When things go bad, what do you chalk it up to? Bad luck? Satan’s attacks? Do you ever chalk it up to God? The book of Job gives us an insight to the spiritual world we would not have otherwise. Here we find Satan engaged in a struggle with God and Job is the centerpiece.
The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself you may not lay a finger." Job 1:12
Set aside the question of how Satan can even speak to God, this text is troubling. On one hand it speaks of the limitations placed on the forces of evil. They cannot run in reckless abandon but are constrained by God. This gives comfort. On the other hand God allows those forces access to us and that is no small thing. We can see what happens when Satan is not resisted. Murder, mayhem and violence rule and we can suffer the consequences.
In a way, it like the economic markets. There is great profit and so blessings to be made when everyone plays fair and wisdom is used in making decisions. It is the greed and malice of a few who put everyone else in jeopardy. Loan institutions who were irresponsible for a quick buck have left a whirlwind of foreclosures and bankruptcies on our doorsteps.
It’s a catch 22. We need the markets but we fear them. They can bless us and they can hurt us. But so can the rest of life. Maybe that is the lesson of Job. This is a dangerous world with forces acting on us that we do not understand. Yet it is a wonderful world filled with so many good things and people if we will just look.
And the miracle is that when evil forces play havoc then the wonderful people emerge. In the midst of pain and suffering, we can find a strength and integrity we didn’t know lives within us. The light is never brighter then on the darkest night. Jesus is never know more than in those painful times.
So take life for what it is. A struggle that can make you better or bitter. It can bring out the best in you or the worst in you. God will hold back the forces just enough to let you decide. So whatever the news today, the choice is yours. God has made His. Satan has chosen. The rest is up to you.
Keep Jim Bode in your prayers. They are concerned about clots in the legs right now. Ron is home and doing well. Phil is slowly improving. This is Holy Week so I pray you find the time to think upon Christ and find some peace in His presence.