The challenge in the opening pages of Job concerns Job’s motivation to follow God. The accuser says that Job follows only because God has protected him and blessed him. He proposes that if God took away all his stuff, that Job would curse him (1:11; 2:5).
The LORD stands behind Job, continually describing him as “a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.” (1:8, 2:3) God seems to imply that Job does not follow merely because of the good results. He implies a purity… a heart for what is right and actions that match.
It makes me think. Why do any of us follow? Like the soils Jesus spoke of, it seems that some may start out following for the stuff and then dry up or get choked out. But the ones that continue, do so for a deeper reason. They have been gripped by the love of God. “We love because he first loved us.” (1 Jn 4:19) But sometimes our problem is that we have forgotten our first love (Rev 2:4). We start out properly motivated but after a while, we turn our gaze to something else… career, popularity, a pretty face… the list goes on.
Why did Job follow? Why do we? Reminding ourselves of the reason can be powerful! The opening pages of Job call us back to our first love. They remind us that there is a battle far bigger than our immediate view. Our devotion to Jesus may have a much greater impact than we ever imagined. Could it be that there is an enormous drama being played out and our lives are simply a single line of the larger story? Could our lives be lived before an audience larger than we could imagine?
A shepherd and his journey