My chronological reading plan takes a break from Genesis and has me reading in the book of Job today. I hope you take time to read these five chapters, too.
God is sovereign. That means nothing that happens happens without his ok. Satan never slips one past God. But God allows life to happen.
With it comes good times and bad, success and failure. We see Job, a godly man who had everything he could have ever wanted. Maybe his neighbors looked at Job and said – God sure has blessed that guy.
But when God allowed Satan to throw some devastating tests at Job, people blamed God. His servant assumed the fire that consumed the sheep and servants came from God. His own wife told Job to curse God and die. And Job’s friend, Eliphaz said, “According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger they come to an end.” (4:8-9)
But is that what we see here? Are the things that happened to Job a result of sin in his life, or maybe God’s anger toward him? Is God’s permission given to Satan to inflict harm the same as God causing harm?
I look around and realize we’re no different today. God doesn’t always get credit when good things happen. But He sure gets blamed when things go south. No matter if it’s a tornado, an epidemic, a mass shooting, or even a red light when we’re late for work, people often point a finger at God and ask, Why did you do that, God? Or they get angry with Him. Or they cut Him out of their lives.
But is it God or Satan we should curse?
Our Sovereign God is allowing Satan to have some freedom here. But He also is offering Himself in the midst of any trouble Satan throws our way. In fact, the gift of choice He gave us at creation enables us to choose Him no matter what.
There are those who will say that God orchestrates everything that happens in this life. But I see a different lesson here in Job. The difference is between God’s permission and His actions. (This is not to say that He never intervenes. There are times when bad things do happen as a direct consequence of our sin. That is another lesson.)
I know that, when my dear nephew died in an automobile accident in 2012 God’s strength and Presence was exactly what we needed to put one foot in front of the other. What Satan meant for evil, God used to encourage us and draw us closer to Him.
So my prayer for you is that you will take God up on His offer to stand with you, too, when bad things happen. Don’t waste time blaming or being angry with God. He is eager to bless you even in the darkest hours of your life.
Our Loving Heavenly Father, I pray that you will reveal Yourself to us as we read the account of Job. You are sovereign. You are good. You love us and Your one desire is to fellowship with us. May we put aside blame and just rest in Your Presence today, no matter what circumstances we are facing.