Perhaps one of the most feared stories in the Bible, is the story of a man named Job. It is a feared story because we never want what happened to Job to happen to us!
Job was a man that had it all; wealth, health and a great family. He was also a man of deep faith. God bragged about Job and said:
"Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless - a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil."
Satan replied to the Lord,"yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
"All right, you may test him," The Lord said to satan.
Then began one of the most extraordinary stories of catastrophic loss and then abundance returned.
Satan's main premise about Jobs integrity, is that he is only good because he has goods! He hangs onto faith only because he really doesn't need anything, he has all that he ever wanted. Satan said "reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
So the strip down began. First, all of his possessions, then his family, then his health were taken from him! Then his wife said:
"Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die." But Job replied,"you talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?"
So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.
We have all watched people go through wealth strip downs, health strip downs, family strip downs and sometimes we see them respond with great attitudes and strength. But the story of Job is not so much in how he responded to his troubles, but how he would respond to his God! Do you remember Satan's challenge, "take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
The purpose of this test was to turn him into a God curser, not a God praiser! Throughout the rest of the story, Job refuses to curse God. He curses the day he was born and struggles with the fairness of what is happened to him, but In the end he recognizes God's holiness, majesty and sovereignty with the full right to do as he pleases! So he praises God for who he is, not just what he does! Satan was wrong! Job was a man of integrity!
We all go through strip downs! Maybe it's a great time to figure out why we do praise God!
I will add to these thoughts tomorrow.