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To His Glory

January 10, 2016

“Job and His Family Restored to Prosperity” by William Blake (1805), Location Morgan Library (PD-Art, Age-old-100)

“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’

So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘…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!’

And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power…’ ” (Job 1: 8-12).

The Book of Job reveals a good deal to us about spiritual attack. One essential lesson has to do with glorifying God.

Loss and an Absent God

Everything Job, a righteous man, had valued was taken from him. Job lost his property and his children. He lost his health, his standing in the community, his good name, and his friends. His marriage faltered.

Above all, Job lost His communion with God. Job felt God had turned His face away, just when Job needed Him most.

Job’s sense of rejection should come as no surprise to us. Those regularly in communication with God and sensitive to His presence feel His “absence” keenly. But the very thought that God would abandon us is a lie perpetrated by the adversary. We must not fall prey to it.

In His Presence

We live at every moment in God’s presence. That can be an uncomfortable truth or a great consolation.

“ ‘Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord,“And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?’ says the Lord; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth’ says the Lord” (Jer. 23: 23-24).

God is, in other words, as aware of our suffering as He is of our sins.

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways(Ps. 139: 1-3).

If we do not know God’s character well, that may seem like cold comfort. But we have His assurance that the very hairs of our head are numbered (Luke 12: 7). And we have the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross for our Salvation.

Distorted Lens

Sin – whether by or against us – distorts the lens through which we see God. It is not the only reason, however, that God may seem distant on occasion.

Job’s so called friends were certain he had sinned in some way to prompt such suffering. Under the guise of good advice, they urged him to repent. Job denied any wrongdoing on his part, and maintained that God would vindicate him.

Job complained of his trials, cursed the day he was born, and ultimately gave way to despair. But He did not curse God.

Divine Justice

In the end, God restored Job’s material losses. God even blessed Job with more children. God first, however, made clear He was under no obligation to do so.

That may not seem to us the attitude of a loving God. We presume to judge God by human standards, often believing ourselves more compassionate than God. This is merely hubris on our part.

We cannot know God’s purposes in full. We are but the creation; He is the Creator. We are finite; He is infinite.

God never did fully enunciate His reasons for allowing Job to be sifted so finely. We can though infer a few from the text:

  1. God knew from the outset of this testing that Job would remain faithful.
  2. Though Job was unaware, God set limits on this testing and sustained him during it.
  3. Job’s faithfulness in the midst of this testing glorified God, proving the adversary wrong. Contrary to Satan’s assertion, Job’s love and loyalty were not dependent on the blessings God had bestowed on him.
  4. Job’s understanding of God was enlarged by this testing.
  5. Job’s faith was strengthened by this testing.
  6. Job’s faith served as a witness to his wife and friends. It has served as a witness for generations since, to those familiar with his story.

One day, we will stand before the throne of God to account for ourselves. Till then,may we like Job live and die to His glory.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

15 Comments
  1. Nice Anna. Tough lessons, but good ones.

  2. Reblogged this on Cyber Support Group and commented:
    Many times as we go through our journey of healing we feel like God has deserted us, that He doesn’t care. How wrong we are.

  3. Many times during the healing process I felt like God turned His back on me. Thank you for reminding us what a lie Satan will feed us. Christ never abandons us.

  4. Thoughtful post Anna,especially this: “Loss and an Absent God”. When we suffer loss I’m convinced that nearly all of us question the whereabouts of God,especially when our hearts have been shattered and no one steps forward to offer comfort.

    Unlike Job however,it would seem that I am the one guilty of abandoning the Lord,not the other way around. I suspect most feel that way to some degree.

  5. Thank you Anna for this encouragement. It spoke to me a lot due to having some Job type of experiences. Peace.

  6. Thank you Anna. I know I have been there for sure. And the feeling of absence from God feels like abandonment to as well. It was excruciating painful to hang by the hair of your chinny chin, chin. But finally coming out the other side there is a peace that surpasses all understanding. And the fact that not once did Job curse God. I didn’t either for I felt that I deserved it. Unlike Job felt that he didn’t deserve it. But none the less God did not abandon us. Praise God for His mercies endure forever!

  7. I love the fact that the story of Job is thousands of years old, yet it
    contains amazing insight to God and continues to teach us life lessons! 🙂 ♥ ❤

    • I used to think — mistakenly — that the story of Job depicted a distant and unfeeling God. The further along in life I’ve come, the more profound and more relevant it seems. ❤

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