By Emily Watson
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen…He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. Job 1:1-3
For most Christians we go through life with a sense that we know God. After all, we’ve read God’s Word; we’ve walked with Him and have had experiences with Him. But do we really know God? What happens when the bottom falls out? What happens when everything you’ve known God to be in your life is turned upside down and you are left dazed and pondering the very essence of your relationship with Him and who He really is?
Job was a blessed man of God. He was upright, rich in many ways and was described as the greatest man among all the people in the east. Job wanted for nothing and he was abundantly blessed by God. He benefited from God’s protection. Even Satan recognized Job’s status as favored by God.
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the works of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. Job1:9
Job knew God as this unfaltering life source; faithful to uphold the stature of the blameless, abundant in blessings and a consistent shield. This is how Job knew God. Do you think maybe Job was too comfortable in this way of life? I would imagine Brother Job was much like we are today. We have a system (if you will), a way of doing things and we have always done it this way. We tend to place God in the constraints of our own systematic living; whether it is the way we do church, our family and relationships, work etc. We come to know God in a particular way in those areas and expect that this is just the way it is. And yes, God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever; but we come to know our God in different ways because of His sovereignty and permissive will.
It is when you lose your job after 20 years laboring for the same company or when you are diagnosed with a rare form of cancer yet you have been active and healthy most your life. It is when you are forced to go through circumstances that you did not see coming and were not prepared for, situations that devastate your life and rattle your faith that you begin to see God and you begin to truly know Him through unlikely experiences.
God doesn’t always reveal himself in the manner in which we desire. A quote from the Devotion My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers will better put it in perspective: "At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like a unjust judge, but He is not." God allowed for Satan to completely devastate Job’s life. We always tend to think, how awful for poor Job that he had to go through such turmoil. And yes, God restored Job and blessed him with double. At the heart of the matter, I believe God was most concerned about Job’s relationship with Him. What an awesome revelation. Because of this trial, Job can now know God on a more intimate level, as Father, healer, redeemer, peace, joy and strength. God knows us better than we know ourselves.
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:1-2
I believe God wants us to know Him better. As we come to know Him in these life lessons it will better equip and enable us to become more like Him.
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