But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
Most of you are familiar with the Book of Job, or at least you have heard the saying, “He has the patience of Job.” If you’re not familiar with the story take some time to read the Book of Job in the Old Testament. In the meantime here is a quick overview.
Job is a righteous, God loving and seeking man. He has been very successful in his life both materially and spiritually. Job had wealth and a loving family.
Satan is allowed by God to take all of this away from Job, because Satan had argued with God that is was easy for Job to be such a righteous man and walk in the ways of the Lord. Job had all the comforts in life and faith comes easy when it’s not being challenged. Satan bet God that if you take all that away from Job he will curse God and lose his faith. God agrees to Satan’s challenge and tells Satan to do whatever he wants but do Job no harm.
Very quickly Satan destroys all of Job’s wealth and kills his entire family except for Job’s wife. And if that’s not enough, Satan then afflicts Job with nasty boils all over his body.
I use to think the story of Job was just about bad things happening to good people for reasons beyond our understanding. I use to think that is was about your faith in God being tested.
I still believe that’s one of the lessons, but this time as I read the book I learned another lesson.
Job has three friends who visit him after hearing about his horrific loss. They come to console him, but after seeing how bad things are for Job there is little comfort, sympathy or empathy from his friends.
Most of the time these friends sit around the campfire telling Job he must have done something pretty awful to receive this kind of punishment from God. Every time Job insists on his innocence, his friends rebuke him. They tell Job he’s got a lot of nerve insisting that he’s done nothing wrong and nothing to deserve this. Clearly the events which have befallen Job indicate a mountain of sin.
But Job persists in his statements of innocence. He does not curse God. But Job does wonder why his righteousness is being repaid in such a manner as this. He sees the unfairness in his life but does not condemn God for it. Job’s friends do nothing but constantly badger Job as to what sin he must have committed while Job constantly maintains his innocence.
I said that I thought the story of Job was just about maintaining your faith in God even when times are rough. Now I see a deeper meaning in the story.
Job through all his trials and tribulations, knew he was always righteous. Other people after losing all their possessions and loved ones would have said, I guess I must have done something wrong, and just given up. Job had righteousness and God in his heart. Job had the faith of God in his heart and thereby faith in himself.
Job never gave up on himself.
Verses 10 through 12 are just one instance of the many time Job stands up for himself throughout his arguments with his friends. Job knows he is right and will not give up.
When you have God in your heart you have faith in your heart and faith in yourself.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.