Faith: An Ancient Lesson

When we meet Job we are told that he is upright & blameless. His response to horrific tragedy was to worship God.
When we meet Job we are told that he is upright & blameless. His response to horrific tragedy was to worship God.

Job 1:13-22 - The Message

Sometime later, while Job's children were having one of their parties at the home of the oldest son, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing in the field next to us when Sabeans attacked. They stole the animals and killed the field hands. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” 

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Bolts of lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and fried them—burned them to a crisp. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” 

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Chaldeans coming from three directions raided the camels and massacred the camel drivers. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” 

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Your children were having a party at the home of the oldest brother when a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on the young people and they died. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” 

Job got to his feet, ripped his robe, shaved his head, then fell to the ground and worshiped: “Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I'll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed.” 

Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God

God's Mighty Hand

Job’s declaration in the aftermath of extreme distress is stunning: “God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed.” It ought to inspire us to recognize that God is God and we are not.

The prayer that springs from Job’s lips foreshadows Peter’s words in his first letter, written thousands of years later: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Indeed, Job humbled himself “under God’s mighty hand”. In doing so, God gave him a revelation of his supremacy and at the end of the story, God restored all that had been ripped away from Job.

  "Now I believe in the love 
   that you gave me.
   I believe in the faith
   that could save me.
   I believe in the hope &
   pray that some day it will
   raise me above these
   Badlands . . ."
    ~Bruce Springsteen~ 

In times of adversity, do we turn to God in faith or in recognition of our helplessness?

  • Faith
  • Helplessness
  • Both
  • Don't Know
See results without voting

Mystery & Majesty

To pray while in despair is an act of faith; to be crushed, and respond by submitting to the mysterious nature of God is a courageous step of faith, and when taken, it changes us.

Remember, Job was not privy to the bargain struck between God and Satan. In chapter one the reader is presented a scene in which God gives Satan permission to do whatever he wanted to do with Job.

This can be troublesome imagery that is problematic; it raises issues that set off debates on the nature of God. However, when all our philosophical and intellectual wanderings are exhausted, the primal question remains: Do we acknowledge that God is God and we are not?

Job’s example is our guide. All Job knew was the pain of loss and the empty hopelessness of sorrow; in the reality of his faith he had nowhere else to go but to God. In helpless surrender, Job trusted God. Just so, our understanding of faith is incrementally advanced as realization settles in that we have nowhere else to go but to God; faith develops as it is increasingly placed in the One who spoke the universe into existence.

We are never aware of what transpires in the heavenlies; we grope around with linguistics in attempts to explain the unexplainable. God is, and we are endlessly invited to trust him.

The phraseology we use to define and describe the supernatural spiritual realm is woefully inadequate. Faith embraces mystery and majesty that can’t be easily boxed up in human comprehension.

Humanity's Ignorance

Friends came alongside Job. At the outset, they grieved in silence with him, but then offered false theology and futile counsel. Their reasoning provided no comfort or comprehension. Cloaked in desperation, Job demanded a face-to-face with God, which appalled his companions.

Job dismissed their advice as he sought answers. From out of a storm, the LORD spoke in a forthright directness that remains riveting today. God’s soliloquy pealed back multiple layers of his sovereignty to reveal the totality of humanity’s ignorance.

Job’s attitude in chapter one was formative to the powerful work of God, which transformed his perspective. His bended knee worship was fertile soil for the seeds of faith to be cultivated by the Master.

What Job expressed by faith in the sheer darkness of tragedy, he saw by faith in the bright light of God’s revelation. His words in chapter forty-two expresses the humility we all must nurture in relationship to our Maker.

Job 42:1-6 - The Message

Job answered God: “I'm convinced: You can do anything and everything.  Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I'm sorry—forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

A Prayer

 My Father and my God, in the good times and bad times of my life, help me to keep focused on the truth of who you are and who I am. May I be ever mindful of your mystery and majesty, and may the attitude of my heart be continually open to the transforming touch of your hand. Amen.

More by this Author

  • Something Rotten, Something Wondrous
    6

    Troubles are part and parcel of life. We all experience hard times that can be described as being rotten. This essay considers prayer and the Advent Season to direct the reader to hope, help and redemption.

