome it, and come back stronger than ever with faith intact!
God’s servant, your friend,brother, and fellow student ~donkimrey
(I encourage you to read the book of Job. In my approach to Bible study, I always try to see what lesson is in it for me. In this book, a lot of painful questions seem to be raised. If I learn nothing else, I should surely know better than to give quick, easy answers to difficult questions.)