The Bible teaches three facts of life: God is good. God is all-powerful. Terrible things happen. Any two of these facts make sense together if you exclude one. It does not matter which one you exclude. To embrace all three makes no sense. But faith involves believing all three truths at the same time. And the evidence of faith is that you continue to worship this all-good and all-powerful God, even when terrible things happen.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” – Job 1:20-22
Job was a rich man and a righteous man (Job 1:1-4). Satan claimed Job was only righteous because he was rich. He accused God of bribing and buying Job off with blessings. He also accused Job of only serving God for the blessings he received. If the favorable circumstances changed, Satan assured Job would curse God to his face.
God accepted the challenge. As a result, Job was caught in the crossfire of a cosmic bet. The Lord lifted his hedge of protection from around Job’s life. Satan attacked Job’s life. One day, Job was ambushed by the unexpected. He received bad news after bad news. By the end of the day, Job lost everything. All of his possessions were taken away. All of his servants were murdered. All of his children died in a freak storm.
You misunderstand the story of Job if all you see in the story of Job is the story of Job. This is not merely about Job. It is about you and me. If you have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the same satanic accusation against Job is made against you. Do you serve the Lord for his name’s sake? Or do you only serve the Lord to receive blessings?
This is the test of true worship. It is one thing to worship God when the sun is shining. It is another thing to worship God when the storm is raging. True worship is not fair-weather worship. True worship continues to worship God when the storms of life are raging.
Job 1:20-22 is a God-inspired “cheat sheet” to help you pass the inevitable test of faith you will experience. It teaches three characteristics of true worship.
True Worship is a Choice
Job 1:20 reports, “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” This was Job’s natural reaction and spiritual response to the tragic news, unspeakable loss, and broken heart.
Tearing his robe and shaving his head were customary expressions of pain, grief, and sorrow. But these were no ceremonial acts. Job truly grieved. By his example, Job teaches us that there is nothing spiritual about acting like life does not hurt when life hurts. Being born again does not make you bionic. Godly people grieve. In scripture, many godly people, like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Peter, and Paul, wept and mourned. Even Jesus wept at the graveside of Lazarus (John 11:35). The Bible does not forbid mourning. It only admonishes us not to sorrow as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). After Job tore his robe and shaved his head, he bowed on the ground. And with his face in the dirt, Job worshiped God. It is understandable that job grieved his loss. It is what you would have done. But can you worship God with a broken heart? Job’s spiritual response teaches us that worship is a choice. Believers suffer bad things in life, just like those who do not believe. We grieve. They grieve. But we do not curse God, sin with our lips, or charge God with wrong. God does not change when our circumstances change. So we continue to worship him no matter the circumstances.