Have you considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? (Job 1:8).
For a long time, every time I read the above Scripture I experienced a sharp stab of envy…At what point could I get God to ‘brag’ about me like that to anyone, let alone to Satan? Would He even consider engaging in such an exchange about me without risking embarrassment and humiliation? What, with the gravitational pull of sin chronically overpowering me, would be the point of such a conversation, anyway? This is not to say I coveted the trial that ensured in Job’s life. Far from it. My envy was centered on how proud God was of His son, Job. Remember that the trial did not make Job who he was. It only revealed who he already was.
Scripture paints Job as a pious individual: He was blameless and upright and shunned evil. He also feared God. Just how did Job develop these positive character traits, I always wondered? By comparison mine are fickle, fleeting, and feeble…ever ready to snap at the slightest pressure. Job, to me, has always been a most fascinating character in Scripture, second only to the Lord, Jesus Christ. He was strong, unyielding, resolute and uncompromising in his faith even when his friends became turn-coats on him! Although he was extremely affluent his riches never clouded his judgment regarding justice. He did what most of us fail to do: He was godly not only in public but in the privacy of his home where it is most difficult, yet that is where it matters most. This is perfection… which makes it all the more astonishing when the tsunamis of evil began to strike him relentlessly, one after another. God unleashed Satan on him and the Enemy gleefully set about doing what he knows best, destroying everything Job had. The devastation was so severe that in the end Job stood literally naked before a stunned world, and before his Creator; grieving alone, clutching only at his faith. His is one of the most chilling and unnerving accounts in Scripture. But Job hang in there even when it all made no sense!!!
For the longest time I wished I had Job’s faith so that I could make God proud of me also until the Holy Spirit graciously revealed to me that I already had that which I was coveting, in Christ. Jesus’ faith is now mine and so is His victory over the Enemy. God unleashed Satan on Jesus, unbridled and unrestrained, and like Job – no, much more than Job – He was stripped naked and hung on a cross in what seemed like cosmic defeat before the world, before Satan, and before His Father; bruised, lacerated and tortured beyond recognition. All He had left was His love for mankind and His faith in His Father, which were enough to de-fang the devil and to redeem and restore all Adam’s seed to their original place, the family of God. This is what causes God to brag on me, and on you…His Son’s finished work, which is now ours…Thank You, Lord.
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