Minimalist Bible: The Story of Job – The First Test
|Written by Chad -|
God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.
This poster series comes from the book of Job. It is a story beginning with hardship, frustration and hurt, with an ending of redemption and forgiveness. I'm excited today to reveal The Story of Job: The First Test, part two of a six part series.
The Story of Job: The First Test comes from Job 1:6-22 (NLT) which says, "One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 'Where have you come from?' the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, 'I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.' Then the Lord asked Satan, 'Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.'
Satan replied to the Lord, 'Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!'
'All right, you may test him,' the Lord said to Satan. 'Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.' So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: 'Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.'
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: 'The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.'
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: 'Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.'
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: 'Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.'
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, 'I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!' In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God."
We've all been there. You're doodling away in your notebook and suddenly the teacher says two of the most gut-wrenching words. "Pop Quiz!" Tests can be scary, difficult and sometimes unexpected. In school, we constantly have to study to stay on top of what we are learning in the classroom. We have to be prepared for any surprises the teacher may have for us. Why? Because we'll be graded on what we know in that moment.
The same concept applies in our walk of faith with God. We have to be ready for whatever God allows to happen in our lives. He wants to know how we'll react in that moment. Whether it's an irritation—like your computer crashing before you can save the awesome poster design you have been working on for the past 3 hours—or a major, heart-breaking event, we are actually called to rejoice in the fact that we are being tested. Tests point out our strengths and weaknesses so we can be encouraged and know where to improve. James 1:12 (NLT) says, "God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Talk about receiving an 'A' on a pop quiz!
Our attitudes and reactions to the unexpected show God the true depth of our faith. Look at what happened to Job when he was tested by God. Without hesitation, he fell to his knees and worshiped God with everything he had left (which wasn't much). All of his material possessions, wealth and family members were stripped from him within moments! Yet, Job didn't point a finger at God with anger. He didn't sin or curse God—he worshiped Him. How many of us have failed the "attitude test" that God has placed before us? I know I don't want all of my spiritual report cards hanging on the fridge...
All throughout Scripture, we read about God testing his people. Why? Well, it is written in Deuteronomy 8:2 (NLT), "Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands." In Isaiah 48:10 (NLT), it is written, "I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering."
We need to understand that God is the metalsmith and we are the metal. He is refining us into tools that will help Him further His Kingdom. Yes, we may face times of pounding and being scorched by fire on the workbench, but in the end, God will posses a disciple who follows Him with pure faith. When the hammer comes down on us, we can trust in the fact that God has our best interest in mind (Romans 8:28) and that He will never allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). God is waiting to quiz the hearts of his so-called followers. We must be prepared to react as Job did: to trust God completely and to fall on our knees in worship of God, no matter what.