READING: Job 20-21, Acts 10:24-48
“They both lie in the dust, and worms cover them.”
It comes to all of us. Death, that is – and sometimes it’s unexpected.
In some cases, death takes the man who is prosperous, well-fed, “completely secure and at ease” (Job 21:23). He is “in excellent health” (Job 21:23), but death comes nevertheless. Little in the man’s situation suggests that the end is around the corner, and it is surely a surprise. On the other hand, death also takes the man who is quite the opposite of the first. He instead never tasted prosperity, and he “dies with a bitter soul” (Job 21:25). Regardless of what they experienced in life, though, “they both lie in the dust, and worms cover them” (Job 21:26). Thus, the suggestions of Job’s friends that blessings show obedience and tragedies indicate disobedience lose their force at the grave; or, “as Job saw it, a person’s goodness or wickedness had nothing to do with life’s fortunes.”*
Death thus becomes the great equalizer. The man with the most dies, and so does the man with the least. The seemingly healthy and the clearly unhealthy pass away. The heart that leaps with fun gives out, sometimes even more rapidly and unexpectedly than the heart that aches with discouragement. The young and the old, the man and the woman, the rich and the poor, the leader and the outcast – death comes to them all. That death is a vivid reminder that regardless of how we fare in life, all of us are sinners separated from a holy God and in need of a Redeemer. In our lostness, we are equally desperate.
Grasping these truths is seldom easy, however. To be honest, we often find it easier to side with Job’s friends in their thinking. Indeed, some preachers of a faulty gospel today come close to saying, “Blessings come because you follow God, and difficulties develop because you don’t.” Job’s story, on the other hand, reminds us to trust God even when heartbreak occurs. The fact that our personal world seems to be falling apart does not mean that God is not in charge of that world. He does allow bad things to happen to righteous people.
- Evaluate your life not on the basis of your blessings, but on the basis of your trust and faith in God.
- Sometimes it is difficult to trust God. If that’s where your heart is, confess your struggle to Him. He can handle it.
PRAYER: “God, remind me that all of us die, and that I must live for You today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Job 22-24, Acts 11
* Holman Bible Editorial Staff (2010-12-01). The HCSB Study Bible Digital Edition: Optimized for Digital Readers (Kindle Locations 63205-63206). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.