Devotional: ‘Trusting in the Mercy of God’

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Job 1:13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

It’s hard to imagine receiving so much bad news in only a matter of moments. All of his possessions and all of his children were taken away in one single afternoon. The question now was – ‘How would Job respond? Would he do as Satan had said and curse God, or would he remain faithful and true?’

Job 1:20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

We should note carefully how Job responded to his tragic news:

He expressed his loss

Shaving his head and tearing his garments were ancient ways of expressing deep sorrow and anguish. By doing this Job was not sinning. Perhaps it would have been a sin if he had done otherwise.

He humbled himself before God

The Bible says that he fell to the ground (no doubt on his face) as a way of acknowledging that he was totally dependent upon God.

He acknowledged that all that he possessed came from the hand of God

All of his earthly possessions came from the hand of God. So did his children. I once read that we should always hold onto life with an open hand. An open hand is ready to receive what God chooses to give and ready to release what God chooses to take away.

He did not accuse God of doing evil

Perhaps that was the hardest part of Job’s test. Whenever the blessings cease to come, the first thought that enters into our mind is that perhaps God has stopped being good. Yet God cannot stop being good. Being good is a part of His eternal nature. Join me again tomorrow.

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