Accepting What God Gives
A daily devotion for December 3rd
9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
11 When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
He replied,You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?In all this, Job did not sin in what he said (Job 2:10).
Job's rebuke is a very gentle one. He did not say,
You foolish woman! He said,
You are talking like a foolish woman. He is not attacking her; rather, he is suggesting that this is a temporary lapse of faith on her part and that, for the moment, she has begun to repeat the words of stupid, foolish women who have no knowledge of the grace and glory of God. In that gentle rebuke you can see something of the sturdiness and tenderness of Job's faith. In this great sentence, he again reasserts the sovereignty of God:
Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? Job's wife had the philosophy that life ought to be pleasant, and if it were not, there was no use living it.
That philosophy is widespread in our own day, and a mounting suicide rate testifies to the universal acceptance of it. But this book is given to show us that life is not to be lived on those terms. The reason we are here is not necessarily to have a good time. There are meaningful objectives to be attained in life, even when it all turns sour. When the pressure comes, when living is no longer fun, life is still worth living. A philosophy that wants to abandon everything as soon as things become unpleasant is a shallow, mistaken, distorted view of life. Job reaffirms that.
Shall we not take both good and evil from the hand of God? We take His joy and His pleasure, the pleasant things of life, with gladness and gratitude. If God chooses to send something that is difficult, shall we then abandon that gratitude and begin to curse Him in protest because life is suddenly different than we thought it would be? The reason we are here is not merely that we might have a good time, and this is taught everywhere in the Scriptures. God, in His grace and glory, does give us many hours of joy and gladness and pleasure and delight, and it is right for us to give thanks. But do not abandon that when the time of pressure comes, because that is what Satan wants us to do. He wants us to begin to complain and protest to God; to get upset and angry and resentful; to stop going to church or to reading the Bible. That is what Satan's whole attack on our lives is aimed at doing.
Father, strengthen my faith in You, that I can accept from Your hand both good and evil. Thank You that Your purposes for me, though sometimes painful, are always good.
Life Application: Sometimes meaning and purpose for our lives gets out of focus. Do we then give in to despair? When we choose to trust God, then we can offer His comfort to others.
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