For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
“Unsettling” …certainly an understatement regarding Job. One minute he was safe, comfortable, a wealthy and wise patriarch enjoying the good life. God had blessed him and he was highly regarded, even by God. But his trust in, and favor from God, did not exempt him from suffering… terribly so. In Job, we get to go behind-the-scenes, behind the curtain of our earthly perceptions. The book is a rare view behind this curtain and into the reality of the spiritual world.
On earth Job’s life flourished with ten kids, thousands of sheep, oxen, camels and donkeys, with plenty of servants to ten all. Job honored God and God delighted in Job— and it is that which made Job a target of Satan himself. And Satan wasted not a moment. In short-time his livestock was gone, servants killed, a lethal lightning storm strikes his shepherds and sheep, his house flattened by a tornado, and all ten children dead. Absolute devastation. Only his wife and four servants left—they to report each catastrophic blow. We haven’t even yet explored chapter two. The response of Job is mind-boggling— “he fell to the ground and worshiped.” He then goes on and shares one of the most familiar, insightful and wise statements of all time:
“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.”
Yet Satan is not through with Job. The second chapter reveals an onslaught upon his own physical body. Chapter seven reveals nights of terror because of his dreams. The entire picture of Job is one of a man afflicted by the unleashed powers of hell.
Though not without question, Job navigates well. Closing in chapter one we read: “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” How did he do this? It is in our darkest hour of suffering that reveals how we truly feel about God. Job was able to wholeheartedly bless God in spite of his overwhelming agony. It was obvious to him “what” happened, but he had no idea of the “why?” He had no idea of the conversation in heaven between God and Satan. Nor had he any idea of how highly God had thought of him. Job trusted God and he loved God more than all that God had given him. The spiritual perspective of Job is a critical reminder we would do well to give great consideration towards. There is something bigger … “weightier” than him and for him happening. Paul might have called it: eternal weight of glory stuff!
It is our nature to focus on what is directly in front of us and miss that bigger picture of the spiritual and eternal realm. Pastor Peter Marshall, of the preceding generation said this:
“God will never permit any troubles to come upon us unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.”