He has been through what many would call the worst time of his life: the demise of the seven children and the vanishing into thin air, of his wealth and his earthly possessions. What more could a man go through again; what else would break a man like Job into shreds; can that be the worst? Like the saying goes, at the end of every tunnel, there should or must be light. Guess what, there is more to come especially in the pains and sufferings.
The only place Satan was restricted in this ordeal is the taking of Job’s life. He was not allowed to kill him but could make him suffer more and more pain.
Satan was of the opinion that Job’s motive for serving God was because of the things God had blessed him with. The idea and perception from Satan was that if he took away his possessions, Job would curse God to his face. He said to God, “so you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart; no one ever had it so good; you pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions”.
In the mind of the Devil, he could break Job or cause Job to curse God by attacking three major parts of his life: himself, his family and his possessions. The children are gone now; his possessions (wealth and stocks) are also gone. To Satan’s dismay, Job could not curse God, his maker; rather Job shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshipped God. He never blamed God for all he had lost. Satan had to look for something else he can do to further frustrate Job’s life.
Satan struck Job with terrible sores; Job had ulcers and scabs from his head to his foot. They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, went and sat on a trash heap among the ashes. Why would anyone go through this, some may ask. Again, some would have concluded their death and their intolerance in the face of the excruciating pain. Job still held on to his integrity and from nowhere, the first mention of his wife. She said to her husband, “are you still holding on to your integrity – curse God and die (just what Satan wanted).” The Book recorded that Job kept his integrity. His reply to his wife was, “you talk like an empty headed person – we take good days from God, why not also the bad days.
The inside story is that God allowed all these because God must have a reason. You can go through all these and not find God at the end. There can be nothing more if He is not reached. If the heart is not brought to find its all-satisfying portion in God, then a reverse of fortune leaves it desolate; and the discovery of the fickleness and hollowness of men fills it with bitterness. Job described the extent of this bitterness when he said, “they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.” He drew a striking contrast between his present and his past; the very men who flattered him in the day of prosperity treated him with contempt in the day of his adversity. This reminds us of Jesus; the same that shouted “hosanna” when the days were good, the same screamed on top of their voices, “crucify him” when adversity set in.
So, God must be found or we are restricted and limited to that state of bitterness where we begin to say all sorts. Man must not be trusted.
God knows how to get to all of His children; He knew us before He founded the World and knows how to bring out the best from us at any given time. This was the case of Job. Sometimes we can become so complacent that we loose out on the real meaning of life and the purpose for which God brought us to this World.
The Apostle stresses the fact that, the sufferings of this present world cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. He told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ.
Jesus also advised that the man who lays his hand on the plow and looks back (obviously if the journey was going to be a smooth one, the man wouldn’t have any cause to look back), is not fit to be His disciple. Apostle Paul concluded that if we are his children, then we are heirs – joint heirs with the Lord Jesus if we suffer with him.
You may not know the material you are made up of until you are tested. Remember the two houses Jesus described, the only thing that revealed what materials the houses were built with, was nothing but the storms. Persecutions, trials and the storms, will blow because you have been exposed to the understanding of God’s Word.