By Pastor John Eger, Intro by Andrea Cadle
Today we are launching our next devotional series here on the FAC blog. This summer we will be following along with Pastor John as he leads and reflects on our Bible study series in Job, “Is God Good?”
Here in the twenty first century, it could be so easy to detach ourselves from a book that was written literally thousands of years ago. But when we read this book, we realize that humans haven’t changed in thousands of years! We still have the potential to feel the closest to God when things are going our way. And when things are not going so great, we have the potential to feel like God is not so good after all.
To this day, satan is still working his propaganda machine trying to convince us humans that God must not be good if things aren’t going our way. When we face those moments, we always have Job in our corner! With real-life challenges, and real-life feelings, Job navigates the idea “Is God Good?”, and it takes the whole book to wrestle with that question.
Here’s Pastor John…
Job 1:6-11 ESV
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”
The book of Job asks a big question. It’s a question that all people have asked throughout history. And it’s often a question that people are curious about but don’t have the patience to pursue. The big question in the book of Job is, “is God good?” Directly from the first chapter we understand what is happening and the question that is being asked.
The book of Job opens to a dialogue going on between God and satan. In what feels like breaking into a conversation halfway through, we hear God ask satan, “have you considered Job?” An argument of sorts carries on between God and satan and we finally understand what is at stake. Satan believes that Job (or anyone else for that matter) is only following God because of what God has given him. Because Job has family and land and means and animals, he is properly set and follows God because God has blessed him.
Satan believes that if those things are taken away, Job will see through the ruse and lose all faith in God. The accuser wants to find an economic reason for how God operates. That people love God because God gives things. If God suddenly stops giving things, satan seems to conclude, then God will no longer be good. He is looking for weaknesses. The accuser is looking for a formula. He is looking for God to change.
The rest of the book is Job wrestling with God around trying to understand God’s goodness where there is nothing good around Job.
So, while the book is Job’s ongoing conversation with his friends and with God, the story is built around understanding the goodness of God. What is really at stake in this book is God’s character. What is inherent in asking if God is good is asking whether or not God can change. If He can change, can His goodness diminish? If His goodness can diminish and He can change, what hope do we have in trusting a God who could then not be trusted?
The reality is that these are all question that come out during trials. When we are struggling, we ask big questions of God. And so, I am thankful to Job that he has asked the biggest ones around. Is God still good when there seems to be nothing good around us?
It will take the entirety of the book of Job to answer that but if we are able to sit with Job through it we can encounter God in such a way that His goodness becomes undeniable.