Amazed

This morning I started into three new books as part of my reading plan, Job, Ezekiel, and 2Peter. Amazed at Peter’s opening comments and the power that has been granted to us to partake of the divine nature. And I’m instructed that the response to such provision is to “make every effort to supplement your faith” (2Peter 1:5-8). I’m also amazed as I try and imagine the manifestation of God’s glory given to Ezekiel. And I’m inspired to be like Ezekiel and go facedown when the glory of God is revealed before my eyes of faith (Ezekiel 1:28, 3:23). And then there’s Job. I’m amazed at how quickly life turned upside down for this godly saint. And I’m in awe of his response. Wondering if, in the same circumstance, I would worship as he did (Job 1:20).

Looked back through my journal and decided to brush off and rework some thoughts from October, 2010 . . .

To think that God and Satan might have a conversation . . . and that such a conversation might focus on what’s happening on earth . . . and focus not in general terms but focus on a specific man, living at a specific time, in a specific place, amidst a specific set of life circumstances . . . to think about such a conversation, absolutely amazes me. Such is the case every time I read the first chapter of Job.

I’m amazed at Job . . . a man described as ” blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (1:1). Whatever the form of revelation available to Job during his time, he responded to it. He was a man who lived in a reverential fear of the Creator. He understood enough of the character of God to know that which was counter-character to God’s holiness. And, as such, he determined to turn away and repel all manner of evil. He determined, as much as lay within him, to walk in the way of righteousness. He was a man of integrity. A man beyond reproach.

And I’m amazed that this characterization of Job wasn’t just the talk of the town but it was conversation of heaven itself. That Job was blameless and upright, wasn’t just his own claim to fame . . . that Job feared God and shunned evil, was more than just a good reputation he held among the people of Uz. That Job was noteworthy, was the topic of conversation of God Himself (1:8, 2:3). Not only did God notice Job, God wanted others in heavenly places to notice Job as well. How pleased God must have been with this man’s determination to live in a manner worthy of the God he had owned as Lord. So pleased, that when the sons of God presented themselves before the Lord, and Satan along with them, the Lord said to Satan, “Hey, have you noticed my servant Job?” (1:6-8).

I’m amazed also concerning God’s confidence in Job that He would allow Satan to mess with Job’s life. And to mess with it in such a big, big, way. You might think that the reward for bringing God glory (which Job did) would be more blessing . . . aka good stuff. But it seems the reward for bringing God glory is the opportunity to bring Him even more glory . . . and that doesn’t necessarily translate into the status quo view of “the good life.”

Satan is permitted power over all Job has but he is not permitted to lay a hand on Job’s person (1:12). And the devil takes full advantage of the latitude he’s given by God to upset Job’s apple cart. A day comes when, in a matter of minutes, Job’s entire world comes crashing down around him. His business is destroyed . . . his wealth vanishes . . . and worse yet, his 10 children are all taken in a freak storm. What does a blameless and upright man do now? How does a man who fears God and turns away from evil respond to such personal catastrophe and tragedy? This too is amazing . . .

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”   (Job 1:20-21 ESV)

Oh, that I might model such a man. That everything, whether blessing or trial or tragedy, might pass through a “God filter” such that in every circumstance I would worship Him. That I would bless His name for so much more than the good things I enjoy from His hand, but bless His name, also, simply because He is worthy of blessing. All the time. In every circumstance.

Don’t think I’m a topic of conversation in heaven, save perhaps as a trophy of grace to the Son’s eternal glory. But I do know that my Father knows me, and my circumstance, inside and out.

And though I don’t know what the future may bring, I do know the God of the future. And that in all things He can be trusted . . . that in all things He is to be blessed and worshiped. and that, in such worship, He delights.

Because of grace . . . for His glory.

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