Sunday night was our next session in leadership training. What a great night. Thank you, Rick, for teaching with humility & insight. One of the things that Rick shared was a portion of Scripture from Job which I am still thinking upon today.
Amazing to me how just the mention of Job’s name causes us to shudder. Who wants to remember the suffering & the loss? Who wants to think that God could be preparing us for some of the same? But I think we can often miss some of the other lessons from Job.
Let me introduce you to Job:
“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless & upright; he feared God & shunned evil.” (Job 1:1 NIV).
Did you catch that description of Job? He was blameless, upright, feared God, shunned evil. There can be no better character reference given on a person. What does this description mean about Job?
Blamelessness referred to the absence of certain observable sinful acts. The author of the book was thinking of honesty, marital fidelity, just treatment of servants, generosity to the poor, and the avoidance of idolatry.
Job feared God……
The picture here is not of a man cowering before an offended diety but of a devout man who respects God & obeys his laws.
Job feared God & shunned evil….
Good people turn to God & away from evil. The good life involves not only the doing of right but also the avoidance of wrong.
(All quotes from the New American Commentary on Job page 48)
We see here a description of a man of integrity, wholeness, completeness. The man Job was on the outside was truly the man Job was on the inside.
We all know the story of Job. How Satan comes & through a series of tragic events strips him of his family, his children, his home, his cattle, his servants, his wealth. He loses it all. Yet the amazing thing is that who he is, his integrity, remains intact throughout it all.
Integrity is formed in Job way before the events. The events only cause who Job is to surface even more. This has made me realize something……
If I am going to walk in God’s way & honor Him with my life, it is going to take being pro-active in my relationship with Him. Godliness is not going to happen in my life, or yours, by accident.
Our lives are like teabags –
When placed in a cup & hot water is added, the flavor comes out. The true flavor of the tea. But the flavor was there in the bag all along.
The time for each of us to be working on our character, our integrity, & our relationship with God is today. Who we are in & through Christ is what will carry us through times of hardship.
There is an interesting verse at the very end of Job.
“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (Job 42:12 NIV)
It goes on to list all that God restores & gives to Job. I cannot help but wonder about the blessing of God on his life. You see that blessing came AFTER Job prayed for his friends (verse 10). Job was not looking for retribution from God. I read that God blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first & cannot help but wonder if that does not mean that Job was more productive, had more influence with people due to his integrity, was respected & honored more. I cannot help but wonder if he achieved more good for God in the latter part of his years than in the beginning of his life.
But it all started because “this man was blameless & upright; he feared God & shunned evil.”
May I be the same as Job – developing character each & every day.