The story of Job starts off with an interesting accusation that Satan makes against God. He claimed that Job only worships Him because of the benefits he receives from God, and if God would take everything away, Job would turn against Him.
“So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
– Job 1:9-11
People often ask the question, “why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”, and although Job seems to be asking that same question, he never really gets an answer. But what it does give us is much more valuable. It tells us what to do when we experience hard times.
Job was a righteous man who did nothing to deserve the suffering he faced, yet he lost all of his children, all of his livestock, and all of his wealth, but through it all he never cursed God. In fact, listen to what he did after his children died.
“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.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”
– Job 1:20-22
When we face terrible tragedies in life, do we respond as Job did, or do we start making accusations against God? I can’t even imagine how terrible it would be to loose even one of my children, let alone all of them at once. Yet, in the midst of mourning, Job’s response was “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord”. He continued to praise God even when he lost all of his children.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “at least you still have your health”, which is often used to console someone who is facing hard times. However, in chapter 2 we see that even his health was taken away from him.
Once again, Satan came to God with the accusation that Job only remains faithful because he still has his health, and if God would take that away Job would turn against Him.
“So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
– Job 2:4-5
So, God allowed Satan to attack Job’s health, giving him painful sores all over his entire body, and it was so bad that even his wife though he should curse God. But listen to how Job responds.
“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
– Job 2:9-10
There is so much wisdom in Job’s words. “Shall we accept good from God and not adversity?” “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Remember that Satan’s accusation was against God, saying “does Job worship you for nothing?” Claiming that Job only worshipped God because of the blessings and benefits he received from God.
So, my question to you is, “do you worship God for nothing?” Do you worship Him simply because He is worthy of our praise, or do you only worship Him for the benefits He gives to you? If He never did another good thing for you, could you still bless His name?
The lesson we receive from Job is that God is always worthy of our praise, no matter what struggles we face. I hope this message is as encouraging to you as it was to me.