  • God's Bull's-eye
    45

    God has a mark for each of us to hit. This essay explores that from the context of Scripture. It offers much encouragement to be courageous and proceed forward in the process of discipleship.

  • What Does Evil Look Like?
    28

    We often miss seeing the face of evil because it is ordinary and common. This essay illustrates that truth by tearing a headline out of the news.


Comments 64 comments

tobey100 profile image

tobey100 6 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

One of my favorite Biblical accounts. Great hub.


The Rope profile image

The Rope 6 years ago from SE US

I needed to hear Job's story again today. Thank you.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Ken, once again you have delivered a ground shaking message of truth from the Bible. I have ran as far as I can from this twisted world and to a point I can turn it off by not turning on the computer, television, or radio. All that does not make the world go away. I'm still anchored to it and God's Will and nothing will/can ever change that. My expiration date could be held in the next blink of my eye, and it worries me not.

Stay Blessed and thanks for the message that woke me up today.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

tobey100 - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. Job's story is always fascinating to me.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

The Rope - You're welcome. Be assured we all have days like that. Peace, blessings & encouragement to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

50 Caliber - Thanks for the visit. I always enjoy your comments because they're from your heart.

"My expiration date could be held in the next blink of my eye . . ." What a great way to put it. Blessings.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Ken, An outstanding hub. I think Job is one of the books of the Bible that is difficult for some people to understand and you explained it in a beautiful way. "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, Pamela. Your words are always appreciated.


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

My dear Ken...Messages are there to be delivered! In a world of confusion and turmoil where mankind seems to have forgotten the value of what we have been given by the Almighty, this reminder comes as an eye opener and a word of caution to those who think life is just fun and games. Faith cannot be substituted...I read once: "When you lose your faith there`s nothing left to lose" We may not find many modern day "Jobs". But just faith like "a little grain of mustard" can change our lives for the better, and in no time!

Great Hub!

Warm greetings and blessings to you, my friend!

Al


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Mistique - Thank you for your always thoughtful observations. Very much appreciated. Peace & blessings to you.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

Excellent hub Ken!!!

I am reminded that it is written to us that it is a privilege to believe in Messiah, and in the same verse it says it is a privilege to suffer with Him and for Him.

Knowing that the fellowship of His suffering is the ONLY thing that leads to the power of HIS RESURRECTION !!!

If and when I am directed to start a congregation, I shall call it "THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING"

I am not sure just how many would darken the doorway.

~Shalom


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

quietnessandtrust - Thank you for your kind words of affirmation. And thoughtful comments. Blessings to you.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

P.S. I hope you got my email Ken. =)


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Hi Ken. Thanks for your hub. I voted # 1 the faith, but I am sometimes different. See Job's book is oldest book in the Bible. Job did not know what revelation we have now. I have to reject weaknesses and helplessness since Joel said: Let the weak say I am strong. Outside of it is lie.

Love your writings. Love you brother.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Vladimir Uhri - Thank you for your words of encouragement. They are much appreciated as are your thoughtful comments. Blessings to you.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

Ken,

Another powerful and enlightening hub. When I read the story of Job, I see a man who God trusted enough to allow him to suffer. In other words, when Satan came in the midst, God bragged on Ole Job. Oh that God could trust us enough to brag on us, even if it meant having to endure hardships, and hold fast to our integrity.

God Bless


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

godpreacher - Thank you for your affirming words. There is a lot of meat in Job's story that ought to stretch us whenever we consider it. Blessings to you.


oldyeller3 6 years ago

Job's response, I STILL BELIEVE!

Good job Ken, Hi to Anita.


allpurposeguru profile image

allpurposeguru 6 years ago from North Carolina

I suspect the reason Job is such a hard book is that most of what anyone says turns out to be such utter nonsense. When God said that Job had spoken right of him, he endorsed only the comments that retracted everything Job had said during the great debate. You have done an excellent job of getting to the essence of the book--by dismissing 37 chapters with a single sentence. I admire the depth of your thinking and the clarity of your writing.


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

Great message Ken especially when we look around the world at others. We don't want to end up like Job's friends. He is the potter and we are the clay and there is no telling why He chooses certain vessels to endure certain things while others go another route. All we can say is "All things work together for good, for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."

Job had a purpose to serve and the Lord knew He could do it.

