I've started reading the book of Job. A man blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. He was blessed with abundance and in one day it was all taken away.
Here is part of his story...
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out of the presence of the LORD. ~ Job 1: 9 - 12
This is what happened to Job on one dark and terrible day:
~ The Sabeans attacked and carried off his 500 oxen and 500 donkeys killing all the servants but one one who escaped to tell Job what had happened.
~ The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up his 7000 sheep and the servants tending them, though one escaped to tell Job.
~ The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down and carried off his 3000 camels putting all but one of the servants tending them to death. The remaining servant escaped to tell Job what had happened.
~ His seven sons and three daughters who were feasting at the oldest brother's house were all killed when the house collapsed. One servant escaped to tell Job of the tragedy.
In one day Job's whole world was forever changed...
Here is Job's response to his horrific loss:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "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." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. ~ Job 1: 20 - 22
I am humbled by the fact that after all that was taken from Job and the deep pain of loss he suffered, his first response was to fall to the ground in worship to the LORD.
His first response...WORSHIP.
Job had lost everything and yet he worshipped the LORD, the very One who had allowed Satan to take everything away. By his words spoken Job knew the sovereignty of God, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away."
I can't imagine what Job must have felt, it would be one thing to lose your whole lively hood but then to lose all your children as well. Life would be unbearable and yet he worshipped the LORD.
This is only the beginning of Job's story and the pain and suffering he would endure, there was more to come but I want to linger here...here at WORSHIP.
Worship in the midst of intense suffering. Knowing deeply that God is sovereign, that He holds this whole world IN HIS HANDS. To know deep in our hearts that nothing that happens in our life is a mystery or a surprise to Him. That even in our suffering and loss, He is there, He knows us and He is for us not against us. Just as He was for Job and not against him, yes, He allowed Satan to have his way but only so far. He knew the heart of Job, He knew Job's devotion and reverence to Him and Job knew of the LORD's sovereignty.
Job did not question the LORD, he didn't blame the LORD, he didn't think the LORD heartless...he worshipped the LORD. He understood the holiness of the LORD.
There are times when I wonder what if the LORD took from me, what if life as I know it now was all taken away. Would my first response be WORSHIP? It is my heart to worship but what about in the midst of deep pain, suffering and loss, could I still worship.
I think of Jesus. He who left the glories of heaven...He who had everything...He who came to this dirty, broken and sin filled world to live among us. Do I really understand all that He gave up, do I know the depth of that action. He willingly gave it up, it wasn't taken away. And in the end He willingly gave up his very life for my sake in obedience to the Father.
The Servant heart who walked among the broken, the sinful, the lost, the prideful, the less than, the outcast, the arrogant, the sick, the rich, the poor, the needy, the hungry and the thirsty. And I am all of them, in need of Him...a Saviour.
In the end nothing of what I have here on this earth will compare in the least to the love of my Saviour and knowing that I have a Father in heaven who holds me in the palm of His hand. He who says in Matthew 10: 29, 30, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." And no matter what my circumstance while I live upon this earth He is worthy of all my praise...all my worship.
"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, may the name of the LORD be praised." ~ Job 1: 20b
One Thousand Gifts journaled for days 178 ~ 186
532. Laughter with some lady friends
533. A jump in the pool after mowing some lawn on a hot & humid day
534. The comfort of my bed after a full day
535. The eldest son came home with a rose for me
536. A cooler day
537. Being the hands and feet of Jesus
538. Photographing a beautiful woman and her beautiful horse
540. The love of my husband
541. Jesus who left the glories of heaven to dwell among us
542. Great message at Church
543. Cousins having fun
544. The majesty and power of the horse
545. The honesty of a friend
546. God's grace - we all stand on level ground
547. Unexpected kindness from one of the kids
548. Quiet afternoon
549. Lightening bugs - so cool
550. The mourning dove
551. Refreshing swim after a long walk with a neighbour up the road
552. All the little things often taken for granted
553. Gorgeous cloud formations
554. An evening drive through the county with my husband
555. Smiles and laughter from the youngest daughter
556. Breezes while mowing the lawn on a hot and humid day
557. The story of Job
558. God's sovereignty