Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Job--A Prototype of Christ

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

There is a phenomenon that it seems every sincere believer in Christ must experience. You must learn what to do when it seems that God is against you. Many in the Bible had to wrestle with that problem. One of the most prominent is Job (he has a whole book). Everything went against him: he lost his children, his possessions, his health, his friends, and even his dear wife turned against him and told him to "curse God and die."

His case was so serious that he became a prototype of Christ, who also had to go through the experience of feeling forsaken by God. As He hung on His cross, everything was against Him: His friends had all forsaken Him, one had betrayed Him, another had denied Him, and His own people were crucifying Him, and it appeared as though the Father in heaven had turned a deaf ear against Him.

And there have been others, all through history: Abel served God faithfully, yet had to endure murder for it by his own brother; Noah had to endure 120 years of unrelenting sunshine without a cloud in the sky because he believed what God had said--a rain flood was coming. Finally, in that last week as he and his family were inside the ark, his faith was severely tried as the people outside were laughing and ridiculing him--"where's the rain, you fool?"

Abraham waits 25 long years for the fulfillment of God's promise to give him a son through whom "all families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:1), and then when the boy grows up a bit, he is told to offer him as a sacrifice. David, anointed by the prophet Samuel to be king of Israel, for 10 years is driven into the wilderness by an insane king Saul, David apparently forsaken by God; on one occasion his own loyal followers threatened to stone him. Jeremiah has to endure 40 plus years of continual rejection, only at the end to see his beloved Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed; more than once he was tempted to give up in despair.

Paul has a "thorn in the flesh" that troubles him; three times he begs the Lord to deliver him from it, and He says, No, Paul, don't pray about it any more; "My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:8, 9). And let's not forget Stephen: he realized the blessing of the Holy Spirit as he preached his last sermon only to have to kneel down and feel those stones pelting him. And there are the Waldenses and other faithful Christians in the Dark Ages who served God and had to die as martyrs.

What do you do when it seems God has forsaken you? You still believe Him, like Job, in the darkness: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (13:15). A wise writer wrote, "Fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor" a human can be blessed with. Don't turn away from it.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 29, 2000.
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