4 Messages of Tragedy
Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” — Job 1:13-19
I cannot imagine what this day was like—four messengers with four compounding tragic messages. While I have had some bad days, I can confidently assert that I have never experienced anything like this to this point in my life.
Yet, some families have been touched by these types of experiences. They have experienced murder at the hands of wicked and corrupt people. Or they have experienced natural disasters that have taken family members from them. And these moments are unsettling. They are unsettling for those directly impacted but also for those who are mere observers.
And when this happens, we all ask one big question: "Where is God during all this?" This is a common question. Even I have asked it. And we ask it question because a human loss by what appears unjust means incites reflection on more than just this life. It drives us to consider the question of God.
But what's interesting in this instance is that we know exactly "where God is during all this." He, our Sovereign God, is in heaven. God permitted this situation. He gave Satan the freedom to test this man — not a sinful man but a righteous man. Earlier in the chapter, he is described as blameless and upright. And while we weigh this thought and consider our big question, let's not forget that this world is Satan's domain. That it's Satan who struck this man with these catastrophes by the hand of men who did his evil bidding. And it's our sin that invited this type of suffering into this world in the first place. So while God maintains sovereign authority, Satan works overtime to find people who will worship him during this age. And he will use any means necessary to persuade disbelief in God.
So as we continue Job's story, we will discover that he was a man who maintained faith through challenging moments. And that even when enticed, he never sided with Satan. This raises a better and far more important question for people of God — will your faith stand strong in those moments you encounter great tragedy?
ASK THIS: Is your faith standing strong?
DO THIS: Ask God for faith and strength to endure one more day.
PRAY THIS: God, give me a supply of greater strength and faith today.
PLAY THIS: He is.
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