I am reading Job as an American Christian and the message of this book’s first few chapters is really challenging me.
The book starts off with the favor that Job has: He is said to have 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 donkeys, lots of servants, and was even known as “the greatest man among all the people of the east” (Job 1:3).
The rest of that chapter records how Satan ravages the entirety of Job’s possessions–all his sheep, his camels, his oxen, his donkeys, his servants, his children, and most of all, his favor.
In the dialogue between God and Satan, I believe that Satan’s one question to God reveals the entire theme of the book, and the question is haunting me now: “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?”
In other words, Satan is essentially asking God, “Is Job’s relationship with dependent on what he has or what he has in you?”
What a poignant question for American Christians.
Are we Christians who follow God in as much as he blesses us materially and financially? Does our relationship with God have substance beyond how well we are living. Could we, in poverty, in bankruptcy, in social embarrassment, still fall to our knees as Job did and worship the living God?
Or are we conditional Christians? Where our following is conditioned on how much God blesses us?
Father, may our devotion to you may not be based on what we have materially, but be based on the richest of fares–Jesus himself. Remove the conditions from our hearts which keep us from giving ourselves fully over to you.