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Job 1:13-22 ESV

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.”

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

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Why are we so quick to blame God?

We know from the preceding verses that Satan tried to persuade God to stretch out His hand and touch all that Job had, but instead the Lord gave Satan permission to attack Job. These raiders and extreme weather conditions were sent from the devil, not the Lord.

However, when fire consumed Job’s sheep, his servant called it “fire from God.” When Job learned that foreign raiders stole his oxen, donkeys, and camels, and a strong gust of wind knocked a building down on top of his children, Job said it was the Lord who had taken everything he had away.

Many Christians apparently agree with him: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away is one of the most quoted verses of the Bible. If we didn’t neglect to read the whole story, we never would reach that conclusion. Jesus told us clearly, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

The devil is out to destroy us, but God is out to bless us.

Before we judge Job too harshly for thinking God had caused these disasters, we should also remember that the Bible says Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. When Job ascribed disaster to the Lord, God didn’t hold it against him. In the first place, Job wasn’t accusing God of any wrongdoing at this point, and in the second place, the Almighty didn’t expect Job to know everything. God didn’t count Job’s ignorance as sin.

Job didn’t know everything, and neither do we. The important thing to God was that Job fully trusted and revered Him. While Job may not have understood everything, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

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