Monday, October 9, 2023

Job’s Lament (Job 1:20-22)

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).

Despite Satan’s efforts to prove Job the hypocrite, Job proves himself to be a truly pious man. He had just lost everything, but he still praised God. Job’s reaction is something the world could never understand. It is always interesting to see how unbelievers react when they witness a Christian going through a great hardship. If the believer praises God in the midst of his suffering, unbelievers maintain that he is simply in denial, that the despair will set in later. The world cannot grasp the concepts of faith and trust in a sovereign and good God.

Instead of blaming God or rejecting Him as either cruel or helpless to intercede on his behalf, Job recognized God’s hand in his suffering and praised Him. This does not mean that Job did not grieve. Grief is a legitimate, natural part of the human experience. If we did not grieve, something would be wrong. Job grieved when his children died; Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. It is certainly acceptable for us to grieve as well. The Scriptures tell us that Job got up and tore his robe—an outward testimony of his sorrow. But unlike Jacob who continued to grieve for years after Joseph’s alleged death, Job turned his grief into worship. “He humbled himself under the hand of God, and accommodated himself to the providences he was under, as one that knew how to want as well as how to abound,” Henry wrote. “… and as one that abased himself even to the dust before God, he fell down upon the ground, in a penitent sense of sin and a patient submission to the will of God.”

Job turned his thoughts from himself and considered God. He did not act as if he did not deserve such terrible afflictions, but he admitted quite the contrary. Naked he had come from his mother’s womb, and naked he would return to the dust. If he should be stripped of his worldly gains in between, who is to say that is unjust? “If we are impoverished, we are not wronged, nor much hurt, for we are but as we were born,” Henry observed.

Job provides for us an eminent example of piety. He acknowledged God’s hand in both his mercies and his afflictions. He adored his God in both. In all this, Job did not sin, but acted honorably before God and men.

Read 2 Samuel 12:15–20; 18:19–19:8. What did David do when his first son died? What was wrong with the way he acted when Absalom died? What did David do once Joab rebuked him? If you have been unable to overcome grief, go to the Lord. Worship Him and praise Him for everything He has given you.