february 8th - Unexpected Reaction
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)
Can you imagine the worst moment in life that you have endured--where the crushing weight of circumstance and loss was a burden too heavy to carry? There have been a couple of those moments in my life; but, then I consider Job... The only thing in Job's life still standing when the dust settled from Satan's vigorous and thorough attack was his faith in God. Satan had burned, razed and destroyed every other thing that was of value to Job.
Job's reaction to the Satanic attack? He ultimately worshiped his creator. "Job...Oh, Job; you do know this happened before James sent the memo to the church. You know, the memo that says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds. Seriously, consider it pure joy?"
What an unexpected reaction. We know that Job wasn't in denial, for when he heard all the compounding bad news, he tore his rob, shaved his head and fell to the ground; but ultimately, he worshiped. How could he have worshiped at such a time, in the face of so great a loss? I can't say for sure; However, his words give us some insight to Job's perspective concerning life: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return." What is Job saying? Job is declaring the reality that we all need to grasp in order to cope with life. Everything in this life is temporal. Even our existence on this earth only comes loaded with one guarantee; and that is
the fact that there is a expiration date. "Yes," we all die and, "Yes," we don't get to take any of our toys with us.
You can wrap us up like a mummy, put us in a tomb deep into the middle of a pyramid, surround us with all the delights of this earth, along with some unfortunate people who are prematurely snatched to accompany us on our joy ride...and it all gets left behind, and our best hope is to wait for centuries to pass so that we might have value as a prized museum exhibit.
Ultimately, Job declares: "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." No question--no contest--no comparison; what the Lord ultimately gives us will surpass our greatest dreams and wildest hopes; indeed, "Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Author's Note: I'm with Solomon on this one. If there is nothing better waiting for us beyond this life, then we may as well eat, drink and be merry--for life is merely an exercise in futility. However; there is a life waiting beyond this plane of existence, and furthermore; what we do in this life has a direct impact on the life to come. We are already in the Kingdom of God and we are laying up treasures for the life to come. RJD