Job chapter 1: A couple of thoughts

Job – the name means “hated or persecuted one.” The biggest problem in the book of Job has to do with theology, not Job’s pain and suffering. What is Job to do when God doesn’t act the way he expects him to act (the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished). The book showcases the unfathomable wisdom of God in times of human suffering. With God, there is a reason for everything he does.

Just because the spirit realm is unseen by us that doesn’t make it any less real. We the readers have visibility of the dialog between God and Satan. Job does not. This window into heaven is valuable to the story of Job and explains why things end up happening to him.

I have always wondered why Satan bothers to concern himself with humankind. You would think there would be more pressing, more significant things he could be doing rather than antagonizing people. Perhaps other passages of scriptures can shed some light on this.

Psalm 8:4-5 asks the question, “What is man that You [God] are mindful of him…For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” The original Hebrew text uses the word Elohiym, (the name for God) instead of the word “angels.” So, man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and a little lower than God. The Apostle Paul in his discourse to the Corinthian church says, “do you not know that we will judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3.

It’s starting to make sense now why Satan would concern himself with leading people away from God. At one time Lucifer, a.k.a Satan, occupied the highest position in heaven among the angels. He led worship in heaven, until he was found to be filled with pride concerning his own beauty and was cast out. Lucifer wanted to be worshipped. He wanted to be like God (see Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14). But God chose to make man, not angels, in his likeness. What could be more fulfilling for Satan than to have mankind worship him instead of God. To goad man into sinning, knowing that it separates people from God.

In chapter 1, Satan believes if he can get God to remove the hedge of protection around Job, then “the most righteous human” on earth will curse God. Satan is proven wrong and Job worships God anyway.

God is not playing a game with Satan over the life of Job. God, in his wisdom, has a reason for allowing tragedy to strike him.

Which one of us can stand in the face of what Job endured and say, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:21-22

Awe

Awe is a feeling that comes from looking at a breathtaking view found in nature or the discovery of some profound truth that suddenly brings order into one’s world. When “awe” overtakes us it leaves us with a feeling of amazement or inspiration according to L. Teja Pattabhiraman, writer for the Epoch Times. The writer goes on to say awe is good for relationships, it helps melt away stress. We are happier people as a result. We encounter awe when we experience vastness and transcendence, when we are overcome by wonder.

For the Believer, awe can be found in the majesty of God, whether it’s a discovery found in His written Word or witnessing the power of nature or the beauty of His creation. But awe isn’t just associated with God’s power. Even though He is high and lifted up, He cares about what happens in the everyday life of an ordinary person like me.

What should our response be when we experience wonder? According to the article in the Epoch Times, when we encounter awe we can respond by being more generous or content. Linger in your moment of awe and capture it in visual or written form. Use awe to overcome your circumstances.

When Believers encounter the awe of God the appropriate response is to linger in worship, giving Him who inspires and amazes us His due.

Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds. Lord renew them in our day, in our time make them known; Habakkuk 3:2

Mom’s hot chocolate

Here is a recipe that takes me back to my childhood. Growing up, we had a large Tupperware container of this mixture sitting on the kitchen counter during the cold winter months. I came from a large family (4 siblings), which means my parents had to make a lot of sacrifices. We considered this a luxury item.

Here’s the recipe:

4 cups nonfat dry milk 1.5 cups instant chocolate mix 0.5 cups non-dairy creamer 0.75 cups confectioner’s sugar

Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Two batches of the above recipe makes enough to fill a two quart container. I substituted Ovaltine chocolate malt for the instant chocolate (a.k.a. Nestle’s Quick) because it’s caffeine free. I prepare my hot chocolate by putting 1/3 of a cup of this mixture into mug and adding 10 ounces of hot water using a Keurig. Stir and enjoy!

During my weight loss campaign, I have a cup of hot chocolate most evenings as my luxury item for the day. If I did the math right, each serving of hot cocoa has 165 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

Trust

I read a newspaper article recently highlighting the importance of trust. Paraphrasing Conan Milner in his article in the Epoch Times, human beings are wired in such a way as to depend on trust, especially in our relationships. As infants we are born with a need to trust. It’s part of our survival.

Trust enables us to allow others to have authority over us as is the case with medical professionals for example. We associate trust with honesty. When trust is betrayed deep scars can result. Unfortunately, these scars can limit our ability to trust again in the future.

As a person of faith the relationship between trust and faith is of great importance to me. Siri defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” This begs the question, “How trustworthy are those we’ve put our faith in?”

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2