What is my Happily Ever After?

Posted: 06/21/2011 in Musings, Worship
Tags: , , , ,

Continued Thoughts on Job

Over the past couple of weeks I have been preparing for a sermon on the book of Job. While I finally have a direction I am going with my sermon, this morning I was mulling over some of my thoughts and praying about what I’ve learned

Job is a tough book to get through, and for ages I thought the point/focus was that God blessed Job with twice as much stuff after he endured all of the trials. That he passed the test and was rewarded. I think many times in the past I have looked at this book and tended to see/believe the following is happening in this story:

Job = Good Man => God in Control = Blesses him with Stuff

Job = Good Man => Satan in Control = Attacks the Stuff

Job = Steadfast Good Man, who endured when “God not in Control” => God Blesses More

One of the main problems with this is that you have this paradigm of God and Satan constantly at odds when it comes to our circumstances. We can believe… if God is in control, our lives are good, when Satan is attacking, our lives are bad, but if we persist God will reward us with good.

As the first thing this should challenge is our theological view: that God and Satan are in a constant chaotic wrestling match, and our lives are randomly tossed to and fro depending on who is on the offensive. What this leads us to, is a “Happily Ever After” where we hope and pray that we can persevere long-enough for God to be “back in control,” and when that happens our lives can be blessed once again. NOT GOOD.

As I have been thinking about Job I think the following makes more sense:

God Desires Job to Know Him & Worship Him => God Blesses Job

Job is Blessed => Job is Drawn to Worship

Job is Blessed => Job Tempted to Worship Blessing and Not God

Satan Desires to Attack Job => ALWAYS Needs God’s Permission

God Desires Job to Know Him & Worship Him = Job Blessed by God, not things

God Blesses Job*=> Gives Satan Permission

Satan seeks to destroy => God is in control and uses it teach Job

God Desires Job to Know Him & Worship Him => *God Further Reveals Himself to Job

Job sees God more clearly => Job Responds in Deeper Love & Worship

God Desires Job to Know Him & Worship Him => God Blesses Job

The “Happily Ever After” isn’t God replacing the things that Job lost; he would have still mourned the loss of his children, nothing could ever actually replace them. The idea that more “stuff” would assuage his scars and pain is nearly laughable, especially with the prospect of losing them all again. So what does Job point to? At the end of all of the suffering and after God responds to Job’s cries, Job says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” After years of worshiping and daily going to the temple, the “Happily Ever After is that Job is draw into a deeper relationship, knowing more fully how weak he is, and how magnificent and glorious is his God.

Let me put it in other words:

I heard once “Anyone who can imagine a heaven (Happily Ever After) that doesn’t include Jesus, and is okay with that, isn’t going to end up in Heaven.” For many of us the idea of Heaven is that we suffer through this life so that we can get all of the “stuff” we couldn’t have here. Similarly, it is so easy for us to see Job as a story of the things that he lost and the things that he gained in the end.  Both both of these stories, Job’s and our own is not focused around the things we acquire, but a story of the majesty and glory and sovereignty of God and how to put our hope in anything else is to compromise and settle for something far less than “Happily Ever After.”

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