Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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Mar. 7 – Blessed be the Name of the LORD

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” Job 1:20-22

Devotional Thought For The Day

Often people talk about “poor Job” and the troubles he faced.  I suspect that few really take in the whole story. Job was remarkably wealthy – “He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” [1:3]  Yet, in spite of his great wealth, the greatest of all the people of the east, and all of the temptations that wealth brings, Job is described as being “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” He frequently confessed his own sins and worried about sin and unbelief afflicting his children. He offered sacrifices, praying for the spiritual piety and well-being of his children. He truly had the “great American family” – success, wealth, leisure, and in contrast, genuine piety.

Then the assaults of the evil one came – which God in His own mysterious ways allowed, and in one day all of this was completely destroyed, all of Job’s wealth, and all of his children. Take a moment to consider personally how this would have impacted you, the effect this must have had on Job. Now, regardless of the very difficult things that people have to experience, very few of us will ever have to deal with this kind of sudden and drastic change of fortune – though some people do lose home, possessions, and even family in disasters: fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, crime, and war. Job’s response was astonishing, miraculous, other-worldly – simply stating the most basic facts of human existence, still placing all faith and trust in God, and even “blessing” the Name of the LORD [Yahweh, the personal Name of the only True and Living God]!

The purpose of the recording of this book is revealed in the last verse of the first chapter: “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” Perhaps Job was still in shock, for as time went along he began mulling over the meaning of this dreadful experience [what else did he have to do?], and the rest of the book contains his struggles with the grievous temptation of “charging God with wrong.” Our reaction to what happened with Job might also be to blame God for withdrawing His protection from Job, and allowing the evil one to destroy his life like this. This is, of course, a very common phenomenon, people charging God with wrong. It began with Adam, who in the face of his fall into sin blamed God, asserting that it was all caused by “the woman whom You gave to be with me.” [Gen. 3:12] The fault was God’s. People blame God for putting the tree in the midst of the Garden. People blame God for their weaknesses. People blame God for their sins [including a supposed “genetic” basis for every perverse behavior]. People blame God for circumstances, for accidents, and for the wicked, hateful, and violent condition of human hearts. People blame God for their illnesses, and for death itself – even though death is the “wages of sin,” personal sin, every person’s individual sins.

In contrast, God put the blame on Jesus, His own Son. “For our sake, God made Him Who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Cor. 5:21] This is what occurred in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, NOT counting their trespasses to them.” [2 Cor. 5:19].  Now “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” [Eph. 1:7] Furthermore, “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Rom. 5:1] Job knew all of these things; it was the basis of his piety, his being declared “blameless and upright.” The reality of God’s gracious, merciful, and forgiving love, this alone enabled Job to have faith and be “one who feared God and turned away from evil.” Just as with Abraham, Job “believed God, and God counted it to him as righteousness.” [Gen. 15:6] This is the reality which God holds before us as well, urging us to believe and trust in His love, and to be reconciled to Him.

We may have to go through all of the torturous reasoning of Job to arrive back at the place where we also proclaim: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Only faith in Christ can bring us to sincerely bless and praise the Name of the LORD in the face of our own difficult trials and testings. And only the assurances of God’s Word can bring us to such faith and peace with God. It took Job a while – but may God also bring each of us to such faith and blessedness, that we avoid all temptations to “charge God with wrong.” May we accept the most basic realities of being created beings, so that with joyful faith in God’s love we always bless His holy Name!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, we too struggle with the difficulties of life in this fallen world of sin, and the unexpected trials and tragedies. We wrestle with the mysteries of Your wisdom. Help us, like Job, to cling to the assurances of Your blessed love, that in all our experiences of life – from the nakedness of our nativity to the nakedness of our death – we bless Your holy Name in true and genuine faith. Amen.