Invitation

My blog today is an open invitation to join me in January reading through the book of Job. I can almost hear the groans as you are tempted to close your browser and read no further. After all, who wants to spend the next 25 days reading through a book of suffering and despair? I get it! In fact, I confess that I have often skimmed over the forty-two chapters of this book feeling like I was slogging through a black hole of despondency. But don’t close your browser yet! I think you’ll be as blessed as I was by persevering.

Job is introduced as a blameless and upright man who feared God and shunned evil.  Following that commendation, however, God just hands him over to Satan to be tested. Wow! That’s not the reward I would expect someone like Job to receive. Not only does Job lose all his children and all his possessions, but God also allows Satan to afflict him with painful sores from head to toe. As if that isn’t enough, Job has three sanctimonious friends who claim they have all the answers and want to sit in judgment of him. Not the most uplifting and encouraging book, so why read on?

The Bible tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching and correction and transformation (2Timothy 3:16), so the book of Job is in the Bible for a reason. God has something He wants us to learn as we read, especially if we determine not to take any shortcuts.  Beginning with a prayer for God to reveal Himself to me as I read, I’ve plunged into the first few chapters. I am in awe, challenged and even encouraged! Yes, the suffering and despondency are there along with criticism, but this is a book of victory, not defeat. It is a book as relevant to 21st century women as it was to the patriarchs. Job has a lot to teach us, and I hope the following insights will bless you enough to accept my invitation and read along with me.

A Respected Reputation (Job 1:1-8):

Job’s character was grounded in his reverence for God. He knew God intimately and had walked with Him for many years. Job’s reverent fear of the holiness and righteousness of God caused him to turn away from the wickedness of his culture, to literally shun evil. He was respected by friends and strangers alike and displayed integrity and uprightness in all his dealings (Job 1:1). Job was a wealthy man who knew that God was the source of all blessing. Intercessory prayer for his family was his regular custom (Job 1:5).

A Reigning Recognition (Job 1:9-12; 2:1-7):

God is absolutely sovereign over all, good and evil. Satan had to present himself before the LORD and was subject to God’s permitted parameters. Satan is our adversary and accuser but has no authority to touch one of God’s own apart from His express allowance. Satan knew this. He could accuse Job (v.9), but God limited the scope of his testing. In addition, God’s holiness and righteousness would not permit Satan to remain in His presence (1:12; 2:7). How grateful I am for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for my sin that enables me to be in the presence of God continually for all eternity.

A Reverent Response (Job 1:20-22; 2:9-13):

Job also recognized God’s sovereignty. In the first wave of shock and grief after learning all his children were dead and all his possessions were gone, Job honestly acknowledged his loss and then fell to the ground in worship. “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (1:21). Job’s perspective was fixed on His Eternal God. That didn’t remove or lesson his sorrow, but his faith remained steadfast. By focusing on God, the root of bitterness and self-pity was not able to find ground in the soil of his heart. Even after his physical affliction caused him to scrape himself with a broken piece of pottery as he sat in the ashes, he was able to withstand pressure from his wife and rebuke the lie that trouble does not impact the righteous. He trusted that God would use both good and trouble to accomplish His purposes.

Just as Job responded to his sufferings with reverent submission, his three friends initially acted with genuine concern and support. Weeping with him and simply sitting quietly beside Job as he grieved, they entered his suffering as faithful companions.

Two chapters in, and I’m hooked! Not only am I excited to see what happens with Job and his friends, I am challenged to apply these insights to my daily life. Below are some questions that might help you as you prayerfully ask God to help you apply His precepts to your own life. I encourage you to pick one or two and spend time journaling your response. Putting your thoughts in black and white can help cement God’s truth.

Challenges:

  1. What kind of reputation am I developing? Am I allowing a desire to “fit in” lead me to gossip, negative talk, or other unwholesome activities?
  2. What regular customs am I observing that reveal my reverence for God?
  3. What lies and accusations of the enemy am I allowing to distract me from God’s absolute sovereignty in my life? Do the world’s daily headlines cause fear and anxiety instead of driving me to seek God’s purpose and plan?
  4. What is my response to trouble and suffering and how will I let it motivate me to worship?
  5. What kind of companion am I to suffering friends?

RSVP

Will you join me on this journey through the book of Job and experience the victory of a life of steadfast endurance through suffering? I have laid out a reading plan below to help you. Each Monday I will post a recap blog with challenges to encourage you. I would love to know how this wonderful book of Job is impacting your life and how I can pray for you. You can email me directly at rwme81471@thistleplaid.com.

Reading Plan:

  1. January 6-9                     Job 1 – 9            (3 chapters a day)
  2. January 10-16                 Job 10-20           (2 chapters a day)
  3. January 17-23                 Job 21-31           (2 chapters a day)
  4. January 24-30               Job 32-42           (2 chapters a day)

Published by thistleplaid

Introductions are always awkward. What words can capture the essence of character and personality? And yet, we all long to know and be known, so let me introduce myself to you. I am an introverted "fun girl" who is passionate about Jesus, family and intimate friendships. I am a wife of 50 years, whose husband now resides in heaven (widow does not define me!). I am a mother of three daughters and three sons-in-love, a Gram to eight grandchildren, and a Great-Granny to one adorable baby girl. With Scottish ancestry, I love all things plaid, bagpipes and thistles. I love tea and books and rainy days; mountains, ocean waves, and sunshine' lavender, Golden Doodles, bagpipes and country music. Most importantly, I am the daughter of the King of Kings, on the journey of being conformed to His image and desperately in need of His mercies every day. My goal with this blog is to meet other women on this journey and encourage them to see and seek Encounters with Mercy and Glimpses of Glory that will challenge and nourish their souls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: