Monday, October 1, 2018

Put To The Test

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming the earth and patrolling it."  And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?" But Satan answered the LORD and said, "Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?  Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face." And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand upon his person." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Satan asks God a question all of us should answer as well.  Satan, who roams and patrols the earth, and of whom we should always be aware, is a smart guy (woman?).   When things go well for us and we are happy and thankful for our blessings, we praise God.   But when things go wrong we have a different attitude.   Many of us “blaspheme God” and perhaps even lose our faith in a loving God that cares for us.  Satan believes that will be Job’s fate when cursed with all sorts of hideous misfortune caused by Satan with God’s permission.

After suffering so much, Job succumbs, and then the Lord speaks. After a lengthy conversation, Job repents.   He says:

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered. “Who is this who obscures counsel with ignorance?” I have spoken but did not understand; things too marvelous for me, which I did not know. “Listen, and I will speak; I will question you, and you tell me the answers.” By hearsay I had heard of you, but now my eye has seen you.  Therefore I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes.” 

When trouble and misfortune befall us and it seems as if Satan has the upper hand; when we are angry at God and may abandon God, can we respond like Job?    Of course, in that biblical setting God spoke at length to Job.   We won’t have that same experience.   We’ll have to respond with faith and prayer and then hold onto what has sustained us for so many years – the presence of God in our lives made evident by our Church and those who love and care for us. 

Job died, old and full of years.   We all hope for that, but nothing is guaranteed.

Deacon David Pierce

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