I have a daughter who is 25 years old. She has a very rare disease and is dying. She is in a wheelchair and hasn’t been able to talk or walk for about 7 sevens. She is dying.
Many people experience tragedies like this or similar ones. Job was a man who was in the Bible and suffered greatly.
Job was a very righteous man. He loved God and worshipped Him. Job was honest and never stole from people; he had a lot of money and power and was richest man in all of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. And yet Job never used the power to crush people of oppress them. Job never took someone else’s wife or abused any of his women servants or maids. Job remained faithful to his one and only wife. He only had one wife.
And yet God allowed Job to suffer; it was a kind of test of Job’s faith. God allowed Satan to do some very bad things to Job. God allowed Satan to kill all of Job’s children, every single one of them. Job had “seven sons and three daughters.” God allowed all of Job’s animals to be killed or stolen; God allowed some of Job’s servants to be killed; God allowed Job to lose his wealth, his status, his reputation, his family, his money, his power, and even his health. Terrible sore and diseases covered Job’s boy and he sat in the dust of the earth worshipping God.
Job worshipped God
Yes. That’s right. It says in the Bible:
“There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.
Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
“All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.”
God allows suffering
God allows suffering in this world and in our lives. God is the one who allows great blessings and joys to be given to us; but He also allows great suffering and tragedies to be given to us. And some people get more blessings; and some get more sufferings. It makes no sense to us who gets more and why – it just is that way.
In all this God is still good. Just because we do not understand why God is doing what He is doing that does not mean that God is evil or bad. God is always good; God always cares about us; even when He does not answer our prayers to stop our suffering and our grief. But one day all our sufferings will stop; they are only temporary; even though they may last until the day we died.
Then, those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, will go to heaven to be wit the Lord Jesus Christ Forever.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.” – Revelation 21
Sometimes that is all we have to look forward to. Some people remain crippled and sick until the day they die; sometimes miraculously a few people get healed of their diseases and live healthy lives.
This happened to my wife.
One night my wife was lying in bed and Jesus came to her in a vision. My wife was very ill and was going to die unless the Lord healed her. She saw a great light coming towards and she did not know at first if it was a dream of if the light was on in the room. So she opened her eyes but the light in the room was off; but the light of Jesus Christ kept coming towards her.
Then she felt her feet getting hot as she lay in her bed. The heat went up and down her body and it was a wonderful feeling; a healing heat; the heat from the Lord. Then the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to her three times and said the same thing to her: “Don’t worry – I am going to heal you.” And my wife was healed.
God will restore what the locusts have eaten
“I will give you back what you lost
to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.”
And this is what God did for Job. It says in the Bible:
“When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.
So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.
Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.”
Whether in this life or the next God will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. It is God who allows the tragedies and sicknesses in our lives; it is God who heals some; it is God who gives grace to others who are not healed; it is God who allows all us of to believe in Jesus and have the hope of eternal life; we will all have peace and joy in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ forever.
So whether we are sick or healthy, rich or poor, powerful or weak, let us all worship the Lord God our maker and creator; let us all live righteous lives for Him and love and serve all the people we can – and especially – let us love and care for the families that He gave us. Amen.