Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said:
“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave.
The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away.
Praise the name of the LORD!”
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
Job’s world had suddenly been torn apart in one day! He lost everything! How was this privileged man going to respond to all the bad news? Was he going to take his life as some who lost everything have been known to do?
The fact is, adversity is not foreign to life. Life can sometimes take some rather unexpected terrible twists and turns. Nonetheless, the proper response to adversity is essential both for our recovery and our very life itself.
Job’s response has some invaluable lessons:
First, Job mourned. He mourned: “Job stood up and tore his robe in grief.” Job did not gloss over the reality of the painful loss. He acknowledged the devastating news with grief. Tearing his robe was a sign of great distress and agony. Job was human so he expressed his pain by grieving. It is okay to express and verbalize our pain in an appropriate manner when we fall into challenging times. In fact, it is essential to our ultimate healing and well-being.
Second, Job admitted the ugly truth that we were born naked and helpless into the world. We will each exit the world with none of our possessions following us to the grave. Everything we possess is a gift from God and we are sustained purely by His grace. We can lose everything we have in a heartbeat. Economic downturns can wipe out all the wealth we have labored so diligently for over many years. Natural disasters can leave us with nothing but the shirts on our backs as we see in the news all the time.
This means we must have an attitude of humility at all times and be grateful to God who generously and graciously provides us with all things for our enjoyment. The words of James are very instructive in this regard: “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?
Your life is like the morning fog — it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is: “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. (James 4:14-16)
Finally, Job praised God instead of blaming Him. Job grieved about his losses, but he did not allow his losses to define him. Job responded ultimately by falling before God in praise and worship. From the context, we deduce that it is a sin to blame God. He is righteous just and fair. Blaming God means we are questioning the authenticity of His character.
Blaming God means we see Him as dubious in His ways! Granted, it is not easy to fall down in worship and praise when we lose a child or loved one; when we lose our jobs or business; when our spouse walks away from us; when we are taken advantage of; or when the doctor gives us a bad report. But after we have grieved, we must learn to praise the God who has the power and resources to restore what the locusts have eaten in our lives. We were naked and helpless when we came into the world. We must thank God for every blessing He bestows on us!
Prayer: Father, I repent from every attitude of ingratitude within me. I thank you for all that you allow me to have and enjoy. May your Name be praised.