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"I'm having a bad day!" How many times have you heard that said (or possibly even said it yourself)? True, life throws us curve balls, and sometimes it seems as though our whole world falls apart at once. It is in those difficult times that we should remember Job.
Job had it made. Scripture tells us, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Psa. 127:3-5). That being true, Job, with his seven sons and three daughters, was truly a blessed family man. Not only so, but God's word tells us that, though his children were grown with houses of their own, they all gathered frequently, indicating a familial harmony so rare today.
Job was also a very successful businessman in several industries. In fact, Job 1:3 says, "... this man was the greatest of all the men in the east." With 7,000 sheep, he was a leader in the textile industry; his 3,000 camels were the equivalent of a modern-day, long-haul trucking company; he had a heavy equipment company with a fleet of 500 yoke of oxen; and he was an accomplished dairy farmer with 500 she asses. (What? What was that last one? Donkey milk? Even now, donkey milk is very popular in France and Belgium, and is making its way to the U.S. It was very popular in ancient times. Being close to human breast milk, it is ideal for feeding infants, and is said to be delicious. Consider that.)
Above all, he had the favor of God. God's word gives a stellar testimony of him in the first verse: "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil."
Well-to-do, living what would have been the equivalent of today's "American dream," Job was happy, and someone who was admired, respected and emulated by all who knew him.
Then, one day, everything changed. A messenger ran to Job, and informed him that Sabean marauders had attacked, killed the servants and stolen the oxen and the asses, and this one messenger was the only one that had escaped. He was still speaking, when another messenger ran up and told Job that a lightning storm had set the grazing fields on fire and burned up all of the sheep, and all of the servants except for him. The second servant had not even finished his tale, before a third ran in to inform Job that three bands of Chaldeans had attacked, stolen the camels, and he was the only servant they had not killed. Finally, this third servant was still relating the events with the Chaldeans, when a fourth servant ran in. His news was the gravest of all. Job's ten children were feasting together, and the house was struck by a tornado. Except for this one servant, there were no survivors.
Job's world, so full of joy and promise that morning, came crashing down that day. Everything he possessed, and all of his progeny, was gone. It says that Job had continually offered burnt offerings for his children. He loved God. He loved his kids. All of his earthly wealth, he no doubt planned to leave to them in abundance for an inheritance. Now, what was he to think? Did he cry out, "Why, Lord? Why did you let this happen? I put my trust in you? WHY?"
Have you ever had a day like Job? Is that how you would react, or how you have reacted in the past?
Next month, we will see Job's reaction, and what became of the man that had everything.