Focal passage: Job 1:8-22
It’s all still vivid in my memory. As my pregnant wife and I were gazing at our baby on the sonogram, suddenly the sonographer said, “I’m sorry. I can’t find a heartbeat.”
We were rushed out of the room to meet our doctor. “I’m sorry,” he said, “you’ve miscarried your baby.” The shock. The tears. The questions. Why? We were serving God faithfully. How could He take our child before we even met her?
Job also served God faithfully (Job 1:8). Yet, in a moment, many of his treasured blessings were stolen or destroyed (1:13-17). Much worse, Job’s children were tragically killed by a tornado (1:18-19). Perhaps you have the same question about Job as I did the day our daughter died in the womb. Why? How could God allow something so terrible to happen to someone so righteous?
Whether Job asked this question remains unknown to us. However, God’s activity behind the scenes before Job’s tragedy is well-known. One reason God allowed Job’s calamity is that Satan claimed Job only worshiped God because of what God gave him (1:8-10). Satan suggested that if Job’s blessings were removed, Job would curse the Blesser (1:11). Interestingly, God permitted Satan to take Job’s possessions and children to prove that Job worshiped the LORD for who He is, not what He gave (1:12).
Indeed, Job proved Satan wrong. Amid the disaster, Job didn’t sin (1:22). When his possessions and children were taken, Job “fell on the ground and worshiped” (1:20). The depth of Job’s faith in God was revealed when he exclaimed that God deserves worship when He gives and when He takes (1:21).
It’s all still vivid in my memory. The shock. The tears. And the question: Why? Today, that question remains unanswered for my wife and me. But Job has taught us how to respond in tragedy. We must not first ask, “Why?” but rather consider: when hardship is our lot, will we worship God when what He gave is no longer ours? As with Job, by God’s grace, we have. And like Job, by God’s grace, you can too.