Today was our ladies' "3rd-Thursday-of-the-month-bring-your-own-sack" luncheon with our pastor giving the devotional on Job, chapters 1 and 2. It was great to get out of our hot, stuffy, broken air-conditioned house and into someone else's air-conditioned home! What a blessing to sit and enjoy the coolness and fellowship...did I mention the coolness was a good reason to be there? It definitely was!
This was my first devotional lunch to attend with our church group; usually I attend the "2nd-Thursday-at-a-local-restaurant" luncheon, and once before we've hosted the group here at our home. I was glad I went today; I always enjoy seeing how someone else decorates their home, plus we celebrated my friend Jean's birthday. And, it was a good chance to make a Costco run in Harrisonburg afterwards.
I wanted to share some notes on Job 1 and 2 I took during the luncheon today. If you'd like to follow along, click continuation page.
My Redeemer Lives - Job 1 and 2
Job - blameless, upright, rich, godly, well-known
Satan - hated Job because he was a shining example of what it means to love God whole-heartedly. God was like a proud father to Job. "Have you seen my servant, Job?" God asked. Well, Satan once had that favored role before he was kicked out of heaven, so there was hatred and jealousy toward Job because now that favored place didn't belong to Satan anymore.
Key Issue - Satan wanted to test Job and to cause him to curse God to His face, to destroy his shining example and have him not serve God in his adversity.
Early Stages of what happened to Job - instantly wealth, children, health, dignity, honor, friendships, relationships are gone...all the blessings of this world are taken away. It was catastrophic and immediate. Job was numb and immediately turned to God. His initial response was commendable. No complaining. "Blessed be the name of the Lord."
[People deal differently when adversity comes suddenly rather than gradually. You haven't totally felt the weight of what you've lost yet.]
Later Stages - Satan now attacks Job's body with agonizing boils; he hurt from head to toe, and the pain was unbearable. Satan also begins to assault his integrity, friends, and his wife. The friends tell Job to go ahead and admit his guilt and sin and be done with it.
[We sometimes ask ourselves when adversities come, "Is this a chastisement from God? Am I sinning and the Lord wants to draw me back? Or is this just a test? If there's any sin, show me, Lord. Is there an offense between us?"]
Job spirals. What drives Job deep into despair? God wasn't speaking to him during that time, and he felt abandoned by God. Job's struggle was waiting on God.
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." ~ I Cor 10:13
Friends debate - "God isn't coming to your rescue, Job," they say. "Admit your sin."
However, Job did sin. He complained, and God rebuked Job gently and rebuked his friends sorely. But God ever held Job and kept him.
Job 19:25 - 27 "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last he will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me!"
What did Job have left? No real friends; all had been taken from him.
What kept Job? Not so much his faith - but the One in whom he had his faith. He could not let go of his knowledge of God no matter what he had to go through. Job had an utter inability to comprehend this was Satan's contest.
[Some people have more trials than others. Sometimes we may think another's trials are so small and wonder why are they complaining because something doesn't bother us like it does our neighbor. But that small thing can be the biggest thing in that person's life at the moment. Everyone's trials are different, and some folks have carried burdens from childhood. God will be their Redeemer.]
Key to wherever God takes us - it doesn't lie with us, but with our Redeemer in whom we trust. No matter how deep the water; no matter what; no problem can overtake us -- Our Redeemer Lives!
I thoroughly enjoyed the devotional and sincerely thank the pastor for bringing this scripture to our minds today.
I returned home, and the A/C guy was here figuring out the part that needed replacing. It will be ordered and possibly may be in late UPS Friday...but with an installation date of after the weekend, either next Monday or Tuesday morning! Lord, bring on the cooler temps!