(Job 1:1-4, 8-11; 2:3-6; 3:1-3)
Lesson 2 -- third quarter 1998
June 14, 1998
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications
"Dad, seems to me I'm getting up in years enough to sit behind the wheel instead of behind the driver...."
"Well, you are getting up there, alright. But have you been watching me? I want you to know the right way by close observation first. It can be no other way."
[impatient sigh + time = another chat]
"Dad, I've been watching and waiting. I'm ready to add experience to study and observation."
"Yes, I've noticed how you watch me, ask questions and study your manual. I'm certain you can pass the test for your permit."
[nervous sigh + time = another chat]
"Dad, permits are fine, permits are great, but...."
"You're right. I know you can handle the license testing."
[fidgeting + time = another chat]
"Dad, may I please borrow the car for...?"
[keys jangle as they go from father to child]
Now just suppose. That the father hadn't helped prepare the prospective driver. That the father hadn't known the efforts and achievements of the student. That the father hadn't insisted on testing. That the would-be driver had pouted, "Ha. One test just leads to another.... Forget it!" There wouldn't have been that jangling of keys declaring success and trust.
Which brings us to some profound lessons about life.
God prepares His people. I do not believe that God would have countenanced for one bit the testing of Job...had He not first prepared him. In your own life, help the preparation process by watching the Father and studying the Manual. It can be no other way!
God knows His people. God knew Job...and knew he was ready...even for the unexpected and unexplainable. And He confidently and unashamedly stood by Job before the accuser...and "staked" His own integrity on His man. In your own life, never forget God knows you better than you know yourself--and trust Him.
God tests His people. God knew what the outcome would be. But the devil needed to know. And so did Job. Job needed to see the strength and depth of his own integrity under fire. He needed to be vindicated in the face of the doubter. Job didn't pick this test. Job couldn't have decided to skip this test, short of deciding to skip out on God.
God tests His people. Huh? Yes! Tests passed lead to more tests. That's the route to maturity and assurance. You can't refuse tests and still expect to reach the next phase. Just ask Job. Just ask licensed drivers. Despite this fact, I still meet people who would rather not take Test #1 since they see Test #2 on the horizon.
God rewards His people. Always. Without exception. Unfailingly. Predictably. One big hurdle we face here is our own willingness to trust God in this in the face of the apparent exception. Can I trust Him...though He slay me? Can I see even in death the righteous reward of a loving Father?
By the way, did it occur to you that through all this was the protecting oversight of the father (and the Father)? That's another life lesson you can develop here: God protects His people.
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