In His hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:10 NIV
The Bible tells us that Job was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. One day as the angels and satan stood in the presence of God; God asked satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 12:8) What followed became a terrifying scenario as satan was allowed to test Job.
Job’s ten children were having a party, the donkeys were grazing in the pasture, the oxen were plowing—a typical day. Suddenly the servants were attacked and killed, the donkeys and oxen were carried off—only one servant survived to tell Job what had happened. As that servant spoke to Job, another came running into the house to tell Job that fire fell from the sky and consumed his sheep and servants and that he alone survived to give an account.
Then another messenger arrived with a story of an attack and recounted to Job that all his camels were stolen and his servants put to death. The final blow was delivered as one last scene unfolded. A mighty wind came and blew down the house where his children were feasting—all ten—dead!
Yet in all his suffering, as Job sat covered in boils and in physical and spiritual pain, Job refused to curse God. In the midst of his agony he stated to his friends, “In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
Job rightly understood that God held Job in His hand—nothing could come against him without God’s permission. But Job, like many today, found that bad things happen to good people—to God’s people; people who serve the Lord, believe God and do good.
In the midst of difficult financial times, God’s people can lose everything. In the midst of war, God’s people can lose children. In the midst of moral decay in our land, God’s people can be ensnared by the wiles of lust and immorality as satan roams the earth seeking to steal, kill and destroy lives.
However, our trials are not meant to destroy us but to make us stronger. Our sadness can make us more compassionate. Our lack can teach us to depend on God. Our loss can focus our attention on God as we learn that our strength lies in Christ alone.
Job 19:25-27, written approximately 2000-1800 B.C., reveals the heart of Job in the midst of his circumstances. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
When everything in life appears to be coming against you, remember “In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” God knows your situation, He loves you…you are in His hand.
© Joyce Powell