I can’t believe we are finishing out the last Monday of January. As I am reading through the Bible chronologically again this year, it has you read only 12 chapters into Genesis, and then you head to Job and read that book all the way through. There was one verse that really stood out to me, and I want to speak on it here today:
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.
-Job 13:15 NIV
When I read this, I thought this is a battle move declaration that effects things in the spirit realm. I like this kind of language, for it’s a clue into the friendship that Job and the Father really had.
I am reading a Leadership Bible, and it had a footnote about this very verse I want to start with today:
Commitment: Job stays steady at all costs.
The statement confounds nominal Christians, yet it is exactly the kind of affirmation that God uses to build his kingdom in the darkest places of earth. “Though he slay me,” Job says, “yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).
Statements like this shake the very gates of hell. What can stop a leader who has made this kind of commitment? Not pain. Not death. Not hardship.
Why has terrorism, for instance, become such an international problem? Because terrorists already have given up their lives for their cause. They will drive a truck full of explosives into enemy headquarters because they no longer hold their lives dear.
This is where Job finally ended up—willing to give up his life for God. Only in that position do we find complete liberation—free from any temptation, threat, bribe, sin, or enticement. When we can say, with the apostle Paul, that we have already died (Gal 2:20), then we will have reached the place where God can really use us.
I love finding verses that have access codes into the Holy of Holies, and I believe this is one of those. When it feels like the enemy is surrounding us on all sides, this verse is a declaration that no matter what happens to me/us, we will not deny God’s kind and merciful character.
As I referenced a few weeks ago about Ben’s death having an eternal purpose, I have been asking the Father to leverage the loss to this day. For all the good that Ben did, my prayer is that He would use me beyond the good that Ben fulfilled here. Father, may I pick up where he left off and exceed the capacity and resources Ben was able to give the world? Amen.
My vision was a little short sited before Ben passed—work, save, take some vacations, continue to make improvements to the house, and raise children to honor the Lord with their lives. It wasn’t until after Ben crossed over that the vision within started becoming more clear. I started seeing things multi-dimensionally and how to take a concept and broaden it. Yes, I am a widow, but how can I learn from this widowhood season and give away as many truths as He gives to me to hopefully help another widow to not feel alone, and also to give helpful resources with links to frequently asked questions?
The Widow Walk, which is my soon to come rebranded website, will have answers to those questions you hopefully don’t have to hunt so deeply to find. Questions like, what to get a widow when someone passes? What books have you read? How did you transition all of your finances? Passwords? There was a lot that Ben and I never discussed, and that made all those decisions that much harder. This is part of something I will be developing called Grief Education, for the more prepared and informed you are, the more you can prepare for when that faithful day comes. Hopefully, the remaining spouse will not have to make those decisions if they are lovingly made together.
I have learned that the amount of decisions that must be made in those first few months is so overwhelming, and it starts to compound the traumas we feel within.
Job is such an amazing example of how to handle suffering, even when your friends are telling you, “it’s your sin,” “it’s the Father’s ill will towards you,” “it’s this,” and “it’s that”. They were smart when they sat with him for seven days and just felt the weight of his suffering. But then they open their mouths and started talking and tearing Job and everyone else around him down, including his wife. It wasn’t until the last few chapters that the Father and him were able to dialogue again:
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.
I love the drama of this statement. The chapters leading up to this are very descriptive about the power and magnitude of our King. He made sure to get His point across, that He was more powerful than Job was giving Him credit. How often does this happen to us? When we feel like the way the Father is allowing things to go isn’t wise, and if we were the leader we would have done it so much better? Guilty!!
In the final chapter, the Father tells him to go cleanse his friends by praying for them:
After Job had prayed of his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. And he also had seven sons and there daughters. No where in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.
Do you see how the story of Job’s life included celebration, restoration, multiplication, legacy, and long full life??!!!
Here is another story of a father that lost everything, and even though he didn’t do everything right, the Father allowed him to make it right. And, it wasn’t until after he prayed for his friends that the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before, including a golden ring.
This all sounds familiar to the prodigal story in so many ways. A conversion happened, then suffering and times of contemplation, and then another conversation with his Father, and finally restoration and celebration.
I found a song about the verse we started with, and I want to end with it here today. It is so powerful, so please listen all the way through, for a pastor speaks in the middle and it almost broke me down. It was so personal the topics he discussed, and yet so right on time.
Though You Slay Me – Shane & Shane featuring John Piper
I hope this month of stories about connection, identity, suffering, and the Father’s never-ending love has met you right where you needed to be met. He’s better than we ever knew!!
Tune in next month for a new series about being a Daughter of the King!! I will be talking about who a Daughter of the King represents, for she is Regal, Royal, Righteous, Real, Raw and Resilient.
Until next time,