Summary: In the midst of his suffering Job is able to continue to be obedient. Job recognises that the nakedness of birth and death is a lesson to all to measure their life by trusting the ongoing provisions of God, not by comparing our suffering to others.
You can listen to the full message here:-
Why Are You Naked?
Hatch and Dispatch
Nearly 4000 years ago, in the time of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, there was a man named Job. In the middle of a life crisis Job spoke these words:-
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.”
As we consider these ancient words, and their context, we are going to see that these words still have a profound message to teach us today. To understand the message we first need to answer the question, “Who is Job?”
1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
Job had buckets of money and was very well known. Not just because of his money, but also because of the type of person he was.
11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, 12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13 The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. 17 I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.
Wealthy, but not stingy. The cream of society, but down to earth. Famous, but approachable. An entrepreneur who had a social conscience. He understood how the world works, but firstly he is a man of God.
That was Job.
Job was also a man who made the spiritual well-being of his family a priority.
4 His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 … Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
Put this all together and you see that Job was a very faithful man who lived in obedience to God.
And it is this man’s life which is turned upside down. The day started like any other day – with a sacrifice for each of his children. Then, some time on this ordinary day, a series of terrified messengers started to arrive.
14 A messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen (1000) were ploughing and the donkeys (500) were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep (7000) and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels (3000) and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons (7) and daughters (3) were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
What would you do? How would you deal with these situations? It might not be exactly what Job is going through, but difficulties wear many masks don’t they.
Not enough money.
Anxiety and Fear.
Lower social standing.
Diminished Career opportunities.
An uncertain future.
The challenges of parenting.
Disease, Pain, Death.
What would you do?
We all have our list don’t we. That situation which would push us over the edge and make us feel doubt and lack of comfort.
As we think about our list we need to recognise that, for each one of us, it will look different. I saw this very clearly about 10 years ago.