Talk about a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! I mean, seriously! I've had days where it seemed like one thing after another went wrong, but never to this extent. In a matter of hours, Job lost everything. His children. His wealth. His livelihood. And his wife, while still alive, seemed to have lost much of herself after such a series of events (not that I can blame her). Before one servant can finish with his bad news, another is sharing a similar story of tragedy. And on and on. But notice Job's response in the very next verse.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle. . . - Makes sense. The tearing of one's clothing was a sign of mourning in Bible times. After all the news he'd just received, he was definitely allowed some time to grieve.
. . .and shaved his head. . . - Okay, perfectly understandable. Again, in that day and age, the shaving of the head was a sign of grief. Got it!
. . .and fell down upon the ground. . . - Absolutely! Stressful days will bring us to our knees. Grief and pain can render us unable to stand. I have no doubt I would have done the same thing.
. . .and worshiped. . ." - Say what now? He did what? In the midst of his mourning, he worshiped? That can't be right, can it? Who in their right mind worships in the middle of such crisis? Who would praise God at a time like this? Evidently, Job would. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for myself. I was with him through the falling on the ground, but after that, things changed. For me, it would probably read, and fell down upon the ground and cried and complained and asked God why He didn't care anymore.
Evidently, that was the response of Job's wife. After Job himself is struck down with sickness, she asks him, "Why are you keeping such a positive attitude? Just curse God and die already." Lovely! What a woman! But in her defense, I feel it was her grief talking. Job, on the other hand, did not allow his grief to dictate his mood and/or actions and gave her a very good reason why he still felt the desire to worship: What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In a nutshell, he told her, "God is the one doing the giving, so whether the gift seems good or evil, God is still God. He is worthy of our praise, despite our problems."
Boy, that's easy to say about someone else's problem, isn't it? It's easy to dole out advice when someone else is suffering, but when we face the very same circumstances, what happens to that sound advice? Well, I'd like to talk about that a little in our next post. For now, may I remind you that no matter what you may be facing today, God is still good and He is still God. Whether we feel like praising Him or not, He is worthy and deserves our worship. It's not easy, but it is right. . . even on those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.