Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.”
It’s hard to believe at times that Job, amidst his suffering and his agony, amidst the trials and the turmoil that he faced, would be able to hold on to his faith with such strength and power of conviction. Once a man of wealth and stature his fortune would blow away like nothing more than dust caught in the wind. A loving father, the lives of his children would be robbed from them in their youth, leaving him with horror of outliving them. Where he once had his health, now his body was covered in boils, and his pain would make him wail, it would make him cry out, longing for deliverance that would not come.
His struggle, so many of us would find too much to bear. The burden would be too much for us to take on as we found ourselves lamenting our loss, weeping amidst the depth of our grief and despair, yearning for some sense of peace and comfort that now seemed to escape us. In many ways we couldn’t even imagine the hardship that would overtake him, let alone the possibility of standing firm in our faith as it weighed so heavily on us, threatening to break our backs under its burden.
Yet Job would not let the assurances that He had in the Lord be ripped from his grasp, no matter what the world threw at him, no matter what the power of Satan, that old Adversary, may have used to bombard him with, seeking to destroy his faith. The man from Uz, even in his darkest of hours, as it seemed like he stood alone in a world that deprived him and cheated him out of his solace, security and wellbeing, as it tried to destroy his comfort and his contentment, refused to turn from the love of God, knowing that, by His holy hand, His divine hand, he had a God of deliverance who would guide and protect him all the days of his life, even all around him seemed fleeting and that he was left to devices of wickedness and iniquity.
“He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the forward is carried headlong.”
There is so much evil in this world, men… wicked men who seek not the counsel of the lord but the devices of their own craftiness as they seek to set the world ablaze in chaos. Their weapons are tyranny and oppression, their call is the call of injustice and pain as they hold humanity cheap, robbing dignity and integrity from human life, setting it in poor and meager estate. They take hostages and prisoners, ripping them from their families and ruling over them with fear and hatred, they make slaves of men, grasping at them, clutching at them with pain in their hands that anguish can be seen in the eyes of their captives, they turn girls into prostitutes, trafficking and selling flesh on the street, keeping them submissive through drugs and dread.
Horror and terror are their names, sometimes the only names we know them by as they work their wicked ways throughout this world turning the hopes and dreams of people into nightmares. By their hands and through their works they seek to inflict the suffering of Job upon the souls of those whom they take captive.
Yet, even as we become acutely aware of all of this amidst this world we know that not all is lost…
Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.
Just as Job’s trust was in the Lord even during those days of his darkest of hours so too must trust be placed in our Heavenly Father now, during these days of hardship and darkness, during these days when the souls of men are held cheap by the forces of evil in this world. Even as everything burns in the chaos that is set ablaze in this world the Lord remains, and remains ever vigilant, contending with the cause of His children. He disappoints the devices of the crafty, and their wisdom… that wisdom of their craftiness that makes their evil possible is no match for the power that He has in His precepts.
Even as the world all around us seems so dark, trust in the Lord knowing that His light shall illuminate even the hidden places, the secrets places were wickedness dwells and iniquity lurks. Though He may seem far off during the struggles of these painful, powerful days where sin and the power of the Devil rules over the hearts of men, He is not. In His loving kindness, His tender mercy, His encompassing compassion, He is there for His children in the transcending power of His grace, giving them strength even in their bleakest and most grim of hours.
By guided therefore by the faith of Job, knowing that through all the days, through all the challenges of this world, the Lord is there, and He shall put to flight all worries and challenges that are faced and that the power of evil has no power over Him. Just as Christ Jesus, our beloved Savior, put to flight the power of sin, death and the Devil, conquering the grave for the sake of our righteousness and redemption, God shall conquer all wickedness and transgression, all iniquity and sin, in this age and through all the ages.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.