By Pastor Anthony Scott
Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground
and worshiped, saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked
I will leave this life. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the
name of the LORD. – Job 1:20-21 (CSB)
The story of Job offers you and I a wonderful life lesson on how dependence on God and submission to God’s will go hand in hand. In this paradigm of dependency, we are humbled and set free from the burden of trying to do what only God can do. In a nutshell, we are taught through this one man’s ordeal that indeed submission strengthens independence.
We learn how dependence on God and submission to God’s will go hand in hand by looking at Job’s submissive grief. Our fast-paced world, and forward-looking culture does not want to spend too much time grieving. A funeral director recently remarked that during Bible times people would grieve for forty days. Even fifty years ago people allowed themselves more time to grieve. By contrast, people today want to grieve forty minutes so they can get on with their lives.
He went on to say it is no wonder that people have emotional problems long after a death because they have not grieved long enough over their losses and come to terms with their own mortality. Job, however, expressed his sorrow in a way that honored God. Tearing his clothes and shaving his head were signs of intense grief and mourning. Falling to worship God was an expression of Job’s deep devotion to God.
This lesson also reveals this patriarch’s submissive humility as he humbled himself before God realizing that nothing truly belongs to him. All that we have and or possess is a gift from God. We are stewards of all the blessings God chooses to give us. “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD (Psalm 24:1).
In addition to his display of submissive grief and submissive humility, we see demonstrated submissive faith. It is so easy to declare that God is sovereign but so difficult to trust in God’s sovereignty. Our knowledge of God and the practical application of what we know do not always coincide. By the time we get to the end of Job’s saga we find a man who not only knows that God is good but has learned to trust God’s goodness and wisdom.
The final takeaway we garner from this lesson on how dependence on God and submission to God’s will go hand in hand is illustrated in Job’s submissive praise. “He fell to the ground and worshiped.” The very ground where he grieved was transformed into a place of worship. His place of tears became an altar of praise. His weeping before God partnered with his dependence and submission to God turned the ground into a dust sanctuary. “Blessed be the name of the LORD.
The psalmist David refers to God collecting tears in a bottle. It appears in Psalm 56:8 when he says, “You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” This custom of antiquity is what the woman in Luke 7:36-50 was relying upon when she brought and broke her alabaster box of perfume and began to worship Jesus by washing his feet with her tears. She had been collecting and intermingling her tears in a perfume bottle until she heard that Jesus was near and took all her grief, pain, and problems and pored them at the feet of Jesus in an act of Worship.
Beloved, depend on God, trust in His will, and watch Him change your Tears and Dust into your place of Hope and Healing!