The Worship of Job

“Then Job stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head.  He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life.  The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.  Praise the name of the Lord.’  Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.”  (Christian Standard Bible)

Four messengers have come to Job.  They report the loss of oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, seven sons and three daughters.  All that Job has left of his vast estate are these four servants and whoever serves the household.  Everything else was stolen, struck down, burned up, devoured or killed.

Then Job stands up and expresses his grief by tearing his robe and he expresses his submission by shaving his head (Moody Bible Commentary).  He falls to the ground and worships.  He doesn’t stand to rant and rave.  He doesn’t sit to wail and moan and throw a pity party.  He doesn’t blame God for anything.  Amazing.  So unlike us.  We’re quick to blame, having learned the game well from Adam and Eve.  No blame from Job, just praise.  Regardless of the circumstances.  He channels all his grief and anguish into worship.  Just as those who saw God fell to the ground in fear, Job sees God in the events of his life and falls to the ground in fear and worship.

Job acknowledges that he brought nothing into this world and he will take nothing out of it.  In between birth and death, God gives and God takes away.  It’s true all through our lives – possessions come and go, as do people.  Usually the coming and going is gradual, so we’re not as aware of it as Job was when he lost everything and most everyone in one day.

What faith and trust in God that his first response is to turn to Him!  We don’t usually turn first to God for the smaller catastrophes.  We might roll up our sleeves and dig in, or we might call in family and friends for support, but we rarely go to God first and foremost.  The bigger the catastrophe, the sooner we go to God.

What an interesting concept of worship.  We link worship with Sunday morning services for the most part.  We think of worship as music and rarely connect worship and prayer, or worship and offering, or worship and sacrifice.  We have no problem associating worship with joy and gladness, but sorrow and mourning?  The lesson from Job is to bring every circumstance and every emotion to God in worship.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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