Job 1 Part 2 – Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
Everything was going well for Job until all of a sudden he is hit with one bad report after another. The only reason why we know what was going on is because we get to see behind the scenes in vv.6-12, but Job didn’t have that insight.
Any one of those events that took place in vv.13-19 would be enough to knock the life out of anyone. These were ‘apparently’ natural occurrences in the life of a person living in the Ancient Near East. There was always the danger of being attacked or robbed by bandits, of natural disasters etc. Job would not have assumed that Satan was behind any of this. We have the benefits of reading the story of Job (whereas Job didn’t) and we have Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where in Eph.6:12 we are told that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. That unseen spiritual realm is not only the place of the devil and spiritual hosts of evil but the place where God and angels dwell. It is also the place in which believers dwell (See Eph.2:1-6), even though we are still living here on this earth.
When Job heard all these bad reports he responded in grief and mourning, and then he fell down and worshipped (v.20)! So no, he did not curse God to His face, but rather acknowledged that nothing happens except that which is permitted by the LORD.
In the end of the chapter we read that Job went on to say, “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” (v.21). I know that there are some churches that actually refuse to sing the line of the song, “Blessed be Your name”, where it says, “You give and take away…” because they see it as a “negative confession”, or at least they believe that Job was speaking falsehoods. Perhaps they also refuse to read the last verse, v.22, where the Scriptures say, ‘In ALL THIS Job DID NOT SIN nor CHARGE GOD WITH WRONG!‘ So what does that mean? It means what it says, and that Job had a proper view of God, and that God does as He pleases (See Ps.115:3; Matt.10:29; Lk.12:7), and that nothing happens apart from His will or permission!
Isn’t it great that the LORD has the devil on a leash, and that he cannot go beyond the restrictions placed upon him by the LORD (Job 1:12). Job has passed the first test!
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