Job’s Response to a Pandemic

When trial and tragedy came to Job’s house, it is startling to consider its source. 

Job 1:12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

So, Satan sets out to fulfill his own evil will on Job, within the bounds set for him by God. But Satan uses means. 

The Sabeans murder Job’s servants and slaughter all his donkey and oxen.

A fire falls from heaven and consumes His sheep. The Chaldeans raid the camels and murder Job’s servants. 

Finally, a wind came and knocked down the four corners of the house in which Job’s children were having fellowship, killing them all.

But Job does not curse the Sabeans or Chaldeans or impersonal “natural forces,” that brought destruction to Job’s household. 

Job turns to the heavens. Job 1:21 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.”

But he knows who is behind it all. Who governs it all? Who is in control of the seemingly chaotic forces at work to trouble him?

Job reasons further in Job 5:6–9 For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. “As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.

Job does not blame God but knows that God is the one to whom he must turn. God is the one to whom he must commit his cause. 

Job knows that man was born to trouble. And that trouble is not mere sport or sadistic torture. It is the discipline and instruction a father gives His children.

Job 5:17–18 “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal. 

Job knows that evil exists in the world. He knows that he is enduring suffering. But he does not rail against the forces at work against Him, because he knows that those forces are the glue stick in God’s loving hand. The switch of sanctification.  

Eventually, God appears in a whirlwind to silence Job and his foolish counselors. Job’s questions are answered in the revelatory appearance of God. And Job responds in the appropriate way. 

Job 42:2–6 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 

Repent and believe. Appeal to Heaven. Do not revile your enemies. They can go only as far as God has allowed.

C. S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” 

Lastly, Job felt that tension alive throughout the OT. Job knew that his cause was just because of his faith in God, but how could he go into the courts of the Lord and plead his cause? God does appear and it frightens Job into awed silence. 

Job needed an advocate. Job 9:32–35 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together. There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both. Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.

Job needed to reconcile the terrifying unapproachable Holiness of God and God’s justice and righteousness with his own fallen, earthly need. Who can rise up to Heaven? How can Heaven come down to man? 

What Job longed for was Jesus. Jesus reconciles all the tension. He is the God-man, an advocate whose courtroom record is perfect. He has never lost a case. 

We have what Job longed for. An advocate. The one who can lay a hand upon us and God. The one who takes away the rod of reproach. The one who suffered unto death for the joy set before Him. 

The one who showed us that trouble is purifying and perfecting. The one who showed us the way back to the father. The way of being taken up into the whirlwind. 

Let us with Peter exercise this divine wisdom. Acts 4:27–30 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 

In Jesus all our suffering, all the world’s injustice, all trouble is reconciled. He pleased our case. He is our righteousness. He is our voice. Let us not shrink back form the rod of discipline. He didn’t. Let us not revile our enemies. Let us not be surprised by fiery trials. Let us repent and believe on Jesus Christ. Let us appeal to heaven. To our advocate. Fore has turned his ready ear toward us. 

Author: Michael Kloss

There is a Sunday conscience, as well as a Sunday coat; and those who make religion a secondary concern put the coat and conscience carefully by to put on only once a week. - Charles Dickens

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