Scripture Reading: Job 42:1-6, 10-17
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and sawt his children, and his children’s children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days. –Job 42:10-17
Job is a good morality play in which the protagonist after much misfortune lives happily ever after. We all long for such a state of being. The question ultimately is how do we work to make it happen?
God allowed Job to be tested and he stood firm in his righteousness as he took blow after blow. His friends functioned within the premise that bad things only happen to bad people. Although they knew nothing bad about Job, they encouraged him to confess for surely, he had done something wrong. Job eventually tried to understand why bad things happen to good people. Most of us have experienced that situation at one time or another. I wish there were a few more scenes in the play. I leave the theater with many unanswered, unsettled questions.
Farms and cattle and other riches can be replaced but any parent who has lost a child will assure us that that child can and will never be replaced. The loss of a child does often result in a deeper understanding of unconditional love and perhaps a keener understanding of the love God shared with us at the crucifixion of Jesus and a greater sense of hope resulting from his resurrection.
Prayer: Lord, abide with us as we struggle with life’s challenges. Turn them into lessons of how to love as you heal any bitterness and hate that flitter through our heart and minds in times like these. Amen.