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Thursday, 10 March 2022 15:55

Does Job Fear God For Nothing?

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One time God and Satan were having a discussion about a man named Job who served God devoutly. In fact, God says there is no one like Job, blameless, upright, God fearing, and avoiding evil.[1] Satan asked God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?”[2] The question asserts that Job only serves and honors God because of all the blessings he receives from God.

Job was a wealthy man. He had a sizable family and great possessions because God had blessed him. What would Job do if all the blessing stopped, and it seemed like God had abandoned him to disaster?

The question was worthy of answering with a test of Job. The test was very real, and Job felt the losses. He longed for the days when God had been near to him.

“Oh that I were as in months gone by,
As in the days when God watched over me;
When His lamp shone over my head,
And by His light I walked through darkness;
Just as I was in the days of my youth,
When the protection of God was over my tent;
When the Almighty was still with me,
And my children were around me;
                                        Job 29:2–5 NASB 2020

Job says of himself in the past, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a headband.”[3] There is no room to question Job’s character for Job believed he is a decent fellow and God Himself says so too.

But should we concern ourselves at all with the devil’s question? Yes, we should. Remember, God set up the whole conversation knowing how it would end. Satan’s question is one God wants us to consider. What are our own reasons for having God in our lives? Why do we serve God?

Prosperity, Health, Protection, and Safety

It is popular these days to serve God mostly for the material things one hopes to receive from Him. Many television evangelists preach this message by using bible verses out of context and tickling eager ears. There are verses that promise these things to certain people or groups of people at certain times, but we are not given any all-encompassing promises from God to become wealthy, healthy, or safe. Although some people who serve God have all these things, it is not a good reason for serving Him as these things are trivial in the grand scheme of things once we consider eternal life. Job continued to trust in God even after he lost all these earthly things.

Church Community

Certainly, people are social creatures. The draw of a friendly community attracts some people to serve God. They may even adopt the behavioral norms of the group to enhance their acceptance and sense of belonging. This approach sometimes leads a person into a cult. Even belonging to a healthy church for the sense of community falls short of serving God for the right reasons.  Yet going to a good church for this reason can be a good start if a person’s reason changes into seeking God for His sake.

Eternal life, Heaven or avoiding Hell

Many people serve God to get into heaven and have eternal life. To them it is like having an insurance policy against going to Hell. The existence of heaven and hell are attention getters that should cause people to consider their standing with God. Certainly, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”[4] But does God desire that heaven or hell be the reason a person serves Him? Even though this may be a person’s reason for turning to God, their reasons for serving God should change as they mature in their walk with God.

For the love of God

People can sense the presence of God as they worship and pray. This is a blessing to a person because the love they feel coming from God which feels good. This encourages them in their walk with the Lord. However, this feeling sometimes hits a dry spell during which they do not sense the presence of God. One may think something is wrong and God is not happy with them, but that is not necessarily the case. Job could not sense the presence of God during his dark days.[5] David, the psalmist, felt forsaken by God.[6] Jesus called out from the cross, quoting the psalmist, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”[7] It is when the feeling of God’s love seems so distant that we must rely on faith and His word, just as a pilot experiencing spatial disorientation must rely on the airplane’s instruments to guide them.

The love for God.

Can a person serve God for nothing like the devil asked God? Can a person love God just to love Him while expecting nothing in return?[8] It seems Job loved God even during his darkest days when it seemed God had abandoned him, destining him to a miserable existence. Jesus loved God in this way, even while hanging upon the cross for our sins. Perhaps we too can love God while expecting nothing in return. Most people will never know for sure unless their love for God is tested to such extremes, but some people do know for sure.

The problem involved with disinterested piety is that God does do things for His people. He cares for us and our souls. He gives us the promise of an afterlife. His Holy Spirit guides us along the way as we walk with the Lord. We appreciate the things God does for us and we entrust many things to Him. But the question remains whether we can move our Christian walk, or rather allow God to guide us, beyond these promises and provisions, to love Him just for who He is.

Do you serve and honor God for nothing?  Only you can answer that question for yourself, but the answer is likely not yet; however, you are now more aware of what God might be asking of you and as you worship Him, listen to sermons, study your bible, or pray. You can be prepared to pay attention to God’s leading in your life as you ask why you serve Him and is it for the reasons He desires.

 

[1] See Job 1:1

[2] New American Standard Bible (Job 1:9). (2020). The Lockman Foundation.

[3] New American Standard Bible (Job 29:14). (2020). The Lockman Foundation.

[4] New American Standard Bible (Heb 10:31). (2020). The Lockman Foundation.

[5] Job 13:24

[6] Psalm 22:1

[7] New American Standard Bible (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). (2020). The Lockman Foundation.

[8] The theological term for this is disinterested piety. This and the explanation of innocent suffering are the main themes of the book of Job.

Read 57 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 March 2022 09:23
More in this category: « Stepping Out In Faith

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