He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."Job 1:21(NASB)
Job was a spiritual man who trusted God. He was a prayerful man, who kept his seven sons and three daughters covered by prayer, appealing to the Lord for their spiritual well-being. He was a wise man who had been blessed by God in many ways, and he was a pillar of spiritual piety among his peers.. but Job was unaware of the spiritual battle that was raging in heavenly places.
Although he knew God as Creator and worshipped Him with reverent fear, Job did not know that the old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, was using him to challenge God's sovereign authority.
The Lord had referred to Job as, "My servant," and said of him, "there is no one on earth like unto him." The result of Satan's dialogue with the Lord, and his evil accusations against Job, was that the Lord permitted the devil to test Job's loyalty to God and his faith in his Creator, Whom he served with reverent fear.
Multiple disasters befell the stricken man, including the death of his ten children and the loss of his entire material assets. His many possessions and dearly loved offspring were all snatched from Job in one day - but this godly man did not curse the Lord, despite his broken-hearted grief. This stricken man did not curse God as Satan predicted.
He tore his mantle in anguish of heart, shaved his head, as a sign of mourning and was beset with inner turmoil... yet he fell on the ground in order to worship the Lord, and cried out, saying, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Satan had wagered that Job would curse God when such intense disasters befell him, but Job recognised that everything he had was a gift from the Lord, and acknowledged that God retains the right to bestow blessings and remove them. He acknowledged that God is equally justified in permitting evil to overtake his servants as well as good. This grief-stricken man understood that all he had was from the Lord, and the loss of his estate and dearly loved children did not negate the goodness of God.
Job had long understood that we are born into this world with nothing, and that when we die, we leave this world equally empty-handed. He was naked when his mother brought him into the world, through much pain and travail, and at his departing he would similarly be naked - for from dust we are made and to dust we shall all return.
Job's response to his tragic loss, demonstrates a truly extraordinary man with a truly remarkable faith in God. He reacted to his woes with worship, and to his devastating losses with reverence and humility of heart. Job did not curse the Lord, as Satan had supposed, and despite his ongoing problems and pain, he retained his faith in God, which honoured the Lord.
Satan was entirely wrong in his assessment of this saint's relationship with the Lord God almighty. Godly devotion, saintly worship and reverential fear of our heavenly Father is not perfected through multiplied blessing, but is often fine-tuned through the long night of doubt and sorrow, or during painful times of trial and tribulation - for it is often when we are in pain that we hold fast to our heavenly Creator. It is often when we are in deep distress that we cling more tightly to the God of our salvation... for there is no one else to turn to, for He has the words of eternal life.
However, in order to meet those seasons of sorrow and sadness with the same resolve as Job, we need to follow the attitude and behaviour of that saintly man, before he was robbed of his wealth and his children. Job had set a precedent in his life, which stood him in good stead when life became unbearable.
Job was a man of prayer and praise. He was a man who knew and trusted God's Word, and Job was a man who held fast to his faith in his heavenly Creator - despite not knowing why he was undergoing such tragedy, nor understanding the fierce spiritual battle that was being fought in heavenly places over his integrity and trust.
May we be prepared to reiterate the words that came from Job's mouth and the sentiment that ruled his heart, even when we do not know or understand why difficulties and disasters strew our pathway. May we be prepared to cry like Job, "naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing lessons we can learn from Your servant, Job. I thank You for the many blessings You have graciously given me throughout my life, and I pray that I may hold the things of this world lightly, knowing that all I have is from You - and that whether I am rich or poor, whether I have much or little, whether I am rejoicing or in mourning, whether You give or take away - I pray that I may rejoice in Your goodness always, and recognise that You are my God and Saviour, Who died so that I might live, to Your praise and glory, AMEN.