When Job was told the news that his possessions were taken away, his sons and daughters lost their lives, and his servants were killed, Job’s reaction was like this: Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped. (Job 1:20) This word tells such a fact: When Job heard the news, he did not panic or weep or rebuke the servants who reported the news, much less go to the spots and investigate and check the causes and effects of the events so as to make clear the whole story.
He did not show any manifestations of being sorry or grieving for the loss of possessions, nor did he weep bitterly for losing his children and relatives. On the contrary, he rent his mantle, shaved his head, and fell down on the ground and worshiped. This action of Job was different from that of common people, and it perplexed so many people and made so many people reproach Job in their hearts for his being “cold-blooded.” When one’s possessions are totally gone in an instant, a normal man will be grieved or despaired, and some people will even have the thought that all hopes are dashed. This is because in man’s heart, possessions represent his lifetime painstaking effort and is the reliance of his existence and the hope by which he lives on. Losing possessions means that his painstaking effort comes to naught, and means that he has no hope and even loses the future. This is the attitude any normal man has toward possessions and is the close relationship between possessions and a man, and it is also the importance of possessions to man in man’s eyes. So, most people are perplexed about Job’s so indifferent attitude toward possessions. Today, let’s solve the puzzlement of most people through interpreting Job’s heart.
Rationally speaking, since God bestowed to Job rich possessions, Job should feel indebted to God for losing them, because he did not take good care of them or look after them well and did not keep the possessions God gave him. So, when Job heard that his possessions were taken away, his first reaction should be to go to the spot and check out all things, and then to confess his sin to God so as to get God’s blessings again. However, Job did not do so. As to why he made such a choice, of course he had his own ideas about it. In Job’s heart, he deeply believed that his everything was from God’s blessing, not gained by his hard labor. So, he did not take the blessings he received as his capital, but took holding fast the way he should keep with all his heart and strength as his living principle. He treasured and thanked God’s blessings, but he did not hanker after or demand more blessings. This is his attitude toward possessions. He did not do anything to receive blessings, nor did he feel worried or sorrowful for not having or losing blessings. He was not overjoyed or carried away because of God’s blessings, nor did he neglect God’s ways and forget God’s grace because of continually enjoying blessings. Job’s attitude toward possessions made people see the expression of his real humanity: First, Job was not a greedy man, and the standard of his requirement for the material life was very low. Second, Job never felt worried or afraid that God would take away from his hand everything he had, and this was his obedient attitude toward God in his heart. That is, no matter when God took it away or whether God took it away or not, he did not have demands or complaints, and did not ask for reasons, but only sought to obey God’s arrangement. Third, Job never thought that his possessions were earned by his own hard work, but that they were bestowed by God. This was his belief in God, that is, Job’s faith. Through the above three summaries about Job, aren’t you quite clear about his humanity and his real pursuit in his daily life? Job could behave so calmly when he lost his possessions, and this had to do with his such humanity and pursuit. Just because of his pursuit in his daily life, he had the stature and faith to say such a word in God’s trial that “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” His word was not acquired in one day, or made up by him through brainstorm, but it was what he had seen and acquired in his many years of life experience. Compared with all those who only seek for God’s blessings but fear, hate, and complain against God’s taking away, isn’t Job’s obedience very practical? Compared with all those who only believe that there is God but never believe that God rules over everything, isn’t Job very honest and upright?