Job 1:8 ( NLT )
8Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job?”
I think I’ve been reading Job wrong all these years. It used to be that when times got difficult or particularly cruddy I would break into Job. Reading about this man who had it all, lost it all, and got it all back. What a great story. What a great inspiration, in the end I’ll get it all back and then some. Except this really isn’t an accurate reading, I’m getting that more and more as I read it this time, and for the record I didn’t pick it because of the current situation or lack of it with PUMC. It happens to be where I’m reading in the Old Testament. First by myself, then with my family.
A few observations, of all the stories in the Bible, this is the one that reminds me most of something strait out of mythology. Now don’t get upset to all my Christ Follower friends, and the few pastors who may or may not read these pages, especially any potential churches that may be looking my way. I didn’t say it was mythology I said it reads like it. Satan hanging out in heaven with the rest of the heavenly court…I always understood Lucifer’s fall to be a one way street.
Anyway I want to focus on the first part of chapter one verse 8, because this will be repeated again word for word in Job 2 verse 3. So much so that when we were reading it last night Amberly said “but dad you already read this.” Sometimes I will admit I enjoy it when she says something that she is so sure of so positive she has beat us on and I can still show her that at 10 she doesn’t have it all figured out.
These verses speak volumes to me about what this book actually is in the Bible for. “Have you noticed.” I want God to say this about me. I think every Christ followers desire should be to have the author of their faith say this about them. Have you noticed? What I like most about God asking this question is what it implies, God had noticed, and not only had he noticed Job, he was proud of this man that was a follower of his, so much so that he wanted to point him out to others in the heavenly court.
I used to think that God was being a jerk when he did this to poor old Job. I thought that God was trying to prove a point, that he wanted Job to really understand where everything he had came from. This is of course inaccurate, Job is clear in his responses to the trials that came on him. “The Lord Gave me what I had and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” and later when his wife tells him to curse God and die; “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? “ Job understood a few things, first the Lord is the one that orders our lives, I don’t say that he runs them, I don’t think that God builds a huge hot wheels track and puts us on it. I’m not so much into the whole destiny rules us type of thing, however I think God does order our lives, I think he has a plan and a calling for them and working in conjunction with our free will and our obedience we will eventually be where he wants us to be. So many times Christians use the old stand by of “the devil made me do it, or the devil is attacking, or the devil is really busy, and while I believe this is true to some extent. I also realize that the only power the devil really has is power that he is given. Satan couldn’t outright attack Job, as a follower of God, Job was covered, notice that God didn’t take all these things away, but he did have to give permission. What happens in a Christ followers life happens because of choices that they make, and because of God’s desire to see us grow and mature, his willingness to help us work out our own salvation as it were. He lets things happen in our lives because he knows that doing so has the potential to bring us even closer to him.
Still back to “Have you noticed?” I wonder if God can say this about me. I wonder if God does notice, so much so that there are times that he just can’t help but want to brag on me a little bit. To point me out, to have enough faith in the person that he created in Aaron that I won’t “curse God and die.” Job isn’t so much about giving us a person to relate with when things go south, a picture of wow at least it’s not as bad as poor old Job. On the contrary I don’t for a minute thing it’s poor old Job any more. When I read Job now I see an example of what I want God to say when he’s talking about me.
“Have you noticed my servant Aaron?”