Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A tale of three fathers: Job

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eshewed evil." Job 1:1

What an opening statement! Of all the people in the land of Uz (however many there were), God singled out one man: Job. Why was Job singled out? Was God playing favorites? No. The answer is simple.
"He was a perfect and an upright man". I'm thoroughly impressed right there. How many people do you and I know that could be called "upright", much less "perfect"? Job is called BOTH, by no greater a source than the creator of the universe himself. WOW!!!
Now, the word upright here means, "straight" in a righteous way. The word perfect here does NOT mean, "without fault". It actually means, "complete, usually morally pious, specifically gentle, dear". We do not have to be morally and spiritually without fault to get the attention of our loving God because we are trying hard to please him out of a heart of love towards him. What's more is that he will consider us "dear" for the effort and attitude! This is akin to the thrill that a loving parent receives when their 2 year old gives them a "picture" that they've drawn saying, "I drew picture for you". When the parent looks at the picture itself, it's nothing more than lines and squiggles with no coherent shapes. But the attitude of love with which their toddler gave it to them makes the parent feel that the picture is better than anything that Rembrandt or Michael Angelo ever did!
This is how God views our loving efforts to please him from our heart of love. No, we may not be perfect, but he thrills at the trying and, more so, the attitude behind the trying.
Almost everyone who knows anything about scripture knows about Job. They know about the "heavenly wager" between God and Satan. They know that he lost his home, his livestock, his children, and his wife. They know that he lost his health. They know that he remained faithful to God in spite of the circumstances he was suffering. They also know that God "rewarded him seven fold". What we are going to look at today is something very few have ever covered.
According to scholars, Job and Abraham were alive during the same time period of history. Both were great men and both loved God with all their hearts and obeyed him in the face of insurmountable odds. Yet, God chose Abraham to be the "Father of many nations", whose family tree would include Jesus and would bless the whole earth. My question is this: Why not Job?
God called Job perfect and upright, why didn't he choose Job? Many would say that it was because he was not in the right bloodline. However, this can't be true, as the Jewish nation did not exist then (nor the Jewish people) and ALL of the bloodlines of the day came from the bloodlines of Adam, through Noah's sons. God could've chosen anyone to start the promised redeemers bloodline with. Why not Job?
I believe the answer to this riddle is found in the following two verses:

"And (Job's) sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their sisters to eat and drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feastings were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. THUS DID JOB CONTINUALLY." Job 1:4-5

Yes Job was a great man who loved God and his family with all of his heart. However, he did have one glaring weakness. Job loved his family too much! How can anyone love their family too much? When a person doesn't want to correct his family, as we saw with Eli, but tries to live for God FOR them, rather than teaching them (and enforcing them) to live for God, they love them too much. This is the problem in so many homes today. The parents don't want to go through the trouble of setting the rules for their children's lives. They don't want to teach them to live for God. No, they'd rather sit back and pray that their children make the right choices about things when the proper time comes.
Scripture says for us to "raise up a child in the way they should go...". It further says that "foolishness is in the heart of a child, the rod of correction will beat it out of him." No, we are to set the tone's in our home so that our children can be shaped and molded to be God fearing, God worshipping young adults.
We cannot do, as Job apparently did, and simply live a good live. give them good things, and pray that God will forgive their little excesses (sins). Little sins grow to be big sins. Little humans will grow to depend on mommy and daddies relationships with God, rather than developing one of their own, if they're not taught correctly.
Job tried to let them be and hope they'd come around, while praying for God to forgive their wrongdoings. This opened a door that Satan could exploit. Job's children lost their lives and, quite possibly, their souls because of this one "oversight".
Father's, it is our God given obligation to make sure, with the help of our wives, that our homes have a godly environment and our children are helped to gain their own relationship with God. If we, like Job, let our children get grown and move out of the protective sphere of influence of our Godly homes, we risk having to undergo the utter pain that Job went through and see our children die lost!
Job lost his children, his wife, his belongings, and his help because he failed to raise his own children to love God the way that he did. He also lost the opportunity to be "the father of many nations" and have the promised messiah enter the earth through HIS family, instead of Abraham's.
Who knows, if he'd done it right, we might all be talking about the nation of Job, instead of the nation of Israel. What a missed opportunity! And, what a Godly challenge for all of us! Father's. lets all get on our knees, give everything to God, and let him lead us in a revival IN OUR HOMES! God bless! See you next time.