As most of you know, this summer we're blessed to have two interns working with us here at Living Shepherd. Daniel Kock and Noah Willitz.
Daniel, Noah and I thought it would be fun to change up the Bytes of Bread devotions a bit for the summer. We're going to walk you through the book of Job!
Each week, we'll post a short devotion that we hope will help make some sense of the suffering we see in the world and face in our own lives.
After you read through the Bytes of Bread each week, we encourage you to take a few minutes to read through the chapters we covered. You'll find Job to be a pretty easy read! This week, we'll cover chapters 1 and 2.
Looking forward to digging in to the book of Job with you all summer!
"Why me?” Have you ever asked that question—asked God that question? This tends to pop in my head whenever trouble finds me. I get hit with the cold or flu bug. My car breaks down. I get stuck in traffic when I’m on a time crunch. “Why me?”
Perhaps you can relate to these inconveniences in life. Or maybe it’s popped in your head during a more severe situation—the loss of a loved one, severe health issues, loss of a job or financial stress. “God, why me?”
If there was a man to ask this question it was Job. God had richly blessed Job with great wealth, and he was considered “the greatest man among all the peoples of the East” (Job 1:3). However, the consequences of sin in this world struck Job in dire fashion. Satan went out (1:12) and took everything away from him. The Sabeans attacked and carried off all his oxen and donkeys (1:14-15). A fire from the sky burned up his sheep and servants (1:16). The Chaldeans took all his camels and other servants (1:17). A mighty wind caused his oldest son’s house to collapse and killed all seven of his sons and all three of his daughters (1:19). On top of that, Satan afflicted Job with sores from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. As you can imagine, that brought Job severe pain and suffering (2:7). Job must have been thinking, “why me?”
But then you read what Job actually says! “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (1:21). Job didn’t curse God. He praised him! Even when his wife told him to curse God, Job replied, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (2:10). Wow! Talk about an amazing response to adversity!
How could Job praise God in such a difficult time?! He knew that ultimately God was in control—not the Devil. He knew that God would keep his promise to send a Savior that would give him eternal life. While he may have looked and felt like a loser, he saw the big picture. He knew that he was still a winner because of what his Savior God had promised to do!
Like Job, we’re winners too. But instead of looking ahead to God’s saving promise, we have an awesome privilege that even Job didn’t have. We get to look back at what our God actually did. We get to look back at Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection and be confident in our status. Job trusted God’s big picture plan. We have the benefit of seeing that plan completed! Christ’s work is complete and that means eternal life for us!
There will be inconveniences and troubles during our time on this earth. When they pop up, we will be tempted to wonder, “why me?” But during those times, we can look to Job’s example in these first two chapters to focus on the big picture. We WILL enjoy eternal life in heaven because of Christ’s victory on the cross! In knowing that, we can handle any trouble we face on this side of eternity.
Looking forward to digging into the book of Job with you this summer!
Staff Ministry Intern at Living Shepherd