Job 1:20-22 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. (ESV)
We come to the end of the first chapter of Job. Job went from being the wealthiest man in his part of the world to the poorest. It took one day. In four separate catastrophies, Job has lost his worldly goods, means of production and transportation, and his children. I don’t know about you, but that would send me to my bed with my covers over my head. The NLT tranlation of verse 21 quotes Job, “Praise the name of the Lord!”. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t say that in a moment of despair I was praising God. This is the point where we say “Why me?”. Why is this happening to me (my child, my friend, my spouse, my family member)? Maybe it’s the surprise of it all. Tragedy is not expected. I like to believe most of us are more optimistic about life. We’re not expecting a poor diagnosis, an accident, or a child with a disability. It wasn’t in our plan.
So here’s Job. The Bible says Job didn’t sin or blame God in this moment of tragedy. That’s a miracle in itself. Job is a man of faith. He is trusting God in the midst of unbearable pain and loss. In contrast, am I alone in thinking I might not handle this so well? But God. God is our help in less than ideal circumstances, and there is hope for those of us who might find ourselves asking God why.
Romans 3:21-24 (NLT) “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
God tells us there is hope for us through His Son. God knows we are sinners, every one of us. He knows us, He loves us, and He has provided a way for us to have a right relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus.
Lord, thank you for Your daily grace and mercy. I pray that when faced with tragedy and loss that we turn to You, our comforter and redeemer. Forgive us as we make our way imperfectly through life. Thank you for Your gift of salvation. Thank you for loving us, even though we don’t deserve it, nor can we earn it. You give Your love freely and without strings attached. Amen.
Note: I encourage you as you study to read multiple translations of the Bible. I am gaining so much personally as I write by reading several translations of the same verse. For instance, writing today’s entry, I discovered that Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 are very similar (almost word for word in the beginning verses). I also discovered The Complete Jewish Bible for another perspective of the verses in Romans. I frequently use biblegateway.com as it is an easy way to move among verses and chapters as well as multiple translations.