I must admit to you that, every now and then, I find it is quite beneficial to glance into the rear-view mirror of my life in silent retrospect. Without a doubt each and every time that I do so; I am simply humbled at the splendor of God’s marvelous handiwork all over my life!
How about you? Are you able to identify a time in your life when God’s protective care allowed you to escape an extremely bad situation? Are you like me, requiring both your fingers and your toes to simply count the many occasions where God stepped in just in the nick of time?
After taking a short glace back are you now humbled? Yeap, I thought so!
Truth in its simplest form declares that you and I are both products of God’s magnificent grace and mercy! Yes, we are alive today and our paths were orchestrated to intersect so that we could share in this devotional-time by the divine providence of our wonderful Heavenly Father for His glory and grow!
My hope and prayer is that we can continue to grow together in God’s Holy Word in order that we may be motivated to “eagerly” help others find the same joy, hope, and peace which we have obtained through walking with God in an intimate relationship though His Son Jesus Christ!
In today’s “Deliberately Living Life Lesson” we will take a quick look into the rear view mirror of biblical history, and review the account of four individuals who also escaped some very bad situations; all in different places, only minutes apart. We will review the similarities and differences within of their testimonies in hope to draw from their experiences.
Job 1:13-15 –13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Job 1:16 –While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Job 1:17 – While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Job 1:18-19 18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Here we have the biblical account of four messengers whose lives were impacted by the malice of Satan against Job, which was allowed by God for His glory. Our lesson sets for us a magnificent example of the suffering that can enter our lives at any given moment, and the preservation of a living Hope in our God that will allow us to escape in order that we may share our testimony.
Recently my Pastor (Rev. Terry E. Mackey, Sr. Pastor – Riceville Baptist Church, Houston, TX) began an in-depth study with our congregation in the book of Job. Ever since we started this study, I have been encouraged to stay stationed in the book of Job during my own personal quiet time as well; and it wasn’t until I began this study that I realized how when previously reading the book of Job, that I’ve always focused ONLY on certain characters and situations, such as: 1) Job’s bio, the extreme losses which Job experienced; 2) his three friends; and 3) the dialogue between Job and the Lord.
It was during one of my Mary moments of sitting at God’s feet in my personal quiet time that God allowed me to notice a small treasure that I had never noticed before. Don’t you just love it when this happens?
Allow me to share: It was the awesome testimony of survival of the four individuals who all shared the common responsibility of being messengers of evil tidings unto Job.
Now of course I encourage you to begin by taking the necessary time to read verses 1-12; in doing so you will be provided the backdrop of our lesson in order to gain a full understanding of our observation Scriptures.
Reminder: Although there is so very much in this book that we can gather pertaining to Job; remember we want to look at our Scripture verses from the perspective of the escaped messengers. In doing so we are able to identify the importance of telling our experiences (testimonies) when we have also been allowed to escape also.
Are you ready? Good, let’s get started!
While reading the account of all four messengers in our Observation Scriptures you should have notices quite a few common themes, let’s cover them together:
(1) First, did you notice how we were never provided any of the messenger’s names?
Absolutely every word in the bible has meaning and is significant. The fact that God chose not to provide us the names of the four messengers is significant in itself. Because testimonies are personal accounts about the miraculous intervention and work that God has done within our lives; I believe that the absence of these messengers’ names reveals that anyone one of us can find ourselves in circumstances unrelated to anything pertaining specifically towards us. Think about it Satan, by the divine permission of God, was allowed to try Job, and in the process of his trial of Job, each of these four nameless messengers also obtained a testimony. Did you hear me? This situation was NOT directed toward them; however, they became participants by divine selection in the midst of Job’s trials.
Treasure Point: Most often we forget that it’s not even about us! We must always remember that there is always a bigger picture, a spiritual purpose at work that is meant to accomplish God’s divine will in every given situation. So allow me to ask you: Is it possible we can find ourselves in the midst of another person’s trial? Yes and here is a great example, of just that!
(2) Did you notice how 2 of the messengers (#1 and #4) began their message by first providing additional details of what was going on before the devastating event(s) occurred? Let’s take a look at their statements:
Job 1:13-15 –14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,
Job 1:18-19 18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,
Now let’s compare those two messengers account with the other 2 messengers account (#2 and #3)
Job 1:16 –“The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants
Job 1:17 – “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away
Treasure Point: each messenger looking into the rear-view mirror of their experience, effectively and truthfully communicated by an eyewitness accounts the devastation that had occurred. It is the same with us – some of us might communicate with the use of expressive details, which tend to provide our listener(s) a vivid impression of a particular event or place; while some of us might communicate without the use of details. Either way is acceptable, since what matters most is that we learn to share our testimonies with others.
(3) Did you notice that in each of their testimonies that it was never stated specifically how many servants were killed?
Well it didn’t.
However we can identify on each occurrence that it was multiple servants who died since in each of the messenger’s testimonies, they used the word servants (plural). Additionally if we remember specifically in verses 2-3 we were told very important details pertaining to the life of Job which also lends the idea of many.
And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East
Treasure Point: Although we were only left to imagine the number of servants required to attentively tend to such a large herd of livestock; in the end the unmentioned specific number of servants killed, only places emphasis on each of the four nameless messenger’s who were allowed testimonies of escape.
(4) How about the timing of each messenger’s arrival?
Verses 16, 17, and 18 – Scripture states that the arrival of the second, third, and fourth messengers occurred systematically “While he was still speaking, another also came and said”
Treasure Point: Now although again not stated within our text, we can still identify that the different events which occurred, did not happen too far apart which lends a good example for us to recognize that spiritual warfare (attacks of our enemy, Satan) can indeed occur in a rapid fire method.
(5) Did you notice the importance and similarity in their roles and messages?
Although the messengers were not the initiators of the disastrous calamities in Job’s life, they were important characters; for each messenger brought to Job a firsthand eyewitness accounts of individual devastating news, not second hand grapevine gossip. It was designed before the foundations of the world that each would be born at that time, raised where they were, and employed in Job’s service for this moment. In other’s words: “by Divine Design.”
Treasure Point: It isn’t by accident that we have been strategically positioned where we are, within the situation we are in, and during this particular century. Like our nameless messengers, possibly we have been allowed to participate in, and even gain a testimony of our own through a situation that may not necessarily even be about us, but in the grand plan of things we play an important role in that person’s life.
(6) Did you notice the fact that each of the messengers experienced a different situation, but ALL shared a common testimony?
Two of the messengers reportedly escaped violent physical attacks from two separate bands of enemies, and two of the messengers escaped natural disasters “that of lighting” and that of “a great wind.”
Although each event was different, listen to the simplicity in which they shared their testimony: “And I alone have escaped to tell you”
Treasure Point – Violent physical attacks (illnesses, injury, abuse) Natural disasters (hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes) can also raid our lives without notice. However, we must remember that nothing can occur to a believer outside the permissive will of our God. This means that we can take comfort in our hearts in knowing that although such attacks occur, if we are alive to talk about it like these messengers; that is exactly what we should do! Our testimonies of escape are not meant for us alone but for others around us! Besides, if you are a Believer in God, saved by the blood of Christ Jesus, you have been called a “witness” by God!
Additional Memory Scriptures:
Matthew 10:18 – You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
Luke 21:13 – But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
1 John 5:11 – And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
I pray that you enjoyed this study as much as I did!