Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come on him, they each came from his own place: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and to comfort him. Job 2:11 WEB
Righteous men have always been hard to find. Yes, under the new covenant we have forgiveness and our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus after we have accepted Him as our Lord, but it was not always like that. Thank God that we live in a time of grace.
God would have spared Jerusalem if He could have found a single righteous person living there (Jeremiah 5:1). He told Abraham that He would spare Sodom if he could find ten, but He could not (Genesis 18:32).
Job was a righteous man. God Himself pointed it out and praised Job: 'Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?' (Job 1:8).
The cynical satan could not believe that this was true. Was there really a man that walked the straight and narrow, that could not be bribed, that did not hide dark secrets. If there was, he had never met them.
Cynicism: A studied disbelief. An inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self interest. Cynics begin to look inward at their own malice and believe that everyone else, is just like them. The devil believed that everyone else was just like him, because most of them were. After a dispute over Job's righteousness, God allowed Job to be tested by satan, proven, to see if he actually measured up.
Job soon went through a terrible trial. Though he was the wealthiest in the land, he lost it all In one day. Different bands of raiders took his 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, and they killed his servants. A strong wind suddenly blew the house down on top of his ten children and killed them. He lost his seven sons and his three daughters in one day.
Job fell down on the ground and worshipped God saying: 'Naked I came into this world, and naked I will leave it. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord' (Job 1:21). In all of this, Job did not sin. Amazing faith.
Three of Job's friends came to comfort him and one by one they gave long-winded speeches, explaining that Job was suffering because of hidden sin in his life. They believed that Job was living under God's judgment, when actually God was proud of Job. In Job 42:7, God showed up in a whirlwind and set things straight.
'And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before' (Job 42:10).
Job came out of the test with double everything: 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also had seven more sons and three more daughters.' (Job 42:12). Even his children were doubled for the first were not gone, but living safely with the Lord. What a strange way to bless someone. Job went through trouble, and then everything that he had lost was returned double.
When Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, the disciples asked who then can be saved? For it was thought that wealth and blessing were God's stamp of approval. While it is safe to say that a good life can stem from good choices, and a bad life can be a result of bad choices, many bad circumstances have nothing to do with the choices that were made. Saint Paul was considered a righteous man that wrote a lot of the New Testament, yet he wrote:
'Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself.) I am more so: in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, and in deaths often. Five times I received forty stripes minus one from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. I have been a night and a day in the deep. I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness. (2 Corinthians 11:25).
I know some really good people who are going through some really bad times. Today remember that if things are going great for you that it is not necessarily a sign of God's approval, and if things are going awful, that it is not necessarily a sign of God's judgement. Stay the course for you can be right in the middle of God's will and in the worst trial of your life, as we learned from Job. God was proud of Job, and his hellish circumstances came because he had done something right, not because of discipline or correction. Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for everything that You have done for me. I know that this life is not about me, but about You. Naked I came into this world, and naked I will leave it. Please help me to see the big picture while I am here and not get lost in my own problems. Forgive me of my sins and lead me into all that You have for me, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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