Thursday, August 1, 2013

Naked You Came. Naked You Shall Return

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A couple of nights ago, the family got to sit down and read Job 1 (sounds like Jobe) and I have to tell you, I learned (and re-learned) some things once again.  It isn't that I do not always learn but rather this was a different take on the same scripture that I have read in the past. I am not going to quote the entire chapter one in its entirety but I do want to set the stage for what is the beginning of many trials for a servant of God.

Job, the Man.

For those who do not know of Job, he "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1).  He had seven sons and three daughters which by most standards today would constitute as a large family for one home.  "He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 pairs of oxen and 500 female donkeys, as well as a great number of servants; so that he was the wealthiest man in the east." (Job 1:3).  If you continue reading verses 4 and 5, you will see that each of his sons had feasts on their respective days and invited their sisters to come and feast with them.  And, at the end all of this, Job would offer up burnt offerings to the Lord JUST IN CASE his sons might have sinned against God.  This is the type of man, that he was.

The Challenge.

The interesting thing about Job's trials is that they all started out with a conversation between the Lord and Satan.  In verses 6 through 12, we find that the conversation begins with the Lord asking Satan where he had been.  Satan simply responded that he had been roaming the earth here and there.  At this point is where it gets interesting.  Sounding like the father of a proud son, the Lord asked Satan if he had noticed Job whom as we remember "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1).  As the discussion carries on Satan responds by saying that the Lord had protected Job and provided all the things he had.  If all of those things were taken away, Job would surely curse God (see Job 11).  So, to prove just how upright Job was God laid down the challenge by stating that Satan could touch everything around Job, but he could not touch Job himself.

Now that you have a back drop, in chapter one alone we see that Satan starts to make events happen that surround Job.  We find that he has his oxen stolen and the servants tending to them were killed, but one to relay the message to Job.  We see that fire fell from the sky to consume the sheep and servants and all were killed, but one to relay the message to Job.  Then, the Chaldeans attacked and stole all the camels and killed the servants, but one to relay the message to Job.  Lastly, is what I would consider as what should have been a dagger.  As Job's sons and daughters feasted in the oldest brother's home, a rouge wind came and collapsed the home on top of them, killing them all but who?  Yep, you guessed it.  It killed all but one servant to relay the message back to Job.

All at once, the once great man of the east had is wealth reduced to nothing.  To the average person in modern time, they might would immediately curse God and/or commit suicide however Job was not the average person.  In an act that seems almost impossible in most eyes, Job drew himself closer to the Lord.  Job tore his cloths off, shaved his head and fell down on the ground and worshiped by saying:
"Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)
Verse 22 ends the chapter with " In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly".  WOW!  I say WOW because that is true Love for the one who first Loved us!  So with that, this is what I took away from Chapter 1.

Be Perfect, Upright, Fear God, & Avoid Evil  - The way that Job became the great man that he was is because of these qualities.  Becoming wealthy isn't in the cards for everyone.  As a matter of fact, owning a lot things is not the plan that God has for you, but we can still be great people of God by keeping the qualities that Job had.  With that being said, God will give you everything you need.

Nothing Happens to You Unless God Allows It - People have a habit of blaming the devil for many things that happen to them.  In a lot of the cases, it is not Satan who causes us problems, but rather what God has allowed to happen.  With Job, Satan had to get permission to cause distress to him, but still it had to be within the parameters that God set.  God will let bad things happen to you to make you grow up, to tear things from your grips that are hindering your spiritual walk, or a host of other things.  In Job's case, the permission came to show how upright Job would be despite his material and emotional loss.
Naked You Came. Naked You Shall Return - Job gave us this lesson and pretty much sums up our lives.  Out of all the things you obtain in this life we cannot take it with us when we die.  When we are born into this world, we had nothing but our naked bodies.  When we die, you may be buried in a suite or dress, but you aren't taking them with you to heaven or hell.  Even when it comes to relatives.  Although we may see them again one day upon Jesus' return, it is alone that we are born and naked that we shall die.

These things are hard to even understand for many of us because our flesh tends to desire the things that we see as opposed to focusing on the things we cannot see.  I hope that this will be a blessing to you as much as it was for me in learning (and re-learning) this application of the Word of God.

Be Blessed folks!

Antoine E. Hall

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22

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