The right to be called as an heir runs in the genealogy of families. Other than being related by blood heirship can be acquired too. Heir can be adopted or nominated under the law of the land.
What is the rule to qualify as a heirs of this heavenly land? Matthew 5:44-45a, explains this context. Those who love their enemies qualify as heavenly heirs. Those who bless those who curse them qualify as heavenly heirs. Those who do good to evil doers qualify as heavenly heirs. Those who prayer for their persecutors qualify for heavenly heirs.
Acquisition of heavenly heirship might sound difficult yet with the love of Christ it is possible. Love your enemies because love is not easily angered. (I Cor 13:5) Bless those who curse you because love is not self seeking. (I Cor 13:5) Do good to evil doers because love does not keep a record of wrongs. (I Cor 13:5) Pray for your persecutors because love is patient. (I Cor 13:4) Hence we are called the practice the qualities of heavenly heirs and qualify to be called as the children of the Father in heaven.
Satan struck Job with calamity causing great loss to children and possession. To this greatest of calamity Job responded with these three verses::
‘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.’ Job 1:20-22 ESV
What was the temperament of Job during such trouble? What can we learn and reflect from Job’s response?
Job was overwhelmed with grief. His despair was unsurmountable. The cascade of camalities that hit him was intolerable. Job was just another common man who had emotions linked with the calamities. He experienced disaster in the highest form which gave him a leeway to bring down his testimony. He emotionally outburst to display his grief. He tore his clothes to show that material possession was nothing to him. He shaved his head to display that his manliness didn’t even matter to him. He demeaned his image to unveil the grief that was within him. He grieved as a human being. He was sad and his spirit was crushed.
After this he submitted to God. He fell to the ground. He didn’t mind of his social position. He was indeed a great man but he didn’t regard it. He fell down to the ground to show his submission to the Almighty God. He worshiped God. He outrightly submitted to God. Job in 22:21 says, ‘Submit to God and be at peace with him’. He followed this in the present calamity too. He resubmitted to the Maker God.
- Acknowledged God’s Soverenity
He declared the acts of God in his life from birth. He confessed that God proffered these material possessions on him. He then goes on to say that now God has taken them back. So he admits that God is in complete control of his life. Job declared that God is in absolute control despite the good and the bad situations in his life. Job proclaimed of God’s Soverenity. ( Psalms 71:16) Job had a strong trust on God that his is Sovereign over his life.
Job as described by God was perfect in his response to the calamity that struck him. He blessed and praised God’s Soverenity in his life. He never uttered any single word against God. He did not sin with his mouth. He never spoke against God or charged him wrong. Job didn’t sin with words. He was very careful with the words that he used despite the grief he had in his heart. He lived according to the verse in Proverbs 8:8, ‘All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse’. Job had tamed his tongue to restrain from evil wordings. He guard his lips despite the loss and the pain. He used words with utter wisdom.
This response of Job to the trouble is challenging us. How do we react to such situations in life? What kind of emoyand words do we use? Let us analyse out ways and reconsider our actions. We need to hold a ‘Job-like temperament’. Job-like temperament is to undergo the grief in flesh but to respond in an esteemed manner in accordance to the spirit. A Spirit directed response comprises of resubmission, appreciate God’s control and eschewed sinful words. Job fell down to the God and worshiped God as an act to resubmission into God’s hands. He them declared God’s sovereign control in his life both in giving good things and withdrawing the goodies to cause heartache. He then blessed God instead of cursing him. He abstained from words that demean his devotion towards God. This temperament of Job helped him to earn the testimony that God confirmed on him as, ‘Perfect, upright, feared God and eschewed evil’. Let us be inspired by this temperament of Job that we try to follow this in our life. We should pray and allow the Spirit to guide our responses during troubles rather that responding in flesh. When we follow this I am sure that we can also sculpt a similar testimony for our Christian life.
God removed the hedge that he had placed around Job’s family and possession, thereby gave power to Satan. (Job 1:12) Satan left God’s presence with the power over Job’s family and possession.
