The story of Job is familiar to most of us. Even those who are not Christians have heard about Job and his story of loss and pain. We, as Christians, have likely read it numerous times, heard Bible classes and sermons about it, and yet, I would contend that there are not many today who truly understand the bigger point of this story.
Early in the story, we see Job enjoying the good life. This grand life was a blessing from God because he feared God, lived a righteous life and made every effort to avoid sin. God had built a hedge around Job’s life and blessed him so that he was wealthy; extremely wealthy. He had 10 children, lots of livestock, and servants. In the words of Scripture, “… this man was the greatest of all the people of the east” (Job. 1:3, ESV).
Despite this, Job was a man who lived every day in fear. He was afraid that, just maybe, one of his children would sin. So, he continually made sacrifices to God hoping to keep them, his children, in God’s good graces.
There came a time when God sees Satan, present with the angels, and He asked him, “have you considered my servant Job?” God is very pleased with Job and the life he is living. So, why would He allow Satan to destroy Job’s life? Perhaps the reasoning of God is not about proving Satan wrong or proving Himself right. Perhaps the bigger lesson is meant for Job.
God didn’t need to know how faithful Job was. He knew that already and so did Satan. The only person who needed to learn someone was Job. This man Job was faithful and fearful, but he wasn’t very good at focusing on God. After losing everything but his own life Job is left angry and distraught. Instead of trusting in God and His blessings, all he sees is his loses, all sees are the pain and hardships. This leads Job to demand his day in court. He wants a showdown with God.
After a whole lot of talking by Job and his three friends (most of the book is this), God confronts Job. The questions God asked Job were unanswerable by any human being. Can you imagine how Job felt at this point? Job’s inability to answer the questions of God was meant to remind him of one great truth.
God is still God and you are not. This is important to remember for us all. Amid our hardships and difficulties, we tend to focus on us. We focus on our losses and pain, just like Job. When everything falls apart we focus on us, when we should be focused on the greatness of our God. If we truly trust our God, the severity of the difficulties shouldn’t be able to turn us away from Him.
Job quickly realizes that he doesn’t know anything nor have the right to speak or complain to God, even about his hardships. In chapter 42, Job repents of his ignorance and contention with God and acknowledges God’s greatness. To which, God quickly comes to Job’s defense.
Learning to trust God is hard but it is hardships that force us to stop trusting in our actions and start trusting in the God who created it all.