There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. – Job 1:1
Job was known to be blameless & upright, one who feared God & shunned evil. He was not a “full-time” priest. He had his own business – consisting of flock, real estate & other possessions. And he conducted himself as one who feared God and shunned evil. What a testimony for our emulation!
And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” – Job 1:7
What is Satan doing everyday? “…going to and fro on the earth, …walking back and forth on it.”
He is seeking whom he may devour, walking about like a roaring lion – this is what the Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Pet 5:8. He is really busy doing this everyday.
If Satan is busy doing this everyday, we need to be busy on our guard. We need to take offensive measures against him as our best defense strategy. What should such offensive measures include? Obviously – the means of grace bestowed by God. How important it is that we should use these means for our own good and not take the threat of Satan lightly. Hence, don’t neglect the means of grace – the word, prayer, Christian fellowship, worship, breaking of bread, etc.
And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
Job acknowledged that all that he had was given by God. God had the right to give & to take since all came from him. All that we ought to do as His creatures is to acknowledge and worship him regardless of the circumstances we are placed in. This may be the most difficult thing for us to do since we live in a physical world. We need spiritual eyes and great faith to look beyond our losses & gains, to see that God sits on the throne in heaven ruling over all that happens. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” Ezra 8:22
Ezra had a dilemma. He was to return to Jerusalem to re-construct the city with a group of Jews. There will be danger on the journey home. Should he “buy insurance” by asking the king for an escort of soldiers to protect those travelling with him against bandits & robbers? If he did, would this show that he had no faith in the God whom he worshipped? If he did not, what if they were indeed ambushed along the way? Hence, he got those who were with him to fast and seek God’s hand of mercy and protection.
This is is a good example of the exercise of faith and diligent seeking of God. However, it does not represent a direction that we should shun insurance or seek medical attention when required. Faith must be held in balance with human responsibility. We need to weigh all our situations before God and seek His guidance on these matters. Even if we used the means provided by God, eg medicine, our faith should not rest with these means, but in the God who provided these means.
Daniel’s friends who were thrown into the fire testified to King Nebuchadnezzar that they had confidence that their God will rescue them – Dan 3:17-18. But even if that did not happen, they will still not bow down to idols. This is the essence of true faith.