Saturday, June 20, 2015

Blessed Be Your Name!

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: "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." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)

I am about 99.9% sure that if everything that I care for on this earth was suddenly ripped away from me that I would not react with the righteous understanding of Job.  I am not a hot tempered person, but if my children and grandchildren were all killed for no discernible reason, I think that I would probably punch a couple holes in the wall.  Would my relationship with the Lord be enough to sustain me through the season of grief and inner turmoil?  I don't have the answer to that question, but I would think that the emotional pain would be overwhelming.

If there is a deficiency in my character, it is probably that I lack in the area of empathy.  Honestly, I have had a good life and haven't experienced the hits and hardships that would cause me to be more empathetic.  From my easy seat it is a temptation to look at what Job suffered through and as a armchair quarterback not empathize or understand the magnitude of the impact of the multiple tragedies that landed on Job all at once.  It had to be crushing.

Job, tore his robe--shaved his head--fell to the ground...  (I think I understand Job's reaction up to this point)  Then Job...worshiped?  He what?  He worshiped?  Why??????  This is certainly not the reaction that Satan was counting on.  We know from the rest of the story that it was not the reaction that Job's "friends" were expecting.  And if I'm perfectly transparent--I'm not sure that I would have been inclined to worship under the circumstances!

The Apostle Paul cast a demon out of a girl that was disrupting the missionary work that he and Silas were undertaking.  This angered the people who were making money off the girl's demonic abilities, and so they took their case to the governing authorities, who in turn, arrested Paul and Silas.  Paul and Silas were then beaten, stripped and thrown into prison, where they were put into a cell and chained to the wall.  (You can ask my wife and my kids the following question: "Have you ever heard RJ utter a swear word?"  And they will tell you that they have never heard me curse, because, I do not use such language to express myself...ever)  I think that if I suffered the indignities and injustice that Paul and Silas experienced--I might be tempted to just "go off" verbally.  What was Paul and Silas' reaction?  They worshiped.  "Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening." Acts 16:25 (NLT)

What did they sing?  Probably a song that expressed something like this: (Lyrics by Matt Redman)

Blessed be Your Name, in the land that is plentiful, 
where Your streams of abundance flow, Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name, when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name, when the sun's shining down on me,
When the world's 'all as it should be, Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name, on the road marked with suffering,
Though there's pain in the offering, Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out, I'll turn back to praise,
When the darkness closes in, Lord, Still I will say.

"Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your glorious name!"

You give and take away, You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say, "Lord, Blessed be Your name!"

No comments: