There’s a lot of talk (especially as Valentine’s Day draws near) about love. About how much God loves us and wants the very best for us. Implying, of course, that we should always live happy and trouble-free. Well then, what about Job?
Does God’s blessing mean always feeling happy, or having all we want or need? That is certainly what Job’s “friends” thought, isn’t it? Material things and lack of trouble, to them, meant that God was blessing. But God stepped in and blew them out of the water. “You can’t even begin to understand me,” he said. “And you’re foolish for trying to stuff me into your boxes.”
And we do try to stuff God into our boxes, don’t we? The way kids do Valentine cards. We say “God is love,” and he is. But not only. He is also just, righteous, and many other things. God will not fit into our boxes! He’s too great!
Well I’ve learned a little something from the Italian language.
To bless in Italian is benedire. Which, translated literally, means to speak well of.
Now the Bible says that Job was the greatest man in the East. Very rich, lots of friends, and a big family. But Job’s blessedness didn’t come from having all those blessings!
Job was blessed, not because he owned a lot, but because God blessed him — or spoke well of him!
And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ (Job 1:8).
“Blessed is the man…” we read in Psalm 1. Blessed is the man who lives like Job did. Blameless and upright, turning away from evil. Blessed — or happy — because they mean the same thing.
So Job had God’s blessing even BEFORE God made him the greatest man in the east. And even AFTER he lost everything, including his health. And he was NO MORE BLESSED afterward just because God gave him twice as much as had before. Yes, he had more stuff, but he was not more blessed!
Going back to God wanting only the best for us. Yes, I believe God loves us, wants the best for us, and does work to bring that about. But the best thing we can have is God speaking well of us!
I’m grateful that true blessing doesn’t rest on things or circumstances. Because then it would be so easy to lose!
True blessedness is not tied to things. Nor to smooth sailing and lack of problems. Things and circumstances can so quickly change or disappear. But knowing God loves me, is pleased with me, and having him smile down on me from heaven? Those are blessings that need never change. Even in midst of trials like Job’s.
Have you counted your blessings lately?
Happy Valentine’s Day from Italy!