Fine Lines of Faith
Biblical Encouragement from the Book of Job
Let us continue our examination of the Book of Job on human suffering, beginning with Chapter 1, verse 22:
Despite this [his loss] Job did not sin, and did not attribute a blemish to God.
If there had been any rotten roots of complaint simmering in Job's heart, then his remarks would have taken a different vein. He had one of two paths he could have followed. First, he could have concluded that no wrongdoing can come from God the Righteous One, so therefore evil must come from somewhere else, from "nature" and the Heavenly order.
On this path, Job would have been denying Divine Providence, saying that God does not oversee what is happening. This would open the gate to sin, for if there is no Divine Providence, then there is no reward or punishment. And without reward, then what was the use of pursuing righteousness?
Beautiful as nature is, it is not God and can be manipulated and tarnished. It is handiwork, not the Creator
This line of reasoning is exactly what Job later used. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the conclusion of those who have experienced tremendous suffering. They believe God the Merciful could not have allowed such a thing to take place, and therefore, there is no God, only blind nature. That being the case, there is no purpose in being religious, and everything is permitted, which is precisely where we find ourselves today.
Second, Job could have consented that there is Divine Providence but is forced to criticize God's ways. This belief says that He doesn't rule with justice as some would claim, and that His ways are bland without taste.
Job Passes the First Test
Job did not sin. Job so far has passed the test. He has not criticized. He still retains his faith. He is still the one that shuns evil, and he did not attribute blemish to God by denigrating His ways. Job had concluded that there has been no wrongdoing on God's part when He took his external possessions, which were given as gifts, but then taken from him for his own good. This loss is not evil, but merely the prevention of extra good.
I guess this begs the question, would we pass this part of the first test, attributing no blemish to God? Most people love to blame someone else for their troubles. Rarely does a man, woman, or child look deep within their heart to see if there might be sin or view the tapestry of life from the entirety of the craftsmanship. We humans love to just look at the keyhole for what we can see.
As I was growing up, I lived near a small shanty, for lack of a better word. It was wooden and weathered by time and the elements. If one got in just the right position, you could peek through the cracks to see the small room. It had a simple iron bed with mattress and an olive-green woolen blanket. A slab table for one person. A dusty lantern, a coffee pot, and a few dishes. There was a heavy layer of dust that blanketed the entire room. I never did see anyone come or go from that shanty home. It always left me with these nagging questions: Who lived here? Was this just a fisherman's cabin? What became of this person? What was this person's life like? I never did learn the answers to these questions and now million-dollar homes cover what was once this little shanty on the edge of the ocean.
This is how we often view our circumstances, peeking in through the cracks. God, and some wise people, see the whole picture.
How will Job fare the second test? We shall see...
May you see the whole panorama of your life from God's perspective and may your tongue never blemish the Name of God.
Celeste Solum is a broadcaster, author, former government, organic farmer and is trained in nursing and environmental medicine. Celeste chronicles the space and earth conditions that trigger the rise and fall of modern & ancient civilizations, calendars, and volatile economies. Cycles are converging, all pointing to a cataclysmic period between 2020 to 2050 in what many scientists believe is an Extinction Level Event.
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