The Magnitude Of Job's Losses

Job 1:3, “His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.”

       I had always had about Job losing everything, but I never noticed the numbers of livestock that he owned and lost. Job lost 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels and 1,000 oxen (500 yoke) and 500 female donkeys. Job started out way back with probably a couple sheep, and then a couple camels, and then came another and another. Job's wealth was acquired a little here and a little there I'm confident, just as with most wealthy people in the world today. Most people didn't just instantly become wealthy (although some people do, or inherit wealth).

Can you imagine having 7,000 heads of sheep one day, and then the next day you find out that they were all burned up? Thieves murdered Job's servants, who no doubt ate at his table each day and were his friends to some degree. Job's 3,000 camels were all stolen, and then a different group of thieves stole all his cattle and donkeys, and slew the rest of the servants. It was more than losing a bunch of numbers in a bank account. Job owned commodities, tangible wealth, and it was all taken from him before his eyes. It all vanished!!! But most of all, Job's dear children were all killed when a tornado hit the building where they were assembled. Job's health failed, enduring chronic pain from head-to-toe. Job had it rough.

You'll never truly grasp the wondrous grace of God until you've never lost everything near and dear to you in life, abandoned by your loved ones, left alone in your sorrows, suffering mental anguish worse than death that cannot be put into words. Job wanted to die, wishing he had never been born. I've been there. I know what Job felt. I truly do. There's no way to describe the horror of watching everything you've ever worked for be taken away from you, disappearing and crumbling before your eyes, and you're totally helpless to do anything about it. All you can do is look up to God, weeping in the bitterness of your soul, praying continually, trusting the grace of God to see you through. Job 10:1, “My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.”

Ah, but God Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10) gave Job back exactly DOUBLE what he had previously owned before calamity came upon him (Job 42:12). If you suffer like Job and haven't had your captivity turned around yet like Job did, then it's because God has a purpose. Some people are chosen by God to suffer in a ministry of suffering.

King David glorified God, acknowledging that it was his afflictions that drew him into a closer relationship with God. Psalms 119:67 and 71, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. ... It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Adversity will do more for a person than a lifetime of prosperity, if they don't quit, commit suicide or turn away from the Lord. God only had one Son without sin, but He's never had a son without suffering.

Romans 8:28 says that all things will WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to them who love the Lord. The Bible doesn't say that all things will BE GOOD. God can take the lemons in our life and make lemonade. God can take the unpleasant individual ingredients (such as baking powder, flour and corn meal) and mix them together to bake wonderful tasty corn-bread. Only God can take our broken and miserable life and turn it into something good. God never sleeps, never needs to remember anything and never makes mistakes.

God (as only God can do) can take a miserable life (like Joseph who was sold into slavery in Egypt) and make it something good. Joseph went from being a slave in prison (“Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron,” Psalms 105:17-18) to becoming governor over all of Egypt. God took the bad and turned it into good. What Joseph's 10 half-brothers meant for evil, God meant for good. Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Never underestimate the power and providence of God.

Unshakable faith comes from having our faith shaken!!! Faith pleases God. 1st Thessalonians 5:18 teaches believers to be thankful “IN EVERY THING,” not FOR EVERY THING. I'm not thankful for bad things that happen, but I am thankful while bad things are happening. Philippians 4:6-7 teaches us to pray IN EVERY THING, and always with a spirit of THANKSGIVING. Job never cursed God for all the evil that came upon him. Job cursed the day that he was born, but he maintained his faith in the Lord. Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job purposed in his heart that even if God killed him, he was not going to lose faith in his dear Savior. May we all have that same faith in Jesus Christ.

One of the most amazing truths I have ever learned is in Luke 18:1-8. This is the parable Jesus told of the unjust judge. A selfish judge deliberately ignored an old widow who had been wronged. She wanted to be avenged and cried unto this judge daily. He ignored her because he didn't care. The judge finally avenged her just to make her go away. Jesus states in Luke 18:1 that this parable is intended to teach men to pray continually and not faint (quit). Literally, the Bible says that God deliberately ignores us when we pray. But it's not because He is unjust (as so many people accuse Him of being). It's because he wants us to have faith, which is the only thing that please God according to Hebrews 11:6. There is absolutely nothing that you have that God needs or wants. He gave it all to you, remember?

The only thing that God needs and wants from us is faith, and faith is our dependence upon God. Prayer is dependence upon God, asking continually for His help in all that we do. Prayer is not a religious exercise, nor is it therapy, nor is it a good form of relaxation; but rather, faith is crying out to our Creator, a personal God, Who loves us and cares about us, desiring for us to “let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Oh how we need to pray continually (1st Thessalonians 5:17). Jas:5:11: Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

God will give unto you all things in Heaven (Romans 8:32); BUT, only if you are a saved, born-again child of God. No Christ-rejecter will ever enter into Heaven's gates of pearl. You'll spend eternity in the flames of Hell beneath the earth. The choice is yours alone to make!!!


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