Hello friends! I’m sharing another excerpt from my book The God Dare today. This is part of my chapter on Job because sometimes The God Dare is found in the deepest of tests. I hope it encourages you! FYI, the book is scheduled to release right around Mother’s Day
Job is the one character, the one book, most of us wish was not in the bible. We don’t ever want to consider his lot falling to us. Don’t even go there. It’s a hard story with hard truth and some of it is hard to grasp. But, The God Dare is in the Job story too.
Job was one of the biblical ‘good guys’ in fact he was,
“..blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” Job 1:1.
A description befitting most of you reading this. You’re good right? And you don’t watch X rated movies or gamble your money away or drink all day so you shun evil too, right? Job had no hidden or besetting sin in his life. The primary thing setting Job apart was his righteousness. Like I said, he was a ‘good guy’.
For the record, I don’t believe in luck or fate. I do believe in the sovereignty of an almighty God. I don’t believe God is capable of causing evil, ever. It’s not even remotely possible. God is love. He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. He is holy, pure and powerful and He has plans and purposes, ways and means beyond finding out. And certainly beyond this mama’s understanding. His ways are higher than mine and I accept it. I don’t like it but I accept it.
I’ve given up making it my job to try to figure out why He does what He does. Or why He lets bad things happen to good people. I’ve learned this truth:
Sometimes God allows in His wisdom what He could prevent by His power.
I wrote a post about it here. A post that’s had more views and more shares on Facebook than any other post I’ve written. I think it’s because we can’t wrap our brain around the contradiction of a loving God allowing terrible suffering. It doesn’t make sense to my finite mind.
I’m not a theologian and this is not a treatise on faith or sovereignty. It’s my thoughts and what I’ve observed in my life, my friends lives and my gleanings from studying the word of God for many years.
It’s not my job to try to figure God out.
My job, and this is the scary part at least for me, is to trust and obey no matter what comes. Whatever He allows, in His wisdom, to come into my life….even if it shatters my concept of Him. Especially if it shatters my small, narrow concept of Him. I’ve learned to simply trust Him.
So, back to Job, not only was he righteous, he was rich. I mean, filthy stinkin’ rich! Ten children, thousands of animals and a large household.
“…this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” 1:3
He was rich, righteous and famous. Probably popular and good looking too, People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, but who knows? All we know is, Job had it all. He was blessed and highly favored. God knew it and Satan did too.
Here’s the tricky part. God, in His divine wisdom, allowed Job to be tested. He allowed Job to go through hell and back to establish this fact: Job really was a righteous man. But he needed a deep revelation of God and deep understanding of his own nature. Through the testing he gained those things and so much more. Through perseverance, Job would learn God was compassionate and merciful, not cruel and capricious.
Here’s how it goes down: Satan comes before God after walking to and fro on the earth and he and God have a conversation. What’s interesting to me is this: Satan didn’t point Job out to God and ask God if he could have permission to test him, no. God pointed Job out to Satan. And God knew exactly what He was doing. He dangled the bait right in front of him and Satan bit. He gave Satan permission to test Job but not kill him.
“Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” Job 1:12God allowed Job to lose everything. Everything. His children, all ten, were killed in one day from a violent storm. Some of his animals were stolen by raiders and the rest burned up by fire from heaven. All in the same day. And Job, who had every right to be angry at God instead said these famous words after shaving his head, falling to the ground and worshipping:
“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 1:22
Satan offered a potent devil’s dare in removing every single thing in Job’s life which had brought joy and peace and fulfillment. He removed it all in a single stroke and fully expected Job to curse God to His face. God, who knew Job and created him, dared Job to come out into the deeper deeps of loss and grief, sorrow and suffering, and choose to trust anyway.
After God spoke to Job from the whirlwind, Job responded with deep humility.
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6
Job had heard of God but now, through deep trials, God has revealed Himself to Job. And Job sees.
And all Job can do is repent.
Everything the devil tried to do, destroying his family and possessions, causing Job to become sick, giving him mostly bad advice from his friends, all are turned around and Job is given twice as much as he had before.
“Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.He also had seven sons and three daughters….In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days.” 42:12-17
His ways are higher than mine.
I know God doesn’t go around capriciously killing children and animals and making us sick. But when trials come, when God allows in His wisdom what He could prevent by His power, we can take The God Dare and persevere because we know His character and because, at the end of the trial, we will see God. Job’s wife gave him bad advice at the beginning of his trial. She told him to ‘curse God and die.’ Job had a choice, we all do. We can give in or we can go on. I think I know what you’ll do.
How can I pray for you?