“Then Job answered the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42: 1-6, 10-17)
Job, the contrite; Job, the humble.
I have written about Job many times over the years. And one of the things I have noted about him was that he regularly sacrificed to God on his children’s behalf thinking that during their times of feasting they may have offended God. I found, and I continue to find, it interesting that Job did not teach them how to honor God or celebrate without risking offending God. And that he thought God needed to be appeased on a regular basis. It does not seem to reflect a close knowledge and relationship to God. BUT when God has displayed all of the wonder and might of the Almighty, Job has a much clearer view and understanding of God. So yes, Job the humble, Job the contrite.
“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.”
What do you value, beloved reader? Family and friends? Property and possessions? Prestige in your community and faith circle? Long life and good health? You would think from reading about Job all those things would be yours . . . . if you were blessed by the Lord. But this is where the story of Job goes off track for me. Job become humble and contrite, and was rewarded with many things. I have known of people who were just as humble and contrite as Job, more so perhaps. Or were humble and contrite towards God from the very beginning, and did not receive as many “blessings.”
It is an interesting situations with those who are truly humble and contrite; they are grateful for what ever is in their life. They don’t need to riches brought to them, or possessions bestowed on them. They are content with what they have, and know their worth in their community and faith circle. Maybe Job was a completely new man, and I am just being unduly cynical concerning Job.
I want to be clear, beloved reader, that being in close and abiding relationship with God is not a guarantee of “worldly” good fortune. Being in close and abiding relationship with God is its own reward. And I encourage you to that; we are in the year of renewal and recommitment to God. And the story of Job fits well into that theme.
May the Lord God who desires relationship with us above all things walk closely with you day to day. Selah!