Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23 - Job 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Early on in the book of Job, we discover Job is a man of great prosperity. Not just in possessions but also in relationships. He has thousands of livestock, servants, and family members who enjoy spending time together.
  • This is one of the few places in the Bible that we are made aware of Satan's presence (see also Genesis 3 and Luke 4). Oddly, Satan and God have a conversation about Job's life and future.
  • Satan argues that Job's prosperity is the only thing keeping Job sincere towards God. Therefore, Satan is convinced that removal of these earthly possessions will certainly derail Job's faith in God.
  • God is aware of the depth of Job's faith and allows Satan to do whatever he wants with Job's earthly possessions and relationships, but isn't allowed to do anything to Job himself.
  • Four calamities come to Job. Job is devastated, but does not blame God and his faith isn't shaken.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Job's story teaches us that having much in this world never protects us from experiencing loss or pain. 
  • Although God loves us, believing and obeying him does not shelter us from life's calamities. But in our tests and trials, God expects us to express our faith to Him and the world.
  • Satan accurately analyzed why many trust God. Many follow God only when everything is going well or getting what they desire. Adversity can destroy this type of superficial faith.
  • While God may allow us to suffer for a reason beyond our understanding, he is never caught by surprise by our troubles and is always compassionate.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Faith requires us to trust God when things are good and things are bad. 
  • When you are tested and go through difficult times how do you respond? Do you respond by blaming God or by trusting God?
  • When you find yourself in the middle of a test, remember that God knows your troubles and is full of compassion.