The Old Testament book of Job begins in the land of Uz. As chapter one begins, Job is the greatest of all the men in the East, with possessions like no other. We are told that he has seven sons and three daughters. He also had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and many servants. At the chapter ends, he has nothing. (Talk about a bad day). He tears his robe, shaves his head, and worships. This is where we get that great line “the Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
That line may seem out of place considering what has just happened. But, Job is not introduced as just another character. He is first introduced to us as “blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil.” Later he is introduced to Satan as “a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Job may be telling us that people described like this worship even on the worst of days.
The book of Job also places us in the heavenly court. Chapter one tells of a meeting between the Lord and Satan. The result of this meeting is Job losing all his possessions and children. Chapter two tells of another of these meetings. The result of this one is that Job himself is afflicted with some disease that leaves him in ashes scraping himself with potsherds. I’ll bet that Job was glad that there were no more of these meetings. I’ll bet that Job might have been asking if it was necessary to go on for 42 chapters? Haven’t two been enough?
Job reminds us that we live on earth where we deal with acquisition and loss. Where we deal with some who have things we would like. With some who are in need of what we have. With us constantly thinking that there is something else that we would like to acquire. With memories of things we once had yet have lost. Job also reminds us that we are players in a greater drama that takes place in heaven. Where our actions are noticed. Where decisions are made that affect us directly. Where we ought to be storing our treasure. Where we are reminded that there is more going on than we may know about.
We may have never had as many camels as Job (I have not counted my camels recently). We may not have lost everything in a day. We have never felt the need to shave our head or tear our robe or sit in ashes or scrape ourselves with potsherds. Yet, we can be certain that we are players in this same drama as Job. One where earth and heaven meet.