I'm also glad the Lord has you serving yours and writing these inspiring hubs. Peace.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Daniele...I mean old yeller. :>)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

allpurposeguru - Thank you for your kind & generous words. They are greatly appreciated. Blessings to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

AM - Thanks for stopping in & sharing good comments. We are indeed the clay, even when we chafe against the potter's hands. Peace & blessings.


christinecook profile image

christinecook 6 years ago

I too love this story though it frightens me as well.To think how difficult this must of been for Job,yet he remained submitted to God.I pray that I to could be submitted as Job was to our Lord.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I love this story too. In my eyes I have not held up as Job. His faith has seemed out of my reach at times. I will try to be better and stronger. Thanks for a great hub!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Christine - Thanks for the honest comments. Yes, I too pray for Job's kind of faith. Blessings & encouragement to you.

Mickey Dee - You're welcome. Job's story is a great one. At times his kind of faith does seem out to me also & that is when I cling to grace & press on. Blessings.


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 6 years ago from Canada

Notice something very unique here in Job42.10 "And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he PRAYED for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before." In praying for his FRIENDS, he received twice from the Lord. Dare say we could have the preseverence for one thing but that we would actually intercede for those who were not very good comforters.

We may question the Lord as to why he would allow this kind of thing to happen, seemily such a harsh allowance of trials, but he KNEW Jobs heart and proved it. James 5.10-12 is the only one who uses this illustration refering to Jobs endurance, that we should be encouraged.

i for one would not handle such a trial with the same vigor; thank God for his mercy. Lots to think about.

thx Ken.


Hannah Ministries profile image

Hannah Ministries 6 years ago

I really wonder about Job. Would I be able to do this? When my first husband and my first baby died i had a chance to put in practice some of Job. But I'm not sure I passed the test like Job did! However God is good that I stay faithfull has much more to do with HIS love for me than with how a good christian I was/am. Bless you for this great HUB.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

saintatlarge - Thank you for those thought-provoking comments. His friends trashed him, yet in obedience to God, Job prayed for them. "My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer..." An amazing testimony.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Hannah Ministries - Your words of testimony are a blessing to you. May God continue to strengthen & sustain your faith, & may your ministry be exceedingly blessed. Peace & much encouragement to you.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

It is always good for the saints of God to be reminded of the extreme value of faith. In fact, how we live our lives and cope with life's many challenges, really depends upon our the quality of our faith.

One of the unique characteristics about the story of Job is that once he took his eye off of himself, listening to the opinions of others, and his plight, and was able to listen to God, things changed for him.

I think one of our biggest problems is looking at the world, our circumstance, our family, our church, other people, other nations, and NOT at God, through Jesus Christ. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink. Until then, he was actually walking on water. We void miracles by looking at everything except Jesus.

Thank you for this hub Ken that confronts us with the necessity of Faith to effective Christian living. We must remember that appearances are not true reality.

Forever His,


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

RevLady - Thank you for your always thoughtful & helpful comments. Peace & blessings to you.


Challah1202 6 years ago

I sometimes identify with Job. I pray hat I can also identify with his attitude of acceptance. It took him a while to get to the place where he did not defend himself, but so it is with me. Sometimes I have told God that we had alread dealt with an issue, but he thought there was more I needed to learn, a deeper exploration. So we did that one again. Yes, I identify with Job.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Hello Ken another excellent hub. I have always been very confused about the book of Job. I guess I was confused as to why God would put this man through so much. I have since understood many things especially the faith that this man had, not too many people would be able to endore. Thanks for this hub.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Challah1202 - Thank you for the visit & for sharing your comments. Peace & blessings to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

ladyjane - Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Very much appreciated. Blessings to you.


Linda Myshrall 6 years ago

Ken, What a great way to start my day! Sometimes we get our answers and encouragement from the most indirect sources... I found mine today in your discussion of Job's story. Thanks, Linda


Timely profile image

Timely 6 years ago from United States

The Lord has convinced me there is a reason for everything. Though at times my stubborn self would not allow me to see. He has the plan, we just need to be open and follow the blueprint. So when in void of understanding, I repeat the passage, "Be still and know that I am God."

