On verses 13-22: In one day, four messengers come to Job, one after another, each delivering horrifying news: Sabeans attack and carry off Job’s donkeys and oxen (v13-15), fire from God (possibly lightning) falls and destroys his sheep (v16), Chaldeans attack and steal Job’s camels (v17), and by far most tragically of all, a hurricane-like wind causes the house in which Job’s children are partying to collapse, killing all of Job’s children (v18-19). Notice that in two cases, the loss came as a result of attacks by people. In the other two cases, the loss came as a result of “an act of God”.
In response, Job tears his robe and shaves his head in mourning. Rather than cursing God or accusing God with wrongdoing (v22), Job falls to the ground in worship and speaks some of the most famous words in the book of Job:
Job 1:21 (NIV) 21 …”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.”
God’s assessment of Job was right (v8) and Satan’s was wrong (v9-10). Take away every earthly treasure that Job held dear (other than his health), and Job still feared God.
What can we learn from this?
How we respond to crisis, trouble and tragedy shows what we are truly made of. When we only believe in God or worship Him when things go well for us, it shows that our faith is superficial and self-centered, that what we really worship is not God but ourselves and our circumstances. God wants to deepen our faith in Him, and sometimes this can only come through times of testing and suffering.
We don’t know how much time Job spent in mourning before Job uttered his famous words in verse 21. But what we do know is that after suffering such tremendous losses in his life, Job comes to a place where in his pain he surrenders everything to God. Are you in pain today? For as long as you hold on to grudges and bitterness (whether against God or people), for as long as you think everyone including God owes you, your life and relationships will be a miserable, depressing and frustrating. But when you surrender your situation to God and believe that God is working out all things for good (Romans 8:28), that’s when God’s peace fills your life. That’s when you mature as a person and that’s when your relationship with God deepens.
Sovereign God, thank You for a chapter like Job 1 that reminds me that You alone are God, and that I am to worship You alone, not my circumstances. Thank You that You use every trial in my life to deepen my faith, to mature my character and to grow me and my relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!