Scripture: Job 1:1, 2:1-10
This week I have meditated and prayed with this pasage from Job quite a bit. I do not know if it is the image of a conversation between God and Satan or just the entire scene.
There is just something about this story of Job that seems to bring hope. Although it is kindof creepy thinking that Satan and God might be having a discussion about me as well.
Job is a regular guy. Sure he’s rightious but overall he is no one of any real power. But Satan puts his faith to a test. “Skin for skin,” he says. People will give all they have to save their own skin is a very true statement. We will work at a job that we hate because it provides some sort of security for our life. Many people vote for political leaders that assure that their lives will be taken care of. Skin for skin. What do we lose or gain by such a transaction?
So Satan gives Job a skin condition, one that makes my stomach turn just to think about, Job is left to consider his life. What is interesting is what he does. This was before health insurance…it was before medical science even, but Job did do something. If we have an infection our first response is to get it out. It is in our DNA to be honest that is why we have an immune system. So Job does the logical thing, he scapes his skin to get the infection out. He then sits in ashes as a sign of mourning, there may be some medcal point to that as well, I’m not a doctor, but ash is a sign of brokeness. And Job is broken.
His wife looks at this broken man and says, “why hold onto your integrety, curse God and die.” It is a weird statement. But in reality we all consider it every day. If things do not go our way we want to blame God. If we lose our job we blame God. If we get sick we blame God. If our loved ones die or leave, we blame God. We will do almost anything to push blame away from ourselves and put it on someone else,and if we don’t know who to blame, God is easy. Skin for skin.
Life is full of the unexpected. It makes it life. If we knew everything that would happen to us life would be boring and in many cases pointless. The unexpected gives us excitment. Yet we want to try to secure our life take the risk out to save our skin. In the end we lose something precious, we lose life. When we try to secure our financial world, we lose risk and the settle for something less, and then we complain. We try to secure our faith communities and we lose the unexpected and instead of life we have stuffy, boring, dead churches. We try to save our skin. Often it is the unexpected aspects of life that leave the most lasting impressions.
Think of those unexpected times you have experienced as you pray today? Have they allowed you to grow? In hind sight, what would you have perfered? Would you have saved your skin or held onto God?