THE SERVANT GENERAL
THEME FOR 2010
THE CONTEXT OF THE BOOK OF JOB
2007, a very crucial year for CFC, a turning point
in fact, our theme verse was taken from the book of
Lamentations. Our theme was “Hope in the Lord.”
Hope was what would get us through the crisis that
was to come. But the Lord’s bringing us to the
book of Lamentations was deliberate. God wanted to
point us to what happened to His people Israel. We
were being warned.
We were given the chance to turn back from our infidelities
and veering away, thus possibly avoiding the painful
split. But many, including the very top leaders, were
not mindful, perhaps even dismissive, of the lessons
to be learned. We reaped the painful consequences.
Now our theme for 2010 comes from the book of Job.
Once again, the story of Job is very relevant to what
God wants to tell us and teach us. Just like in the
book of Lamentations, we look to the larger context
of the book of Job.
story of Job
Job was a just and righteous man, who was tremendously
blessed by God. Then Satan challenged God, saying
that Job was God-fearing only because he was so blessed.
Satan asked to afflict Job, which God granted. First,
Satan caused Job to lose all his material possessions
and all his children. Job did not say anything disrespectful
of God. Then Satan afflicted Job with severe boils
all over his body. Job still said nothing sinful,
though sorrow afflicted his soul.
Job was visited by 3 wise friends, who deeply commiserated
with him. Then there was a series of exchanges (cycle
of speeches) between Job and Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar.
Job protests his innocence. His friends insist he
is being punished for sin and should repent. Then
young Elihu also speaks to Job.
Job asks to hear from God Himself. God answers, but
not to explain His actions but referring to His omniscience
and almighty power. Job accepts what God says, disowns
what he himself has said, and repents.
Job is then blessed by God, and receives twice as
much as he had before.
Aside from the sufferings of our Lord Jesus, we would
be hard put to find another person who suffered as
much as Job. He lost everything, except his life.
But that life was hardly worth living, as he had lost
everything he held dear, and he was severely afflicted
physically, spending his days just sitting among the
ashes. His friends “saw how great was his suffering.”
(Job 2:13b). Job longed for death.
But we know the ending. God restores Job and blesses
were the transition points?
God only speaks after Elihu’s speeches (after
our theme verse of Job 37:23). Our theme verse, speaking
about who God truly is, is the first pivot point.
Between finite human wisdom and God’s infinite
Between the great suffering of Job, and his impending
restoration and two-fold blessings.
Between the just and righteous Job (Job 1:1), and
the just and righteous God (Job 37:23).
Between fear of God that calls for a response, and
fear of God that is unquestioning.
Between questioning suffering, and total embrace
Between trusting in God in prosperity, and trusting
in God in adversity.
What evolves from that point on was no longer just
a test of Job’s faithfulness, or the consequence
of spiritual battle between Satan and God. It was
no longer between Job and Satan. It was now all about
God, and consequent to that, all about God and Job.
God revealed who He truly was. Job finally surrendered.
Job’s reply to God is the next turning point,
the pivot point that restores his blessings.
know that you can do all things, and that no purpose
of yours can be hindered. I have dealt with great
things that I do not understand; things too wonderful
for me, which I cannot know. I had heard of you by
word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore
I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and
ashes.” (Job 42:2-6, NAB).
lessons of the book of Job
A prime lesson is simply the awesome majesty
of God. This is something that Christians
is no longer fully appreciated as the wondrous Creator
and the great King of all kings. Christians are
much more casual in His presence. Awe and reverential
fear are no longer present.
Catholics walk casually into a Eucharistic celebration
or a community worship assembly without appropriate
respect and self-preparation.
People take their lives into their own hands, having
lost the realization that it is God who has full
control of our lives, and that apart from Him we
The book of Job helps bring us back to our senses.
We identify with Job as God speaks of His wisdom and
power. God jabs us time and again.
“Where were you when I founded the earth?”
you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place” (Job 38:12).
you …. walked about in the depths of the abyss?”
you know the ordinances of the heavens; can you
put into effect their plan on the earth?”
you an arm like that of God, or can you thunder
with a voice like his?” (Job 40:9).
A second lesson is about redemptive suffering.
This is the suffering of Jesus. Jesus went through
extreme suffering in order to redeem us. As those
who follow him and as those who work to bring his
salvation to the world, we too, like our Master, will
Paul rejoiced in such suffering. “Now I rejoice
in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I
am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of
Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church”
(Col 1:24). This is a great mystery, that we can participate
in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of God’s
Such suffering is redemptive. First, for ourselves,
as we are purified and grow in the ways of God. Second,
for others, as we expend ourselves and endure pain
and hardships in order to proclaim the gospel.
The way of Jesus is the way of the cross. The way
of the cross is the way to glory and victory.
The third lesson proceeds from the first two. It is
looking to the justice and righteousness of
If God is not who He is, then it is difficult for
a pious and upright person to accept extreme suffering.
But since God is indeed who He is, then redemptive
suffering is to be endured, even embraced, because
it is allowed and willed by an omnipotent and omniscient
God who loves us and has a great plan for our lives.
Our God is one who is righteous and just, and we can
fully trust in Him.
God is righteous and wants our holiness, as we are
made in His image and likeness. Such holiness is purified
by suffering. The greater the suffering for the sake
of righteousness, the greater the potential of moving
on to the very holiness of God.
God is just and is committed to give us what is our
due, according to His eternal plan. God loves us as
His beloved children, desires that we enjoy the bounty
of His awesome creation, and wants to bring us home
to heaven, the new paradise, with Him forever. But
this happens on His terms, not ours. This is the problem
with God’s people in the world. They are living
their lives and even serving God on their own terms.
So many times they are the very obstacles to their
own spiritual well-being.
The book of Job teaches us to let God be God, and
to trust fully in His justice and righteousness. God
will never fail us.
Just and righteous is He.”
(September 25, 2009)
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Theme for 2010- Part 2[PDF]