Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:9-10 (NKJV)
Job’s wife responds in an interesting way. It is interesting because she responds exactly the way Satan said Job would. Job’s wife overvalues her family, her possessions, and her status. Her words echo Satan’s by placing these things in priority to God. As such, she becomes something of a “third trial” for Job, but he remains steadfast. Job’s response is one that has haunted me for a couple of years. The first thing Job tells his wife is that she is acting like someone who doesn’t know the Lord. The foolish in Hebrew wisdom literature were those who didn’t know God. It would take a foolish person who doesn’t know God to value stuff and comfort over God.
He then asks her a question that we all probably need to wrestle with. Shall we only worship God when He gives us good? Is He only worthy of our worship when He does what we want Him to? This is certainly connected to what I posted yesterday, but there is more to it. Job isn’t merely asking if God is worthy of our worship. He is also asking her who is the Lord and who is the servant.
In our relationship with God, who is Lord and who is servant? That is the key question in this passage. Now I’m sure we would all say that God is Lord and we are the servants. However, do we live and act like that is the case. Unfortunately, many people see God as kind of a genie that exists to grant our every wish. Many people see God as a linebacker whose job is to see suffering that is coming to our lives and then lay the smack down on it to keep it from us. This seemingly works fine when our lives are working as they should. However, it breaks apart when suffering hits us. It is at this point that we start saying things like, “God failed me” or “God really let me down this time.” No He didn’t. Because He doesn’t exist to serve us, we exist to serve Him.
This was something my wife and I had to settle when our baby started having problems. In fact, we talked about this specific verse. Could we continue to love, serve and worship God no matter what happened with our daughter? If not, what did that say about our view of God? What we realized is that it said God existed to serve us, when in fact we exist to serve God.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16 (NKJV)
All things were created by Him and all things were created for Him. Things aren’t nebulous stuff that exists out there somewhere. You and I were created by Him and for Him. Everything we have ever possessed and ever will possess were created by Him and for Him. Every member of our family was created by Him and for Him.
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36 (NKJV)
All things comes from God. All things exist by His power. All things is intended for His glory. All things aren’t nebulous stuff that exists out there somewhere. You and I came from Him, exist by His power and are intended for His glory. Anything we have ever had came from Him, exists by His power and is intended for His glory. Anything we will ever have will come from Him, will exist by His power and is intended for His glory. Every member of our family come from Him, exist by His power and are intended for His glory.
This is what it means that God is the Lord over my life. It means I have forfeited all claims on anything because I know that everything comes from God, exists by His power and is intended for His glory. I have forfeited all my rights because I know everything comes from God, exists by His power and is intended for His glory. Since everything comes from God, exists for God and is intended for His glory, He determines how long we will get to enjoy it and how it will best bring Him glory. Can you accept this if God decides that the way you can bring Him glory is by suffering well?
This is what Job understood and it is what allowed Him to respond in the way we see in this passage. This is what we have to understand as well. Knowing and embracing this about God will enable you to trust Him no matter what kind of circumstances He allows in your life.
It is important for us to understand that these things are true about God whether we believe them and accept them or not. Our faith doesn’t have any impact on who God is. No matter what we believe, God is the sovereign ruler of the world, He is inherently worthy of our worship and He is the Lord over our lives. Faith in God doesn’t make these things true. Instead, faith in God allows us to take comfort in these things so that we can continue to trust God no matter what kind of suffering comes into our lives.