Monday, February 9, 2015

The Book of Job

There was a man whose name was Job; and that man was terrible and sinful, and one who hated God and loved evil. He had no children or wife. Being poor, he had no substance or household; so that he was the least of all men everywhere. He spent his days hungry and thirsty. And it was so, when he was starving, that Job blamed God, and cursed God with his mouth and mind.

Now there was a day when the Spirit of God came before Satan. And Satan said to the Spirit,

"Where have you come from?" Then the Spirit answered, and said,

"From going to and fro in the Earth, and from walking up and down in it."

And Satan said unto the Spirit, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the Earth, an awful man, one that hates God, and loves evil?"

"Does he hate God for nought? Have you not cursed everything around him? Have you not taken everything from him, and cursed the work of his hands so that his substance is decreased? But now I will touch everything he has, and bless him, and he will curse you and love God."

And Satan replied, and said, "All that he has is in your power. So the Spirit went forth from the presence of Satan.

Now in that time Job had nothing. When the Spirit came to him, Job had not eaten in days. His bones showed through his skin, and his throat was so dry that he could not speak without pain. He had no place to rest, and barely had any clothes to wear. The Spirit spoke to Job and said,

"Job, come with me and eat." Job answered and said,

"Who are you, that you would feed me?"

"I am the one who has always loved you. I am here to bless you, and make you well. Come and eat." So Job followed the Spirit of God, and the Spirit led him to a house that he had prepared. Inside the house were two beds, tables and chairs, clothes, and food. Outside were animals in breeding pairs, which would provide Job with food for the rest of his life. All the things Job never had and more were provided to him. The Spirit clothed him, and sat him down at the table. The Spirit prayed with Job, and in joining hands with him, healed him of all his ailments. Job ate until he was full. And being no longer hungry, with his desire for food and shelter satisfied, Job asked the Spirit,

"Have I wine or women?" The Spirit answered, and said,

"Only wine, but in time you may find a wife."

"What good is a house and food without people to fill it? I have seen on occasion houses full of people, men and women, drinking, singing, and laughing."

"I love to hear that you wish to share your new found wealth. Fill your house with others, and spread God's love. I will return later to see all that you have accomplished."

When Job went into town to search for companions, he came across his three friends he knew were also homeless, for many nights they had all four shared a fire, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. When they saw Job in his new clothes they did not recognize him, but Job said to them,

"My friends, I have been working very hard. I have built a house, and stocked it with food and drink enough to last a lifetime. I can feed and clothe you all. Please come and see."

Eliphaz spoke, and said, "Job, if what you say is true, then we should feed only ourselves, and drink until we are dizzy. Let others worry about themselves. We have wanted for everything our entire lives."

Bildad spoke and said, "We should find women to share this wealth with. We will impress them, and seduce them. If what you say is true then we could have many wives to each one of us."

Zophar spoke, and said, "We should invite only the wealthiest individuals so that they will return the favor, and we can continue to eat and drink for years to come."

And Job agreed, saying, "Who am I that I should help the needy? I have had nothing my entire life. Every day I starved. Now I have wealth. Now is my time to share with the wealthy, and elevate my position in life so that others will know my name."

So, the four of them went to Job's house, and clothed themselves in his clothes. They washed their hands, faces, and hair so that they might look nothing like their former selves. Then, they went into town announcing themselves under different names so that nobody would know their identity. They made friends with beautiful women and wealthy men. They followed Job to his home that evening to eat and drink. Job slaughtered every animal he had to provide for all his guests.They filled his house until each were nearly shoulder to shoulder. Many drank until they passed out. Many ate until they couldn't eat another bite.

The Spirit returned to see that Job's house was full of people eating and drinking. Curious, the Spirit disguised himself as a beggar, and tapped on the door. Job answered, and spoke,

"Who are you that you wish to speak to me?"

"I'm just a poor man," said the Spirit. "I have nothing, but I have heard of your generosity."

Satan appeared behind Job, disguised as a rich man, and whispered in his ear, "This man wants to take what is yours. You should send him away before he offends the other guests."

"Please, sir. I'm so very hungry. Any food will suffice." But Job's heart hardened.

The Spirit revealed himself to Job, but Job did not recognize him. The Spirit spoke, and said, "Please, Job, let me in." But Job shut the door, leaving the Spirit outside.

The Spirit wept.

Job lost all his wealth that night. He lost his health soon after. He spent his last days of life sick and cursing the God he never knew for never being fair to him.