When he lost his ten children to a wind storm (like hurricane Mitch) that crushed them to death, Job rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon 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" (Job 1:21). Then when he was struck with boils from head to toe, Job said to his God-cursing wife, "Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and not receive evil?" (Job 2:10). In both cases the author of the book of Job adds, "Job did not sin" in these bold assertions of God's sovereignty (1:22; 2:10).
What are the main influences on young people today in this regard? What message is coming through concerning God's rule over all things and his rights as Creator to give and take and govern the world? Tori Amos, alternative rock star and daughter of a North Carolina Methodist minister, miscarried two years ago. To the idea that this painful event may have been in God's will she responds, "If it was, then I'm going to kick his ..., because I'm not interested in 'thy will be done.' As mother of this child, I wanted my will, not thy will" (Foster's Sunday Citizen, Nov. 15, 1998).
Later Job speaks about people like his wife and Tori Amos. They are prosperous, not realizing that every breath they take is a gift of grace that they do not deserve. They do not live lives of continual gratitude for God's patience and forbearance (Romans 2:4). They take pleasure for granted and take pain as an occasion to blaspheme the Almighty. Thus Job says of them, "They say to God, 'Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?'" (Job 21:14-15).
What is the Almighty that we should serve him? Good question, depending on the tone of voice. Here's part of the answer.
He is the reason you came into being. "By Him all things were created" (Col. 1:16).
He is the reason you stay in being. "He upholds all things by the word of His power" (Heb. 1:3).
He decides why you have being and makes your being serve his aims. "All things have been created for Him" (Col. 1:16).
He supplies you with life and breath and everything to keep you alive. "He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).
He is the governor of all the authorities on the earth who seem so influential. "Jesus Christ the ruler of the kings of the earth" (Rev. 1:5).
He alone has authority to forgive sins. "Who can forgive sins but God alone? The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mark 2:10).
It is utter folly to oppose God. "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:13).
It is utter wisdom to love him and draw near to him. "In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11).
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).
Trembling with joy under the mighty hand of God,