Focal Passages: Job 1:1-3, 8-11, 20-22; 2:7, 9-10
April 15, 2013, is a day that will not quickly be forgotten. Why? Not because it was tax day, but because it was the day known as the “Boston Marathon Bombing.” Innocent people lost lives and limbs. Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed instantly. His sister, age 6, lost a leg. His mother, Denise, had to have surgery for a brain injury. The Richard family was devastated, and people all over the world were asking “Why?”
There are times in everyone’s life when one thinks, “Is this really happening to me?” We’re not prepared for the losses coming upon us: loss of a job, loss of health, loss of wealth, loss of a friendship, loss of a life.
We may describe the experience as either surreal or a nightmare. We pray we will wake up and discover it was only a bad dream.
A few years ago there was a brutal murder in our town. A young woman was killed by an ex-boyfriend. At the family visitation, a friend of mine said very bluntly, “We shouldn’t be here.” And he was right. This type of tragedy should not have happened, not to her, not to anyone.
Job certainly was asking himself this same question, “Is this really happening to me?” The losses he suffered made no sense. He was a righteous man. He feared God (v. 2). If anyone on earth deserved God’s protection from evil, it was Job.
For a moment, let us examine this man. Job had a great family, he was very wealthy, and he loved God. He had no reason not to expect God’s favor. He became, however, a pawn in Satan’s ploy to try to disgrace God. Satan’s argument was that Job’s fear of God was based upon his affluence, his blessing; therefore, if that “hedge” of protection was removed, Job would curse God (v. 10-11).
The text tells us that everything valuable and precious to Job was taken away, except his wife and his life. Would he ever make sense of it all?