BLAMING OR WORSHIP?

30 05 2017

praise-him-in-the-storm_new

I read the Book of Job this week. Maybe it just seemed appropriate. Did you know chronologically, it is the oldest of the recorded Scriptures in the Bible? Job walked with the Lord before there was such a thing as the Hebrew People and prior to having a recorded written sacred Law which was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. In many ways, Job was a Priest for his family, recognizing and representing God before his wife and his sons and daughters. What we do know is that God thought pretty highly of his servant. So much so that when the enemy threatened Job’s reputation, the Lord allowed Satan to mess with his possessions and his people. The only ground rules from above was that the devil could not take Job’s life.

If you know the story, Job suffered injustice at the hand of the darkness. Job lost his property and all his family within hours of each other. When that didn’t seem to shake Job’s faith, Lucifer went at Job’s health and physical body. It got so bad that there were huge sores on Job’s body and he sat in an ash pit using broken pottery to scrape his withered skin. The best counsel Job could receive from his wife was to “Curse God and die!” This Job did not do. Proclaiming that Jehovah was the One who gives and takes away- he praised him in the pit with a ringing endorsement of, “Blessed Be The Name of the Lord.”

 Something jumped out at me this week that may have gone unnoticed before. In Job Chapter 1 and Verse 22, we read, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” I was surely convicted by that nugget of truth. Maybe this is where my own sin takes root because I do blame the Lord when circumstances go don’t well. I am more of a complainer than a worshipper when I find myself in situations where I can’t make any heads or tails out them. I look up and wonder, “Why God?” Why does my life always seem to be hard? Why must it always be that things don’t go the way I would like them to?” I even get to the point where I question whether He even loves me at all. I know life isn’t fair but sometimes things almost seem comically and cosmically stacked against me.

 Job’s Buddies would be quick to tell me what they told him. It must be because of unconfessed sin stacked up in my life. My bad fortune can be blamed on selfish decisions and unholy secrets. But like Job I know this is not the cause of the case. I have understood in the big picture that bad things happen to all of us, whether godly or pagan. But I know that I haven’t always been cooperative when I don’t like the daily agenda. I shout up to Heaven because I don’t want to be hemmed in or held back. I want to be free to live, to move and go where I know I would serve the Lord. But not my will but His be done and for reasons, I don’t understand- like Job defiantly cried out, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

 Confession is good for the soul. How many of us are egotistical and some days live like God is supposed to revolve around us rather than to seek Him first beyond anything and everything else, including our own well-being. The Lord owes me nothing and yet gives me everything. My inability only highlights His accessibility and keeps me running into the arms of my Heavenly Daddy when the undertow of earth would long to drown me in its despair. Job knew he wasn’t going to find the solution to his struggle in any horizontal direction. He was going to need to get vertical if there was to be any victory.

God met Job in the middle of his perplexing ordeal. He is willing to do the same for me and you. But rather than pile up my own defense and try to argue my way into good times again, I need to humble myself and hide behind the power of my Lord. I can’t wait for all to be right with my world before I attempt to fly again. That day might not ever come in my own timetable. But if Jesus is willing to be my rock below me and the force before me, I can follow His light as He leads me into a path that will eventually bring me into the wide open spaces of praise.

 So I won’t curse God and die; but I will celebrate His presence and live no matter what! Like Job, I know that our Redeemer lives and it won’t be long before all the aches and pains of this old world will be a distant memory. So as Job 23:10 says, “But He knows the way I take and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” God’s gold can not be appraised by worldly standards but it can be recognized by anybody. Don’t allow the darkness to destroy the shine. When life shoots you down, raise your praise and trust His cover!             


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