Your hub is wonderful and truly inspired from above. In times of trial when our focus gets clouded, understanding Jobs faith and Gods promise is a great encouragement. You just gave it simple clarity.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Linda - Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that this was an encouraging read for you. Blessings & peace.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Timely - Thank you for your encouraging words. I suspect we all have a stubborn streak in us. In some (like me) it may be more pronounced, but we all have it. Be blessed & encouraged.


Patti1221 profile image

Patti1221 6 years ago from New Bedford

Like"the rope" I needed to hear that message today. Beautifully done. Thank you


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Patti1221 - You're welcome. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad this touched your heart. Blessings to you.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Job..A favorite role model, book in the Bible, this account...everything about JOB screams pay attention! thanks for sharing, Ken, and the important information!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Ann Nonymous - Yes, Job is a powerful book. Glad you enjoyed this rendering of it. Peace & blessings to you.


navasparammal 6 years ago

good


peptalk profile image

peptalk 6 years ago

Thank you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, navasparammal.

You're welcome, peptalk.


tobey100 profile image

tobey100 6 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

Ken, had to come back and read a second time. Still excellent. Thanks


Unchained Grace profile image

Unchained Grace 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Ken, by far, Job's story is the quintessential saga of faith and obedience. Can we still praise Him when our money is funny and our change is strange? It is power. That unmistakable tractorbeam when we lock on to God and do not waver. He pulls us right through those "black holes" in our lives. Joshua 24:15.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Unchained Grace - Amen. Blessings to you.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

hi ken, I never understood Job. Job well done. Fantastic!! Oh my, can I relate. It is on my knees, I surrender my all. I know on my own I am weak and run riot. I am grateful beyond measure I do not like going there. When I go there I am for ever thankful I raise up quicker, because God is good and picks me up. I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me. I count on hearing from him. He is Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow he is all and everywhere. Praise the Lord. Your writing is like a fine wine, smooth. It is filled with the loving works of the Holy Spirit present in you. I thank God I stopped in tonight. I needed to hear each word. There are no mistakes in Gods world. Hugs+ + +


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

skye2day - Good to see you again. Thanks for stopping in & for sharing words of testimony. Much appreciated. Blessings to you.


bonny2010 profile image

bonny2010 6 years ago from outback queensland

I enjoyed this hub - I know a lot of people who would do well to study Job - provided of course it was presented like you did -t


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

The message is quite loud and clear. But the question is that could we be saved at all in the end to hoist the last flag of humanity or we will end up foreseeing the long run of catastrophe?


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

bonny2010 - I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your kind words. Peace to you.

Moulik Mistry - Thank you for your visit & question. It is indeed the question we each must answer in our lives. Blessings to you.


Cathi Sutton profile image

Cathi Sutton 6 years ago

Thank you for the beautiful lesson.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Cathi - You're welcome. Thank you for visiting. Peace & blessings to you.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Inspirational and wonderful. Job's faith made him whole in the end and God knew his heart. I believe that God is patient with us a lot of the time because He knows our heart. Thanks for sharing.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

lctodd1947 - You're welcome. Thank you for the thoughtful comments. Peace & blessings to you.


LeslieAdrienne profile image

LeslieAdrienne 6 years ago from Georgia

Thanks for the reminder.....


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

LeslieAdrienne - You're welcome. Thanks for visiting.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Ken, this is a great passage and Job was one who certainly had the faith and confidence and bore his burden. Oh how I would like to be more like Job and I pray for his steady walk in faith. I know that God knows best for us and that He will deliver us in due season. Great write and God Bless...


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

lctodd1947 - Thank you. Job's story is a timeless lesson. Peace & blessings to you.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

Actually God restored Jobs losses and gave him "twice" as much as he had before. Seeing what Job endured many may think-so what!

"We are never aware of what transpires in the heavenlies; we grope around with linguistics in attempts to explain the unexplainable. God is, and we are endlessly invited to trust him."

I believe alot of bad theology is started when we try to get answers when God isn't giving any. Job knew one thing that kept him from losing his mind; and that is that God is good, although this notion was being tested to the limit.

"I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!"

There's nothing that can replace an experience with God, in order to know Him better. You can hear others speak about Him or you can read about Him but ultimately our belief should lead us to an experience with Him. Pain is a great purifier, it brings us to the end of ourselves and our silly preconcieved notions and puts us in the place where we are ready to listen.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working