“There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. …. this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. …. And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them (his children) and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in the hearts.’ This is what Job always did. …. Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; 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 wrongdoing. …. Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still persists in your integrity? Curse God, and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad? I all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
Devotional thought: Upfront I admit I am baffled by what we read in Job, there are no easy answers. Just as in our lives the answers to the question why? are often hard to come by. That being said, I see in Job a man of conviction and faith, a man who worships God when blessings and curses abound. Blameless and upright he practices his piety and is steadfast in his worship. He is an intercessor for his children, just in case, they have sinned and he stands firm in expressing his faith of God as his wife speaks in her overwhelming grief. Job certainly expresses faith, an absolute faith, but why? Is his faith that of a servant? As long as I do what the master asks I will always be cared for. Is his obedience based on some form of works righteousness? Or is his faith that of a child, one of assurance, one removed from doubt and fear? “Wesley kept encouraging Christians to seek a higher degree of faith, which would bring assurance and thus remove doubt and fear.” (Wesleyan Core Term, Faith of a Servant, pg 612, Wesley Study Bible) While we strive to be blameless and upright in God’s eyes, let us remember it is only through faith in Christ and by God’s grace and forgiveness that we are transformed to be like Christ! Obedience comes as a response to grace, not something done to earn grace. Righteousness is a gift from God.