“Then satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for naught? Have not You made a hedge about him and about his house and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands and his substance is increased in the land. But, put forth Your Hand now and touch all that he has and he will curse You to Your Face.’ And, the Lord said unto satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only, upon himself put not forth your hand’.”

Job 1:9-12a

We may not understand why, but we must still entrust our lives into His nail-scarred Hands, knowing He does all things well.
No book in the Bible is more intriguing—and paradoxical—than the Book of Job. Believed to be the oldest book in the Bible, no one knows who wrote it, although some have conjectured that Job himself later recorded. Regardless, his story is one that has been used in every generation to bring some consolation to anyone who’s suffering—particularly in that which seems “undeserved.”

It’s difficult to understand why God would enter into such a dialogue with one who rebelled against him and was cast out of Heaven with one-third of the angels (Is. 14:12-15; Ez. 28:11-19). And, it’s equally difficult to grasp why God would allow satan to inflict such pain, suffering and sorrow on one who served him so faithfully (Job 1:1, 5, 8; 2:3-7).

That’s why so many find it difficult to trust in God. In fact, some atheistic philosophers list these questions as the basis of their unbelief:
*Is God willing to prevent evil, but unable to do so? Then, He is not omnipotent.
*Is He able, but unwilling? Then He is malevolent.
*Is He both able and willing? Then whence comes evil?
*Is He neither able or willing? Then why call Him God?

Tough questions to be sure.
And, that’s where faith comes in. It’s important to note that God did not cause Job’s suffering; satan did. However, the question, then, is “Why did He allow it?”

Again, a tough question.
But, in faith we must trust in His loving care and sovereign will. Even as He allowed His own Son to suffer much pain and agony during His life here on earth. . .to be severely beaten and crucified on the Cross. . .all because of His Love for us (Is. 53). . .so must we entrust our lives into His care, knowing He does all things well.

There’s no doubt that suffering will come. We all suffer because of Adam’s sin, our own sin, others’ sin, the devil’s oppression or God’s chastening rod. Yet, in the midst of it, we must respond even as Job did (“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”—13:15a) and as Jesus did (“Father, into Your Hands I commit My Spirit. Thy Will be done”—Lk. 23:46; Mt. 26:42). In so doing, we allow Him free reign to do as He sees fit, knowing He will use everything in our lives for our good and His Glory (Rom. 8:28). Help us, Lord.

September 2, 2011