It was the worst day of anybody’s life. Job was a wealthy and prosperous man, who in one day lost it all. He lost all his cattle and his herds. He lost all his servants and household managers. He lost all his children in a housing collapse. We can’t even begin to imagine the pain and heartache of this tragic day.
It was God who allowed this tragedy to come upon Job. Satan had accused Job of being faithful to God only because God had blessed him and made him rich. Satan contended that if everything was taken away from Job, Job would surely curse God and turn away. But Satan didn’t take everything away, he left job with a bitter wife and fickle friends, all who kept pressuring Job to let go of his faith and to curse God and die.
During this time of national uncertainty, the effects of the coronavirus has caused great hardship for many people, even Christians. People are laid off and not receiving paychecks worried about how to support their families. People are forbidden to see there loved ones in nursing homes because of lockdowns. Confusion has struck parents of school children as they are forced into distance learning. Many high school seniors will not see prom nor walk for their graduations. Some have had loved ones infected by the virus, some have had loved ones die.
During this time it would be very easy to ask, “Why is God doing this to us?” It would be very easy to turn away from our faith or to become very lazy in our faith. But perhaps the better question to ask is, “Should we only worship and praise our God when things are good?” When Job’s bitter wife wanted him to turn away from the Lord because of their great suffering, this is how Job responded, “You are talking like a woman who lacks moral judgment. If we accept the good that comes from God, shouldn’t we also accept the bad?” In fact, what did Job do the very moment all the tragedy came upon him? “At this Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head, then he fell to the ground in worship, saying, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. May the name of the Lord be praised.’”
What Job did…. was repent. He knew his sinful condition and that he deserved nothing from the Lord’s gracious hand. Job knew everything he had been given was a gift from God. Everyday he lived, he was allowed to live only by the grace of God. Instead of turning away from the Lord in times of hardship, Job ran to the Lord seeking mercy and aide. As we go through this time of national hardship, we also run to the Lord seeking mercy and aide. He alone is the one who grants us earthly life. He alone is the one who gave his only Son to die for our sins that we might have eternal life. It was the hope of deliverance and eternity that settled Job’s faith, even as he made the great Easter proclamation, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.”
In a time of uncertainty, Job found certainty in God’s promise of deliverance. Despite the uncertainty of our times, may our faith also be set in the one through whom our salvation has been made certain – Jesus Christ – our ever living, ever forgiving, ever loving Lord.
Read Job – Chapter 19 and Chapter 42 – as today’s Scripture lesson.
Blessings to you and your families,
Pastor Guse, St. Peter’s, FdL