“He was Howard Hughes, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford all rolled into one.” This is one author’s description of Job, the quintessential millionaire. To give you an idea of his wealth, he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen (500 pairs of oxen harnessed together), and 500 donkeys. God had also provided Job with 10 children: 7 boys and 3 girls, each of whom lived in luxury and ease. Above all, he enjoyed a great relationship with God. Job’s was a fairytale life. Until one awful day.
It started like any other day — plenty to eat, plenty to drink, a nice day in a nice life. But in a dramatic sequence of events, everything Job held dearly had been stripped from him: his children, his livestock, and all but a few servants. Now he had nothing left, save the clothes on his back. If anyone had a reason to complain about his misfortune, Job did. But he chose not to wallow in despair. Instead, Job praised the Lord.
How could Job praise the Lord in his circumstances? We know it wasn’t based on his understanding of God’s purpose in his suffering, because he had no idea why God had allowed this. Instead of an attachment to his possessions, Job saw them for what they were — blessings which God had graciously provided and which He could just as easily remove. He praised God for His goodness because he realized God didn’t owe him anything. This enabled him to keep his suffering in perspective.
Please don’t get me wrong — suffering and losses are painful. Nevertheless, we would do well to approach these situations with Job’s attitude. This would give us a different outlook on a job loss, family crisis, natural disaster, or even the death of a loved one. God gives, and God takes away — isn’t He good? Let’s praise Him for His goodness today.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.