I was at children's camp this morning, and the preacher was focusing on the 'shield of faith' from Ephesians 6. He used Job as an example of a man with a shield of faith, and I was thinking about some things related to Job while he preached. (I admit, it's an occupational hazard. We preachers listen to other preachers and think about what we can preach from what they are preaching.)
What got me thinking was the servants in Job chapter 1. Most of you are familiar with the story of Job, how he lost all that he had, lost his health, but still remained faithful to the Lord. I want to point out what Job was left with when he lost everything.
In Job 1, 4 times one of his servants comes to him and recounts a disaster, generally worse than the disaster before. When it's all done, Job's wealth and children are gone. He has 4 servants, all with the line 'I alone have escaped to tell you.' When raiders have attacked and killed everyone, how have these escaped? When disaster has struck, and all are killed, how have these escaped? My first thought is that these were just lucky, and someone has to bear the message, but I thought about something this morning. These were the ones who abandoned their responsibilities when trouble hit. Think about it. Someone looks up and sees raiding Sabeans coming over the hills, the servants draw their weapons to fight, but one guy runs off, watches from a distance (over his shoulder) and tells Job what happened. The winds blow so furiously that the house Job's children are in collapses (I'm thinking tornado) and all are killed, except one servant who apparently fled the house in the time of trouble, but didn't bother to help anyone else. The raiding bands of Chaldeans? Another servant spotted them at a distance, but did he warn or run?
Then there is his wife, who wants him to 'curse God and die.'
Have you found yourself beset by trouble? It's happened to most of us, and will probably happen someday to the rest of us. And it could hit you more than once. What usually makes it worse? That people around you don't help. In our worst times, we need to be surrounded by people that lift us up, not drag us down.
What can we do about it? Well, usually we can't pick who is around when things go wrong, but we can be right kind of people for others when they have trouble. Let's not be the kind of people who sit back and watch disaster just so we can point it out to others. Let's be involved and encourage those around us.
The occasional thoughts of an ordinary man serving an extraordinary God. Come with me as we learn, teach, and laugh along the way.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Who was left with Job?
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