Jobby Christopher Ash
I want to live in a world in which good people become great and in which all the great people will be good. When a president or a government is elected in a democracy, we hope that it's the morally good people who get to the top. It's good for a country when it is governed by fair, honest, and caring people, but miserable when cruel or untruthful people gain power.
The book of Job begins with a good man who is also a great man. In Job 1:1, we learn that Job is ″blameless″. This means that he is genuine and has integrity; what you see in Job is what you get. Job is also ″upright″; this means that he treats people right. Job ″feared God″; he is a genuine believer, and he trusts and loves God with a loving, reverent fear. And Job ″shunned evil″; repentance shapes his life.
As a result, Job is a great man. He has a large family (Job 1:2) and a successful farming business (v. 3), and has become ″the greatest man among all the people of the East″ (v. 3)–that is to say, Job is a local or regional ruler.
Uz may have been Edom (Lamentations 4:21); it lay in the east of the land of Canaan. Wherever he lived, Job was in his region what Adam was meant to be in all the world–a great man.
But then, a shadow comes over the scene. There are happy family parties (Job 1:4); so far, so good. Job is very careful to offer sacrifices in case his sons have ″sinned and cursed God in their hearts″ (v. 5). Job knows how much it matters to walk rightly before God.
The beginning of this vivid story looks good. In this region, the government is in the hands of a good man who is also a great man.
Today, let's meditate on how much we long for a world like Job's. We lament that so often, rich and powerful people are wicked people, and we grieve for the many places that are ruled with injustice and exploitation. We take pleasure in seeing a world in which Job, a true believer and upright man, is in power. And we wonder if our world could ever become like this. We shall find that it is more complicated than that; this is why the story cannot end here and we need 42 more chapters!
Think about the character of the leaders in your country or region. What are the marks of their greatness? Is their greatness accompanied by true goodness?
Think of some of the best people you know who genuinely love God and trust in Christ. What has been their experience of life? Would a modern equivalent of Job 1:1-3 be true for them?