One morning I awoke and upon entering my living room was aware of a visitor. I later discerned that Job had come to visit and instruct me on some things. Here is what he had to say:
You’ve wondered why I didn’t show up in court and my reason was the same as many people today. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the verdict. As you know from the story, I ended up going through some tough stuff, but the worst part is – it could have been avoided.
Because I forfeited my right to defend myself by my lack of appearance in the court, I also set myself up for an even worse scenario than I could have imagined. It was painful learning about the loss of my children a short time later and had I defended myself adequately in court I probably would have seen a different outcome.
In the time I was living I did not have the resources available to me that you have available to you, however I still had access to the Father. He had Jeremiah record later that he would draw near to all who would call upon him and I did that. Not always consistently, but I did call upon the Father.
My relationship with the Father was close enough that on the second encounter especially, he defended me – he even bragged upon me saying, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Although the Father had full confidence in me, I did not have full confidence in myself. It wasn’t fear that resulted in the death of my sons and daughters, it was my lack of appearance in the Courts of Heaven. I knew about the courts. I just didn’t go that day.
The second time, my reasons were different for not going. Although I dared not challenge God directly at that time, I was still hurting over the death of my children. I was essentially pouting. That is made evident a little while later while my friends had come to console me, but what they found was someone who was inconsolable. It wasn’t the right response, but it was my response.
Many times, we will say things out of hurt and anger and make accusations against Father which are unfair and incorrect. That was the case then. I blamed him for what was the result of my failure. I knew how the court system worked. I knew the necessity of appearing in the courts, regardless of the charge. I knew what might happen if I did not appear in court, but it did not keep me from doing wrongly.
Failure to appear will result in the failure of many things. My children were caught in an allowable trespass. On the surface, you wonder about that, but it was allowable because of my sin. I had taken on the role of priest for my children when they were old enough to do that for themselves. They could have covered themselves spiritually but had chosen to “let Daddy do it.” When a child is of a responsible age, they begin to experience their own consequences of the actions or inaction. Did it seem fair? No, of course not, but it’s the way things work sometimes. In the larger scheme of things, it must work that way. You’ll always have an enemy who wants to trespass in your life, and you will always have those who leave the gate open or tear the fence down in their life so the enemy has easy access into their lives.
My kids were doing what young people do – they were partying, but they also had other options that partying was not included in. They chose to party, and it cost them. In their celebration they took for granted the protection they thought my prayers and sacrifices offered to them. They neglected to do their own prayer work. They were riding my coattails and those coattails weren’t big enough for them at their age. They needed to take responsibility for themselves.
Calamity had been waiting for them – both from people and from nature. They could have avoided or at least mitigated the things that happened, but they were too busy celebrating themselves. You can never neglect your own responsibilities.
As parents, we must understand that we cannot carry our kids forever. They have to take up the mantel and be a priest for themselves. They can’t depend on us for all of this forever. Had they done their part and I done my part, the end of job would have read very differently. Remember that.
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