One fine day, Job’s children were feasting in their elder brother’s house. A messenger ran up to Job from the fields to report that the Sabeans killed the servants with sword and took away all the oxen and donkeys. (Job 1:14,15) Just then, another messenger arrived with the news that fire of God fell from heavens to burn up the sheep and their shepherds. (Job 1: 16) Immediately another messenger brought the message that Chaldeans fell over the camels and drove them away. (Job 1: 17) Then the fourth messenger cam with the news that a might wind struck the house of Job’s elder son. As a result the roof gave way and collapsed on his children. All of Job’s children were died instantly.
A canopy of calamity covered Job. When we look at the level of destruction the grief would undoubtedly be unbearable. Job who was the greatest of all men lost all his possession in a single day. Above all he lost all his ten children in one go. This is indeed a terrible loss.
We might face similar situations in our life. We could loss hard earned material possession. We could lose the love of a family member. We could witness the sickness of a beloved. We might be thinking that this could be the highest possible level of calamity that could attack me. But cheer up, we have an example “Mr. Job”. The Bible clearly tells us that. ‘The level of calamity that sticks us can’t be an excuse for our misbehavior”. Job was well behaved despite his heavy loss. In James 5: 7-11 we read as,
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
We read a good comparison for patience quoted here as, “Farmer”. He waits for the seasons to plant, water and harvest. To hold firm to patience without grumbling is more important. Blessed are those who persevered during suffering like Job. God counted Job’s perseverance. Job did not use the excuse of a high level calamity to misbehave against God. We stood firm in his pateince despite the Himalayan calamity. In the next blog we will deal with great detail, how Job responded to this calamity.
We have already discussed about the character sketch of Job in the previous blog. God himself testified about Job’s character. It is such an honour to enjoy this credit from God himself. Job is one of the very few men in the Bible of who God has spoken of. Job was the greatest man of that time. He was blessed with family, friends and flock. Blessings of God are directed by our actions. Job was perfect, upright, feared God and Eschewed evil. God honoured Job for his righteousness by testifying about his character.
The scene in Job chapter 1 verse 6 opens with a round table at God’s presence. God headed this conference with sons of God and Satan. God proactively boosts about Job to Satan. God uses this very statement, ‘There is none like him on the earth’ (Job 1:8). This statement of God was like God is so amazed about the ways of Job that he is trying to showcase his qualities before them all. God boosted about Job’s characteristics. Then Satan quoted God’s protection over Job (Job 1:9,10). Satan linked Job’s devotion with God’s protection on him. Satan also challenged that his devotion will dwindle if affliction stricks him.
Satan provokes God to test Job (Job 1:11). Satan adds that if he removes the protection that God has on him and allow destruction in his life, then Job would rebuke God. Now, God gives way for Satan to test Job (Job 1:12). God gave way for Satan to test Job’s righteousness. Job was tested with a temptation that God allowed on him. Our God was faithful to uphold him through the trouble.
We read in I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”.
In our lives when we are tested, let us testify that this testing period is allowed by God. Never let your heart go weary during your testing period. Hold high your spirit with two thoughts. One, God will not test you beyond your ability. Second, God would have devised a way of escape for you to endure and be victorious over the temptation.
To conclude, God boosted about Job’s righteousness. Job’s righteousness was tested by Satan after permitted by God. Job endured the temptation and tasted victory.
Contentment is the ability to be happy with what you have and not wanting for more. Contented people say yes for an essential need but will say no for a luxurious want. The Bible in 1 Timothy 6:6 we read contentment with godliness is great gain.
In this era of technology and development which can bring anything and everything to your doorstep, is it really possible to be contented?
Competitive and attractive offers displayed on malls, shopping complexes, malls rip us from our contentment. If think, we would have sometime or other entangled in this offer craze. When we have to buy one these offers tempt us to buy two in order to get the third one free.
Contentment is the ability to feel complete with what you have. Peoples measure of completeness varies. For example, take mode of transport wherein a person might be happy if he manages to own a two wheeler while there are others who are not satisfied with a four wheeler too.
There are two qualities that flow out of a contented life:
Contentment is necessary to appreciate what you have and be happy about it. Contentment is necessary for us to give to others. So, I would suggest a simple test for contentment. If you are happy and willing to give to others then your life is contented. We are called to test our life for contentment. If not change ourselves for greater gain. As you embrace contentment we become richer and richer. A contented life has happiness and is willing to share.