(This 5-part study is Study #5 from the series, Studies From the Book of Job. You can access the other studies by clicking here.)
Poor Job. His life was forever altered. He lost his wealth, his family, and then, even his health.
He begins to curse the day he was born, the night he was conceived: “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived.'” (Job 3:3 NKJV); He even questions why he was ever allowed to live, and why he is allowed to continue living: “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11 NKJV); “Why is light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter of soul, Who long for death, but it does not come, And search for it more than hidden treasures; Who rejoice exceedingly, And are glad when they can find the grave?” (Job 3:20-22 NKJV)
You can’t blame Job, really. After losing everything, he was struck with a terrible skin disease, one that included painful, festering sores and scabs covering the whole body (See Job 7:5). These apparently caused the skin to peel and become black (Job 30:28,30), resulting in disfigurement and a hideous appearance (Job 2:12; 19:19). The illness also caused nightmares (Job 7:14), bad breath (Job 19:17), emaciation (Job 17:7; 19:20), fever (Job 30:30), and terrible pain (Job 30:18). And with all this, there were no hospitals, trained medical professionals, or drugs to help alleviate his pain! Yes, he certainly had reason to curse the day he was born!
Have you ever wondered why the devil chose to attack these aspects of Job’s life? For that matter, just how does the devil choose what aspects of our lives he will attack?
The answer can be found in Job 3:25: “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”
We see here that the devil attacked the areas of Job’s greatest fear!
But why would Job so desperately fear an attack on his wealth, his health, and his family? Why would the loss of these things bring him to the state that he wished he had never been born?
Because the devil chose to attack his treasures!
You see, whatever it is we value the most will become the source of our greatest fear! If we value our children above all else, then we will live in fear for their safety, their health, their very lives. If we value our wealth above all else, then we will live in fear of being robbed, of having our identity stolen, of a crash of the stock market! Whatever it is we fear the most will serve as a gauge of where our treasure lies!
And the devil struck dead centre, bulls-eye, right in the middle of what was most important to Job, because that’s the way he works. He will always attack the things that are the most important to us. He will attack our treasures.
Jesus has interesting things to say about the things we most treasure. He says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:19-21, NKJV)
On what do we base the value of our lives? We need to closely evaluate our greatest fears, for it is here that we will find the truth of what we most value. And we need to realize that our greatest fears will always involve things that we have not surrendered to God! When we hold on to these earthly things, we can expect that they will be attacked, and we, too, will find ourselves saying, “The thing that I feared the most has come to pass!”
Just a bunch of supposition?
It has been brought to my awareness recently that I valued my health above all else, and that losing my health was one of my most blatant fears. Guess what? That same year, I suffered four different blows to my health, ranging from severe muscle cramping, to broken ribs, to a torn rotator cuff, and finally, to breast cancer. Fortunately, God revealed to me that I was putting too much value in my health, and I surrendered these things to Him. So when these things all struck, I was saved from the pitfalls that ensnared Job. But the bottom line is this: What we most value will be attacked.
Let’s learn an important lesson from Job, friends. Let’s spend time searching our hearts, seeking who or whatever it is that we value above God, and then let’s surrender that very person or thing completely into God’s hands! Let’s resolve then to let God be our number one treasure, and when we do, we will no longer fear the blatant attacks of the devil. When he does strike, we won’t end up like Job, wishing we had never been born. Instead we will stand firm, letting God carry us through.
Join us next week for Miscellaneous Lessons From Job, Part 2: The Way to Console.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. |
(To access the rest of this mini-series, please click here.)