Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An Astounding Response

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. Job 1:6-12 (NKJV)

Job was directly attacked by Satan.  Everything that he had, in terms of possessions and family, was unexpectedly ripped away from him.  The Bible tells us that we have an Enemy.  This enemy is real, and he is like a lion seeking whom he may devour, and does not resemble a laughable man dressed up in red pajamas with a pitchfork in hand.  In Job's particular case, Satan slammed into his life full speed ahead and destroyed the hedge that surrounded and insulated Job.

In terms of earthly possessions, Job was a man of great wealth.  The Bible tells us that he was the richest man in the East.  More importantly, Job was a rich man in the things that matter the most in life.  He was the patriarch of an amazing family.  His children loved each other and celebrated life together as a family.  Job was a righteous man and the spiritual leader of his home.  He made sacrifices unto God for each of his children, making sure that their sins were "covered."   

In a moment, it was all gone...  The wealth, the possessions, the servants--his dear and beloved was all gone.  Horatio Spafford was a successful lawyer in Chicago.  He was also known for being a Godly man and a good friend of D.L Moody.  Life was good for the Spafford family, when suddenly it all seemed to fall apart.  The tragedies were piling up.  Firstly, Horatio's youngest child and only son died.  Then the Spafford family lost much of their wealth in the Great Chicago Fire, as the fire completely destroyed most of their holdings.  Horatio decided that with so much trauma, the family needed to get away from it all, and so he sent his wife and four daughters on a vacation to England.  The next wave of tragedy was almost more than Horatio could bear.  The ship that was carrying his wife and four daughters collided with another ship at sea and all four of his daughters were lost.  In the midst of great emotional despair, Horatio boarded a ship to England to join his grieving wife, Anna.  It was on that journey that he penned the following words:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul!

Often, it is the response of the saints, that in the face of great difficulties, that we write psalms and sing hymns to our God.  King David wrote the 23rd Psalm.  Horatio Spafford wrote "It is Well with My Soul."  Paul and Silas sang after being beaten, imprisoned and put into chains.  And finally, Job squarely looked at all that Satan had done to him and his family and he declared, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." 

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