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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions . . . and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.”—Job 1:2–3 (NKJV)
In order to understand the Book of Job, we need to really allow this passage to sink and settle into our minds. The Bible tells us that Job was the greatest of all the people in his region of the world. And the word “greatest” is being used in the sense of great prosperity and wealth.
Have you ever found yourself in a place where there’s wealth all around you and wondered what it would be like to truly belong in such a setting? Every now and then, I’ll drive up State Road A1A in South Florida, which is literally lined with mansions and luxury high rises overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I’ll take in the amazing architecture and landscaping, and ask myself, What would it be like to live amidst all of this?
Job would have been able to answer that question. He didn’t live in an oceanfront mansion. But he would have known something comparable within the cultural context of his time. Again, “the greatest of all the people of the East” . . . we need to really grasp that in order to appreciate the depths of Job’s impending suffering and character.
You see, the fact that Job was so prosperous and had so much underscores his testimony in the trial to come. If he had nothing to start with, then his loss would have been less. But by being blessed with so much at the beginning, it’s a backdrop of incomprehensible contrast to losing what he lost. This makes his faith all the more amazing, as all these things are suddenly taken away.
Undoubtedly, his story would read much differently if he had allowed his multitude of possessions to worm their way into his heart along the way of acquiring them. If Job’s possessions, his household, or even his family superseded his love for God, he would have never overcome their swift and sudden removal. But because the Lord was his first love, we have an enduring example that has comforted countless souls in their darkest hours. This is the greatest measure of Job’s greatness.
We probably don’t have the same material “greatness” that Job did, but we do have the same spiritual decision. Regardless of what God has entrusted to you, determine to set your deepest affection on Him and not His gifts . . . that is true greatness.
DIG: Why is it important to recognize the extent of Job’s wealth?
DISCOVER: How did Job relate to his possessions? What lesson do we need to take away from Job’s wealth?
DO: Examine your life today. Who or what is in the throne of your life? Is God your first love or something else? If He’s not, pray and ask for His help in reprioritizing your life.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.