The Lord and Giver of Life
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)
This prayer of Job’s was an amazing prayer indeed. He had just been through a whole string of disasters: enemies had stolen his livestock and killed his servants; lightning had struck his flocks; more enemies had stolen his camels and killed more of his servants; and now, the crowning disaster: his children had been killed in a freak accident as a tornado hit the house they were in. But despite all this, Job fell to the ground in worship and prayed the words of our opening verse today.
What enabled him to do this? It was a profound sense that God was indeed “the Lord and giver of life,” to use a phrase found in many prayer books. He knew that it was within God’s sovereign power to give life; later he will say, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). But he also knew that it lay within that same God’s power to take away life. And it is when we can trust that He does both with nothing but loving intent that we can rest secure in Him.
The Bible reassures us that God knows the number of our days and it invites us to rest secure in Him because of that. Our end cannot come too early, and nor can it come too late! So we are certainly meant to live in the light of it, but not in the fear of it! That’s why David said, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life … But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:4,7).
Today, don’t live in the fear of life’s end; live in the light of it. For your loving Father has promised to be with you.
How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like a morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15, NLT)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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