He who gives, He also takes
So why do we still protest with our words why God ?! Let us repent of this sin of self-righteousness, turn to Him, and discover our righteousness from the Cross alone that He died and rose for us! Stop protesting, because God is testing us. It’s not that He’s taking something you think He should not take. Don’t you also realize that because of His death, our lives don’t belong to us at all anymore? He made us, now He redeemed us. We are His twice more. After all, He is the God who gives, He also takes. Why are we protesting?
Look at Sarah’s life, God’s test on Abraham was also a test on Sara indirectly. If we react properly, we will pass, moving up on the levels of life. But if we react wrongly, our response would be just to look for an escape route, not trying to pass a test. Often times, our response to a problem will be like a filter that either makes us better, or bitter.
If Sarah actually wailed and died because of it, died apart from Abraham, Genesis 23, then that would be really a pity. This would have shown that she was not ready to be Abraham’s partner. The years she passed on would really show that all she wanted was a child only, Isaac. All she wanted was God’s promises to be fulfilled without caring to know that God had loved her and wanted her to know Him more than what God could do for her. Sarah forgot that a great faith was not a faith that could move mountains, but a faith which dares to leave everything behind for Him. Many times all we could see is ourselves as the most important thing in life. We love ourselves so much, our children, our families, our health, our possessions. We realize we don’t put God as number 1 in our life, but we forget that we do not even put Him as number 2 on the list. He turned out to be just somewhere down the line and we would turn to Him only when we need Him. When we don’t, we would keep ignoring Him in this life. We only used Him for our benefits. We must repent and truly place Him as number 1.
Job and his test
Sara should see that He is the God who gives, He also takes. Nothing remains eternal in this world, not even a son. And if God finds us loving something or someone more than loving God Himself, know that He is a jealous God who will not exchange His glory for something else! We must realize that only God is eternal and unless we have God Himself, there will be nothing eternal within us.
The devil’s question in Job 1:9, does Job fear God for nothing? Often times we fear God, we worship Him, because we want something from Him. And many times when we already get what we want, we stop coming to Him. Job 1:11 (The Message version) said, but what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.
Our protest to God, why God ?!, is a slightly more polite form of our curse on Him. We get angry because we think God shouldn’t have treated us that way. The question is why we can’t let God allow what He allows to happen to us. Why do we get angry when He takes something from us. Why can’t we humble ourselves to Him and let Him work out His purposes in our lives? Why?
When all kinds of sufferings and calamities began to befall Job, Job humbly and with great spirit continued to praise and glorify God. Job 1:20-22. Verse 21, he said, “I have come out of my mother’s womb naked, and I will return naked in it. The LORD who gives, the LORD takes, praise the name of the LORD!” In this matter, he recently lost his properties, and also his children.
But the next suffering did not come any lighter. This time, it was his health that was under attack. His own life was at stake, Job fell ill. He had ulcers, boils, blisters like leprosy, and was itchy so badly, Job 2:5. His wife even told him to curse God, and Job was angry with her. He still humbly accepted what God had let happen to him. Job 2:10 shows Job was still able to not commit any sin with his lips. But when his 3 friends started to come with the intention of comforting him, Job started to protest to deny all their accusations.
Job protested in such a way he felt God had been unfair to him. He felt right and had lived a godly life. Because his suffering was so severe, he began to curse the day of his birth. Job 3:3, let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’ In verse 11, why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? In verse 25, for the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. He felt his worship has failed to protect his property and family. Has failed to keep himself healthy and looked after. Apparently, Job’s worship had a different purpose than it should have been. Notice Job 1:5, and when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
Job apparently was very afraid that God would bring all the plagues and suffering because of the party his children were having. He thought, maybe my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts. His worship was based on his fear of his children might have cursed God in their hearts in the parties they had the night before. There are people who worship for something, like Sara’s worship was for Isaac. There are people who worship to take care of what they have like Job worship to protect his children and property and even to maintain his health. But Abraham still worshiped even though his son was to be taken from him, his obedience was more than faith to gain (to get) something. Abraham’s faith has come to this challenge, will you leave everything and follow Me? Matthew 19:21. Job is now being taught by God to remain faithful to worship Him even though everything is taken forcefully from him.
Yes, many of us would not dare to leave many things behind purposely to follow Him. But we can’t avoid as well that there are many of us God allowed to experience all kinds of disasters to test our hearts only to show what we really want in this life. Like Job, he did not understand what happened in Heaven within Job 1 & 2. But God Himself which allowed all this to happen was also the one who led him to come to know Him. Job later admitted his error where he has spoken about God’s miracles without understanding, Job 42:3. He admitted that he only knew God through other people’s words, but now my eye sees you. Job 42:5.
If we can only worship and serve Him faithfully when God blesses us and answers our prayers, we just arrive to a point where most of us would be able to do it. Yes, like Sarah, who rejoiced when she received Isaac. And like Job who rejoiced to see his children having fun in their life.
But if we can still worship and serve Him faithfully when God starts to take one by one or even everything from us, doesn’t answer our prayers, we will come to know who Christ is for us. Philippians 2:6-8. He who left everything in Heaven to come to serve us, became a sacrifice to redeem our lives.
A testimony of a healing, a blessing, a tremendous breakthrough, must be very pleasant to hear. Everyone can testify like this. But the testimony of faithfulness even though the one who experienced it later died, a heart that continues to praise God when experiencing a disaster, and the right attitude of heart that knows how to give thanks when experiencing loss, are extraordinary testimonies that change many hearts. Who can testify this way?
Hebrews 11:35, The Passion translation said, faith-filled women saw their dead children raised in resurrection power. Yet it was faith that enabled others to endure great atrocities. They were stretched out on the wheel and tortured, and didn’t deny their faith in order to be freed, because they longed for a more honorable and glorious resurrection!
The question remains the same til now, Matthew 19:21. Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” If you want to be perfect.., yes our spirituality is determined not by how much we can gain and accumulate all kinds of wealth in this world, but by how much we dare to leave many things behind to follow Him. Do you dare? Or does God have to test you? And if God tests you, will you also protest why God?! God’s test is simple, do you choose Him or another?
1 John 2:15-16, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Juni 30th 2020