Lent Devotional: Job 1:13-22

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 1:13-22 (click here)
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:20-22)

Job stands among four servants…they’re all that’s left. He’s lost everything…or has he. Job recognizes that there is one more present that the four who “alone have escaped” to tell him all this bad news. The Lord is present…and so Job worships.

How can he do this? How can one worship amidst such immeasurable suffering? Job’s explanation is simple, yet has incredible depth… “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job says that God is sovereign. He has been in control over all the blessings Job had ever received and he is still sovereign over all that Job is losing. We know that he has right for we have seen what is going on behind the curtain of heaven. Satan is attacking, but only in as much as allowed by the sovereign king over all.  Because God is sovereign, Job feels he can respond in worship.

How does that work? Job’s recognition is that he might not understand all that is going on, but God is still on his throne and can be trusted. He will say that God is worthy of worship when everything is great and he will say that God is still worthy of worship when everything falls apart. Even as he suffers, he knows God is in control and has the power to end his suffering…God is his only hope and so even though much has happened that he does not understand he will not let go of his only hope. Job’s faith doesn’t fail because his faith was not founded on all the blessings that are not gone. His faith’s foundation was God…who is still present to sustain Job through all his suffering.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.