20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
Background of the story: Job just lost everything he had: his possessions (sheep, camels, oxen’s, donkeys, servants) and his family (sons and daughters). Job 1:1-3, 13-19
What was Job’s reaction? He mourned. In olden times, people tore their clothing’s and shaved their heads when they grieved. It is a natural response for man to be sad when there is a loss.
In his grief, falling to the ground and lying in the ground, he worshiped. Job showed us the ultimate worship – worship in the ground, down in the pit of life.
Satan challenged God: Does Job fear God for nothing? Of course, he’s loyal to you because you have blessed his life. Let’s see how he fares when you take everything from him.
We learn from Job that it is possible to be sad and worship at the same time. Worship is not about state of total bliss – everything fine, rosy and cheery.
How did Job worship? What enabled him to worship? Job didn’t know anything about Satan’s challenge. His response: worship from the ashes, is based on two truths he held on to:
He uttered two realities of life in worship.
21 He said,
Truth 1: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
Job remembered where he came from. He started with nothing. All the rich and famous people, people with wealth, name and status, they all came into the world butt naked. What is there to lose when you have nothing in the first place.
Job knew where he would end. In the grave, he could take nothing with him. All the animals, money and possessions he had, he would leave behind when he dies.
Coming from and going to – these are two sides of the coin of life. The start and the end. Seeing the start and the end changes our lens of life.
Truth 2: The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Job believed that all he had came from the hand of the Lord. It is the Lord, it is not about what Job did or who he is. Job knew the two sides of the coin. Given and taken – his life was given him and his life also taken from him. Everything is from the Lord.
Between these two truths lie a relationship. Job had such intimate relationship with God. He knew himself (his beginning and end). He knew his God (His giving and taking). He viewed his loss and worshipped through this dual lens – who he is and who God is.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
To bless the name of the Lord is to praise God with thanksgiving as much as it is to thank Him in worship.