Bible Verse: 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. He had seven sons and three daughters, 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 1:1-3
Scripture Reading: Job 1-2; Matthew 19:16-24
Growing up, I loved my toy cars. Driving in the dirt. Building ramps. And, of course, every car with doors that could open became a flying car!
We like to be defined by our toys.
Two men in the Bible had a lot of “toys” (read “wealth”) that defined them.
In Job 1, we meet the main human character in the story: Job. He is described as a very wealthy man with many kids and servants. In fact, he is described as “the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:3, NIV).
That’s quite the reputation!
Then, in Matthew 19, we are introduced to a man through only two characteristics: he is young, and he is rich.
As their stories go on, Job lost everything he had, and in his grief, he questioned God. And God answered him, just not the way Job thought He would.
As for the young man, he also questioned God (Jesus), and he also got an answer he was not expecting.
But notice how they each responded. Job continued to praise God while the young man walked away from Him.
In other words, Job lost everything but ended up gaining everything, while the young man held on to everything but ended up losing everything.
But there is an even more profound lesson from each of these men.
Remember how I said that Job is the main “human character” in that story? The main point of Job’s story was not to tell his story but to tell God’s. The entire situation is for God to prove to His adversary that even on his best day, he will never overcome God’s authority.
And as for the young man, after he walked away, Jesus continued to teach by saying, “It is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23, NIV). For Jesus, it’s not the toys of this earth, but the kingdom of heaven that matters.
And so it should be for us, too. Our identity is not in what we have but in Who we follow.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You do want me to enjoy this life You have given me, but help me never let the wealth or toys You bless me with become greater than Your presence in my life. Amen.
Reflection: What is it for you? What are you holding on to? Does it bring you closer to God or cause you to walk away from Him?
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