Thoughts from Job and Hurricane Irma
I found the Book of Job very comforting to me during the loss of so many of our family members lives. This morning as I was praying for my many friends in Florida I began reading it again.
If you didn’t know, Job was a good man who bore unbearable tragedies. After suffering so much, he and his friends try to figure out why such disasters would happen to him.
The book of Job asks us to look beyond blame, accept uncertainty, and trust God for what we cannot see or control. Basically look to Him in the midst of the storm.
Job was a wealthy man whose possessions included 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yokes of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and tons of servants.
Job also had 7 sons and three daughters.
He lost them ALL for awhile….
Job had been begging God to speak to him and God finally spoke from the EYE OF THE VIOLENT STORM:
“Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall!
I have some questions for you,
and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth?
Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly, you’ll know that!
Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,
and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus
and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean
when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,
a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
“And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’
told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’
So you could seize Earth like a blanket
and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light,
brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
they’re caught in the very act!
“Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things,
explored the labyrinthine caves of the deep ocean?
Do you know the first thing about death?
Do you have one clue regarding death’s dark mysteries?
And do you have any idea how large this earth is?
Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.
“Do you know where Light comes from
and where Darkness lives
So you can take them by the hand
and lead them home when they get lost?
Why, of course, you know that.
You’ve known them all your life,
grown up in the same neighborhood with them!
“Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,
seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
for the downpours of rain, and charts
the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
the mother of ice and frost?
You don’t for a minute imagine
these marvels of weather just happen, do you?
“Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters,
or distract Orion from his hunt?
Can you get Venus to look your way,
or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?
Do you know the first thing about the sky’s constellations
and how they affect things on Earth?
“Can you get the attention of the clouds,
and commission a shower of rain?
Can you take charge of the lightning bolts
and have them report to you for orders?
What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?
“Who do you think gave weather-wisdom to the ibis,
and storm-savvy to the rooster?
Does anyone know enough to number all the clouds
or tip over the rain barrels of heaven
When the earth is cracked and dry,
the ground baked hard as a brick?
“Can you teach the lioness to stalk her prey
and satisfy the appetite of her cubs
As they crouch in their den,
waiting hungrily in their cave?
And who sets out food for the ravens
when their young cry to God,
fluttering about because they have no food?”
So God gave Job double of what he lost.
However, he only gave Job back 7 sons and 3 daughters, which the SAME amount he lost.
I always wondered why? Until…
I realized that Jobs other children were still ALIVE in heaven.
After this, Job lived 140 years and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.
Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.
We will all suffer in this life. It is appointed to mankind to suffer. It is a fallen world. We may not know the “why” today but some day we probably will. Instead of asking “why”, we should ask “what”.
What is God up to?
What is God trying to do in me?
The “why” will have to wait for someday in eternity.
My prayer for my Florida friends today is that you will be safe and run into the arms of the one who is waiting, the great comforter. In the midst of violent hurricanes or calm, normal days He is there and He is Lord and in control.
*If you are interested in more of Job, what else happened to him, what his friends tried to convince him was wrong and other things he said, this is a good place to start.*