I may need a little help with this one. I opened the Bible to Job, read this passage, and then read the next several chapters, trying to discern where God was directing me, and I ended up right back at this passage. So here goes.
The LORD said to the satan, “Where have you been?” Then the satan answered the LORD and said, “Roaming the earth and patrolling it.” The LORD said to the satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil.” The satan answered the LORD and said, “Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. But now put forth your hand and touch all that he has, and surely he will curse you to your face.” The LORD said to the satan, “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on him.” So the satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
After this passage Job is tested and initially passes. When bad things happen he still worships God stating:
“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!”
But eventually the trials seem to get too much and he cries out to God and seems to lash out at God.
Like Job, it is easy to worship God and be good and upright when things are going well, when we feel surrounded by God’s protection. The trouble often comes when things are not going well. When satan gets his hand in the mix. Loving someone, loving God, requires us to be loving and faithful even when things do not go our way. We cannot act like the child who says “I’ll be your best friend… but only if you do this for me.” That’s not love. That’s selfishness to get what we want.
Today, we refer to the patience of Job, but Job, the supposed model of patience, was not patient for very long. So maybe it is ok that we aren’t always patient either. The key is Job does turn back to God, even after lashing out.
Help me to show true love. Call me back when I fall away. Lead me not into temptation. And if it comes, deliver me from evil.
2 thoughts on “The patience of Job”
Patty – I truly cannot believe you picked scripture about patience. I truly can’t. The scriptures you pick always seem to be on point to what issues I am having that day. Today, I lost patience. I totally lost it. I am humbled by this post. I believe God takes the bad things and makes something good come from it – you just have to recognize it, and allow it. I believe that when someone falls away, He brings you back on one way or another and with that you learn, and His love for you is re-confirmed so that your faith is even stronger than it was before you fell way! How dare I lose my patience when He has been unbelievably patient with me? My actions today also remind me of the story of the king (was he a king? – someone upper class…) who forgave a debt one of his employees (employee? Or just someone who he lent money too?) owed him. But then this fellow went out and was very unforgiving of those who owed him. That’s me! (But replace “money” with patience.)
Dear Lord, thank you for this whack on the head that I needed. You have been patient with me over and over again, and yet I lose patience over and over again with others. And with myself. Please help me to be patient with all those around me. Help me to remember Job and not to let satan touch me. I pray this, in Your name Jesus Christ, to cast away the evil spirits of impatience. So that I can be a reflection of Your love. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you, Patty!
PS – To be honest, I have always had a problem with this scripture – I never understood why God says to the devil – yeah, go ahead – go do your worst! Now, I know satan does this all on his own anyway. And I know it’s up to us to choose who we listen to. But He doesn’t have to encourage and condone it! It’s hard enough with out the encouragement thank you very much! 🙂 Not to mention, He points Job out to him. Lord – when I am doing good, and following you closely – can we keep that between us? Let’s not tell satan… k? (God – “LOL LMBO! Don’t worry. You have a long way to go to follow me THAT close.”)
I had the same issue. I thought about it all night. But while God allows satan to test, He also told him not to lay a hand on Job. He was still protecting Job and He protects us. He knows how much we can take. And He also knows that it is ok if we fail, He will still be there. Just like in school, we grow through tests. And how much greater is our faith, our love and our lives when we learn from these tests. Because God has us in His hands, we are safe even through the tests. And we ultimately are stronger, wiser and happier after them.