Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (
On the one hand you have a God of infinite love and immeasurable power, yet people die of starvation everyday—even little children. Why doesn’t God do something? That is a problem. On the other hand you have a Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy Empire who as far as I know has lived in health and wealth—a long life of luxury built on selling sin. Why doesn’t God do something? That is a problem. When a tornado tears through the
Midwest a beer joint may be spared, but then a church
building might be smashed. Why? That is a problem. Don’t be ashamed if you struggle with these
questions. I know a man of great faith
and superior devotion to God who wrestled with doubt and depression over the
problem of pain. His name is Job. He didn’t find all the answers, but he did
find God and that was enough!
Consider first JOB’S CHARACTER (1:1-5). He wasn’t a sinless man, but he was a man who sinned less—morally blameless. He loved God and loathed evil. We find him blessed of God with a precious family and a life of luxury (v.2-4). He knew that providing for the material well-being of his children wasn’t enough and so consistently prayed for them (v.5). Yet, Job’s character would not exempt him from pain. A heart surrendered may still be heart suffering. Eventually, all of us will find a time of blessedness becoming brokenness. “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” (
This led to JOB’S CHALLENGE (1:6-12). The challenge to Job’s faith would be the result of a challenge from God to Satan (v.6-8). God is sovereign and even the Devil must check in and is limited in what he can do (v.9-12). There was a protective hedge around Job and that is true of every believer. Satan would destroy us all if he could. But God will only permit him to do so much and we may be sure that if God allows it, the ultimate result will be His glory and our good. This reminds us that when a Christian suffers, there is more than meets the eye. God draws back the veil and lets us see into the unseen world. We view what happened, though we are not certain why it happened.
Then came JOB’S CALAMITY (1:13-22). Wave after wave of disaster broke upon Job. One scarcely receded until another larger one struck—in rapid succession the bad news comes of losing his flocks, his finances and worst of all his family—all his children dead. He expressed his grief, crumpled to the ground in sorrow, but still worshipped the Lord! Job’s response is such a lesson for us. He acknowledges the sovereignty of God. All we have comes from Him and belongs to Him. Pain will either cause you to run from God or run to Him. We cannot control what happens to us, but can control what happens in us. When all is gone and all we have is God, we can find that God is all we need!