Integrity tested

29 05 2011

The people of Joplin. Missouri, experienced the destructive power of a tornado last week.  They are present in the long line of people whose lives are devastated by disasters and who can, if anyone can, identify with the grief that Job expresses when all his family are killed and his livestock, his livelihood, plundered. 

He tore his robe, shaved his head and fell to the ground.  Surely he had good reason to be mad at God?

What he voices comes as a surprise.  It’s not blame but worship – 

“The Lord gave me what I had,
      and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord.”  (Job 1:21)


Now we’re back to the mezzanine level where God commends Job – “He has maintained his integrity.”  Satan, however, is not impressed.  “Yeah, but he won’t keep going if you take away his health.  Bets are on that his health is more precious to him than anything else.  He’ll curse you if he gets sick.”

So Job gets sick and…

…maintains his integrity, still.

His response?

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10)  


I am left questioning my integrity.  Little setbacks knock my faith; the blame game kicks in early if I have any kind of trouble.  Is it realistic to think that I could have faith like Job, or was he super-human, a caricature of a person of faith drawn to make a point?





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